A Book to Read Empowers Nicaraguans
Board president and founder, Kristina Mundera, helps preside over the first ever preschool graduation from ABREN's preschool in November 2005.


All of ABREN's administrative work is done on a purely volunteer basis here in the United States by our amazing board. In this way 100% of the money we raise can go directly to paying our staff in Nicaragua and buying the books and supplies to support our wealth of education programs there.

Kristina Mundera

Kristina Underdal headed to Nicaragua as a Peace Corps volunteer with the hope of being able to offer her new neighbors as much as she knew she would receive in return. Working with the local community to develop the ABREN library over the last 8 years has changed her life as well as the lives of all the families it serves. She currently works full-time as a Bilingual 4th grade teacher at Escondido Elementary School in Palo Alto, as well as part-time as the president of ABREN. She is passionate about both of her jobs and enjoys finding ways to make connections between the two communities she serves.

Sarah Carpenter


Kathie UnderdalKathie Underdal

Over Kathie Underdal’s more than 25 years of teaching elementary school, she developed a passion for children’s literature. She loved reading good literature to and with her students and to anyone else who would listen. ABREN stepped into her life just as she retired from full time teaching, so she has been able to pursue her passion of introducing students to books and her long standing interest in cross cultural understanding in a Nicaraguan setting. She loves visiting the Amigos library where she sees children developing a passion for reading and learning.

Stew Plock

Stew has been an active director on several Bay Area non-profit boards and has a professional background in marketing and information technology with Sun Microsystems, Genentech, and Hewlett Packard. "We donate to several good causes, yet ABREN is the one where we can see our dollars benefiting a precise program and that makes us feel connected with its beneficiaries in Pueblo Nuevo. ABREN serves one city, one set of kids, with 100% of donations going to operate the program."

Patricia Mundera

Patricia Moreira has been on the Board of ABREN for 4 years. She is a bilingual Social Worker in Psychiatry.Patricia learned about the incredible value of education from her family in her native Uruguay. Her profession gives her the opportunity to work with and empower people from throughout the Americas. Her work with ABREN is a natural extension of her love of booksand dedication to her career.

Jerry UnderdalJerry Underdal

Financial Officer Jerry Underdal helps with administrative tasks for ABREN and has been involved with the Amigos Children’s Library in Pueblo Nuevo from the start. He worked as a volunteer teacher in developing countries before becoming a high school history teacher. He recently retired from full-time teaching and is delighted to have the opportunity to help improve learning opportunities for Nicaraguan children

Kathy Plock

As a retired Kindergarten, Early Childhood, and Adult Education teacher, I find that ABREN combines several of my passions: The chance to influence attitudes about learning and reading upon which skills for academic success can be built; providing the ability, through literature, to expand horizons beyond present life situations; and staying involved in the life and adventures of a woman I've watched grow up and who has become one of my heroes.

Jodi GandolfiJodi Gandolfi

Jodi Gandolfi, pianist and teacher, became acquainted with the Underdal/Mundera family's extraordinary devotion as teachers when she joined in on musical projects in their local elementary school classrooms. What an honor it was to receive an invitation to join the ABREN board and now to witness the developments of the library and its programs that so enrich the lives of the children, families, and teachers in Pueblo Nuevo and strengthen the bonds between us all.