Board of Directors

Current Officers and Directors


Virginia Bartley

President and Secretary 2016 – 2018
Oaxaca is one of my two homes. I spend my winters there, delighted by its colour and culture, grateful to enjoy those things, but also aware of the problems faced by some of its less fortunate inhabitants. Until I retired as a lawyer and law teacher, I focused upon human rights, poverty and immigration law issues. I bring that experience as well as experience in senior management to the CANFRO Board, and I am delighted to offer my time to its important work.


Penny Hopkins

Vice President Finance 2016 – 2018
I am a retired guidance and career educator now consulting across Canada in the field of career guidance for individuals and organizations. Like many Canadians before and since, my husband and I were both enchanted by beautiful Oaxaca when we first went there in 1998 and deeply troubled by the signs of poverty evident everywhere. CANFRO offers us a way to help people change their lives.

Project manager for:
The School Sponsorship Project
The Food Project


Barbara Royce-Payne

Treasurer 2015 – 2017
Mexico has become a special place for me. Whenever I am there the landscape inspires me and the people delight me. I am happy to be helping CANFRO manage the financial records of its wonderful projects.


Lynda Wilde

Director 2016 – 2018
I am a Canadian who splits my time between Kingston ON, Canada and Oaxaca, Mexico. I discovered Oaxaca in the year 2000 and have returned each year to learn more about the place and its people. Now fully retired from the business world, I am happy to dedicate time and expertise to CANFRO’s projects in the state of Oaxaca.

Project manager for:
The Book Project
The Tutor Project


Sandra Thomson

Director 2015 – 2017
I have worked in the performing arts industry for over forty years specializing in organizational development and fundraising. I was responsible for creating and implementing the strategic plan that raised $13 million and built the 800 seat Port Theatre in Nanaimo. I conduct workshops for non-profit groups on board development, strategic planning, volunteer management, sponsorship and fundraising. I have been visiting Oaxaca since 2008 and am an active supporter of a number of CANFRO projects.

Project manager for:
The Speech & Signing Therapy Project
The High School Project for Girls


Duane Webster

Director 2016 – 2018
I am a retired physician who is presently spends 6 months each year in Oaxaca. In the past I was one of the directors for TRAS which serves to aid Tibetan refugees in India, Nepal and Sikkim.


Alvin Starkman

Director 2016 – 2018
I have lived in Oaxaca since 2004 and been an active supporter of Oaxacan charities. I am the Oaxaca Destination Expert, lead tours in the state’s central valleys, have written over 280 articles about the state’s rich and diverse cultural traditions, consult to documentary film companies … and am retired.