The nation’s growing Latino population is underrepresented in the movement to empower end-of-life choices. The Latino Leadership Council helps Compassion & Choices reach out to Latino leaders and constituents, address language and cultural barriers to understanding, recruit Latino volunteers and storytellers, develop culturally relevant materials, and educate the Latino media.

Father Luis Barrios

Episcopal Priest, New York City

Father Luis Barrios is a priest at Iglesia Episcopal Santa Cruz/Holyrood Episcopal Church and a professor at John Jay College in New York City.

Pastor Sergio Camacho

Latino Ministry Pastor, California

Rev. Sergio Camacho is the Latino ministry pastor at Lancaster United Methodist Church.

Reverend Dr. Ignacio Castuera

Minister, California

Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera is a retired pastor of the United Methodist Church residing in Claremont, CA. He is a civil and human rights activist who worked on the California campaign to pass the End of Life Option Act. A former Compassion & Choices board member, Rev. Castuera has championed numerous social issues that have grown quickly into wider acceptance. He was the national chaplain for Planned Parenthood for six years, married gay couples on national and international television, and has been a strong voice in the movement to authorize the option of medical aid in dying for terminally-ill adults. Rev. Castuera holds a Doctor of Religion degree from Claremont School of Theology and taught Contemporary Theology at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology for 25 years.

Nilsa Centeno

Mother of the late Miguel Carrasquillo, Puerto Rico

Nilsa Centeno is the mother of the late Miguel Carrasquillo, a 35-year-old former chef in Chicago and New York who died in his native Puerto Rico of brain cancer in June 2016. He became Compassion & Choices’ first bilingual advocate when he recorded videos in English and in Spanish to urge his fellow Latinos to support giving terminally-ill adults the option of medical aid in dying.

Guillermo Chacon

President, Latino Commission on AIDS; Founder, Hispanic Health Network New York
Guillermo is a native Salvadoran who lives in New York. He studied education at the National University of El Salvador and attended Fordham University in the Organizational & Leadership Program.
Guillermo serves on several advisory boards. He is Chair of the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) Community Advisory Board. In 2014, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Guillermo to serve on the statewide task force to develop HIV/AIDS recommendations for the plan known as “End the AIDS Epidemic” in New York State by 2020. In 2012,  Governor Cuomo nominated Guillermo and he was confirmed by the New York State Health Committee to serve on the New York State Minority Health Council and the New York State AIDS Advisory Council. Previously, Guillermo served on (CHAC) Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources & Service Administration (HRSA) until November 30, 2016.

Rebecca Chavez-Houck

Former Member, Utah State Legislature

A Utah native, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, MPA, represented Salt Lake City’s District 24 from 2008-18, where she focused on policy related to health and human services, as well as voter engagement and access. She currently serves on the Governor’s Multicultural Commission, as well as various other community boards and commissions. Her passion for supporting a continuum of patient-centered care, including sponsoring Utah’s End of Life Options Act legislation for four years, is in part a result of having served on legislative health and human services committees for nearly a decade. Constituent appeals for Utah to pass medical aid-in-dying legislation have been a driving force in her willingness and desire to sponsor the bill, which is now being shepherded by her legislative replacement, Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost.

Dr. Yanira Cruz

President, CEO, National Hispanic Council on Aging, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Yanira Cruz is president and chief executive officer of the National Hispanic Council on Aging in Washington, D.C. She earned a Master’s degree and a Doctorate degree in public health with a specialty in global health from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Dan Diaz

Husband of the late Brittany Maynard, California

Dan Diaz is the husband of Brittany Maynard, who died in November 2014 from a brain tumor. The couple moved from California to Oregon, one of four states at that time that had authorized medical aid in dying so Brittany could get the prescription for aid-in-dying medication to ensure she would have a gentle dying process instead of an agonizing one. As a result of Brittany’s story, in 2015 legislators introduced bills to authorize medical aid in dying in California, 24 other states as well as Washington, D.C. Dan advocates for expanding the availability of end-of-life care options for terminally ill, mentally capable individuals. Dan’s efforts were instrumental in securing the passage of the End of Life Option Act in California, and his efforts to advance similar bills continue in other states across the country.

Dolores Huerta

Civil Rights Activist and cofounder of the United Farm Workers Union, California

Dolores Huerta is an iconic civil rights activist, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and cofounder of the United Farm Workers Union. She has won numerous national awards, including the the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her support of the End of Life Option Act in California was critical to the passage of the law because she encouraged Latino legislators who were hesitant to support the bill in 2015. Dolores’ advocacy was inspired by watching her mother’s suffering as she died from terminal breast cancer that had spread throughout her body.

