Yeri Perez Sanchez
Agriculture Program Coordinator

Nicaragua

Director of Art and Culture

Director of Administration and Finance

A San Juan del Sur native, Damaris is happy to work for the betterment of the community she grew up in. Due to the booming tourism industry in San Juan del Sur, Damaris began her professional career by working in hospitality. In July 2010, Damaris left that path and started working for the Barrio Planta Project as a secretary, before there was even an office. Through hard work, dedication, reliability and adaptability Damaris created an office environment and worked her way up to Administrative Director. She now handles all of the data entry, human resources, translations and organization of files and serves as a liaison for professional legal and accounting services. Additionally, Damaris teaches Fitness classes to BPP students and leads all community-based initiative. Damaris firmly believes in the importance of education and is happy to work hard with the rest of the team to offer opportunities to children and adults that enable them to accomplish their goals and enhance their futures.Type your paragraph here.

Director of Administration and Finance

Denis studied Education and Art at Ricardo Morales Avilez University in Jonotepe. He has been the Director of Art and Culture for the Association for Cultural Promotion (APC), the owner of BPP’s building, for 22 years. Denis has been working with BPP since 2009, as both a liaison to the APC and as BPP’s Director of Art and Culture. In addition, Denis has 29 year’s experience dancing with Youth Dance Groups that specialize in Traditional Nicaraguan Folklore Music. He recently formed his own group, Renacimiento del Sol, in which BPP students participate. Denis has represented San Juan del Sur through participation in various dance competitions, workshops and groups all over Nicaragua and globally. He is passionate about the visual arts and preserving Nicaraguan culture through teaching Folklore Dance.

​​​​​OUR TEAM


A San Juan del Sur native, Damaris is happy to work for the betterment of the community she grew up in. Due to the booming tourism industry in San Juan del Sur, Damaris began her professional career by working in hospitality. In July 2010, Damaris left that path and started working for the Barrio Planta Project as a secretary, before there was even an office. Through hard work, dedication, reliability and adaptability Damaris created an office environment and worked her way up to Administrative Director. She now handles all of the data entry, human resources, translations and organization of files and serves as a liaison for professional legal and accounting services. Additionally, Damaris teaches Fitness classes to BPP students and leads all community-based initiative. Damaris firmly believes in the importance of education and is happy to work hard with the rest of the team to offer opportunities to children and adults that enable them to accomplish their goals and enhance their futures.Type your paragraph here.

Mercedes Peñalba
Program Coordinator Escamequita

 Meet the Staff of Barrio Planta Project 

Director of Administration and Finance

Dyani Makous was born in New York City and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She attended public schools and was always very active in social service. She volunteered for the Philadelphia Student Union, a student-run organization created to build the power of youth and demand high-quality education for 6 years and went on to work for them in Public Relations during her senior year of high school. She also worked as a Peer Educator and "Know Your Rights" activist for the ACLU, and in 2002 won the “Youth Activist of the Year” award. She went on to earn a B.F.A. in Writing, Literature and Publishing with a minor in Photography from Emerson College in 2006 and spent two semesters abroad, one in The Netherlands, and one in Granada, Spain, where she learned Spanish in a four month Intensive Language & Culture Program. The following year, she worked as a Team leader for an after-school program called Citizen Schools, from which she drew a lot of the inspiration for the Barrio Planta Project. In 2008, Dyani went to Nicaragua to pursue a career in travel writing, but left that path and founded the Barrio Planta Project. She has been able to combine all of her life experiences, passions and skills, as well as her beliefs in the value of high-quality education and the power of the arts in order to consistently maintain the Barrio Planta Project as it continues to grow and thrive.

Director of Administration and Finance

Christian Barrantes
Program Manager Mexico

Yeri is the Agriculture teacher and program coordinator in Escamequita. She has worked in Education for the past 9 year. Her passion for education comes from inspiration she received as a child. She lives in a community called Las Brisas in the south of San Juan del Sur and loves nature and listening to music. She has been working for BPP for 3 years and hopes to continue to share her knowledge with children in low resource communities and leave a mark on them. She is a very happy person and her goals this year are to continue to study.

