HJH Board of Directors:

Jane Mirandette

President, Treasurer, SJDS Library Director

Jane Mirandette, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, lived in New England until 1980 when she moved to Colorado. Her careers have been in nursing, public health, and accounting. She is a small business coach, has a bookkeeping business in Loveland, Colorado and is the founder of the Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All Foundation. She is the creator and the Director of Nicaragua’s first lending library. Through the HJH Library in a Box Foundation, she has helped facilitate the initiation of lending library projects in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Jane has been involved in community development projects and service projects in Central America since 2003 and is a founding and charter member of the San Juan del Sur Club Rotary Club initiated in 2013. Since 2007, she has been the Nicaragua Mission Team leader for the Council Tree Covenant Church in Ft. Collins, Colorado and a member of that church as well.

Jane intermittently travels between Loveland, Colorado and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. She provides coordination for many volunteer groups and co-owns two bed and breakfast hotels (Hotel Villa Isabella and Casa Marina Condos). She is a resource for service groups in the United States who are trying to start libraries and Rotary clubs wanting to provide sanitation, health and education programs in Central America. The recent political and human rights issues in Nicaragua have some of these programs on hold but all of the efforts are on-going with creative solutions and the help from our dedicated staff members.

Patricia Herron

Vice President

Pat joined our team in 2006 when she brought the first college credit programs to Nicaragua from the University of Maryland. Over the years, Pat has facilitated nine trips to Nicaragua that originally brought students in the Library Master’s Program to Nicaragua to help reinforce the structure of our programs and later, undergraduate business students to work with local entrepreneurs such as artisans and merchants to develop and improve their business plans. She saw a need to support Nicaraguan students in the pursuit of their dreams and has supported students through higher education and trade learning opportunities. Pat brings her skills as a librarian as well as her expertise in Latin American and Latina/o studies to our team. 

Carole Burns

Educational Advisor

Carole was instrumental in the origins of the San Juan del Sur biblioteca by sharing her school librarian and the first library supply catalog with us! Jane and Carole put together the first iteration of the lending system we use in both our library and on our mobile project! She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and her Master’s in Children’s Literacy. She is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Educator. Carole has volunteered several years as support and book hauler at various ALA Annual Conventions and Book Expos!…She also happens to be Jane’s daughter.

Ann Zebrowski

Secretary

Ann has played a vital role in the foundation since its conception in 2001 when she accepted the role of Secretary on the Board of Directors. She has been a vital component, filling in wherever she was needed. Ann has recently taken on the role as “house mother” to the GRIP (Global Responsibility Internship Program) students. For seven months during the 2017-2018 GRIP year, Ann lived in Nicaragua and lead the gap year program alongside Jane. She is a Rotarian in SJDS and helps Jane coordinate and facilitate volunteer groups as well as service activities sponsored by Rotary. Although Ann speaks very little Spanish, she continues to amaze everyone with her ability to connect with community members, volunteers, and fellow Rotarians. 

HJH Advisory Board:

Lily Griner

Board Member

In 2006, Lily in partnership with Pat Herron, brought the first University of Maryland Library School graduate students to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua thus launching an enduring and valuable collaboration and becoming part of the HJH family. The partners designed programs to help expand HJH’s library services and to support the Foundation’s aspiration to develop, promote and improve access to information for everybody. Over the years, the partnership continued as programs evolved to include experiential learning courses for University of Maryland undergraduate business students. These students applied and shared their business knowledge with local Nicaraguan nonprofits and small business entrepreneurs. Lily’s passions include international travel and helping people. She actualized those passions making many trips to Nicaragua and supporting learning opportunities for several Nicaraguan students helping them achieve their education goals. Her contribution includes her skills as a business librarian, her innovative approaches to problems, her international experience and her passion for helping people.

Barbara Thorne

Board Member

Barb came to Nicaragua in 2015 as part of an official tour of the Colorado Library Association (CAL) and as an active leader of CAL’s International and Cultural Exchange Interest Group. Having retired as a professional librarian of 28 years in the Technical Services department of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, Colorado, Barb began to help with cataloging and technical services support of the San Juan del Sur library in 2016.
Barb has recently moved to Maryland but is hoping to continue her work with the SJDS Biblioteca by assisting with its online catalog, working with SJDS and Koha Systems staffs, and by joining the HJH Board of Directors. 

Jill Gramling

Board Member, Administrator

Jill began volunteering with the library in 2012 when she was 15 and decided she wanted to work on the mobile project during one of her summer breaks. She quickly fell in love with the project and has been returning to Nicaragua as much as possible ever since. Jill has a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Vermont and is working on becoming a veterinarian. Gradually, she has taken on more roles in the organization and has been involved with designing websites, keeping in touch with supporters, coordinating volunteer visits, and conducting crowd-source fundraising. She is the person to go to with any questions about the HJH Foundation and the SJDS Biblioteca.

