Year Joined MKLM: 2014
Country: El Salvador
City: San Salvador
Focus: Culture Studies and Ministry Discernment
Juan Gomez migrated to the U.S. when he was 15 years old with his family from Colombia. He graduated in 2011 from New Jersey Institute of Technology with a BS in Industrial Engineering. He worked as a manufacturing engineer for the following 3 years and as a car mechanic during high school and college. While going to college and after graduating he did summer mission trips in the Dominican Republic. In 2014 as a transition period before committing to mission, Juan spent 8 months on a pilgrimage of the Americas on a motorcycle.
Juan currently lives and works in the rural area of San Cristobal. Where the community makes its living on survival farming. His ministry work is primarily with the youth and children. His main focus is to provide them with a safe space where they can each develop individually and as a part of a community looking always for the common good. This effort is based on Popular Dialogue and Integral Pedagogies and through the use of recreational activities and games. He makes it a top priority in his ministry to develop the ability of critical thinking in each person he works with, based on the belief that it is the main and most important step if sustainable change is to be achieved.
Juan has this to say, “For me, being a Maryknoll Lay missioner is to have my heart open, to be transformed by the community I live and work with, which continuously transform me into a more compassionate person. By doing this the people around me and those I have the privilege to work with are inspired to search and follow their own personal journey.”