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Our Team

Kevin Cuevas, President & Founder

Kevin Cuevas, a Brooklyn native, had a life-altering experience when he moved to Florida at the age of 12. It was there that he was introduced to the ancient practices of Palo Mayombe and Santeria, which ignited a deep desire within him to seek unity among diverse cultures. This encounter became a driving force in Kevin’s life, inspiring him to bridge the divides that plagued society.

In high school, Kevin faced the harsh reality of racism for the first time, an encounter that profoundly impacted him. This experience served as a catalyst, fueling his determination to create bridges of understanding. Fate intervened when Kevin met his godfather, Rudy Babadey, at the Botanica Orisha in Brooklyn, where he found solace and guidance within the realm of the Orishas. Under the wise tutelage of Babadey and Babatundi, Kevin underwent a sacred initiation ceremony, emerging as a Babalosha and embracing his newfound purpose.

Kevin’s calling became clear—to foster unity within his community and among diverse cultures. He dedicated himself to the Young Man Initiative (Y.M.I.) program at the Sotomayor Community Center in the Bronx, becoming a mentor for the youth. Through his dedication and passion, he empowered the younger generation, helping them overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.

Relocating to Long Island, Kevin met his wife Jaysha, who shared his vision. They became foster parents and later adopted four children, adding to their existing three children. As a family of seven, they continued their mission to make a positive impact. Kevin collaborated with local community leaders, including Phil Ramos, the Deputy Speaker of the New York State Assembly. Recognizing his tireless efforts, the New York State Assembly commended Kevin for his remarkable contributions. It was at this juncture that the El Igualito Unity Movement was born—a platform through which Kevin aimed to bridge cultural gaps, foster understanding, and promote harmony among diverse communities.

With unwavering determination and a compassionate heart, Kevin Cuevas strives to create a world where individuals can embrace their unique identities while appreciating the rich tapestry of humanity. Through the El Igualito Unity Movement, he works tirelessly to break down barriers and build bridges of cultural understanding, fostering a society where unity and respect prevail.

Luis Tirado, Secretary

Luis Tirado, a proud native of the Bronx, New York, was raised with an inherent desire to make a positive impact on people's lives. This unwavering passion led him to pursue a career as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), where he dedicated three years of his life to providing essential medical assistance and care to those in need.

During his time as an EMT, Luis had a life-altering encounter with the Lukumi religion, which instantly captivated him with the profound wisdom and practices of the Orishas. It was through this spiritual journey that he discovered his calling as a Babalosha, guided by the esteemed Rudy Guardiola (Baba Dey) and Kevin Cuevas (Oba Aye). Together, they nurtured Luis's spiritual growth and mentored him in the ways of the Orishas.

In the sacred realm of the Lukumi tradition, Luis found a shared vision with Oba Aye—one that resonated deeply within their souls. Their mutual aspiration was to foster harmony and unity among all cultures across the globe. United in purpose, they joined forces with Jaysha Pastrana (Omi Lorde), and thus, El Igualito Unity was conceived.

Through El Igualito Unity, Luis, Oba Aye, and Omi Lorde endeavor to bridge cultural divides and bring people together in a spirit of understanding and solidarity. Their mission is rooted in the fundamental belief that by embracing our shared humanity, we can cultivate a world where compassion and respect thrive unconditionally.


Jaysha M. Pastrana, Treasurer

Jaysha M. Pastrana is a certified business administration professional and a highly skilled healthcare technician with extensive experience in patient care, EKG, phlebotomy, and mental health. Originally from Puerto Rico, she relocated to New York at the age of 13 and has since established a successful career in the healthcare industry. Jaysha is happily married to Kevin Cuevas, the founder and owner of El Igualito Unity. Together, they are proud parents to seven children, four of whom they have lovingly adopted.

Jaysha’s upbringing was deeply rooted in the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria, which her family practiced. However, upon moving to New York, she was exposed to a multitude of different cultures and belief systems, including Espiritismo, 21 Divisions, and Palo Mayombe. Fascinated by these new spiritual paths, she eventually became initiated into Palo Mayombe and later underwent initiation in Santeria, becoming an iyaolosha.

Coming from a family with diverse beliefs, including Christianity, has presented Jaysha with challenges, as she has often felt misunderstood and judged. Nonetheless, she firmly believes that every individual has the right to their own beliefs, and she places great importance on mutual respect in building strong relationships. Despite these obstacles, Jaysha remains dedicated to her faith and her family, finding solace and inspiration in both.

In addition to her work in healthcare, Jaysha is wholeheartedly devoted to promoting unity and diversity through El Igualito Unity. Together with her husband, Kevin Cuevas, they founded this organization with the aim of bringing together individuals from different races, beliefs, and backgrounds to demonstrate that we are all fundamentally the same. Their mission centers around creating a community that embraces differences and fosters respect and love for one another.

Jaysha’s passion for her work with El Igualito Unity is driven by her belief in the essentiality of promoting understanding and unity within our communities. She takes pleasure in spending quality time with her family, traveling, and expanding her knowledge of various cultures and religions, all of which enrich her endeavors with the organization. Her unwavering commitment to her family, faith, and community serves as an inspiration to others striving to strike a harmonious balance between their spiritual and secular lives.