Erika is one of the world’s leading experts on Maya (Brosimum alicastrum). She has a BS in biology an and MSc in agronomy and 20 years of experience as the founder and Executive Director of the Maya Nut Institute. Erika’s research on Maya and her travel to hundreds of rural communities in Latin America where Maya grows is the reason it is a viable and sustainable food commodity today. She is an advocate for sustainability and nutrition locally and globally. While home in the USA, Erika loves being in the mountains with her two puppies, Monkey and Chula.
Frances is native to Alaska and studied Comparative International Development and Latin America at the University of Oregon. She has lived in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. Frances does web design, translations, manages orders and a myriad of other jobs to assist Erika and keep the gears turning behind the scenes at the Maya Nut Institute.
From León Nicaragua, Zorayda has a B.S. in Agronomy and has 10 years of experience working with agricultural businesses in Nicaragua, she has worked with us since 2012. Zorayda helps us keep in touch with Maya producers in remote communities around Nicaragua. Zorayda works with Maya in a variety of capacities from seedling to harvest, processing methods, and product development. She is starting her own Maya business called Casa del Ojoche. (Ojoche means Maya in Nicaragua!).
Erika was born and raised in the Peten region of Guatemala, where we source our Maya from rural communities. She has worked closely with Erika Vohman since 2005 and is one of the reasons our program is so successful and our product is such high quality. Erika has 4 children and still manages to run our entire Guatemala program! She is a kind and fearless leader, venturing into ever more challenging and even dangerous territory to expand our program benefits to the most marginalized indigenous communities in rural Guatemala.