María Guadalupe Martínez


Maria Guadalupe Martinez, known to her friends and colleagues as Lupita, was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Tourism Management from the “Instituto Politécnico Nacional” (Mexican National Polytechnic Institute). After graduation, she was involved in a range of educational settings in Mexico from high school teacher to college professor where she taught Hotel Management for 3 years. For the past 17 years, she has dedicated herself to bettering communities through education in New York City. In 2013 she founded CREA to fulfill her vision of increasing access to education for adult learners from the Latin American and Mexican communities of East Harlem. CREA aims to provide the knowledge, resources and skills to help its students achieve their everyday life goals.

Paulina Concha


Is a researcher at the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University and has been a science instructor at CREA since 2014. She holds a B.S in Chemistry from ITESM campus Monterrey, and a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University. She is originally from Celaya Gto, Mexico and she is passionate about education, science, the environment, and dancing.

Annette Allain

Member of the Little Sisters of the Assumption since 1973, presently serves in Leadership as Coordinator of the U.S. Territory. A singer~songwriter, Annette is convinced that the universal language of music is a unifying and uplifting force. The belief in each one’s potential and capacity to rise motivates her to join with others who desire to transform and unite our world to live in One Heart and One Family.

Dava Weinstein

MSW, is a retired social worker whose career started in East Harlem. She was an instructor at both Hunter College and Columbia Schools of Social Work, consultant to many community based agencies, and maintained a counseling practice. Special interest areas include addictions, mental illness, gender and sexual identity.

Dorothy Calvani

Has been a nurse for over 40 years, having earned her BSN from Lehman College/CUNY and MSN from Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing graduate program. Now retired, she worked in a variety of community health positions, including the last 10 years of her career with Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service in E. Harlem. She has had, and continues to have, the privilege of learning and growing with strong and hopeful families in E. Harlem, no matter how complex their situations. This is a cherished, mutually enhancing, experience. It is an honor and I am most grateful to be a part of CREA.

Stephan Russo

Has extensive experience in the management and delivery of human services in New York City. He stepped down as the Executive Director of Goddard Riverside Community Center, a highly regarded New York City settlement house, in February 2017 after a career spanning more than four decades. Prior to accepting his first job at Goddard Riverside, he completed a two-year Peace Corps assignment in Colombia, South America and is fluent in Spanish. Russo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University and an MS in Social Work from Columbia University. He has participated in numerous panels and discussions on the value of multi-service community-based organizations, the benefits of supportive housing, and the impact of non-profit mergers. He is a fierce advocate for building strong communities to combat poverty and address issues of inequity, and has a keen interest in mentoring the next generation of non-profit leaders.


Norma Benitez 


Originally from Veracruz, Mexico. She has lived and worked in the East Harlem community for over 25 years. Her parents always taught her that education should be a priority, a human right, but unfortunately not everyone receive it. She admires the effort of adults who pursue an education and at the same time she is inspired by the commitment of all CREA collaborators. She is glad to share her years of experience in marketing and fundraising with the board of CREA.


Suzanne Deliee


Since growing up in Connecticut in a close knit Catholic family, she entered the Sisters of Mercy 62 years ago. Her life has been varied since then, including teaching, nursing and Pharmacy in various places, 13 years in Nicaragua and lately 26 years in NYC doing visiting nursing at Little Sisters in East Harlem, mostly with Hispanic immigrant families , mothers and babies. This has been the most treasured part of her life. Her passions are immigration, climate, racism, wherever we find injustice, hatred and devastation, wherever families cannot live life.


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Conociendo a Frida

Entrevistaron a Lupita, la fundadora de CREA, en Telemundo 47!

Por: Paulina Concha Larrauri

Lupita, la fundadora del Centro de Recursos Educativos para adultos  (CREA) fue entrevistada por Telemundo 47 el pasado Febrero. En esta entrevista Lupita narra cómo y por qué empezó con la organización y comparte cuáles han sido los retos y logros que ha tenido a través del tiempo.  Si quieren saber más, vean el video de la entrevista en esta liga. 

La labor de CREA ha tocado muchas vidas en la comunidad Hispana de East Harlem. Gracias Lupita por todos tus esfuerzos!

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