Staff & Volunteers
Meet our Regeneration Staff & Volunteers
Regeneration is growing thanks to our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and committed staff!
Our work in 2016 included assembling a team and crafting a vision and mission statement and initial goals. In 2017, Regeneración began implementing projects: a mural on Rodriguez Street; Our Mother Earth series of environmental justice films in partnership with the Watsonville Film Festival; a video research project with Watsonville High School video academy seniors; and the Healthy Children for a Healthy Planet festival.
Director Nancy Faulstich founded Regeneración in 2016 together with a small group of Pajaro Valley residents. Nancy was motivated to work for climate action and resilience upon realizing the plight that younger generations, including her daughter, will face. Her goal was for everyone in the Pajaro Valley to become fully aware of the reality of climate change and to move together to address the causes and fight for justice.
Prior to her work with Regeneración, Nancy served as a bilingual preschool and kindergarten teacher and literacy specialist with the Pajaro Valley School District for 25 years. She has a BA in Women's Studies and Masters in Education with a bilingual (Spanish) certification.
In conjunction with her work as an early childhood educator, Nancy has led parent and women’s support groups and organized to address and eliminate racism and anti-semitism. Nancy approaches her work with Regeneración as an ally focused on elevating the leadership of people of color.
Special Projects Manager
Eloy Ortiz, is the Special Projects Manager for Regeneración. Born in Nayarit, Mexico and raised in East San Jose, Eloy graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Psychology and holds a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from UC Irvine. Prior to joining Regeneración he worked in education programs and as a Public Health and STEM researcher and evaluator for programs in Santa Cruz County and across California.
At Regeneración, Eloy manages the Transformative Climate Communities Planning Grant incorporating community leaders and residents’ views about needed Climate Action Projects in the Pajaro Valley.
Eloy serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Farmworker Families, participates in the Campaign for Organic Regenerative Agriculture (CORA) and is on the Northern Regional Steering Committee for the Central Coast California Economic Resilience Fund. He lives in Scotts Valley with his wife Nichole and is excited to impact the health and well being of residents in the Pajaro Valley community.
Maria Perez, was born in Salvatierra, Guanajuato, Mexico and immigrated to the United States when she was 11 years old.
She has been involved in a variety of environmental educational programs around Watsonville such as Watsonville Wetlands Stewards, the WATCH program, and Food What?!.
Maria obtained her Bachelors of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on climate and energy policy.
Maria was part of the founding members of Regeneración, while in High School and now her position is as a Community Organizer.
Recently she has also joined the Commission for the Environment for Santa Cruz County and she hopes to continue advocating for community-centered climate solutions.
College Corp Fellow
Sofia Amores is an undergraduate college student at California State University of Monterey Bay. She is majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a minor in Pre-Law. This is her first year as a College Corps Fellow with Regeneración.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Long Beach, California, Sofia attended Long Beach City College where she attained her associate’s degrees in sociology, welding, and metal fabrication. For the past year, she has worked in Watsonville at a manufacturing company as a CNC programmer.
On the weekends, she volunteers in Marina to help eradicate invasive plants and enjoys playing guitar with her partner. “
Angela is a graduate student at California State University, Monterey Bay. She received her BA in Liberal Studies and Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures Minor in 2021. She has worked as an Instructional Assistant, Language Support Liaison and Interpreter with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Her work with PVUSD has inspired her to pursue a career in education. As a Mixteco speaker, she would like to continue to support Mixteco speaking families in the community.
"Regeneración has motivated me to learn more about climate change. Growing up in a family of farmworkers and seeing the impacts of climate change, I am motivated to continue to inform myself and take action to protect the most vulnerable people. Regeneración has given me hope that together we can fight for environmental and climate justice."
Anissa is a WHS graduate and current Master's student in Social Work at San Jose State University. She has been volunteering with Regeneración since May of 2020.
"Volunteering with Regeneracion has taught me so much about myself and brought me closer to my community. Regeneracion supported me in leading local community dialogues, speaking at city council meetings, and hosting my own event. Regeneracion has empowered me to be an agent of change and given me hope for a just and equitable future."
Tommy is a senior at Watsonville High School and really enjoys learning about science. He hopes to one day become a dentist and favorite things to do in his free time is to play basketball and go for nature walks.
"My favorite thing about Regeneracion is seeing how much everyone in it truly cares about the environment and tries to help the future of their community."
Pam moved to Watsonville in 1997 and has called Watsonville home ever since, even while living with her family for many years in the half-island nation of Timor-Leste (East Timor). She teaches at Watsonville's Adult School and has been volunteering with Regeneración since February 2020.
"Volunteering with Regeneración has helped me to learn about and take action around local needs and initiatives, to meet and work with others who share the same vision. I've especially enjoyed being part of the Advocacy Committee, where our team has studied issues and possible solutions, organized public events, prepared advocacy letters and fliers, and supported one another in the work. I am inspired by the brilliance and energy of the young leaders on our team, who are ready and able to move us towards a truly sustainable, equitable and just Pajaro Valley."
Eileen enjoys the beaches, mountains and redwood forests of Santa Cruz for 42 years. She moved here from Los Angeles to attend U.C. Santa Cruz where she studied Literature and, later, Dual Language Education. She taught public elementary school in Watsonville for 34 years and has also raised 2 daughters here. Her husband and their daughters have always loved hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains, swimming and exploring the tide pools in the cold Pacific Ocean, kayaking in the slough and being part of the rich multicultural community of Watsonville.
"I enjoy being a volunteer for Regeneration because so many of our community activities and events have introduced me to other climate justice activist and residents of Watsonville worried about the effects of the climate emergency. Meeting others of many ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds wanting to create a resilient and equitable community in the face of climate change has given me immense hope. I now have renewed optimism that this diversity of people and the imagination and power that blooms when we come together really will pull us through to a better future. Besides, being with others in this effort is so much more fun than just staying home alone and yelling at the TV news! (It’s more effective too.)"
Allison is currently a first-generation Master's student in Environmental Studies at San Jose State University. She loves hiking and running in her free time.
"I am passionate about environmental justice and through Regeneración I have met amazing, hard-working, and resilient people who have helped me grow into the professional that I am today and have helped mold my lens of environmental justice. Regeneración has been uplifting and providing resources for the community and continues doing admirable work! "