Meet our Team

Cinthya Trueba

Cinthya TruebaCinthya is the president and CEO of the Cultural Center for Language Studies (CCLS Houston), in Houston, Texas. CCLS is a language school focused on developing fluency in English, Spanish and Portuguese for corporate-level clientele. Cinthya draws on over a decade of experience in teaching, business management and public relations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. She is a graduate of Universidad Pan Americana in Mexico City, with a B.A. in Business Administration and Business Management. She served as the Executive Director of the Camera de Empresarios Latinos de Houston (Entrepreneur’s Latin Chamber of Commerce in Houston), and has been repeatedly recognized for her accomplished business skill, language instruction expertise and knowledge of Latin American business and social cultural nuances.

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CCLS Houston Team

A graduate of SHSU, with a Master of Education degree in TESOL and certifications in both TEFL and Second Language Instruction, I have been an instructor for 10 years, specializing in all aspects of ESL training: business communication; conversation; pronunciation; cultural awareness; reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills; and TOEFL prep.

Working with all ages and all proficiency levels, my focus is student success and satisfaction. My mission is to empower students with superior communication skills, so they have the confidence to seize opportunities when they arise!

Student engagement is very important to me and is necessary for success. Students need to understand how the material translates to their every-day lives and they need to be able to utilize what they learn. Classes should be fun, motivating, and challenging. I’m always excited to be part of a student’s learning adventure.


CCLS Houston Team

Wes is a Houston native and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications. He then embarked on an exciting journey to teach English in Mexico for two years. Well, two years turned into 8.5 years. He has experience teaching students of all levels, ages, and nationalities. He is currently studying to enter a graduate program in education. Wes can speak English and Spanish. He loves animals, cooking, reading, learning, and staying active. His teaching style is to make learning as fun and as painless as possible. His personal philosophy is: If you're not learning, you're not living.


CCLS Houston Team

Diane is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a Master’s Degree in Education (English as a Second Language) and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. Originally from Michigan, upon graduation she moved to Venezuela and lived there for 40 years. She has recently returned to live in the U.S.

Seeing the need for effective English Classes in Venezuela, she created a small successful business doing what she enjoyed most, teaching ESL to students of all ages, most of whom went on to study or further their careers abroad. She has extensive experience in all aspects of language acquisition and is especially skilled in accent reduction due to her background in Linguistics, studies of multiple languages, and achievement of bilingual fluency in Spanish.


CCLS Houston Team

Monica is an accomplished Spanish teacher of over 25 years’ experience. She is a graduate of Tulane University (Master of Arts-Political Science) and University of Houston (Master of Arts-Spanish). She was born, raised and educated in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She also has a law degree from Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil. She moved to the United States when she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study Political Science. After her marriage, she obtained her Lifetime Texas Teacher Certification in Spanish.

Monica’s goal as a Spanish language teacher is to instill in her students the passion for learning this language and to help them gain communicative competence, fluency and accuracy in the language use and an understanding of Hispanic culture.


CCLS Houston Team

Rita is a native speaker of Portuguese from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology.

Rita has extensive experience in teaching the Portuguese language in the Houston area to executives in the Oil and Gas industry, Corporate Groups and lessons with children.

Rita has developed individualized programs for students that that teach according to their level of language proficiency and deliver the best of the Brazilian culture.


Rafael is a native Spanish-European instructor. He was born in Germany and grew up as a bilingual German-Spanish speaker. He is a Philologist and has a multicultural education acquired in Europe. He specialized in Literature and Linguistics and studied languages such as Spanish, German, English and Italian. He started teaching in Spain and was the director of a foreign language school. He also worked as a translator and interpreter for a bank company that exported meat products. Rafael was a co-owner of a fashion storefront and the first ecological dry clean store in Spain. He also has experience in the business field. Among his language skills and teaching Spanish, he also has been teaching medical Spanish, ESL, and German. Teaching language and contrastive-comparative literature is one of his many passions. He also practiced sports, participated in sport competitions, and enjoys sharing his culture with others.


CCLS Houston Team

Gabriela was born and raised in central Mexico. She earned a Bachelor in Latin American Literature, studied abroad in Spain, and studied German Language in Bocholt, Germany. She earned a master's degree in Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University of Leon, Spain. She is a certified examiner of Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language of the Cervantes Institute, for all levels.

She has been a Spanish teacher for more than 10 years to non-Spanish-speakers and Mexican students in courses of General Spanish, business Spanish, Mexican Culture, Latino American Literature and Preparation for Spanish Certifications. She has taught at private and public Language Centers, including her alma mater, State of Mexico University, where she created curricula and materials for their programs. She has taught students of all ages, from children of two years to Top Senior Executives, and nationalities from all over the world. She was also, Culture and Language Professor for Peace Corps Mexico, training volunteers. She loves to discover the individual style her students learn in order to get the best out of them while they are learning Spanish so they can achieve their objectives.

