Celia Yapita

Celia Yapita

Albuquerque Community Foundation

Community Leadership Director

Celia joined the Albuquerque Community Foundation team in the spring of 2023. Celia is of the Aymara people of Bolivia through her father and was raised by her mother in Gainesville, Florida. After going to college in the northeast and law school in the west, Celia found her home in the vibrant community of Albuquerque in 2004.

Her legal work in Florida, California and New Mexico included support of survivors of domestic violence, as well as advocacy for senior citizens and youth in special education. In Albuquerque, Celia worked at Catholic Charities for 11+ years, directly serving immigrants and refugees, and in her last couple of years there, supporting all programming as the Chief Program Officer. In fall 2021, Celia became the first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at United Way of North Central New Mexico. Throughout her career, Celia has centered clear communication in her collaborations: Aruskipt’asipxañanakasakipuniraskispawa – Sea lo que fuere, estamos obligados a comunicarnos – In all situations, we must communicate with each other.

Celia enjoys reading both fiction and nonfiction, dancing for exercise and fun, listening to podcasts, hikes with her husband, and relaxing with her two senior chihuahuas. Her joy comes from being with her kids, challenging herself through deep learning from the wisdom of those with lived experience, and learning how to embrace rest as a value in life.