Founder & Director
Carlos Saavedra migrated to Boston, MA at the age of 12 with his parents from Peru. In 2003, his life changed when he joined other undocumented students in Massachusetts to organizr for their rights. Since then he has been a community organizer and leader in the Immigrant Right Movement, being a co-founder of the United We Dream Network, Movimiento Cosecha and other innovative organizations. He spends most of his time doing trainings, coaching leaders and finding ways to create supports to protect indigenous wisdom.Find out more about Carlos work here
Memory Fund Director
Fhatima Paulino grew up in Oakland, CA and is a daughter to immigrant parents from Mexico and the Philippines. In 2011 she joined the PICO National Network in the Bay Area to do community organizing on issues such as education, immigration and criminal justice. In 2015 she became the Cosecha Movement’s first volunteer organizer and supported its seeding and growth across the country. She is a lovable organizing handy woman with a focus on training, coaching, conflict resolution, and healing. She has been grateful to support and learn from Ayni’s Memory Program since fall of 2017.
You can reach her at Fhatima@ayni.institute
Memory Program Director
Rodrigo Saavedra has worked at the Ayni Institute since 2016. His drive to support the Memory Program stems from his journey of being an immigrant who has been unable to visit his home of Peru since he was four years old. Rodrigo graduated from Clark University where he studied International Relations and was named a LEEP Fellow. For three years he worked in supporting Central American youth with their asylum cases. In 2015, he was one of researchers who contributed to the Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy’s environmental report that was presented at the EAT Forum in Stockholm, Sweden. He has worked as Volunteer Organizer at Movimiento Cosecha assisting in campaigns and assemblies. He was also a featured guest writer on immigration in The Nation Magazine.
You can reach him at Rodrigo@ayni.institute
Paul Engler is founding director of the Center for the Working Poor, based in Los Angeles. He has worked as an organizer in the immigrant rights, global justice, and labor movements. Paul is one of the founders of the Momentum Training, which educates hundreds of activists each year in the principles of momentum-driven mobilization.Find out more about Paul's work here
Apinya Pokachaiyapat brings a diverse range of studies and experiences to her role as part of the Ayni family. Born in Thailand, she came to the US to attend school at age twelve. She holds degrees in mathematics, civil engineering and creative writing. She also brings a deep passion in the healing arts and somatic practices as a meditation, yoga, bodywork practitioner, and a dancer. In 2009, Apinya merged her passion and experiences into action and founded RakSa, a wellness center providing a sacred space for community and healing. She has been a part of the Relational Center, an organization that promotes interdependence and compassion in social movements, and now also works with Momentum Community, an Ayni’s sister organization.
You can reach her at Apinya@ayni.institute