Jazzmin Boyd served in the Arbolito community in Duran from 2012-2013. She worked as an English teacher at Centro Solidario Santiago Apóstol in Guayaquil and helped organize the afterschool program “Manos Abiertas” in the neighborhood of Veintiocho de Agosto, Duran. Jazzmin is currently residing in Philadelphia, PA where she works for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health providing HIV prevention education and care for low-income communities through the city health centers. Some of Jazzmin’s fondest memories of Ecuador included swapping recipes and cooking with neighbors, participating in soccer matches with women in the neighborhood, and going on paseos with the kids from Manos Abiertas.
Eileen Connor Bernau was an original member of the AJS cast and spent a little more than a year in Duran from 1994 until December 1995. She was privileged to work with neighborhood and RdC colleagues at the Guardería Maria Celeste, Fundacíon Nuevo Mundo teaching English to students in the primary school, and passing as much time as she could with friends at Fundacíon Padre Damian. Her fondest memories involve singing niños to sleep in the Guarderia and cutting rug at the fiestazos at Damian House. She now resides in MA with her husband Eddie and their 3 kids. Ya mismo she is starting a new job as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner working in a heavily Latin American neighborhood.
Nancy Dager (Pahl) served in the San Antonio de Sucre community from 1999-2000. She worked at Nuevo Mundo teaching English, Padre Damien working with the patients and in the office, Dr. Emiliano Galarza going on to remote areas to help with eye testing and surgeries and in the local community with the neighbors. Nancy currently lives in Savage, MN working as a social worker and raising her 3 children with her husband. Some of her favorite memories from Ecuador include hanging out with the neighbors, leading retreat groups and drinking a nice cold Pilsener while listening to music with her housemates.
Brendan Fitzpatrick served in the Antonio Jose de Sucre community from 2001-2002. He worked at Fundacion Nuevo Mundo as a middle and high school English teacher and girls basketball coach. He taught physical education at a local elementary school, worked in the Arbolito guardaria, and co-created/managed an after school program in the Arbolito community, which evolved into the Semillas de Mostaza program. He is currently a member of the RdC Board of Directors and Alumni Council. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Alexis and is expecting a new baby member of the RdC family in May 2017. He works as an economist for public health projects for Keybridge LLC. His favorite memories from Ecuador include being forced to learn how to dance and playing keep away with his 6’3″ community mate and 70 6-8 year-old Phys-Ed students who didn’t stand a chance.
Meredith MacKenzie (aka Meche), Chair, served in Arbolito from 2006 – 2006. She worked at a dispensario Nuevo Mundo sponsored in the neighborhood at the time and taught English to elementary age students at the Fundación in the afternoon. Meredith currently lives in Liberia in West Africa where she works for USAID’s office of Democracy, Rights and Government. She loves speaking Spanish with a costeña accent and cooking with cilantro and cumin. She still thinks living in intentional community was simultaneously the best and hardest thing she’s ever done.
Katie Madson served in the Monte Sinai community from 2011-2012. She worked at Hogar de Cristo with the community organizing team, and spent time at the parish teaching catechism and accompanying the youth group. She also worked in the RdC Boston office for two years as the Assistant Director. Katie currently lives in Seattle, WA working with an international NGO in the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene sector. Some of her favorite memories from Ecuador include lazy Sundays swinging in the hammock at neighbors’ homes, or causing ruckus at the youth group’s band practice.
Tegan Nelson, RdC Staff, served in the Arbolito community from 2014-2015 where she worked at Nuevo Mundo teaching English to 8th and 9th graders. After serving in Ecuador, Tegan worked as the Fellow in the RdC Boston office and has stayed on for a second year. On the Alumni Council, Tegan is there to represent the office and to support the initiatives and programs from the Council. Some of her favorite memories from Ecuador include spending as much time possible with her six community mates and learning to cook (and eat) Ecua-food with neighbors.
Jill Rauh served with Rostro in 2002-03. She was the first volunteer in 28 de Agosto and also helped out in Arbolito and at Nuevo Mundo. Since then, Jill focused her graduate studies and work on Catholic social teaching. She currently lives and works in the DC area with her husband, Ajmel and son, Jamal.
Eric Vicens served in the Arbolito community from 2014-2015. He worked at the Centro de Nutrición in Una Sola Fuerza, a new work site and community for Rostro that year. In partnership with the local sisters, he assisted in running the center and conducting community outreach. He also worked at Manos Abiertas in 28 de Augosto where he assisted in the relocation of the program site, assessment of the program, family involvement revitalization, and restructuring of the program. Eric is now a social worker for the Department of Veterans Affairs where he works with Homeless Veterans in achieving housing, financial, and clinical stability. Some of his stress reliefs included dancing bachata, drinking more batidos than he should have, cooking with neighbors, and sweating profusely while napping/reading in a hammock.