Each RdC volunteer works with a local organization that responds to the daily challenges our neighbors face. They engage in a range of service opportunities: supporting staff in community health centers; educating in local schools and after-school programs; working in pastoral ministry and social services; and more.
In addition to serving at local organizations, RdC volunteers cultivate authentic relation-ships with their neighbors, the kind that can only be developed by entering into daily life with them – shopping at the local tiendas, visiting neighbors in their homes, singing in the parish choir, and joining impromptu soccer games. Every day is an opportunity to encounter, learn, listen and pray together – to be a friend, neighbor, brother or sister.
Frank Bruno is from Wethersfield, Connecticut and studied English and Mass Communications at Assumption College. Frank is looking forward to pushing himself outside of his comfort zone, to grow in his spiritually, and to form lasting relationships with his community mates and members of the Ecuadorian community.
Grace Davis is originally from Catonsville, Maryland and studied Sociology at St. Joseph’s University. Grace became interested in serving post-grad in Latin America after her first immersion experience to Guatemala. Grace is looking forward to growing into deeper solidarity and faith alongside her fellow volunteers and Ecuadorian neighbors.
Dominic Fogarasi is from Middletown, Connecticut and studied Biology and Spanish at Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, Dominic participated in the Fordham Global Outreach program in Nicaragua. Since then, he has been interested in serving in Latin America in an intentional way. Dominic is excited to make Guayaquil his home by building relationships with the neighbors and his community mates.
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Brendan Gernes calls St. Paul, Minnesota home but has spent four years in Omaha at Creighton University where he studied Political Science. Brendan became interested in Rostro de Cristo after hearing from former volunteers about their experience in Guayaquil. After looking more into Rostro, Brendan felt connected to the pillars, especially the emphasis on living simply and being present. Brendan is looking forward to living in solidarity with the community that he will be living and serving next year.
Joe Smith is from West Townsend, Massachusetts and studied Economics and Spanish at St. Anselm’s College. Joe was inspired to apply for post graduate service from his previous experience with service and the staff and peers he has met through Campus Ministry. While in Ecuador, Joe hopes to forge meaningful relationships with the neighbors and his community mates.
Hannah Bowlin hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota and has spent the past four years studying French and Medical Humanities at Boston College. In January, Hannah lead a group of students from BC to Ecuador to spend a week in solidarity with the people in Arbolito. After her time in Arbolito, Hannah was inspired to apply to be a volunteer. As a volunteer, Hannah hopes to live her time in Ecuador deepening her relationship with God, community mates, and the neighbors.
Jimmy Gilman is from Rochester, New York and studied Political Science at Boston College. While at Boston College, Jimmy spent a semester studying in Quito. During his time in Quito, Jimmy experienced the joys and struggles of the Ecuadorian people and feels lucky to have the chance to experience that again with like-minded and passionate people. As a Rostro de Cristo Volunteer Jimmy is looking forward to challenging himself to commit to being vulnerable with every person he meets, living a simple lifestyle, and most of all, forming bonds that will stay with him forever.
Brielle Kelley is from Fort Collins, Colorado and studied Spanish and Psychology at Creighton University. Brielle developed a passion for engaging her faith through service from summer immersion experiences in high school as well as living and performing weekly service with a social justice and spiritually-oriented “Cortina Community” at Creighton. As a volunteer, Brielle is hoping to gain a greater understanding of the power of community, strengthening her relationship with Jesus through meaningful relationships, and leading the retreats!
Jessica Nahmias is from Bowie, Maryland and studied Kinesiology at the University of Maryland at College Park. Jessica is excited to live out the Mission of Rostro de Cristo, especially the emphasis on “being” rather than “doing for.” Looking towards her volunteer year, Jessica is excited to be joining la familia Rostro and encountering the face of Christ in all the people she meets.
Maria Pangori is from Clarkston, Michigan and studied Theology and Communications at John Carroll University. During her time at John Carroll, Maria participated in a retreat with Rostro de Cristo to Monte Sinai and she was inspired by the hospitality and the faith of the neighbors to apply to be a volunteer with Rostro de Cristo. For her volunteer year, Maria is looking forward to building meaningful relationships, walking with others in accompaniment, developing her faith in God, and learning to be truly present with others.
Sarafina San Miguel is from San Angelo, Texas and studied English Communications at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Sarafina participated in a retreat with Rostro de Cristo and it changed her perspective on how she lives her life, her relationships, and what it means to be in community with others. She viewed her time in Ecuador as a call to action and to be a volunteer. Sarafina is excited to grow in relationship with her community mates and to grow in her faith life.
Kellee Kikumoto is from Kaua’i, Hawai’i and studied Psychology at Gonzaga University. Kelle was involved in service during her time at Gonzaga, both in the community and domestically, so when it came time to discern her plans for after graduation, post-graduate service was the perfect fit. Kelle spoke to former volunteers and found herself connecting deeply to the Mission of Rostro. What Kelle is most excited for is creating and fostering intentional relationships with her community mates and the Ecuadorians. Kelle hopes that her volunteer year is full of story sharing, spiritual reflection, and new and challenging experiences.
Jessie Marinucci is from Glenside, Pennsylvania and studied English and Secondary Education at St. Joseph’s University. Jessie was inspired to apply to be a Rostro de Cristo volunteer after her first retreat experience her sophomore year of college to Monte Sinai. She was moved by the authenticity and faith of the Ecuadorians she met. When she returned, she began to think about faith and holy accompaniment through a different lens and was moved by the idea of living alongside and learning from individuals in her community. Jessie’s hope for her volunteer year is to remain as open as possible to newness, challenges, and joy.