Jorge Lambrinos

founding director, Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging University of Southern California, California

Jorge Lambrinos is a founding director of the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California (USC). Mr. Lambrinos has been actively involved in the field of aging for more than 30 years, developing programs and services that benefit the aging community. He spent several years in Washington, D.C. serving as the House Select Committee on Aging staff director, and as Congressman Edward R. Roybal’s chief of staff, helping the California congressman restore funding for low-cost health programs and expand public housing programs for seniors. After returning to California, Mr. Lambrinos was named director of the Roybal Institute for Applied Gerontology at California State University, Los Angeles, and stayed at the helm when it moved to USC in 2007. He is a board member for the Hispanic Council on Aging and a member of the AARP California executive council. He was also appointed to the California Commission on Aging. Mr. Lambrinos is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Provide Comfort.

Maria Lemus

Executive Director, Visión Y Compromiso, California

Maria Lemus is founding Executive Director of Vision Y Compromiso, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 2000. Visión y Compromiso and its Promotora and Community Health Worker Network is committed to supporting Promotoras and Community Health Workers (P/CHW) towards achieving healthy and dignified lives for Latinos who endure disproportionate rates of health disparities by providing leadership, capacity building and advocacy for over 4000 Promotores and Community Health Workers associated with clinics, hospitals, community based organizations in rural and urban communities.

Irisaida ‘Isa’ Mendez

Communications Professional Florida

Irisaida ‘Isa’ Mendez is a seasoned multicultural communications and development consultant for leading corporations looking to penetrate the Latin American and US Hispanic markets. She has held a variety of leadership roles at Make-A-Wish Foundation and San Jorge Children’s Hospital in Puerto Rico, Spirit Airlines and the American Red Cross. Her trademark is to create strategies that promote philanthropic interest for individuals and the corporate world.

Mauricio Ochmann

Actor, California

Mauricio Ochmann was born in Washington, D.C., on November 16, 1977. He was adopted by a Mexican family and raised in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. Mauricio and his wife, Aislinn, own the television and film production company A Toda Madre Entertainment in Los Angeles. The company recently acquired the film rights to the book The Toltec Art of Life and Death by best-selling author Don Miguel Ruiz. His latest film ‘Ya Veremos’ (‘We’ll See’) was released in the United States in the fall of 2018.

Hanna Olivas

Hanna Olivas is a 44 year old Nevadan mother of four. She was diagnosed with the rare blood cancer, which there is no cure for, in August 2017 and was told she would be lucky to live 5 years.

Hanna travels with her husband, Jerry, to UCLA Medical Center twice per month to receive the treatment she needs.

Unfortunately, after only five rounds of chemotherapy Hanna had to stop receiving chemotherapy because it was damaging her liver and kidneys. At this point, doctors are researching Hanna’s best course of action for treatment.

Hanna’s biggest fear is dying painfully in a horrific way. Her hope is that she can die peacefully surrounded by her husband and their two sons, two daughters and precious grandchildren holding her hand in prayer.

She is relieved to know that legislators in Nevada are considering a bill that would honor the autonomy of terminally ill people to decide how and when they die, when death is inevitable.

Maria Otero

Founder/Director, Nuestra Salud, New Mexico

Maria D. Ulloa Otero is an immigrant, community leader, health educator and grassroots activist committed to social justice who empowers communities to be active in their own healthcare. She has been a public health professional for more than 20 years and co-founded Nuestra Salud, a community-based organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities affecting Hispanic communities in New Mexico through research, training and outreach. Maria works with minority populations to provide health education on maternal child health, reproductive rights, tobacco-use prevention, chronic-disease risk factors and end-of-life options. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and lay media. She has provided numerous interviews, in English and Spanish, addressing the entire trajectory of public health and received national and international awards for her professional accomplishments. Maria earned a Bachelor of Science degree from New Mexico State University and has dedicated her entire career to dismantling oppression and empowering communities to have a voice.

Dr. Jaime R. Torres

President, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, New York

Born and raised in Ciales, Puerto Rico, Dr. Jaime R. Torres is a not-for-profit organization created to improve access to quality, equitable healthcare for the Latino community. He was previously appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region II, covering New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Before his appointment he served as associate director of consultative services at Coler Specialty Hospital in New York City, part of the Health + Hospital Corporation, the largest public health system in the nation. In 2009, because of his advocacy work in healthcare, Dr. Torres was selected by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in the United States. He has also been honored with the Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias National Latino Leadership Award by the National Hispanic Medical Association.

Dr. Daniel Turner-Lloveras

Physician, California

Dr. Daniel Turner-Lloveras is an assistant professor of medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles at Harbor-UCLA. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 2009. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he began his four year commitment as a National Health Service Corp scholar in Los Angeles, where he worked as a primary care physician and hospitalist in the Watts and Skid Row areas from 2012-2016. Dr. Turner-Lloveras is the regional Chair for the West of the National Hispanic Medical Association.