She is passionate about materials design and intercultural communication. Organized, enthusiastic and always willing to have a fun time learning in class. She has a traveler´s heart, but now that she lives in Texas is dedicated to discovering the cultural diversity of Houston and its surroundings.


CCLS Houston Team

Ingrid is a Brazilian journalist and spent over five years as a writer in a major newspaper in Brazil covering city, cop and political matters. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil and English as a second language from The University of Houston, where she was honored twice by University of Houston as both Graduation Speaker and Outstanding Student. She also speaks Spanish, English and is progressing in French.

She moved to Houston in 2009 and has been working as a market reporter covering news and prices assessments for the petrochemical and natural gas markets. Besides communication, Ingrid has extensive experience in teaching Portuguese in the Houston area to executives in the Oil and Gas industry, corporate groups and private classes. She lives with her husband and her two kids in the greater Houston area.


CCLS Houston Team

Cecilia is a proud Brazilian who has recently moved to Houston. After studying international relations and foreign affairs at a leading institution in Brazil, Cecilia devoted the next decade of her life toward helping others attain the Business-critical skill of attaining a second language. She was successful in helping several students achieving a proficiency Portuguese language level throughout the years.

Looking for new challenges, she engaged in different projects such as filmmaking and organizing events. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree at Harvard University in International Relations as she continues her work in language teaching as a Portuguese instructor in CCLS Houston.

She is also interested in watching independent movies, tv series, and reading books. Her favorite kinds of story are sci-fi and detective stories. She enjoys practicing Taebo, Yoga, and Aerial silks. Acquiring and developing language skills are part of her life, in this sense, she studies French and works towards developing her Spanish.


CCLS Houston teamAmparo is from Caracas, Venezuela. She received her Bachelor Degree in Education from the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, and continued her post graduate education at the Human Behavior Institute of Venezuela (Group Dynamics); Andres Bello Catholic University (Organizational Development); and International Coaching Institute of Venezuela (Management Coaching).

Amparo has extensive professional experience in the field of Human Resources, providing tailored quality management and directorship positions at several leading companies in Venezuela, including Mercantil Bank, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), and Nissan of Venezuela.

She excelled in implementing effective Change Management Processes, in which her principal accomplishment was organizing high-level changes to top executives in order to streamline company success. Due to her ability of conveying and deploying knowledge through high level teams, she has led courses in Service Quality, Time Management, and Organizational Culture.

In 2017 she was trained and certified by CCLS Houston as a Spanish Teacher.

Amparo enjoys reading and listening to music.

She devotes her free time to her family and friends.


CCLS Houston teamAlicia is from Caracas, Venezuela. She graduated from Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Alicia has more than 25 years of experience teaching all ages in public and private schools, mostly bilingual. In addition, she ran a very successful English-as-a-second language (ESL) school for over 10 years, teaching high school, college and adult-level students. Alicia is an experienced Spanish teacher to professionals who work in the oil and gas industry. Recently she obtained CCLS Houston Spanish Teacher Certification.

Teaching is an important part of Alicia’s life – she enjoys the classroom, students and it’s what she’s done her whole life. She brings solid experience and passion to the classroom. Since she is a native Spanish speaker this enables her to draw upon her own rich culture and personal experience as a foreign language learner and inspire her students to effectively communicate in a different language and gain an appreciation for other languages and cultures. Her objective as a teacher is to motivate her students toward a level of independence where they develop a desire to learn and think in a new language.


Dr. Evelyn was raised in Manhattan, New York, whose parents immigrated from Puerto Rico and established residency in the melting pot of the world, the Lower East Side. Her friends were Jews, Albanians, Puerto Ricans, Italians, Irish and more. From there, her passion to learn what made other people different while intuitively knowing they were the same.

She has been a university professor at both the Undergraduate and Graduate level. Has a Ed. D in Psychology and Counseling. She practices individual and couples’ psychotherapy and life coaching. For the past thirty years she has developed and presented Conferences, Workshops and Personnel Development Programs in a variety of industries both in the United States and in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Evelyn has a Juris Doctor degree and is admitted and active in the following courts: State of Texas Bar and the United States District Court for the Fifth District of Texas; Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and all local courts; the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico; the Unites States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; United Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.


CCLS Houston Team

Irma is a consultant who has covered power & technology, marketing, oil & gas green business and mining projects for companies like 3M, Chicago Pneumatic, Axon Energy, Zadok Technologies, Titan LED and Achilles Information.

