Teresa Glass

COUNTRY: Bolivia
CITY: Saavedra, North of Santa Cruz and Riberalta, Beni
FOCUS: Health and Pastoral


Teresa was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received degrees in Occupational Therapy and Spanish from St. Catherine University in St. Paul. She received a Masters Degree in 2007, in Holistic Health Studies. Before joining Maryknoll, she worked in a hospital as an OT in burns, trauma and pediatrics, served a summer in the Dominican Republic with Creighton University’s Institute for Latin American Concern, and as a Mercy Corps Volunteer for two years on the Navajo reservation, at a special education school. Since returning to Minnesota, She has performed several jobs including burn rehabilitation/home heath/pediatric OT, community organizer and medical interpreter.


For the first two years, Teresa served on a health team that worked in rural communities and served migrant sugar cane cutter and cotton picker camps. During the last five years, She organized a community-based rehabilitation program for children with disabilities and their families. She dedicated her time entirely to children with disabilities and their families to develop a community-based rehabilitation program as well as community based special education services.

The goals were constantly evolving. There had previously been no services for students with disabilities, so we organized, held parent training, support groups, consciousness raising community activities, trained local individuals to work with disabilities, created special education services funded by Bolivian government, obtained government funding to build a training/gathering space, developed relationships with non-profits and Bolivian specialists (neurologist, etc).

When she left Riberalta, she had documented 354 children with disabilities that formed a part of the Asociación Riberalteña de Padres con Hijos Discapacitados (Riberaltan Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities). There were also several hundred other children with disabilities in rural areas and neighboring towns that benefited from Bolivian specialist visits, radio programs, etc.


Teresa currently works for St. Paul Public Schools as an occupational therapist. She has guided several trips to Bolivia with Friends Across Borders. She has participated in many medical missions to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Malawi, with Physicians for Peace, doing burn rehabilitation training.

Teresa Glass wrote Una Experiencia de Rehabilitación Basada en la Comunidad at the urging of a Bolivian friend and pediatrician and hopes the publication, written in Spanish with accompanying black and white photographs taken by the author, will serve as a reference and a means to provide tools and skills useful for the creation of community-based rehabilitation programs in regions where healthcare and resources are scarce. Please see the press release about the book. Click here to listen Teresa’s explanation of the book.

If you wish to buy the book please go to: Una Experiencia de Rehabilitacion.

On February 17, 2017 Cretin Derham Hall High School published an article in their Traditions Newsletter, Winter issue 2016-2017, about Teresa: Click on the article to read: Empowering the Community to Serve Its Own