Caminos de Acción was founded in 2012 by Laura Hastings and Blanca Escoto de Benitez. Laura currently serves as the Executive Director to oversee the day-to-day operations. Blanca has served on the board and continues to support CdA efforts in Tehuiste.




Laura Hastings, Executive Director

Laura's studies and teaching career have taken her around the globe, most recently to El Salvador, where she co-founded Caminos de Acción with Blanca. She has a Masters in Social Justice Education and currently teaches high school English in Los Angeles. As director of CdA, she intends to guide the organization through a lens of critical pedagogy in community organizing at the grassroots level.


manuel dominguez, Program Director

Manuel is from La Paz, El Salvador, and has a degree in International Relations from the University of El Salvador. His experience working with the community of Chiquimula, Guatemala inspired him to give back in his community and country. Manuel has served as the Program Director for 5 years.


Board of Directors


Violeta stauffer Rodriguez

Multicultural Marketing Specialist

Violeta is a Salvadoran marketing professional who has been a CdA volunteer and board member for the last three years. For Violeta, it’s been a very rewarding experience to see the impact each project has in her home country and in the community that CdA serves. She is excited to continue working for CdA in their mission to promote a brighter future in El Salvador.


jesse corradi

Head of Africa and Product Innovation | USAID

Jesse leads USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) Africa regional team to mobilize private capital for underserved markets across sub-Saharan Africa. He served as a Presidential Management Fellow (2015-2017) and a Fulbright Fellow in Hong Kong (2009-2010). Jesse has a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Amherst College.


iris aragon

School Counselor | Green Dot Public Schools

Iris, as a native Salvadoran, is passionate about CdA’s work as she has witnessed how social disparities and lack of resources directly affect her home country. Now living in the US, Iris works as a high school counselor in South LA to empower youth to follow their dreams, be lifelong learners and global citizens. Iris has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Educational Counseling from the University of La Verne.


laura o’neil

Assistant Director, Grants & Foundation Relations | Columbia College

Laura is an advocate for grassroots participatory approaches to development that inspire people to use their agency for change. She is an AmeriCorps VISTA alum and currently works to improve lives through education in her role at Columbia College. Laura has a Master of Public Affairs, a graduate certificate in public health, and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Missouri.