Carmen Cortez, Associate Director
Community Agroecology Network

Carmen Cortez is the associate director of the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), where she collaborates in participatory action research projects with indigenous campesinxs on recuperating native seed systems as the base for community autonomy and the defense of indigenous territory in Mexico. Her work extends to catalyzing local food economies with youth network partners in Nicaragua, Mexico, and the immigrant community of Watsonville CA. Her commitment lies in strengthening collective community processes for food sovereignty connected to land, culture, and community self-governance.  Carmen holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in Ecology where she studied agroecological strategies by Maya campesinxs in traditional milpa farming and traditional ecological knowledge with Maya youth in Southern Belize. 


Nancy Faulstich, Executive Director

Nancy Faulstich founded Regeneración in 2016 together with a small group of Pajaro Valley residents. Now Regeneración’s first Director, Nancy was motivated to work for climate action and resilience upon realizing the plight that younger generations, including her eleven year old daughter, will face. Her goal was for everyone in the Pajaro Valley to become fully aware of the reality of climate change and to move together to address the causes and strive for justice.

Prior to her work with Regeneración, Nancy served as a bilingual preschool and kindergarten teacher and literacy specialist with the Pajaro Valley School District for 25 years. She has a BA in Women’s Studies and Masters in Education with a bilingual (Spanish) certification.

In conjunction to her work as an early childhood educator, Nancy has led parent and women’s support groups, and organized to address and eliminate racism and anti-semitism. Nancy approaches her work with Regeneración as an ally focused on elevating the leadership of people of color. 


Martinez, Organizing Director

Safe Ag Safe Schools (SASS) 

Sarait, native from the state of Oaxaca, joined Californians for Pesticide Reform core staff in 2018. She has worked as a community and labor organizer for over a decade in the Central and Salinas Valley. Her core values are rooted in social and environmental justice.  As a daughter of farmworkers, her passion is to work with farmworkers and indigenous communities. Sarait holds a BA in Political Science and Chicano and Latin American Studies and a Masters in Public Administration from CSU Fresno. She coordinates the local Safe Ag Safe Schools coalition in the Monterey Bay area.