Archie Contreras

Archie Contreras

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Archie is the founder, legal representative in Guatemala, and CEO of A Better Life Guatemala.

He is co-founder and financial manager of Get Travel Agency and the owner of Salvax, which designs and manufactures bio-safety suits, cleaning products, masks, caps and tee shirts. Archie is a member of Iglesia Vida Real, a faith-based organization committed to ending poverty in Guatemala, and a member of the Observa TB Project, which seeks to strengthen civil society
in Guatemala and helps in the response against tuberculosis.

Archie also works with the
Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, in their monitoring and analysis of five thematic areas
that affect human rights.

Jackeline Escobar

Jackeline Escobar

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Jackeline is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of A Better Life Guatemala and the owner of Get Travel Agency. She is also a member of Iglesia Vida Real, a faith-based organization committed to ending poverty in Guatemala, helping people with addiction and adjustment
issues and, generally, helping people in their spiritual growth.

Jeff Wilhelms

Jeff Wilhelms

President of A Better Life Guatemala

Jeff is President and legal representative in the U.S. for A Better Life Guatemala. He is Adjunct
Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, teaching classes in race relations, immigration,
law, education, and introductory sociology. He has been leading groups of college students on
service trips to Guatemala since 2011, is an active member in the N.A.A.C.P., the oldest civil
rights organization in the United States, and he also conducts diversity training programs for
police departments, businesses, and schools. Married for 53 years, with two children, eight
grandchildren, and a pitbull named Jada.

Chris Hirschler, PhD

Chris Hirschler, PhD

Vice President of A Better Life Guatemala

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education at Monmouth University. Chris is the former Faculty Director of Study Abroad at Monmouth University (2011-2016). A faculty member for more than 20 years, he teaches “Health in Developing Countries”, “Leadership, Public Health, and Higher Education”, and faculty-led programs in Guatemala (“Guatemala Public Health”) and Costa Rica (“Adventure Education”), produces YouTube videos, is an Institute for Global Understanding Faculty Representative to the UN Department of Global Communications, and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®️). He is a frequent national and international conference presenter.

Yessica Gisel Vásquez

Yessica Gisel Vásquez

Sub Secretary

Yessica is in the last year of a Bachelor of Science in Administration degree, where her studies
include English, design, economics and business, and she is also part of the team at Get Travel
Agency. Yessica has also worked as a teacher, in her church and in a private school, where she
taught law and finance. She is glad to be on the board of A Better Life Guatemala and have the
opportunity to serve the people of Guatemala. “The greatest pleasure that wealth confers is in
helping others.” – Andre Maurois.

Vilma Concepción Villagran Barrios de García

Vilma Concepción Villagran Barrios de García

Community Mayor

Vilma is Community Mayor, General Coordinator of the Community Development Consul (COCODE)
for 5 years, President of the Administration Committee of the Pacaja Bajo health post building,
President of the Health Committee, and a member of the Women’s Network Group “ixokib noj.”

Karen Marily Contreras Gramajo

Karen Marily Contreras Gramajo

Accountant expert with computer orientation Secondary teacher in Pedagogy and Social Sciences

Karen is a Secondary Teacher in Pedagogy and Social Sciences, with accounting and computing
expertise. She taught in the Luz y Vida Evangelical Presbyterian Church, in the village of La
Union, Sibilia, and is currently secretary of the Church Consistory. For three years, Karen was a
basic level teacher in the private sector of the New Sibilia Christian School. For two years, she
was the secretary and accountant at the Sibilia Mixed Private Institute, where she currently is a
multi-area teacher at the diversified level. Karen brings her training, diplomas and life
experience to the Board of A Better Life Guatemala, to help improve the lives of my fellow citizens. There is no greater reward than helping others.

Bigvaí Miniamin Barrios Echeverria

Bigvaí Miniamin Barrios Echeverria

Urban Primary Education Teacher Secondary teacher in Pedagogy and Social Sciences

Bigvai is an Urban Primary Education Teacher and Secondary teacher in Pedagogy and Social Sciences.
Bigvai has held various positions in the Luz y Vida Evangelical Presbyterian Church in the village of La Union, Sibilia, including treasurer for the last 17 years and 3 years as a Sunday school teacher. He has been involved with community literacy programs, served as school board treasurer, and worked with the drinking water committee. For 4 years, he was a primary teacher in the private sector of the Nueva Sibilia Christian School and, for 2 years, a basic-level teacher at the National Institute of Sibilia. Currently, he is a primary teacher at La Union Rural Mixed Official School. Bigvai is happy to be on the Board of A Better Life Guatemala, working to help improve lives in this beautiful country

Linda Marie Spafford

Linda Marie Spafford

Trustee

Linda grew up and went to high school in Niagara Falls, New York. She taught kindergarten for 35 years in the Toms River, New Jersey, public schools and also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at her church for 10 years. She has been on more than 10 service trips to Guatemala since 2010.
Linda volunteers at the JBJ Soul Kitchen, Destiny Food Pantry, Wranglebrook Community Garden, the Friends of the Library, all to help make her community a better place to live. Linda also worked long hours to help now Congressman Andy Kim get elected, and then re-elected, to represent the New Jersey 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
She has been married for 53 years, with two children and eight grandchildren.

Scott Richards, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA

Secretary

Associate Professor and Director of the Monmouth University Master of Science PA program, Scott is a family and behavioral medicine PA, psychologist, and medical educator with nearly 30 years of experience. His entire career has focused on serving the underserved and training medical students and providers to do the same. Throughout his career, he has established and served in clinics for impoverished persons, earning multiple commendations and awards and being recognized as a Distinguished Fellow by the American Academy of PAs. He is a frequent national conference presenter and an Institute for Global Understanding Faculty Representative to the UN Department of Global Communications.

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