El Centro de Muchos Colores - Our Staff

El Centro de Muchos Colores Staff

Shirena Long

Shirena Trujillo Long is a Fort Lewis College graduate who began working as coordinator for El Centro de Muchos Colores Hispano Resource Center in 2005. Shirena self identifies as Hispana or Chicana and is the product of a bi-cultural family with her Mexican-American father's roots centered in Chama, New Mexico, and her mother's German-Scottish roots from Indiana. She is a native of Utah and was raised in Farmington, N.M., before moving to Durango where she earned her bachelor's degree in English/Communications and Spanish in 2000. She earned a master' degree in Educational Leadership from the University of New Mexico in 2013 and has been a certified Anti-Defamation League diversity facilitator since 2007. Shirena is one of the key people responsible for establishing the Common Ground Program at Fort Lewis College.


 My name is Amelia Stecher and I am from San Antonio, Texas. I am a senior this year at the Fort, majoring in Spanish and minoring in Chemistry and Studio Art. I have spoken Spanish most of my life and I am so excited to be sharing my passion for the language and culture with Fort Lewis’ El Centro de Muchos Colores.


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 Hi! My name is Zane Goodell. I’m a junior here at Fort Lewis College and I live in Mancos, Colorado. I was born in Albuquerque New Mexico. I was an orientation leader for Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 and I am involved with Dance Co-Motion and Young Americans for Liberty. I chose to work at El Centro to regain the Hispanic culture of New Mexico that influenced my childhood and to represent Hispanic people with lighter skin and more European features. I love skiing, watching anime, practicing judo and dancing!



Hola! I’m Deandra Redsteer and this is my second year working at El Centro de Muchos Colores and I am so excited to be back! I am currently working for Centrovision, the El Centro’s radio station, and assisting with events, here, in El Centro. I really enjoy working here because the environment is so colorful, metaphorically and physically, the people are outgoing, interactive, and most of all, I always feel welcome. I’m a Christian and I love Jesus more than anything! I really enjoy being around people. Well-being and physical fitness are my passion since I am proactively trying to find new ways to improve my health. I want to be an advocate for people to pursue an active lifestyle and guide them towards understanding their health journey. I enjoy cooking…Anything! I am attentive to budgeting, food choices, meal planning, and where I get my food. This is who I am, although, I am still discovering myself anytime and anywhere.



My name is Sonja Jean Mantey-Swadener and I am from Fort Collins, Colorado. I am a freshman here at the Fort. I am undecided in my major but am leaning towards Educational Studies or Sociology with a minor in Spanish. I really appreciate my work here at El Centro de Muchos Colores. The environment here is very family centered expanding past biology. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to meet, and work with, wonderful people with broad backgrounds in a welcoming and comfortable place. I struck gold when Shirena hired me on to the team. I am learning to expand my language skills in Spanish in order to be fluent by the end of my sophomore year here. One of my greatest passions in communications and building relationships with others. One day, I want to travel the world and absorb how others teach and how different students around the world learn. I want to begin to change education to have a higher understanding of other cultures and perspectives while tightening community bonds. I am also an artist. My three major medias are photography, drawing and sculpture. I like to listen to music, pretty-much anything but country or heavy metal. I love to bake and spend time with friends.



Hello, my name is Dominic Whitesinger, but I like to be called Dom. I am 24 years non-tradition transfer student from Chinle, Az. I am a senior in college, majoring in psychology and minoring in Environmental science. I am also a common ground facilitator and volunteer for a Domestic Violence hotline. Before I declared psychology as my major, I was studied information technology and then I went into studying nursing. I like to think I am friendly and helpful person, who is willing to be shoulder to lean on. I like to go hiking in the mountains and walk along the animas river here in Durango. I also like watching movies and reading books. My hobbies include cooking, baking, wilderness exploration, playing pokemon and meditating. I like learning about other cultures as well as my own. I look forward to meeting new people to socialize with and lend a helping hand to whoever needs help.



