LACCHA 2020 Election: Candidate Statements

Thank you to all of our candidates for standing in the 2020 Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives (LACCHA) Section election. Please review their candidate statements and cast your vote!

You will be voting for:

  • One (1) Co-Chair, for a two-year term; and
  • One (1) Steering Committee Member-at-Large, for a two-year term.

Ballots will be managed by SAA staff through Survey Monkey; look out for an email when the ballot opens!

Co-Chair Candidates

The following candidate is running for the Co-Chair position:

Camila Zorrilla Tessler

Archivist, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library


Camila Zorrilla Tessler is a Mexican-Brazilian immigrant who grew up in southern Arizona. She attended the University of Arizona, where she majored in Creative Writing and Theater before she left to get a Masters of Letters in Children's Literature at Newcastle University. On her return to Tucson, she worked as a receptionist before she attended the University of Arizona again, this time for a Masters in Library Science, funded by the Knowledge River Program. She has worked at several institutions, including the University of Arizona Special Collections, The Ohio State University, and Yale University, all in the position of an archivist or archival assistant. 

Candidate Statement:

The past few years have demonstrated the increased need for education and preservation of Latin American materials, particularly those of immigrants, in the United States. The political climate, which swings between the demonization of Latin American refugees and immigrants, and the outrage over the treatment of Latin American children, require sensitive and thoughtful work for archivists. Further, Latin American political changes - including the election of far right candidates in countries such as Brazil, which already have suffered from loss of archival records - suggests a deep-seated need for communication between Latinx archivists and their allies across international borders to find solid and ethical solutions to the preservation of the historical record during time of political, environmental, and humanitarian crises. If elected, I would seek to address these issues through active work with the larger United States archival community, and to build relationships with archivists and cultural heritage institutions abroad. I would like to increase programming with Latinx archivists across the United States, speaking with our own voices, in a larger scale within the Society of American Archivists. Finally, I would like to increase the relationship between LACCHA and other sections, with the understanding that those of us in LACCHA often work with records and collections that straddle more than one topic, and that this form of work can only improve the work we are doing within LACCHA.

Steering Committee Member Candidates

The following candidates are running for the Steering Committe Member-at-Large position:

David A. Bliss (he/him)

Digital Processing Archivist, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, The University of Texas at Austin


David Bliss is the Digital Processing Archivist at the Benson Latin American Collection at UT Austin, where he works primarily on the Latin American Digital Initiatives project (, a post-custodial repository that gathers digitized archival materials from partner organizations throughout Latin America. The LADI repository is focused on collecting archival materials from historically underrepresented communities in Latin America, particularly Afro-Latinx collections, as well as anti-imperialist collections. The LADI team aims to foster reciprocal, horizontal partnerships that decenter the role of UT Austin, while connecting partners directly to one another in order to strengthen their work.

David is a 2017 graduate of the University of Texas School of Information, where he was president of the student chapter of SAA. He also has an MA in Latin American history from the University of New Mexico, focused on 16th century contact literature and the Church. He has written for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Science and presented at a number of national conferences, including the SAA Annual Meeting and the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials in 2019.

Candidate Statement:

I have worked at the Benson Latin American Collection at UT Austin since 2015, starting as a graduate student and for the past three years as a digital archivist. I have worked directly with archival partners throughout Latin America to digitize and preserve their materials, and I provide digital support for colleagues at the Benson who work with US Latinx collections. I am interested in serving on the LACCHA Steering Committee in order to highlight the work of section members, particularly early career archivists and those in temporary positions. I would especially like to promote collaborative digital projects and the work of community archivists in the US, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The LACCHA section is a forward-thinking community of practitioners, and I look forward to contributing in that same spirit. 

Carlinthia Cox

Archivist, Dominican Sisters of Hope - Ossining, New York


Carlinthia Cox is an Archivist for the Dominican Sisters of Hope. Prior to that she worked as a Digital Archivist for the Chicago Tribune and as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Haitian American Museum of Chicago. Ms. Cox has always had an interest in heritage preservation, both tangible and non tangible, for small, underrepresented communities, particularly post-colonial countries. She enjoys motivating and promoting information engagement habits among diverse groups of people. Currently, Ms. Cox is particularly interested in intellectual property and information technology; seeing how ICTs can encourage technological change and innovation of developing countries. Ms. Cox is affiliated with the Caribbean Archives Association. She also serves on the advisory board and does archives consulting for the Haitian American Museum of Chicago. 

