Blair Quinius loves children, youth and Honduras. In 2008 he had a vision to combine these three passions and implement the first UrbanPromise site in Central America. Post-graduation from Southwestern University with a degree in Animal Behavior, Blair spent time working with children/youth education; in varying capacities from ski instructor to 5th grade teacher. While teaching at Mayatan Bilingual School in Copán Ruinas, he began building relationships and exploring the possibilities for the UrbanPromise model in Honduras. Since 2008 he has been blessed with the opportunity to see this vision become a reality for the children of Honduras. Now happily married, Blair lives with his wife, Lauren, in Copan Ruinas, Honduras where he serves as Executive Director for UrbanPromise Honduras. Blair is an avid fan of salsa, baseball and the Texas Rangers.
Elizabeth Auciello would say that she is the best version of herself when she is around youth. Fresh out of college in North Carolina where she grew up, she immediately lunged into the wild world of middle school as a Spanish teacher and fell in love with those crazy adolescents! But she also came to realize that she was being called to Latin America, at first to further embrace her Argentinean heritage, be closer to family and explore new cultures. Later she came to a deeper understanding of her calling to love and serve Latin American people. She lived two years in Chile before moving to Washington DC to earn a Masters in Latin American Studies and teach university students. She then joined the team at Partners of the Americas, to work with outstanding Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. teenagers through short-term cultural exchange, leadership and volunteer service programs and for 4 1/2 years, her heart swelled for the hundreds of youth throughout the Western Hemisphere she has been blessed to know. Additionally, Elizabeth has had the privilege and blessing to volunteer with church youth groups, work in summer camps, be a mentor, and has served/worked with youth in over 15 countries. This year, God made it clear that it was time to return to Latin America, this time to serve the youth of Copan Ruinas, Honduras through the ministry of UPH. Her prayer each day is to love and serve the youth and children and see them through Christ’s eyes.
Fausto de la Cruz is 100% Mexican, proud of his country and never would have thought that a Mexican, after having been in the United States, would go down to Honduras. He has always had a desire to help the poor and the oppressed, which grew after he read a book about the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, but he never thought he’d have an opportunity like that one. He lived in Philadelphia and got engaged to Kourtney, the current director of Camp Agape, just before she came to work with UPH. After the wedding he came to Honduras. He was working as a mechanic for about a year and occasionally helping his wife out at her camp. He quickly developed friendships with the youth and started working full time with UrbanPromise Honduras in January 2013. While in the US he liked the idea of helping out with the youth when his wife was telling him about the situation with youth in Honduras. He is very happy to be working with the youth and to be helping them in their studies and helping them learn skills for their futures. Apart from working with youth, he likes mechanics and is a danger in his wife’s kitchen because of how much he likes to eat.
Hugh first became acquainted with UrbanPromise Honduras when he volunteered in UrbanPromise Camden, New Jersey in 2008. He loves working with children, and for a while had been trying to figure out how best to continue in this line of work whilst following his call to Latin America. He graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a Bachelor’s in French, and from there found a way, through UrbanPromise Camden, to come to Honduras. In the summer of 2012 he directed one of the summer camp programs at UPH, and then transitioned into a new position working in Communications. His hobbies include performing magic tricks, playing guitar, and break dancing. He also has a bit of a sweet tooth and loves smoothies.
Katie Sugg loves Latin American culture and loves working with kids, and especially loves putting the two together! She first came to Honduras when she was 15 years old on a mission trip, and this trip inspired her to learn Spanish and to seek further service opportunities in Latin America. Six years later, in September of 2010, Katie moved from her home in Boston, Massachusetts to Copán to join the UPH team. She works as director of the after-school program Camp Hope, with over 40 adorable, hilarious, and brilliant kids and some pretty amazing youth leaders. Ask anyone at UPH about Katie, and they will probably tell you about her enthusiasm for food or her talkativeness. Katie is somewhat infamous for her love for chocolate (and all sweets), and can be seen peeking into the office fridge at 15 minute intervals throughout the day. She is also known to strike up a conversation with anyone!
Keyla Chavarria has a GREAT passion for missions, kids, youth and music. She loves playing the guitar, singing and leading worship and she also loves sports, especially soccer! Keyla is from Santa Barbara, Honduras, where she has lived all her life. In 2010 she graduated from Universidad Tecnologica de Honduras (UTH) with a degree in Business Administration. In 2011 she started working for a nonprofit organization called Orphan Helpers in San Pedro Sula, and served as a translator and missionary for many other organizations and churches, and spent a lot of time going on mission trips all over Honduras. During one of the mission trips in Copán she heard about UPH and in the summer of 2012 she had the opportunity to be part of it as an intern and worked in one of the summer camps and fell in love with the kids & youth. Now, God has blessed her with the opportunity to be part of UPH staff/family, as the person in charge of the administration and serving as a Youth Program assistant! Her goal is to mentor/inspire others so they can grow and be the person that God wants them to be and to be a light that shines in this world of darkness.
Kourtney de La Cruz started her love affair with Latin America on a short-term mission trip to Mexico in 2002. Since then, her love and burden for the people, especially children, of Latin America has grown exponentially. Kourtney has served in Mexico a handful of times, and after graduating from TCNJ with a Bachelor’s in Spanish and El. Ed, worked in Ensenada, Mexico for a year as a missionary apprentice with the Christian & Missionary Alliance. Right before UPH initiated full-time work in Copan, Kourtney heard about what they were doing and knew she had to be a part of it. In September of 2009, Kourtney journeyed to Copan with UPH as a volunteer at Camp Hope. After a short time working in Philadelphia, in which she met and was engaged to her husband Fausto, Kourtney rejoined the UrbanPromise Honduras team officially in May 2011. She now serves as director of the after-school program Camp Agape and is often heard (unaware) throughout the office singing (sometimes rather poorly) as she works. She enjoys reading, especially Shane Claiborne, and tackling the impossible task of filling her husband's stomach.