Meet the New Volunteers!

(para leer en español, haz clíc aquí)

We are so excited about the THREE new volunteers coming to work with FUNDAHMER this fall!

Christine Wanzeck
Delegations Coordinator

Greetings to all of the Sister Communities, friends and supporters of FUNDAHMER! My name is Christine Wanzeck and I am the new Delegations Coodinator in the Department of Solidarity here at FUNDAHMER. What a JOY it is to be here! I had the pleasure of meeting some of you this past summer while I was supporting Laurel in her work with delegations, but for those of you I have yet to meet, here is a little bit about myself and how I ended up in El Salvador!

I was born in Aurora, Colorado and have lived there the past 13-ish years, but I have done a significant amount of moving. So I have roots in Tennessee, Texas and Missouri as well! I graduated from Saint Louis University this past May with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders for Speech Pathology and minors in both Theology and Spanish. While at SLU I was involved in the Micah Program (a community based in social justice and faith), sang in an A cappella group, cantored student masses at College Church, coordinated the music for Spanish Mass liturgies and participated/led retreats for Campus Ministry. I love languages and all forms of expression, theology/formation, laughter, communities and music. Oh and story-telling! I think that story telling is essential to the sharing of ourselves.

As far as my interest in Latin America, I had my own immersion experience to Mexico as a high school student, but it wasn’t until a year and a half ago when I spent two months living in Nicaragua and studying Latin American theology that I fell in love. I was thrilled with the opportunity to work with FUNDAHMER this past summer and could not be happier to be back this fall. I look forward to coordinating with you all very soon and meeting many of you in person when you visit El Salvador!

Owen Needham
Sustainable Agriculture Volunteer

Hi. My name is Owen, and I am a new volunteer with FUNDAHMER working at the Ecological center in Los Naranjos. I am originally from Chicago and recently graduated from Saint Louis University with a degree in English as well as minors in theology and philosophy. I have been concerned with issues of social justice surrounding Latin America and U.S. foreign policy for a while, awakened in large part by repeated participation in the School of Americas protest and vigil. However it was a two month immersion experience in Nicaragua that kindled the fire in me that has led me to where I am today.
I am exceedingly excited to be here, and I look forward with hope to learning every nitty gritty detail of organic agriculture that I can, to letting unkown realities soak into my skin, and to accompanying people as honestly and fully as I can while they plant seeds and continue in the struggle.

John Leary
International Projects Volunteer

Greetings to the Sister Communities and to the entire FUNDAHMER support community. I am John Leary, retired high school Spanish teacher from Montgomery County, Maryland. After 33 years of teaching I have chosen to work with FUNDAHMER as a volunteer working along side Armando Márquez in the area of grant writing and financial and spiritual support. One of our many goals is to try to grow the base of sister communities to invite more communities to participate.

I have had a long connection to Central America through my work as a teacher leading numerous high school student service delegations to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico. I also serve on the board of directors of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA.  My connection to El Salvador comes from teaching students from El Salvador, participating in three Habitat for Humanity delegations to El Salvador, and serving on the Sister Cities committee of Montgomery County in which we “sister” with Morazán.

I am blessed with a wonderful family, my wife Kris, our two adult children Michael and Anna and our daughter in law Rachel. I will be spending considerable time in El Salvador but returning to my family now and then. I am looking forward to working with all of you and the extraordinary FUNDAHMER staff and the many base communities. In FUNDAHMER I believe that I have found a faith community that resonates with my passion for justice and building God’s Kingdom on earth.


2 thoughts on “Meet the New Volunteers!

  1. Welcome Christine, Owen, and John! I am part of Crescent United Church of Canada in Surrey, B.C and have made four visits to our sister community of Tierra Nueva. Our group at Crescent has recently produced some greeting cards with photographs of El Salvador, especially Tierra Nueva, which we are selling to raise money so we may continue to support the Chicken Project, the Health Fund and the new granary project.

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