Candidate Statement:

My interest in Caribbean culture and heritage is what first fueled my desire to become an archivist. I have always sought to understand and navigate challenges relating to the rights of records originating from post-colonial countries but now housed in colonized countries. I am interested in the preservation of Caribbean records as it applies to working toward the enhancement of memory and structing new narratives of the countries that constitute the Caribbean and Latin America.

I look forward to working with colleagues in LACCHA by expanding on the work already being done; as well as creating new projects as it applies to archives and information management of the Caribbean and its diaspora.

Lizeth Ramírez

Librarian/Archivist for Los Angeles Communities and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles


Lizeth Ramírez joined the UCLA Library Special Collections curating team as Librarian/Archivist for Los Angeles Communities and Cultures in March 2019. Prior to joining UCLA, she was an Archivist and Reference Librarian at the Orange Public Library & History Center in Orange, California, where she managed the local history archive for over eleven years. During her career, she has focused on underrepresented communities, working to center them and their stories in the archival record, as well as creating programming initiatives that celebrate their history. Born and raised in Southern California, her bilingual (English-Spanish) skills have facilitated her work with local diaspora communities with links to Latin America. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine in 1999, and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in 2007.

Candidate Statement:

As a Librarian/Archivist for Los Angeles Communities and Cultures at UCLA Library Special Collections (LSC), my goal is to curate new and highlight existing collections that reflect the diversity of cultures and histories of Los Angeles and to work towards a more inclusive collecting strategy for the department. This focus means working with local communities with links to Latin America. Since joining LSC, I have had the opportunity to participate in local events geared towards communities in Los Angeles and have also shared information about this process, both in person and via webinars, to a variety of library professionals and academics. 

The opportunity to work in archival settings at both public and academic library settings has allowed me to develop skills that I think would be a welcome addition to the Steering Committee of the Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Section (LACCHA) of the Society of American Archivists. I am looking to join the steering committee in the role of Member-at-Large. LACCHA’s focus on issues affecting Latin American and Caribbean archival collections, both those created outside the US and locally by diaspora communities, is important particularly as libraries and archives increasingly seek to center underrepresented communities in the historical record. As Member-at-Large, I would be interested in expanding the types of programming and webinars that are created and led by this committee.

Armando Suárez

Processing Archivist for Latin American Manuscripts Collections, Princeton University


Armando Suárez, Processing Archivist for Latin American Manuscripts Collections, Princeton University. Prior to my current position, I was the Processing Archivist at Kennesaw State University, and before that, the Library Associate for Archives and Digital Collections at Towson University. I hold a B.A. in anthropology/sociology with a focus in Latin American studies from Florida International University, an M.A. in art history with an specialization in Pre-Columbian art from the University of Florida, and an MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Much of my work at Princeton University revolves around accessioning, processing, arranging, and describing collections in all formats related to Latin American literary authors. I also actively participate and contribute in various working groups within the Princeton University Library, as well as volunteering in committees outside of my institution. 

Candidate Statement:

My name is Armando Suárez and I currently serve as the Processing Archivist for Latin American Manuscripts Collections at Princeton University. Besides my academic, professional, and personal interest in Latin American history, one of my main passions is to promote and value the ideals of diversity and inclusion in the archival profession, and believe that having the opportunity to serve on LACCHA’s steering committee will further complement and enhance those interests. 

I currently serve in the Inclusive Description Working Group at Princeton University Library Special Collections, where our primary goal is that of tackling the complex issue of cultural sensitivity in archival description, and to critically rethink our role as archivists in order to create description that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the archival collections we manage. Furthermore, I also serve in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Committee for the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) with the charge of strategizing and developing opportunities to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive PACSCL. I look forward to collectively collaborating with other committee members in advancing the mission of the Latin American & Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable. 

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