Leadership & Staff

Madre-A-Madre Staff Team

In memory of Maria Marcelo, Founder


Madre-A-Madre founder and Healing Grove co-founder Maria Marcelo was killed leading a prayer walk on Dec 7th, 2022. Maria was the president and founder of Madre-A-Madre. Madre-A-Madre is a Latina empowerment program Maria founded 19 years ago along with then-principal of Washington Elementary, Maria Evans. Madre-A-Madre currently meets every Thursday under Marias daughter’s leadership. Maria was a beloved leader, activist, organizer, parent of three grown kids, and amazing chef.

Maria Hernandez

Community Engagement Director

Maria Hernandez is the president of Madre-A-madre. Maria grew up in the Washington/Guadalupe community, often joining her mother, Maria Marcelo, in community development and activism. Maria attends Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in San Jose.


Noe Guzman

Interpreter / Executive Assistant

Noe Guzman was born and raised in Colima, Mexico where he learned to engage with people via sports, the epicenter of his life. Sports has taught him a lot of life lessons and has built a great character to face challenges. In 2004, he came to the US to study and learn English. He joined Willow Glen High School and played soccer for two years achieving the All Team rewards & senior of the year. He also played one season at De Anza in 2006-2007. He has coached at the YMCA of Silicon Valley and the MACSA community agency where he learned to recognize the impact of positive influence among kids. Community outreach is his passion!

Noe is married to an amazing woman Gerania and has 4 kids (ages 14 to 3). His family is his core reason to work and contribute to his community.

Paita Fonokalfi

Luke 14 coordinator and case manager

Paita joined Madre-A-Madre in 2024 to serve as the Luke 14 dinner coordinator. Additionally, Paita provides case management services to unhoused individuals, helping them to gain housing and stability in life!

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