The Rostro de Cristo Ecuador Fellowship Program is an initiative for aspiring faith and social justice leaders to develop skills in intercultural service program development. Fellows will support Rostro de Cristo in identifying new opportunities to live our mission with a focus on practicing mutual solidarity with our Ecuadorian neighbors and discerning a more sustainable future for Rostro’s programs in Ecuador. Fellows will work with RdC staff to strengthen and update our programs in Ecuador, assess realities on the ground considering the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on our partner communities the last two years, and help to identify and cultivate key partnerships within the neighborhood and surrounding areas of Monte Sinaí.
RdC Fellows 2022-2023
Erin has been involved with Rostro de Cristo since she was a volunteer from 2004-2005 in the Arbolito community. Since her experience as a volunteer, which proved to be an experience that shaped the trajectory of her life, she has constantly sought opportunities to work with the Hispanic community, particularly in the areas of education, ministry, and sports. Erin completed her Master’s degree in Hispanic Studies at the University of Washington and also a Master’s in Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has accompanied a study abroad group to Oaxaca, Mexico with the University of Washington and accompanied students on immersion experiences in the Dominican Republic through the Jesuit high school in Seattle, Washington, where she taught and coached for 4 years. Erin also spent time volunteering with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Lima, Peru for 3.5 years, worked as a high school social worker in Colorado, and she also worked for three years at Centro San Juan Diego, a ministry for the Hispanic community through the Archdiocese of Denver. Most recently, she spent six months at the Casa del Migrante in Tecún Umán, Guatemala, on the border with Chiapas, México, receiving migrants both on the journey and those that had been deported. Erin hopes that her experiences accompanying students abroad, managing programs in an administrative capacity, ministering directly to immigrants in the United States and migrants on the journey, and working as a teacher and social worker will allow her to support RdC’s mission. Assessing the current and future needs of the community, reflecting, praying, determining an appropriate response, and actively carrying it out to re-establish a presence in Ecuador gets her very excited. She is very much looking forward to re-engaging with the community, supporting the development of new partnerships, and seeking ways to more directly involve the Ecuadorian community in Rostro’s mission, receiving their input and seeking their leadership. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, playing sports (especially soccer), and has recently found a new passion in self-defense (Krav Maga). Erin is looking forward to the delicious food but more importantly she loves to be with people and is looking forward to that. She hopes her heart will once again become transformed and will be open to what God desires for her life.
Mattie has been a part of La Familia Rostro since she served as a volunteer in Monte Sinai from 2018-2019. After her year in Ecuador, she has been working in the Global Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis, doing a mix of event and administrative coordinating for undergrads in the major, as well as leading an experiential learning workshop on global citizenship for first-year students. Upon returning from her time in Ecuador she was really excited to bring back the stories of the neighbors in Monte Sinaí and the lessons that they taught her about community and solidarity. In the three years that she has been back in St. Louis, she has attempted to embody that same community and solidarity here, as well as seek out opportunities and people who could help continue to deepen her commitment to social justice. Mattie and her students have contemplated what it means to be a 'global citizen' and explored ways to ethically engage in intercultural exchanges. Through local volunteer work with health clinics, migrant advocacy organizations, and mutual aid groups, she has absorbed the wisdom they have to offer with respect to community organizing and empowerment. Mattie hopes to strengthen relationships with our Ecuadorian neighbors and foster spaces with them in which they feel encouraged to share their hopes and desires for Rostro as a foreign organization in their community. She hopes to center their voices and invite them into this collaborative shaping of the relationships and intercambios between themselves and our U.S. Rostro familia. She wants to take the topics and theories of global exchanges and development, which she has spent years studying and now teaching, and explore them in a non-academic setting alongside a community and organization that she is familiar with. In her free time Mattie enjoys many different hobbies, some say she is infamous for having too many hobbies. Her favorites include running, ice cream (yes, that’s a hobby!), salsa and bachata dancing, yoga, and cooking. With her new perspectives on intercultural work and community-based development, Mattie is thrilled to be able to return to Monte Sinaí with Rostro and discover ways to improve our programs alongside the neighbors and the Rostro Familia.
Hannah is new to Rostro but has worked with a number of organizations with missions similar to ours, and is excited to join the Rostro familia. Hannah is from Colorado and has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Dayton. For the past three years, she has been teaching and mentoring students. In her last semester of university, she volunteered at la Fundación Jefferson Pérez in Cuenca, Ecuador where she taught English to primary school students. She then went on to serve as a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where she taught various grade levels at the Akoyikoyi School in Chuuk, Micronesia. Upon an abrupt return to the US due to the pandemic, she continued to teach the Akoyikoyi 8th graders virtually while also teaching reading, mentoring Latinx youth, and tutoring students in English, math, and GED studies. Hannah enjoys completing jig-saw puzzles, reading, and being outdoors. Her "waku waku" (i.e. Japanese for “what makes her feel most alive”) is composed of God's presence, teaching (and being taught), and communicating in other languages. She believes that her openness to the unknown, previous experiences with other cultures, and engagement with a variety of people will aid the mission of Rostro and its presence in the Guayaquil community. Hannah's most fervent desires are to walk in step with others and to continue to do God's will in every moment of her life.
Follow Hannah's journey by reading her blog!