Cristina Matias Mendoza
Paralegal and Mam Interpreter
Cristina Matias Mendoza is a critical member of Social Justice Collaborative’s team. She helps clients with their asylum applications, tends to the front desk, and works as an interpreter. Having immigrated to the United States from Guatemala as a child, Cristina is a rare asset in her fluency in the Guatemalan dialect Mam, as well as Spanish and English.
Raised in Oakland with the memories of hardships in Guatemala, Cristina has been passionate about immigrant rights and justice from an early age. Originally interested in becoming a nurse to provide healthcare to the citizens of Guatemala, she changed paths and volunteered as a translator at a law firm following graduation.
As a member of the staff at SJC, Cristina has learned a lot about the legal process and the role of an attorney. She aspires to one day become an attorney herself. Outside of work, she spends her time at church as part of a group her family created to aid recent Guatemalan immigrants. By reading the Bible in Spanish and then in Mam, she supports their transition while helping them learn Spanish.
Cristina is thankful for the family she has found at Social Justice Collaborative; for their support, knowledge, and collaboration. When she wakes up in the morning to go to work it doesn’t feel like work, but an opportunity to help those to whom she so closely relates. This is her favorite part about working at Social Justice Collaborative.