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2019-2020 Volunteers

Community: Monte Sinai
Site Placement: Casa de Acogida, Hogar de Cristo

Victoria Turner

Victoria is from Yardley, PA and recently graduated from Catholic University of America with a B.A. in Social Work and minor in Spanish.
Why Victoria chose RdC: I had the opportunity to participate in Rostro de Cristo in Ecuador as a retreatant. I had transformative experiences and witnessed the relationships the volunteers had built with neighbors in the communities. I hope to continue deepening my relationship with God and find the beauty of Christ that exists through our neighbors in Ecuador’s joy, suffering, and pain. I hope to gain a better understanding of the Latin American history and culture and to gain new perspective on what it means to live simply. Lastly, I hope to guide the retreat groups that will visit to have transformative and eye-opening experiences as I did. Follow Victoria’s journey by reading her blog!

Community: Monte Sinai
Site Placement: Refuerzo Escolar de Proyecto Salesiano

Owen Wolf

Owen calls Altoona, PA home and received his B.A. in Business Management (specializing in entrepreneurship) from John Carroll University. Why Owen chose RdC: Many of my peers at John Carroll who have spoken so highly of Rostro’s program have influenced me. I was searching for a grassroots program where I could go to learn more about the things that really matter in life such as faith and relationships while practicing the presence of being from those on the margins. I hope to have my worldview completely changed. I want to learn from the people of Ecuador in every facet that I possibly can. I look forward to being present to the people of Ecuador and in my community. I hope that this year forever impacts my life and helps to influence what I do in my future and why I do the things I will.

Community: Arboltio
Site Placement: Manos Abiertas afterschool program

Sophie Tallarida

Sophie is from Mansfield, MA and graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a B.A. in Communications & Art.
Why Sophie chose RdC: Service has been a big part of my college career and something that I am passionate about. I have been inspired by those that have served with Rostro in the past and they have made me want to immerse myself in a yearlong service experience. I hope to fully immerse myself into the Ecuadorian culture, challenge myself to have new experiences, as well as form connections with those I will be serving with.

Community: Monte Sinai
Site Placement: San Felipe de Neri school

Daniel O’Connor

Dan is from Clifton Park, NY and graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.A. in history.
Why Dan chose RdC: The many communities I have been a part of in my life that have pushed me to help others and to learn from them at the same time. During my year in Ecuador, I hope to make lifetime friends both with my fellow volunteers and with our neighbors.

Community: Monte Sinai
Site Placement: Escuela San Felipe de Neri & Refuerzo Escolar del Proyecto Salisiano

Isabel Ibarra

Isabel is from San Jose, CA and received B.A. degrees in Math and Spanish (with minors in Urban Education, Computer Science, and Latin Americans Studies) from Santa Clara University.
Why Isabel chose RdC: I have been inspired by participating in and leading immersion experiences to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and East Los Angeles, where I have gotten small glimpses of what it is like to learn about communities by talking to its members and forming relationships with them. I hope to challenge myself and grow as an individual, as well as form meaningful relationships with the community and my fellow volunteers. I hope to learn more about myself as well as the Ecuadorian community surrounding me and their unique struggles, challenges, and triumphs. Follow Isabel’s journey by reading her blog!

Community: Arbolito
Site Placement: Manos Abiertas afterschool program

Madeline Cahue

Maddie is from Summit, IL and graduated from Loyola University Chicago where she received a B.A. in Global & International Studies and minored in French and Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies.
Why Maddie chose RdC: I’m friends with a former volunteer and her sharing of her experience drew me in. After researching on my own, I found that the pillars of the program align with my personal values which made it a really wonderful fit. I hope to grow as a person of faith through my encounters with community members and neighbors. I hope to learn and move to answer the ways my faith asks me to live justly.
Follow Maddie’s journey by reading her blog!

Community: Arboltio
Site Placement: Damien House health clinic

Ashley Richard

Ashley is from Haverhill, MA and graduated from Catholic University of America with degrees in Biology (B.S.) and Spanish (B.A.).
Why Ashley chose RdC: I was inspired to become a Rostro volunteer after my immersion trip with a group from CUA – the encounters and the community with the neighbors, the Rostro volunteers, and the time we shared as a group inspired me to apply! Also, studying abroad and doing previous mission work, and encountering people from all throughout Latin America has impacted me. Finally, the Latin American Saints, like St. Oscar Romero and Bl. Stanley Rother; their work has inspired me to pursue faith-based service, too! One of my hopes for the year is growing in Christ-centered relationships with the communities we serve and with my fellow volunteers. I hope to learn a lot from others, to grow closer to Christ, share my faith and passions, and to just be fully present in every encounter and learn how to love like Christ loves us.

Community: Monte Sinai
Site Placement: Casa de Acogida, Hogar de Cristo

Margaret Sheehan

Maggie hails from Cincinnati, OH and received her B.A. in Psychology from University of Dayton. She is also a former Glenmary volunteer.
Why Maggie chose RdC: I was inspired to be a Rostro de Cristo volunteer by the faith and love shown by the immigrant farm-worker families I’ve encountered in Tennessee. I hope to reignite my faith while building intentional relationships with our Ecuadorian neighbors.

Community: Arbolito
Site Placement: Semillitas afterschool program in Una Sola Fuerza

Stephanie Sickinger

Stephanie hails from Simsbury, CT and graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish and minor in Psychology.
Why Stephanie chose RdC: I have always been passionate about serving with and for others, and my time at Saint Joe’s has only amplified this passion and inspired me to do more. Rostro de Cristo offers in so many capacities a way to learn and grow and I am so excited to be a part of the communities in Ecuador. I am so excited about the opportunity to grow and connect with the different communities I will be a part of– the Rostro community, the neighborhood community, and the site community. I hope to truly grow in my spirituality and discovery the beauties of Guayaquil. I am especially excited to learn more about the Ecuadorian culture and be immersed in such a new environment.
Follow Steph’s journey by reading her blog!

Community: Arboltio
Site Placement: Damien House

Christopher Cote

Chris is from Mapleville, RI and received a B.S. in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology from Assumption College.
Why Chris chose RdC: I spent a week down at the Monte Sinai site during my time as an undergrad and it opened my eyes to what it means to be in service with others. The hospitality that I experienced to the stories I heard inspired me to bring back to my life at college. Now I want to give back the community that gave me so much. I hope to learn from stories of the locals and be able to live in solidarity with them. To have an impact, even if small, on the community I hope to become a part of next year.

Community: Monte Sinai
Site Placement: Oficina de Mision, Hogar de Cristo

Julia Murphy

Julia calls Cleveland, OH home and studied at St. Louis University where she graduated with B.A. degrees in English and Spanish (minoring in Urban Poverty & Latin American Studies).
Why Julia chose RdC: I was inspired to be a Rostro de Cristo volunteer after falling in love with the practice of accompaniment during my semester abroad in Córdoba, Argentina with Casa de la Mateada. This year, I hope to grow in community and faith with the other volunteers and with our Ecuadorian neighbors.
Follow Julia’s journey by reading her blog!