Year Joined MKLM: 2016
Focus: Students, Students with Disabilities, Rural Communities
Project(s): Tacopaya After School Program and Community Center
In collaboration with the parish of Tacopaya, Bolivia, Annie and another lay missioner are developing an after school support program aimed at the primary school children of this rural community. Tacopaya is situated three hours outside of the city of Cochabamba, and its students have few resources outside of the classroom to help them develop and learn. Many of them go home after the half-day of school to empty homes, as their parents are tending to their livestock and plots of land scattered throughout the mountainside. Utilizing the resources of the parish, including the parish center house, Annie hopes to create a safe space for these students and other community members to rest, find community, and develop their gifts and talents.
Annie spent six months serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She accompanied individuals ranging from 8-year-olds to 48-year-olds as they played sports, danced, practiced cooking and cleaning, and learned basic skills that allowed them to become increasingly independent. The context of these activities was EIFODEC, a school aimed at integrating physical activity, artistic expression, and intellectual stimulation for the furthering of each person’s human rights. Annie also provided remedial support in handwriting and basic math skills, as well as a simple course on computer use. She was grateful for all of the opportunities she had to grow in relationship with her students and her Bolivian colleagues through her time at EIFODEC.
Annie is a 2016 graduate of Loyola University Chicago, with degrees in Business Management and Theology. While studying at Loyola, she immersed herself in the Ignatian tradition, working in Mission and Identity, participating in many Ministry-sponsored retreats and events, and engaging in conversation and friendship with people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Chicago. She has visited El Salvador three times to build relationships with and learn from her Salvadoran sisters and brothers. After graduation she worked for FutureChurch, a church renewal organization headquartered in her hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. In her spare time, she enjoys writing letters, singing, solving puzzles, and exploring Cochabamba with her dog, Choca.