Executive Director CIERTO Mexico
Axel brings more than 20 years of experience connecting workers & their communities with agricultural employers.
Axel has worked with government, civil society, the UN, and the Catholic Church. This experience has given him a rare combination of skills that allow him to work as a trusted specialist in workers’ communities, and also as a valued labor supply chain consultant to growers in Mexico, Canada, and the US.
Axel’s work as a human rights lawyer protecting migrants, refugees, and defenders of human rights, informs his expertise at CIERTO, allowing us to create an ethical and transparent H2A recruitment and supervision model.
“At CIERTO, I have the opportunity to be part of the professionalization of farm worker activity, and to help create an atmosphere of trust between growers, workers, and their communities of origin.”
Joe has pioneered an H2A recruiting & training model that creates value for every link in the labor supply chain.
Since co-founding CIERTO, Joe has worked closely with NGOs and international governments to address farmworker recruitment and labor practice issues. A key component of this work has included the establishment of transparent, ethical labor agreements that create strong ROI for growers, while protecting migrant farmworkers from fraud and trafficking.
Previously, Joe was the International Labor Advocate/Mexico Program Director for United Farm Workers. He coordinated and directed all of the union’s activities in Mexico and assisted in coordinating the UFW’s international work, establishing labor agreements between Mexican State governments and the United Farm Workers.
Joe has a B.A. in International Political Economy and Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington.
He is based in Tacoma, Washington.
Carolyn’s deep roots in social change equip her to tackle the challenges of supply chain management & traceability.
As Chief Operating Officer, Carolyn brings over 20 years of experience in executive management and grassroots development to her work on clean and ethical recruitment.
With a background in the coffee industry, she has worked to confront complex issues in smallholder farming communities, addressing the endemic poverty, and educating and engaging the global coffee industry in new practices based on the recognition of the need for greater transparency in the value chain.
More recently, Carolyn has worked as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the United Farm Workers, focusing on global supply chains, building stakeholder engagement, and fostering collaboration between farm owners, vendors and retailers.
As COO, Carolyn continues to play a role in the farmworker movement, creating a sustainable, scalable model of ethical recruitment based on collaboration and transparency.
Born and raised in the midwest, Carolyn currently lives in Michigan.
H2-A Program Director
Norma has directed the H2A Program at CIERTO since 2016, providing labor to agricultural employers in Mexico & the US.
Her expertise – developed over 15 years working in the H2A program – helps agricultural industry employers navigate the complex legal and compliance issues of the H2A process.
Emphasizing ethical and transparent recruitment processes, Norma has helped CERTO develop a full-scale approach that creates value up and down the supply chain.
She lives in Yuma, Arizona, the winter lettuce capital of the world.
Director of Recruitment & Training
For 20 years César Álvarez has worked to prevent fraud & abuse of migrants emigrating to the US, Canada & within Mexico.
As CIERTO’s Director of Recruitment and Training, César oversees the ethical recruitment program for H2A agricultural workers emigrating to the US.
In addition, he coordinates training for recruits in order to professionalize the workforce, bringing added value to every link in the fresh food production chain, improving ROI for growers, while offering more stable income for farmworkers.
Originally from San Luis Potosí, César earned his degree in Economics at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí.
Karen brings over 15 years of experience in human rights, immigration & the environment to her work at CIERTO.
As Project Coordinator, Karen’s dynamism, creativity, and empathy have led her to design, implement, and execute change actions that impact the lives of workers, their families, and their communities of origin.
Karen has worked for more than 15 years in civil society, public institutions and private companies on issues of importance to immigrant workers including gender violence, fraud, and other concerns.
She has extensive experience as a trainer in the aforementioned topics, applying gender perspective and game-based pedagogy to her work.
Karen volunteers at UNICEF with indigenous peoples, migrants, women, youth, and other vulnerable populations.
Gilberto Rene Rodriguez Figueroa
Gilberto’s mission to professionalize the migrant workforce is inspired by his drive to help others.
As H2A Coordinator, Gilberto strives to create a safe housing and work environment that has a positive impact for all stakeholders – from migrant workers themselves, to their families and communities of origin, to growers and consumers.
Gilberto believes that better, more dependable job opportunities for migrant workers lead to a better future for them, and that the way to determine what ‘better,’ means is to listen to the experiences of these workers, and to let their voices guide us.
With a graduate background in social science, Gilberto’s interests have led him to work with immigrants who have been deported from the US, and on programs dedicated to assisting workers who wish to emigrate legally to work at farms in North America.
Maria Isabel Resendiz Cisneros
As a Trainer with CIERTO, Isabel is committed to supporting workers, their families, & their communities of origin.
Isabel’s work with CIERTO is focused on helping agricultural workers take advantage of the opportunities they have to grow professionally – a process that also benefits their families, their communities of origin, and the farms where they will be assigned – while protecting their rights as workers.
Throughout her career, Isabel has striven to apply her core values of teamwork, honesty, and transparency to projects that support migrant workers and other vulnerable groups.
Isabel’s specialty is the development and application of game-based strategies for training. Game-based training starts from a place of respect, empathy and cooperation, and results in improved worker engagement with the training, more efficient tracking of training progress, and improved communication and teamwork.
The ultimate result of Isabel’s focus is strong season-to-season worker retention and reduced long-term training costs for growers, and workers who are seen and respected.
Gricel Ortega Cuenca
Gricel’s work is focused on helping workers improve their lives through training and professional improvement.
Gricel’s training activities are developed in accordance with her personal and professional values, including accountability, transparency in the recruiting process, and teamwork.
She’s proud to work for an organization which prioritizes clean, ethical recruitment practices that have a positive impact at every link in the food supply chain.
Her management and training skills help to give workers from many communities a pathway to improving their lives by helping them evolve personally and professionally.
Jimena is proud to play a part in creating a new recruitment paradigm based on principles of transparency & honesty.
Living close to the border has allowed Jimena to bring to the table the unique perspective of seeing the results of CIERTO’s work from both sides of the desk.
This outlook informs her training methods and goals, and gives her a clear understanding of the benefits and risks involved in becoming a migrant worker.
She takes special satisfaction in knowing that these workers’ lives will be changed in a radical way, as they leave their homes to travel to a different nation, working with new people and taking advantage of new opportunities.