• (434) 531-0104
  • info@sinbarrerascville.org
  • Charlottesville, VA

About Our Team


Our Staff

Our staff members are the backbone of the day-to-day operations and impact. They are dedicated individuals who are passionate about the organization’s mission and work tirelessly to achieve its goals. They are the heart and soul of the organization, and their contributions make a significant difference in the lives of those served by the organization.

Edgar Lara, Director of Community Engagement

Edgar grew up in California’s central valley where he spent several summers as a migrant worker throughout California. Despite the challenges and obstacles faced having an undocumented single mother in a largely undocumented community, it gave him the strong work ethic, values, and sense of community and justice he carries in his work. After high school, he joined the Marine Corps where he was exposed to many countries and cultures, including deployment to the Middle East. He received his B.S. in Business Economics from UCLA and worked in consulting and business finance for a decade, during which he arrived in Charlottesville in 2012. The rise of hate, demonization of immigrants, and attacks on our society’s most vulnerable communities prompted him to step away from his career to dedicate more time to helping give our local Hispanic immigrant population a voice and supporting them through Sin Barreras.

Chayla Rowley, Volunteer Manager

Chayla’s life journey has taken her from Maputo (Mozambique) to Charlottesville with many stops in between. Her education includes a BS and MS in Civil Engineering for Developing Communities from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a MA in Refugee Integration from Dublin City University in Ireland. Her diverse career includes time as a civil engineer in the U.S. government conserving natural resources and promoting civil rights to working for Sin Barreras – twice! Chayla understands very well just how much life can change and what a difference it makes to have caring people alongside you throughout those changes. She feels honored to facilitate caring connections at Sin Barreras through her role as Volunteer Coordinator.

Shirley Varela, Education Program Manager

Shirley was born in Palmira, Colombia, grew up in Queens, NYC, and has lived in North Carolina for the past 12 years. Her career has ranged from working with extension programs at Universities to corporate jobs in education and technology, always with a focus on program or project management. Shirley holds a MS in Family Life and Youth Development from North Carolina State University, focusing on Nonprofit Management and Latino Leadership. As an immigrant, she understands the community’s struggles and feels strongly about the power of education on the community. She believes that at Sin Barreras, we can help break the barriers and limitations that the community faces and help provide educational programs tailored to their needs.

Ellie Ransom, Fundraising Office Support

Ellie is so excited to join the Sin Barreras team as a fundraiser. A 2023 graduate from the College of William and Mary, Ellie majored in Hispanic Studies and Sociology with a concentration in Social Problems, Policy and Justice. She held numerous jobs and internships throughout college, including a fellowship with the NAACP, teaching Spanish in the Hispanic Studies department, and a life-changing Human Rights internship in La Plata, Argentina. A Charlottesville native, she’s happy to be back home working to support her immigrant neighbors. Ellie is an avid traveler and artist, and is fueled by seeking social justice and multicultural experiences in all aspects of her life.

Beatriz Buyer, Education Program Liason

Beatriz is a dedicated professional with a diverse background and a passion for community service. Originally from Colombia, Beatriz holds a license as an attorney and has worked in the military penal system administration. Having called the US home for over a decade, she has actively contributed to the community, particularly in hospice work and with the organization Sin Barreras. Beatriz initially joined our team as a volunteer from 2018 to 2019, where she played a crucial role in supporting office functions and conducting service evaluation calls. Currently, she serves part-time, primarily focusing on our education program. In this role, Beatriz promotes, recruits, and registers participants, ensuring an on-site presence with students and volunteers. With a strong connection to the local Hispanic and immigrant community, Beatriz brings a unique perspective to her role. 

Jasmine Ortuño, Client Reception Operator

Jasmine is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in psychology. She brings a wealth of experience and a passion for community service to her position. Jasmine’s professional journey has predominantly centered around working with children, where she has been actively engaged in caring for them, assisting with homework, and serving as a guiding presence as a camp counselor. Her commitment to community involvement is evident through her volunteer work with organizations such as PACEM, Loaves and Fishes, and various Girl Scout Troops. Jasmine’s connection with Sin Barreras began when she attended the Algun Dia en Algun Lugar documentary premiere at Lighthouse Studio in November, an experience that inspired her to join the Sin Barreras team.

Martin Nieto, Office Manager (Waynesboro)

Martin Nieto Flores is a civil engineer originally from Mexico City. After training at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, he settled in Monterrey in the state of Nuevo León where he raised his family. In 2020, Martin moved to the United States and now resides in Waynesboro, VA. He has worked as an HVAC, electrical and plumbing technician for many years. Recently, he joined the Sin Barreras team to provide support to the Hispanic community in his area. He is familiar with the challenges and struggles the immigrant community faces through personal experience as well as through his network. Martin is passionate about helping others and is proud to be able to use his skills to make a positive impact.

Ximena Lopez, Office Support

Ximena is our Client Service Coordinator for our Charlottesville office. She grew up in Charlottesville and knows Sin Barreras from the other side as a client and member of our community. She is new to the nonprofit world, but has had multiple customer facing positions, and is organized and focused, which serves her well in this position.

Want to get involved?

Join us as we work together, hand in hand, to create a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow for all.
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