FCV is excited to announce that we are working to launch Chispa Florida, a community organizing program that builds the power of Latinx, Black , and communities of color to protect our rights to clean air and water, healthy neighborhoods, and a safe climate for generations to come.
Meet the Chispa Florida team!
Maria Revelles, Program Director
Maria Revelles, born in Puerto Rico and raised in Madrid, Spain, is Chispa Florida’s State Director. She has a background in global, national, state, and local organizing.
A strong believer in the empowerment of communities of color and equality for Puerto Ricans on the Island and the Diaspora, she and her family relocated into Orlando, Florida, where a majority of Puerto Ricans arrived after Hurricane Maria and the economic collapse of the Island, with the desire the help organize and empower the Puerto Rican Diaspora.
Most recently, Maria served as the Florida Director of Vamos4Puerto Rico, a network of stateside labor, community, cultural, and human rights groups committed to fighting for a better future for Puerto Rico and empowering the Puerto Rican diaspora.
Maria has also supported the development of self-lead initiatives in communities in Haiti, working on issues like economic development, workers’ rights, and women’s equality, as well as Dominican-Haitian solidarity initiatives. Alongside Faith in Action and the Organisation Peuple Œcuménique pour le Développement du Nord-Est (OPODNE), Maria helped mount an effective COVID-19 education and prevention campaign that distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to 7,000 families.
Over the years, Maria Revelles has led some of the most successful union organizing campaigns across the United States and in Puerto Rico, starting in the early 1990′s with the United Food and Commercial Workers and after the year 2000 with UNITE and SEIU Unions, developing and organizing strategies and workshops on diversity, and education and solidarity projects with unions in the Dominican Republic for women mostly in the Free Trade Area. She has also directed Integrated voter engagement campaigns for Latinx and communities of color such as Let My People Vote / Voto de Fe, an initiative to pass Amendment 4 (ending felony voter disenfranchisement of 1.4 million Floridians). The program engaged 800 congregations and conducted close to 100,000 direct conversations with voters.
Maria Revelles was the President of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County in Syracuse, New York, a member of the Mayor’s Women Commission, and a member of ACTS (Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse). She was also the first Latina to serve on the Board of the Housing Authority of the City of Syracuse.
“A society is only as strong as its most vulnerable members,” says Maria. “Our work for justice is not only for those who are next to us but for those that will be in any way impacted by our actions; another world is possible but it is up to us to build it.”
Krizia López Arce, Communications Manager
Krizia Ivelisse López Arce is a proud Boricua in Central Florida. Born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Krizia graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart in Santurce. She has two bachelor’s degrees, one in Communications and Public Relations and the other one in Marketing. She was a Radio Producer and Communications Specialist for eight years in Puerto Rico.
After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, Krizia moved to Central Florida like a lot of Puerto Ricans refugees that escaped from the disaster and devastation, looking for a better life and opportunities. For the last three years, she has been working directly with the Puerto Rican and Latinx community as a Community Organizer. As a climate refugee, Krizia understands the importance of educating our community about climate change and preparing them for the future.
Since 2019, Krizia has co-hosted Jevas Combativas at Mega 97.1, the nation’s first feminist Spanish-language radio show and podcast.
“I work every day for a better present and future for us in this country and our beloved island,” she says. “It is enriching to educate people and make them understand their rights because education is power. As a Millennial and a woman, it is my duty to work for our people because our voices need to be heard and respected.”
Jesus Reynoso, Digital Organizer
Whether it was helping feed the homeless or door-knocking to encourage people to go out and vote, Jesus Reynoso loves to help his community and has been doing so for as long as he can remember. Jesus was born in New York City but moved to Central Florida when he was 12 years old. Before moving to Florida, at the age of 7, Jesus was already helping feed the homeless at his local church in the city. He recalls taking all of the clothes that he no longer used or was no longer able to fit into, putting them into a box, and sending it to his parents’ home country, the Dominican Republic, and giving it to the less fortunate.
Moving to Florida was a culture shock for Jesus as he moved from a busy city to the rural fields of Saint Cloud, Florida. At age of 13, Jesus quickly got involved in his community by helping a friend and their family volunteer to empower the Hispanic community and remove barriers to young people’s success. Jesus worked to educate people on the importance of going out to vote. He would continue his efforts of helping others as the years went on by volunteering at his local homeless shelter and gathering canned goods yearly to pass out on holidays such as Thanksgiving or around Christmas.
Jesus enjoys using his creativity to help share and tell others’ stories. He is a multifaceted entrepreneur who specializes in content creation, marketing, and management. Growing up in Central Florida, Jesus always had the entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for helping people. He started his first business, a social media marketing company, at the age of 16, and acquired his Associate’s Degree at Valencia College all while still running his company.
“I feel like it is my purpose to do whatever I can in this lifetime to help educate people on the importance of unity and helping others,” he says.