Grace Carlson, Co-Director
As a Casa de la Solidaridad alumna, and with degrees in
Anthropology and Theology from Fordham University in New York, Grace taught for
three years at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, California. She also
graduated with her Master of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Education with a
focus in Catholic Education at Santa Clara University. Grace facilitates
the praxis experience for students and communities, coordinates courses at the
Ateneo, programs events for students and enjoys teaching the Praxis
Seminar. She finds her work accompanying students and communities, as well
as being a part of the lively Barangka neighborhood, most engaging.
Heidi is originally from Southern California. As an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, she studied for a semester at Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador. Following graduation, Heidi served for two years in Tacna, Peru with Jesuit Volunteers International. Heidi received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Religious Studies from SCU and her MA in Pastoral Ministry and MSW from Boston College. In 2010 Heidi began working with the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University to develop Casa Bayanihan in the Philippines. Heidi currently lives and works in Manila as co-director of Casa Bayanihan.
Mark Ravizza, S.J.
Director of Mission and Ministry
An associate professor of philosophy at Santa Clara University,
Mark serves as Director of Mission and Ministry at Casa Bayanihan. He has taught or
worked in El Salvador, the Philippines, Mexico, and Canada. He also is the
author of several books and is a senior fellow of the Bannan Institute for
Jesuit Education and Christian Values at Santa Clara University. Mark has
degrees in philosophy and engineering from Stanford and a Ph.D. in philosophy
Conor Smith & Jillian Baker,
Community Coordinators, Conor and Jillian live with the students and accompany
them through their immersion experience. They support the students in community
living and spiritual growth and development, which includes planning community
activities and outings, facilitating spaces for personal reflection and
providing general support for the Casa students as they navigate a new culture
Conor graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy. Jillian is also a
graduate of Boston College from the class of 2013, where she graduated
with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Biology.
They both studied
at Casa Bayanihan during the Spring of 2012, and they feel privileged
blessed to return to a country that they learned so much from, and hope
to continue to grow alongside the students they will be accompanying
Jane Gomez, Edz
Lamusao, & Fe Orinoco, Casa Bayanihan Cooking Staff
Jane Gomez is 31 years old and has a beautiful baby girl named Rhian
Jhana. She has been working as a cook with Casa Bayanihan since it started.
Jane feels that Casa Bayanihan is like a family for her. She especially enjoys
her time with the studets, when they greet her with a hug or give her a smile.
Jane loves to work with the others members of the Casa Bayanihan staff and
appreciates the feeling part of a team that supports and accompanies one
Edilyn “Edz” Lamusao is from the province of Cagayan in the northern region of the
island of Luzon. She is 32 years old and has a baby boy named Derk. She as been
a cook for Casa Bayanihan since it started. She is thankful for the many new
experiences she has had with Casa Bayanihan. Edz feels like she has been able
to explore her talents and be creative in her work. Edz has especially
appreciates her friendships with the students and the opportunity to share her
culture with them, while at the same time learn from theirs. Edz “loves the
Marifi “Fe” Orinoco is 42 years old and comes from the province of Albay in
southern region of the island of Luzon, home of the Mayan Volcano. Fe works
with Casa Bayanihan both as a cook and a praxis site coordinator. Casa
Bayanihan’s team is one of the things that inspires he to work with the Casa.
She expresses that being part of the team is like having a family that cares
for her all of the time. She gives the best of herself when it comes to
cooking, serving the community and welcoming the students and taking care of
them. She is “100% dedicated to Casa Bayanihan!”
Edwin Calimag works part time as a member of the maintenance
crew of Casa Bayanihan. He also drives when needed and takes care of Casa
Bayanihan houses. He enjoys his work because the staff treats him like a family
member when they eat together, attend each other's birthdays and go on outings.
He finds the team truly caring and is appreciative of the time and effort
everyone puts forth for the students' stay in the Philippines.
Arnold Varquez, Driver
Arnold Varquez is a staff member who also drives for Casa
Bayanihan. He loves to go fishing with the students in the Calatagan community
and loves Casa Bayanihan because the team is very nice!