I have been passionate about nonprofit work ever since I was a teenager volunteering in Greenpeace’s mailroom in the 1980s. Every volunteer experience I’ve had imparted lessons that have stayed with me forever.
On my first trip to Nicaragua in 2002, I spent three months volunteering with Grupo Fenix. This trip sparked my passion for nonprofit work in Latin America. On one of my projects with Grupo Fenix I traveled to Las Pintadas to install a photovoltaic solar system for the village health clinic. I wrote about the experience for Home Power magazine in their October-November, 2003 issue. See my article here, or find the full issue here.
In 2006 I returned to Nicaragua with a grant from my graduate school. While I spent three months studying Nicaraguan health and nutrition, I also volunteered with a few local nonprofits including Grupo Fenix and a small nonprofit (now defunct) out of Leon with whom I traveled to the remote town of Padre Ramos. In Padre Ramos I helped train the staff of a restaurant so that they were ready for their foreign tourists. I wrote about my experience in Padre Ramos in my book.
In 2008 I traveled with to Ometepe, Nicaragua with Natural Doctors International (I also volunteered with them in 2010 and 2012) and wrote a short article for the La Clinica newsletter about the experience. Some of my terminology is a little outmoded now, but it’s an interesting window into my development as a health activist.
Download full La Clinica article here
In the U.S. I’ve been volunteering for decades: during election years for the Democratic Party and, more recently, with HeadCount in voter registration drives.