Rosemary Green

Board Member

Rosemary Green has been a faculty librarian at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia for several years, where she is the Graduate Programs Librarian. Although a relative newcomer to our team, she has followed the work of the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca for many years. She made her first trip to Nicaragua in 2017 and after witnessing firsthand the important work of the library and mobile project, Rosemary agreed to join us on the advisory board. She brings her expertise as a librarian and educator, as well as her writing skills, to the sustainable activities of the HJH Libraries for All Foundation.

Janet Lee

Board Member

Janet Lee first traveled to Nicaragua in 2013 to work with esteemed storyteller and author, Anne Pellowski, who was leading her second conference in Nicaragua. Janet has since traveled there several times, including a Colorado Association of Libraries-led trip in 2015 as a board member of the International Library and Cultural Exchange Interest Group. International highlights of her career include serving as the shipboard librarian for the Semester at Sea in 2003, a sabbatical leave in 2010 to help build the Segenat Children and Youth Library in Mekelle, Ethiopia, a joint workshop in 2013 with Anne Pellowski and Peace Corps Volunteers in Mekelle, and a Fulbright Scholar appointment in Axum, Ethiopia 2017-18. Janet is pleased to join the board of the HJH Foundation.

Alex Brown

Board Member

Alex joined the team in 2018 when he became our go-to technology expert. Alex has created this very website, manages the platforms that send out our newsletters and manages our librariesforall.org email accounts. Alex has been on several trips to Nicaragua with his wife, Karen and has volunteered with the library’s mobile project several times.

Karen Weisgerber

Board Member

Karen has been a volunteer with a Boston based Community church serving in Nicaragua for over 10 years. She and her daughter Cate have been instrumental in supporting the library and encouraging volunteers to experience the Mobile program for themselves. She is a psychologist and a vital “think tank” member. Her claim to fame for our group is encouraging husband Alex Brown to become our technology expert.

San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Staff

Agusto, Jhossy, Katia, Jane, Edwin, Heidy, and Denis

Heidy Herrera

Executive Administrator/Library Manager

In 2002, Heidy joined our team and has proven herself to be irreplaceable. She coordinates our trips to the Mobile Project´s sites, plans crafts for children and makes sure that things run smoothly. Heidy is an active member of the SJDS Rotary Club and is the 2018-2020 President. She serves as a vital link between the library and the SJDS community and especially enjoys working with local teachers. Heidy studied at the Universidad Politenica de Nicaragua and lives in San Juan del Sur with her husband. She has two adult children, Gabriella, who recently became a doctor, and Pablo, who has recently started Vet school.

Edwin Vasquez

Executive Administrator/Library Manager

Edwin started working at the library in 2008 and has been keeping the library doors open ever since. Edwin is our boots on the ground man that deals with any crisis and manages much of the library happenings. Before joining the library team, Edwin worked at Hotel Villa Isabella for many years as a night man and manager. Edwin is the Paymaster for the library and coordinates many of the volunteer activities. He is the person that the libary can depend on to do whatever is needed. Edwin was president of the local Rotary Club from 2017-2018 and received a Paul Harris award for his excellent service to his community. Aside from his work in the library and his passion for helping his community, his family also owns a small pulperia in San Juan del Sur that he manages alongside his wife.

Katia Noguera Espinoza

Staff Member

When we first met Katia, she was a familiar face in our library, coming every day with her children and family members to use to the books, games, and computers we had to offer. Jane offered Katia a full-time job when she noticed how often Katia was helping out around the library. Katia makes sure that the library is organized and helps anyone who is looking to check out books or utilize our other services. Together, her and Heidy are the creative and artistic staff members who decorate the walls, plan events, and come up with crafts for children to make.

Agusto Lacayo

Mobile Truck Driver

Known to most as the Mobile Project´s dad, Agusto has made a lasting impression on most of our volunteers. Working for the library three days a week, Agusto drives the Mobile Project´s truck all over the Nicaraguan country side to deliver books to schools we visit each month. He is a willing participant in all of the volunteer activities and anniversary events, coordinating sport tournaments and chess events. He is also an integral part of the GRIP program supporting the activities of our students in their volunteering and adventuring. Agusto has a sweet and gentle heart that comes across to everyone he meets.

Denis Vasquez

Mobile Project/Library Staff Member & Volunteer Project Coordinator

Denis Vasquez is a longtime friend and employee who has been with us longer than the library itself has. When Jane bought Hotel Villa Isabella in May of 2000, Denis came with the building! The former owner’s only codicil to selling the hotel to Jane and Mike Iacoboni was that his two employees stay employed. Denis and Roxanna Vasquez have worked with Jane ever since in many varied capacities. Over the years Denis has become an excellent driver who helps transport volunteers and drives for the Mobile Project. He has an increasingly expanding grasp of English and is a terrific handyman. Denis has been a valuable resource in many capacities since 2000 and now serves as a “go to” person in the library, working with the mobile project, managing work projects for volunteers, at the desk and in maintenance for the library and whatever else is required. He is dedicated, flexible, willing, and capable.