YEAR JOINED MKLM: 1995
COUNTRY: Brazil and United States
FOCUS: Education, Civil & Human Rights
Dave says “I grew up as an “army brat,” moving to different states and countries every couple years.” He studied Economics and Political Science at Washington State University, specializing in international development. Dave is also and excellent musician. Dave joined Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 1995 from Seattle, Washington. In Seattle he worked with the homeless and mentally ill. Dave married Luciana Andrade, a leader in the community for civil rights, and they came to the U.S. in 2005.
Dave’s first experience with MKLM was in Brazil, where he lived until 2005. Dave’s initial ministry in João Pessoa, Brazil, was with street children. Subsequently he worked with the community that was living and working in the city dump. People of all ages are involved in separating and selling “recyclable” garbage. Working conditions were horrendous and compensation minimal. Dave worked with others to form a worker run association that was able to ensure safer working conditions and higher prices. Dave was invited to seven other cities in Brazil to help residents working in their dumps create similar associations.
Dave also worked with the Jubilee Brazil campaign that did extensive education throughout the country on how issues of debt and trade affect Brazilians. The campaign organized two plebiscites: one in 2000 on debt and the other in 2002 on trade. After holding hundreds of meetings and workshops, people would set out ballot boxes in schools, bus stops, churches, and other public places. Over 16,000,000 people voted in the two plebiscites to suspend debt payments and withdraw from the Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations.
From June 2005 Dave worked at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns a collaborative project of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Washington, DC. Dave’s role in the office was as Associate for Latin American and Economic Justice. He was responsible for maintaining communication with Maryknoll missioners throughout Latin America. Dave “translated” the information and experiences into various formats to help inform the broader U.S. public as well as affect Congressional leaders. Dave’s extensive experience in Brazil, combined with his talents and passion for social justice, make him an invaluable part of the Office for Global Concerns team.
Dave and Luciana’s beautiful son Nathan was born in January of 2012. Dave left MKLM in August of 2012 and returned with Luciana to Joao Pessoa, Brazil, where they live and work. He continues serving the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. Dave follows issues related to economic justice, particularly around commodity speculation, trade, Latin America and ecological economics.