This was indeed a defining moment for me. A moment when I first began to realize my calling: to work towards a world that is more fair and just for more people and to become a part of the struggle for equality, dignity and human liberation that has existed since the dawn of civilization.
After earning a Bachelors degree (BA) in psychology, I worked in therapeutic foster care for a few years and then moved to Colorado to earn a dual Masters in Social Work (MSW) and International Studies (MA). I worked as a community organizer in Denver for several years, mainly focusing on social justice and human rights issues with a deep emphasis on immigrant rights. Then in 2010 I was brought to Washington D.C. to lead the grassroots immigration campaign for two national federations. This work was incredible and it was so exciting to earn a good income and work towards a meaningful cause, but so much of my income was actually going towards taxes (corporate subsidies, war and the prison industry) and exorbitant food, housing and car expenses – all of which represented everything I no longer wanted to be supporting, much less actually funding!
Therefore, after a year and half of politics in D.C., I decided that it was time to move abroad to live the simple life. I sold my car and let go of most of my material belongings with the goal of pursuing a career in International Development and improving upon my Spanish. I first went to Nicaragua to travel, volunteer and complete my yoga teacher training certification and then moved to Peru to accept a position managing a volunteer led NGO called Otra Cosa Network (OCN). Then in February of 2015, I decided to pass the torch onto my assistant manager (to become Manager of OCN) so that I could pursue my lifelong dream of moving to Brazil to finally learn Portuguese, connect with my Brazilian roots and start a new NGO someplace where the disparity and the need is quite profound.