Grace Gleason is from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. This past May, she graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Environmental and Sustainability studies.
Why Grace chose RdC: I was drawn to Rostro because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone after graduation. Throughout the interview process, I fell in love with the community of people invested in the program, as well as its emphasis on social justice, solidarity, and relationship building. I’m excited to spend this next year of my life learning, growing, and connecting with the Ecuadorian people and their beautiful culture.
Peter Oliver is from Worcester, MA and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a Spanish and Chemistry degree.
Why Peter chose RdC: I love to dance salsa and bachata and I also have been playing the violin since I was in the third grade. Movement and improvising on my violin are two ways that I like to meditate and perform voiceless prayer. I am excited about the shared faith nights that the volunteers put on together and would try to incorporate these elements. Even though I was a Spanish Major, I never had the opportunity to study abroad because I played football in school. As such, I am doubly excited about the opportunity to be fully immersed into the culture of Ecuador.
My whole life, I pursued goals to "build my resume" and look good externally, finding purpose through success in sports and in the classroom. Although I had success in the eyes of others, it felt empty. When I was first faced with the task of choosing what I wanted to do after college, I realized that the push from family and society was still there, but I finally felt like I had the freedom to choose something different. I applied to Rostro because, for the first time in my life, my intentions will be oriented toward others. And that excites me. There have been multiple synchronicities in my final year at HC that I believe are God pointing me toward Ecuador. Additionally, the values of simplicity, spirituality, service, hospitality, and community align with my own values, particularly simplicity. I think that the simplicity of RdC will allow me not only to help others, but also to give space for God to work in my own life, every day, in each moment that comes.
Alex Pérez is from Los Angeles, CA and received degrees in Public Health, Political Science, and Women’s and Gender Studies from Santa Clara University
Why Alex chose RdC: I found Rostro through my amazing colleague/mentor Darcy Philips who served as a volunteer and program director at Rostro. Through a lot of discernment, I was inspired by the way RdC engages intentionally with the Ecuador community and allows volunteers to grow & learn through love, accompaniment, and solidarity. I am excited to be able to engage outside of my comfort zone and live communally and with simplicity alongside the other volunteers, all while building life-long relationships!
Anna Zenk is from Chicago, Illinois and received a degree in History from The University of Michigan.
Why Anna chose RdC: I chose RdC because I wanted to slow down and spend meaningful time focused on my relationship to others in our global community and grow spiritually alongside those connections.