Board of Directors
President Cristian Johnston
Was inspired to create the Peruvian Outreach Project, Inc. after a brief visit in 2018 to the orphanage from which he was adopted as a young child. Cristian spent months volunteering at Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar in Tarapoto, Peru. He is well loved by the children and staff for his hard work and devotion on their behalf. Currently, Cristian is completing an Associate’s Degree in Human Services focusing on non-profit development. At home in Corfu, New York, Cristian works for the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.
Vice President Julie Christiano
Lives in Buffalo, New York. She was a teacher with the Buffalo Public School System for over 35 years and retired in 2015. She has worked with several non-profits before and since retirement ( Food Shuttle of WNY and PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara). She worked with Peruvian Outreach Project on its fundraising committee this past year. She has been supporting POP since its inception and looks forward to working with POP in the future and seeing its impact grow.
Secretary Rosita Waltz-Rieber
Is currently an undergraduate at University at Buffalo studying accounting and hopes to get her CPA. She is a board member on the Puerivan Outreach Project as of 2022. She was born in Bolivia but was adopted and raised in the states. She looks forward in being involved and helping the Puerivan Outreach Project achieve their goals of helping the younger generation in Peru.
Treasurer Kathleen Houlihan
Holds a MS in Education of Culturally and Linguistically Different Students and has taught all levels of Bilingual Special Education and English as a New Language in public schools in Buffalo, New York for 32 years. Kathleen chaired a Bilingual Committee on Special Education and Student Support; she has spent her career working with immigrant and refugee children and their families. Kathleen’s connection with Peru began in 1978 as an exchange student in the city of Trujillo. She and her family have traveled extensively in South America--especially in Peru--and both of her children were adopted from Peru. Kathy finds great reward in utilizing relationships built over many years to benefit the children and youth of Peru.
Bibi Lai Saavedra Gonzales
Is a nurse in Tarapoto, Peru. She has worked with the Peruvian Outreach Project for several years, primarily as our representative at the Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar. Bibi has dedicated her services to the children at the orphanage for many years. She was instrumental in setting up the clinic at the Aldea as well as many other projects. We are very glad to have her on our board of directors.
Supported the formation of POP in 2018 and joined the Peruvian Outreach Project board in 2020. Mary is a retired Special Education teacher of 30 years. Her personal goal is to keep the ‘attitude of gratitude’ growing and to work with a community of donors to provide basic needs and education for the children at Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar in Tarapoto, Peru.
Is a student at Marist College, New York. During the summer of 2019, Eric traveled to Antique, Guatemala and volunteered at an orphanage. Eric’s experience sparked his interest in service work in Central and South America; he joined the Peruvian Outreach Project (POP) in 2020. Eric looks forward to seeing POP grow.
Is a retired Science teacher with a PhD in Chemistry and a Masters degree in Elementary Education. Tay grew up in an internationally oriented family and has long had an interest in helping young people in other countries. She has been on the Board of Crossroads Springs Africa, a nonprofit assisting students in Western Kenya, since its founding in 2004. Tay understands the importance of education and care for young people and believes that the next generation will change the world.
Rosita Johnston Alvan
Is a board member annd a native of Tarapoto, Peru and the Manager of the Hogar Hermelinda Home for Young Women Project. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the National University of Peru in Tarapoto. She has an extensive history with the Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar and has many valuable connections in Tarapoto. She is an integral part of our team in Peru as well as here in the United States.
Lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Craig. Craig and Kathy Houlihan’s husband Dan met in college, allowing Barbara the pleasure of watching Cristian and Gabriel grow up. Barbara’s love for them and her passion for the education of young women propelled her to support POP as a board member. Barbara earned a Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication. She worked for twenty-five years in corporate education for large organizations, including IBM and the Coca-Cola Company.