Staff Bio's

Martin J Ortiz

Program Coordinator

Martin was born and raised in Sioux City and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in Spanish and Latin-American Studies. His work experience includes advocacy for cultural and economic equity, civic participation, and lesson development for ESL/ELL students.Over the years, Martin has volunteered for the Omaha Public School system, Mexican American Youth Association, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and has provided landscaping services for the disabled and elderly. Martin is married and has two children; His hobbies include writing, cooking, fishing, and multiple outdoor sports.

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Ximena Perez

Operations Coordinator

Ximena Perez recently graduated with an undergraduate social work and Spanish degree from Briar Cliff University. She is a first-generation Latina raised by immigrant parents from Mexico. As a South Sioux City native, Ximena primarily educates and advocates for issues that uplift and empower Latinos and immigrants. Currently, she serves as the Operations Coordinator for Unity in Action; she initially started her experience as a student volunteer and completed her internship in 2023. Work experience includes adult education, citizenship readiness, and casework management. In recent years, she has volunteered at Girl’s Inc. and faith centers throughout Siouxland. Ximena is the proud recipient of the Honors Convocation Award for her outstanding performance in the Spanish program. Her hobbies include spending time in nature, with family, and reading.

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Olga Guevara

Executive Director

Olga graduated from Briar Cliff University with a Social Work, Spanish, and Latin American studies degree.—Olga has focused on welcoming and inclusion for families in the Siouxland area since 2018. Her professional experience centers around grassroots community building with Siouxland's Latino and immigrant populations. Committed to advancing and empowering her community, she has taken her advocacy to the Nebraska legislature, where she shed light on issues affecting her community. Olga was involved in race and health equity for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic; she was part of a statewide coalition group in Nebraska focusing on language and resource accessibility. Passionate about civic health, she has led programs that empower new leaders and promote civic participation among Latinos and immigrants. Olga and her team at Unity in Action founded Celebrate Siouxland in 2021, a welcoming initiative that fosters intentional belonging and celebrates Latino heritage through expressive arts, music, and flavor.

In her current role, she serves as the Executive Director for Unity in Action in South Sioux City, a nonprofit organization she helped develop & grow through community relationships and funding diversification. Over the years, she has volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland, Habitat for Humanity, Women Aware, and Mary J. Treglia Community House. Olga received the Sister Murfield Award from Briar Cliff University in 2019 for her notable contributions that led to the evolution and growth of Unity in Action. In 2022, she was awarded the Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award from Nebraska Appleseed for her collaborative work with local and statewide impact. Olga is married and is the proud mother of three boys; her hobbies include nature walks with her dog Zeus, journaling, and listening to music.

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Omar Samaniego

Community Organizer

Omar was born in Mexico, and in 1996, he and his family immigrated to Nebraska. He started his employment path at 16 when he started at McDonald's. He then started to gain more experience in his position and was able to move up to management positions. Four years later, he became the store manager when he was only 20 years old and then moved up to a higher position as a district manager in charge of multiple locations in the tri-state region. Now, he is emerging as a community leader, helping to empower his community through financial literacy. He brings many years of experience in leadership roles and is excited to contribute to the Table in his role as the Greater Nebraska Community Organizer with Unity in Action. 

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