David Nisthal belongs to the Pueblo Xinka, original peoples of the lands of Jutiapa, Jalapa, Cuilapa, and Santa Rosa, Guatemala. David’s family comes from, and currently resides in, the town of Pozas de Agua in the department of Jutiapa. Born and raised on Ramaytush Ohlone lands (currently known as San Francisco, CA), and now living on Kānaka Maoli lands – Kakaʻako, Honolulu, Oahu, David serves as Faculty Instructor in the Department of Social Work at the Thompson School. He has over 15 years of experience centered in community education regarding issues of sexual violence, male socialization, and well being of Indigenous communities.

Research Interests

David’s research interests are closely tied to his ancestral community. Hailing from a line of Indigenous campesinos and caretakers of Madre Tierra, David looks to center the existence of original pueblos, campesinos, and working class people in Abya Yala (currently known as Latin America) and the greater diaspora, along with their resistance to neocolonial systems within a historical, social, cultural and political context in order to understand current living conditions. David seeks to study the role of education in radical, revolutionary Indigenous movements in Abya Yala, through formal or informal means of education, and how education awakens a critical consciousness within communities to fight for sovereign control of land, resources, and power.

Ph.D. Track

Educational Foundations

COE Affiliation

Educational Foundations


MSW, Social Work. (2013)
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI

BA, Psychology. (2010)
Bethany University, Scotts Valley, CA