My name is Armando Martinez-Barnes. A Freshman Biology Major, a Texas native, and a travelling anomaly. After coming to Colorado five years ago, I have travelled and lived in a range of homes from the southeast of New Mexico to the far countryside in Ignacio. Soon, I was stuck here at the Fort and one of the many open opportunities was El Centro de Muchos Colores, and soon enough I was working here as Shirena offered a work study position to me. Since joining the team here, I’ve received a great amount of experience.



My name is Daniela Nicole Fallas-Slentz from Santa Fe, NM. I am a freshman here at Fort Lewis studying environmental science. Latino culture has always been a part of my life. Growing up half Costarricense and half American in a predominantly Mexican state has made my life anything but boring. Speaking both English and Spanish fluently with friends and family, eating a variety of foods, and growing up between the best of all cultures. This has made me who I am as a Latina woman in this world.  This is the reason I wanted to work at El Centro because I needed a little haven to be able to share my culture in a safe space.



My name is Tom Wilhoit and I am originally from Woodstock, IL, a suburb of Chicago. I am a Spanish major and music minor in my senior year at FLC. I have a wife, Ariane, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who attend FLC and the Campbell Center respectively. I will also be holding events in cumbia and cooking, so be sure to check El Centro’s coming events!



My name is Anita Briody-Pavlik. I am from Farmington, New Mexico and I am a sophomore in College. I like to play soccer and tennis, rock climb, read and cook. My current major is undecided but will probably either be History or Sociology. I came to work at El Centro for the community and to learn about my Hispanic culture. 


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My name is Cristal Revilla Serrano, I am 20 years old and from Carbondale, Colorado. I am a sophomore and a Biology major with hopes of finding a career the medical field. I have one sister and an awesome 5-year-old niece. My parents are both undocumented and immigrated from Mexico, and work extremely hard to help me through my education. I was a part of a professional Mexican Folklorico dance group for twelve years. I love dancing, skiing, hiking, painting, and watching movies. I joined El Centro because I needed a space to share and express my Mexican heritage with others.


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My name is Sophie Snyder and I am currently in my first semester as a Spanish major here at Fort Lewis College. I work at El Centro de Muchos Colores as a tutor, where I get to share my passion for the language and help others understand it. I am from San Antonio, Texas, and I practically spent my whole life there. Being so far south, the world I lived in was extremely influenced by the Latin culture. Whether it be the Spanish language, traditions and customs, or most times even just the tacos, my childhood was very heavily influenced by Mexican culture. After high school, I had the opportunity to live in Mexico for a year or so, which allowed me to be fully immersed in the culture like never before. I fell completely in love with the vibrant and life-filled atmosphere and the level of passion that I saw in the Mexican people. Their passion definitely rubbed off on me, and I can say that I have a huge passion for the Spanish language and many Latin American cultures!



Hello! My name is Victoria Ibarra! I am from Denver, Colorado and I have lived here my entire life.  I love the mountains and it wasn’t until recently that it weirds me out when I can’t see them. This is my first year as a student here at Fort Lewis. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m really enjoying working here at El Centro and meeting all new people! Being here allows me to be a much more open person and has also taught me how to better initiate conversations with people. I am looking forward to new friendships and learning many different things from different cultures!



Hello Hello! My name is Jailenee Rabadan, I also go by JJ.  I am a junior here at the Fort and I am in the Teacher Education program hoping to become an elementary teacher in the years to come.  I am majoring in Elementary Education, with a minor in TESOL (being able to teach English to students of other languages).  I am also in the progress of getting a bilingual endorsement which means I will be able to teach in bilingual classrooms.  Anyways, I am from California originally but I moved to Golden, Co when I was two years old. I have lived there my entire life and I love it. Durango isn’t too different from Golden so I still feel at home. I have been playing soccer since I was 4 and I play soccer on the intramural team for outdoor and indoor.  I also enjoy playing volleyball even though I am not good.  I really like art, such as drawing, coloring and painting. Lastly, I love food.  I miss my mom’s Mexican cooking and trying to recreate authentic Mexican food is so hard, oh well.  I do enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, even though I have little patience with cooking.  On a serious note, I love working at El Centro. I feel like I am at home and Shirena is such a huge help and is essentially my work mom  It is such a great work environment and everyone is always welcome and we have so many awesome events going on year around.  I can say I am proud to work at El Centro.