Founder & Director
Vicente Del Real
Vicente Del Real is a Mexican immigrant that migrated to the United states at the age of fifteen. He began his career as a community organizer right after high school, coordinating a civil engagement campaign to increase Hispanic participation in the elections.
In his career as organizer, he was part of the organizing team to pass the Access to Religious Ministry Act in Illinois, which gave access to undocumented immigrants in immigration custody to obtain access to a religious worker. Vicente was also part of the core team to pass Driver Licenses for the undocumented immigrant in the state of Illinois which gave the opportunity to more than 250,000 undocumented immigrants to drive legally in the state of Illinois. At the age of twenty, he founded Iskali, a community of young people dedicated to evangelization and faith formation, Iskali’s mission is to create the next generation of church leaders. He has helped develop young adult ministry in over fifteen parishes. At the age of twenty-four, he left his organizing career to answer a strong call to dedicate himself to ministry within the Hispanic youth community and promote Latino leadership in the church. He is a Romero Scholar at Catholic Theological Union where he is working towards his Masters in Divinity. He has facilitated seminaries for Hispanic youth at the University of Dayton, DePaul University in Chicago, and innumerable parishes and conferences in the Archdiocese of Chicago and across different diocese in the United States. Vicente also participated in the National Colloquium of Hispanic Leaders Organize by Boston College, as one of the emerging young leaders in the Church. Vicente is currently the executive director and founder of Iskali and his vision is to expand Iskali to other diocese in the US where the need to minister Hispanics is present. Vicente is very passionate about the development of young leaders in the Church and has devoted his life to creating space for young people to transform their lives guided by the Holy Spirit.
Francisco L. Nevarez
Angel Hernandez was born in Chicago but spent the first couple years of his infancy in Mexico. For the first few years of his life, Angel didn’t know what his father looked like because his father was working in the United States.
At the age of 4, he came back to the United States with his parents and sister. For two years they lived in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. At the age of 6, Angel and his family moved to Cicero, where he started school. Unfortunately, Angel experienced bullying not just from classmates but also from his family, which led him to make the wrong decisions by getting involved in gang violence. At the age of 15, he first joined a youth group with the intention to stay away from the hardships on the streets. Five years later, he had an encounter with God through Iskali. Angel is now an assessor for the communities in the area of Cicero and Berwyn for Iskali. He wishes to keep sharing his testimony to inspire others to grow in their faith and to have an encounter with God that can change their lives.
Carolina Nevarez is a Mexican-American young adult, born and raised in Illinois. Although she grew up in a Catholic home, she’d kept a skeptical perspective on Catholicism throughout more than half of her life. Relating to the difficulties of social and emotional change that adolescence comes with, she struggled with an identity crisis.
After living her religious experience through Iskali in 2015, she discovered solidarity, and a motivation to improve every day spiritually. Her personal mission is to help other youth learn to inculcate an authentic lifestyle into their lives as Catholic young adults. Currently, she is a community college student with plans to finish her studies at a four year university, majoring in Theology.
Adrian Ramirez migrated from Mexico to the United States with his parents, 3 brothers and 2 sisters when he was 12 years old, seeking for a better future. All throughout high school, he was an excellent student and a great athlete.
He received a full ride to Morton College, where he attended 3 years with hope to become a math teacher. His dream vanished when his dad lost his job and was forced to work to help his parents with the mortgage. Feeling that everything had gone down the drain, he came across Iskali. He then had an encounter with God and has been serving since. Adrian is an assessor of the parents community and has been helping other people to find God. He is trying to get accepted into CTU to get a Masters in Theology to become a better assessor for the couples and for Iskali. He is passionate about helping others and together with his wife, Laura Villa, will continue helping families to grow their faith in God.
Laura A. Villa
Laura A. Villa migrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 9 with her parents and sister, seeking the “American Dream.” Right after high school, while going through difficult moments in her young life, she came across Iskali. A few months later, she had an encounter with God and has been involved in ministry ever since.
She is passionate about creating a safe space for people to find God and hopes to continue inspiring others to transform their lives through the power of faith. Laura is currently married and has three children, whom are the center of her life. She is the general secretary of Iskali and together with her husband, Adrian Ramirez, continues helping families grow in their faith and hopes her life continues to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Ricardo Ramos migrated to the United States from Mexico City at the age of 11 with his family. He is the oldest sibling of 3, raised in a Catholic family. At the age of 21, Ricardo started getting involved in church searching for answers and trying to understand his doubts. He started attending a youth group which led him to attend mass on Sundays and had an encounter with God.
He had leadership in youth ministry and after 4 years of group coordinator, he began formation classes in Iskali. Ricardo is an Assessor of Iskali’s coordination council. Now, at the age of 29, Ricardo continues to help other youth find their mission and purpose as an authentic Catholic guided by the Holy Spirit, just as he finds his.
Episcopal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Bishop John R. Manz