Lonnie Tristan Lovell-Renteria, MA, LMHCA Executive Director
Lonnie Tristan Renteria is both a therapist and educator. His education and experience cover a broad range of subjects that inform his practice, from cultural theory, literature, narrative theory, positive and forensic psychology.
He is a full-time faculty member at the Art Institute of Seattle. He is trained in Narrative Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Lonnie holds an MA in Forensic Psychology and Clinical Psychology and he is currently working towards a doctorate in Counseling Psychology.
In addition to his psychological practice Lonnie keeps busy writing novels and generating new projects, like co-founding the Seattle Latino Film Festival, producing short films, plays or advocacy. He has both traveled extensively and has lived abroad and has given him a great appreciation for other traditions and beliefs.
He speaks English, Spanish and French, and is a Star Wars fan.
Maria-Jose Soerens, M.A., LMHC, Founder of Puentes. Director of COmmunity Initiatives
Maria-José (Coté) serves as the Director of Community Initiatives and is the founder of Puentes. Maria-Jose is a licensed mental health counselor with vast experience working with undocumented migrants and their families in a clinical setting. An immigrant herself, she came from Chile at age 25 and lives in South Park, Seattle, with her husband and their son. Maria-Jose conducts research on undocumented immigrants' narratives of suffering, writing academically on cultural psychology and migration studies. She speaks and writes often on immigration and mental health, and the role of communities in fostering social transformation. She is a fellow at the Washington Equal Justice Community Leadership Academy.
Candelaria Maldonado, Program Coordinator
Candelaria will be serving as our program coordinator and will additionally be part of the Verdant Health Commission's Community Health Worker program focusing on training 'promotoras de salud' with a focus on mental health. She is an advocate for survivors of domestic abuse and immigrants from all walks of life. Candelaria also enjoys time with her family, Mexican cuisine, and building community.
MARIA JIMENEZ, MSW, clinical supervisor
Maria G. Jimenez, also known as Lupita, serves as a Mental Health Mobilizer for Puentes. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised from the age of 1 in Yakima, WA. As a daughter of migrant parents, she has first-hand experience navigating the broken immigration system. Her passion for social justice and equity led her to obtain her Bachelors of Arts and Masters in Social Work with a focus on Policy Practice and Administration from the University of Washington. Her professional experiences include working and volunteering as a mental health therapists, case manager, and advocate for the well-being and prosperity of Latino immigrants and their families in the US. Lupita is also an accredited representative through the Board of Immigration Appeals to assist undocumented individuals with their immigration proceedings via her employment with St. Vincent de Paul. When she is not working or volunteering, she enjoys traveling and spending tech-free quality time with her husband, family, and friends.
Gloria is our powerhouse organizer based out of Salem, OR. With her generous spirit she has managed to nurture relationships with new immigrant communities all over the Pacific Northwest. A previously detained woman herself, she led and organized through a bible study group while at the Northwest Detention Center with her fellow comrades. Her passion for the church and community has led her to be our local community organizer and we are incredibly honored to have her on board!
Gloria is continuously mobilizing resources for neighbors, making connections, speaking at events, and helping churches discern how to mobilize their own communities for immigration justice.
Mental Health Mobilizers