A Mexican native, Irma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Business Administration, a Master’s degree in Marketing from Christopher Columbus University and a professional Spanish Teaching Certification by CCLS.

Irma loves teaching. It is her passion and her calling in life. She has been teaching for 10 years.

She says that her students inspire her, make her laugh, and she always says that it is them who teach her many life lessons!

Irma is very enthusiastic, passionate, driven, goal-oriented, and positive minded. She always encourages her students to work hard and never give up, no matter how difficult the task.

Irma is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in both Spanish and English. She understands what people go through when learning a new language having arrived in the U.S. more than twelve years ago from Mexico. Her personal learning experience helped her understand what is important in developing a practical and easy tutoring program and successfully implementing it.

She has been teaching Spanish to adults at CCLS, and for the past four years She has also been teaching piano in an after school enrichment program.

Irma and her husband, Josh, live along the northwest area of Houston in the town of Tomball. They are very happy to be part of this community and feel it is a wonderful place to live and raise their daughter, Mercedes.


CCLS Houston Team

Byron is an instructor of over 16 years’ experience in adult-education, more than half of that time spent as an ESL and college English teacher. He has helped hundreds of students — especially international businessmen and women in oil & gas-related enterprises — achieve their language goals, in addition to drafting and editing business correspondence, reports, and presentations. Originally from Los Angeles, California, he has visited Mexico, Brazil, and the Caribbean, and has made his home in Houston for many years.

“Having taught at another international ESL school, I really like that CCLS uses practical, conversation-based lessons that are based on years of learning-psychology research, which suits my academic side. But instead of lots of reading, CCLS focuses on listen-and-say exercises as grammar is learned. It gets people speaking the target language right away — and I know the value of that kind of immersion.”

In his personal time, Byron conceived and operated a well-received jazz club & salon in Houston, and is a long-time songwriter and music producer. In addition to teaching certification through CCLS, he holds degrees from Houston’s University of St. Thomas and Houston Baptist University.


Carol is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. She earned her Master of Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Instructional Design from the University of Saskatchewan-Saskatoon, Canada. Ms. Pianzola also has 30 graduate hours in Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas-El Paso, and she holds Lifetime Texas Teacher Certifications in ESL and Spanish. Ms. Pianzola has enjoyed teaching ESL in a variety of educational settings, including public school, university, adult continuing education, and corporate.


JodiJodi is a highly qualified, professionally recognized and internationally accredited Corporate Training Instructor with a degree in Psychology, formal qualifications in business and education and a 15 year successful track record teaching and delivering training and coaching programs in the USA, Canada, the Middle East and Asia.

Utilizing a highly versatile, interactive teaching methodology, Jodi presents with confidence, enthusiasm, conviction and naturalness and has the ability to connect to and capture any audience. She compels a powerful, effective and lively rapport with all course participants no matter what their background. Her priority with any group or individual is to always maintain a positive, collaborative atmosphere and ensure all training sessions are successful as well as pleasurable.

Her philosophy is that training, no matter what the topic, should be motivational, enjoyable, cost effective and most of all beneficial. She believes an enthusiastic, positive approach inspires people to learn and her lively personality and unique programs have proven successful to individuals and organizations in many different cultures and countries around the world.

”Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way” (Greg Anderson)

Jodi looks forward to any opportunity to use her experience, skills and expertise to guide, innovate, encourage, enhance and support the professional development objectives and training needs of any individual, company or corporation.


CCLS Houston TeamBeatriz was a pioneer of television news in Houston. In April 1990, she started as an anchor for the first newscast in local Channel 45, (Notivision 45, later Noticias 45) and continued working there until November of 2005. Before she started as a member of the news team, from late 1987 to early 1990, Beatriz co-hosted the first Spanish-language variety television program in Houston, "Variadisimo".

During her more than 15 years in television news, Beatriz served as anchor as well as reporter and correspondent, covering special assignments in Houston, and beyond. She also assumed the position of Producer, News Director and Managing Editor. As a correspondent, Beatriz covered historical events such as Pope John Paul VI’s visit to Mexico in 1999 and the Mexican Elections of 2000 for channel 45 and other affiliates of Univision.

Aside from her career as a journalist, Beatriz has dedicated the last 13 years to teaching, Spanish and English (ESL). She has taught Spanish, all levels, in public and private schools. She has also taught private classes for business professionals adults in different levels. ESL (English as a Second Language) has been an important part of her experience, in private classes and for large groups of students, all ages and from many different countries. Beatriz has also worked as an interpreter Spanish-English, for a company that serves Hospitals, Doctor’s offices, Legal and Social Services, among others.