A San Juan del Sur native, Damaris is happy to work for the betterment of the community she grew up in. Due to the booming tourism industry in San Juan del Sur, Damaris began her professional career by working in hospitality. In July 2010, Damaris left that path and started working for the Barrio Planta Project as a secretary, before there was even an office. Through hard work, dedication, reliability and adaptability Damaris created an office environment and worked her way up to Administrative Director. She now handles all of the data entry, human resources, translations and organization of files and serves as a liaison for professional legal and accounting services. Additionally, Damaris teaches Fitness classes to BPP students and leads all community-based initiative. Damaris firmly believes in the importance of education and is happy to work hard with the rest of the team to offer opportunities to children and adults that enable them to accomplish their goals and enhance their futures.Type your paragraph here.

Dyani Makous 
Founder, Executive Director 

Savannah hails from Boston, MA in the USA; yet is no stranger to finding new homes all over the globe. She started at BPP as an intern in 2017 and now she is more than humbled to have the opportunity to lead such an amazing team in Nicaragua and to continue helping these incredible children grow. With a background in Social Work, teaching English as a Learned Language as well as a Master’s Degree in International Peace, Conflict and Development, with a focus on community development through education, she is excited to put her skills to use in San Juan del Sur and Escamequita. Education, coupled with positive mentors have always played very powerful roles in her life and she believes that this combination is truly what is needed to change the world for the better. Savannah is a firm believer that where someone starts in life doesn't have to dictate where they end up if given access to equal opportunities. BPP is that access point for so many children and families and she is immensely proud to be sharing her time in this community through this life changing organization.

A San Juan del Sur native, Damaris is happy to work for the betterment of the community she grew up in. Due to the booming tourism industry in San Juan del Sur, Damaris began her professional career by working in hospitality. In July 2010, Damaris left that path and started working for the Barrio Planta Project as a secretary, before there was even an office. Through hard work, dedication, reliability and adaptability Damaris created an office environment and worked her way up to Administrative Director. She now handles all of the data entry, human resources, translations and organization of files and serves as a liaison for professional legal and accounting services. Additionally, Damaris teaches Fitness classes to BPP students and leads all community-based initiative. Damaris firmly believes in the importance of education and is happy to work hard with the rest of the team to offer opportunities to children and adults that enable them to accomplish their goals and enhance their futures.Type your paragraph here.

Christian, a Nicaraguan native, graduated with a degree in Political Science and two minors in Finance and Theology. Shortly after graduation, he started working in the health care/Insurance industry that allowed him to work for many companies from Pharmacies to Medical Billing. Soon Chris developed a passion for travel and Latin American culture. This new passion took him on a path to work with different non-profits throughout Central America, Mexico, and South America, not only to rediscover his heritage but also to understand the region.  Chris is not only focused on culture but also in nature and environment; he worked on an Ecological Hotel in Barcelona, Spain where he led the hotel's environmental projects on recycling, and efficient use of resources. His experience lead him to work for two years in rural Honduras where he led a community-school of 260 students and a group of international volunteers. It was in Central America where he developed his passion for teaching and community development. Chris is very passionate about the Latin American region, environment conservation, and education and now he is sharing his experience with BPP where he knows he can really make a difference. 

Developing the skills of youth and facilitating international communication is Jessica’s driving force. Creating connections between different kinds of people and across cultures is something that has always been important to her throughout her education and experience. Jessica holds a B.A in Spanish Expression and Literature with a minor in World Religions as well as an M.A in International Communications. Jessica has extensive experience working in student counselling, teaching, education development and management, event and group travel planning, and more recently in mediation and conflict resolution. She has worked in the International Education industry for many years and it has brought her and her students so much joy. Jessica started with BPP as Program Manager from the beginning of the BPP Mexico project in March of 2018. She hopes to continue to facilitate learning through the Cultural Exchange program, encourage access to new learning experiences, global awareness and contribute her skills to the Barrio Planta Project in her new role as Development Manager for the Mexico location.

Savannah Armstrong
Program Manager Nicaragua

Mercedes is the Program Coordinator for BPP Escamequita. She is originally from León, Nicaragua where she studied Biology at the UNAN-León University. Since 2009 she started working as a volunteer in Environmental education for children, teaching them to learn about how to respect and live in harmony amongst our natural resources. BPP has allowed her to continue her objective to create environmental knowledge in children and how to make agricultural projects more sustainable for the community. “Every day is a challenge, but the results at the end are rewarding”, at BPP we are a family with so much potential and we are sharing that with these children.

Jessica Tallman
Development Manager Mexico