Edy Morales Alvarez
Director of Coffee
Edy is originally from San Lucas and grew up in Colonia Spencer. He is currently the Director of the Coffee Program. Edy became familiar with the Mission and the Coffee Program because his father had directed the program before him.
He started working with the Coffee Program as an accountant. He was appointed Director in 2015 and remains very passionate about coffee and the program’s ability to buy coffee from small local growers at a just price.
Leonel is originally from San Lucas Tolimán and is the Executive Director of the San Lucas Mission. His brother, Dr. Rafael Tun, is the Healthcare Director, and his sister-in-law, Emi Tun, is the Charity Director. Leonel has an Industrial Bachelor’s degree and is a certified construction design expert. In 1994, Leonel worked for the Mission potable drinking water program. He later worked for another potable drinking water company in Guatemala City. He returned to the San Lucas Mission in 1996 to teach Visual Arts, which he did for 18 years.
Starting in 2015, Leonel worked in the Mission’s administrative offices while studying at the State University as a Mathematics and Physics teacher. He is also currently training as a business administrator. Leonel is dedicated to the San Lucas Mission and its purpose.
Director of Charity with Dignity
As a child, Myvi attended the Mission School. In 2018, she earned a technical degree as an accountant. She worked briefly as a bank teller performing various monetary duties. On July 16, 2019, Myvi started working as the Assistant Director at the Charity with Dignity Program at the San Lucas Mission.
Myvi says that working in the Charity Program completely transformed her life. She is proud of the person she is, her achievements, and her love for humanity. But above all, she is grateful to belong to a program where she can serve her community.
Myvi has been working for 3 years in the Charity Program. She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Social Work. Myvi also participates in groups that defend the rights of youth and work towards non-violence against women.
Dr. Rafael Tun
Director of Healthcare
Dr. Tun is the Director of the Healthcare Program. He attended medical school in Guatemala City. He graduated as a doctor and surgeon from University of San Carlos de Guatemala, where he conducted studies in epidemiology and ultrasonography.
Dr. Tun has been working with the San Lucas Mission since 1998 and ensures that he and his staff provide the best medical care possible at an affordable rate for the people of San Lucas.
Director of Women’s Center
Guicha is the Director of the Women’s Center. Before working at the San Lucas Mission, Guicha belonged to an organization called “Ijac’tz” where she worked with a women’s group for 15 years. There she attended trainings and workshops regarding cooking and tourism. She also ran a small food store to generate extra income for her family.
Guicha prioritizes promoting the value and rights of women, and the accessibility to training and workshops for women in the local and rural areas of San Lucas Tolimán.
Director of Education
Patricia has worked at the Mission School for eighteen years. She began teaching 4th grade and continued for nine years and then taught 1st grade for five years.
Patricia is now the Director of the Education Program for the Mission School (Colegio Monseñor Gregorio Schaffer). She ensures the Montessori teaching methods are used to the benefit of every student.
Julio César Morales
Director of Construction
Julio César is an architect, originally from San Lucas. He is the Director of the Construction Program. Julio César previously worked for several planning and construction companies in Guatemala City, Retalhuleu, and Sololá.
Julio César witnessed his father’s work with the Mission, specifically with the parish buildings, as a child. He enjoys directing the Construction team and providing much needed housing to the people of San Lucas.
Carlos Hernández Tamup
Director of the Visitors Program
Born in Santa Cruz De Quiché on January 9, 1973, Carlos arrived in San Lucas Tolimán in 1982. In 1999, he was hired in building maintenance for the nonprofit Acción Cristiana as part of the municipality of San Lucas Tolimán, where he worked until October of 2014. Then, in December of 2014, he joined the San Lucas Mission in the role of Director of the Visitors Program, and he continues to carry out his duties with great responsibility and dedication.
Visitor Program Coordinator
Sophia’s first trip to San Lucas Toliman was in April of 2019 with a group from her community. Sophia says that the pure kindness that comes from every person in San Lucas is something that would make everyone fall in love with the town. Her second visit back was in January of 2023 and that was when she quickly decided to make a longer trip back.
Sophia grew up in a very small town in central New York with her parents and two siblings. After graduating high school in 2022 she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. Sophia started going to a small community college while living at home. After her first semester she was not very fulfilled with what she had been doing in school so after visiting the Mission in January it was a quick and easy decision to come back.
Since April Sophia has been living in San Lucas and she absolutely loves it. She loves hiking the beautiful mountains, swimming in the lake, going to construction sites, and making friends with new coworkers.
Kadence Bran de León
Visitor Program Coordinator
Kadence’s connection to the Mission started even before she was born. Her father is from San Lucas Toliman, and her mom is from Minnesota, but was a volunteer with the Mission in 1998. Her parents met and fell in love in San Lucas, and now more than 20 years later, Kadence has traveled to Guatemala as well.
Kadence grew up in a small town in Minnesota and graduated high school with her Associates Degree. After high school, she knew she wanted to travel, but realized very quickly that you need money to do so. She worked for two years as a team lead at a Target, managing a team of 70 people. She felt unfulfilled in that role and was venting to her family about it one day when her mom asked, “Why don’t you go to Guatemala?” Shortly after that question, she bought the ticket.
Since August of 2022 she has been living with her dad’s side of the family in San Lucas Toliman. She loves to go fishing and walking around town with her aunt, uncle, grandparents, and cousins, doing construction, hiking, writing, and spending time with the other volunteers or workers of the Mission. She loves being outside in general, but being there with the people she enjoys is even better!
Director of Finance & Administration
Alli’s introduction to FOSL was in 2018 when she went on a spring break mission trip with the Catholic Mavs of MNSU-Mankato. She fell in love with the people, the Mission, and the genuine joy she felt working alongside the Guatemalans. She became a Long-Term Volunteer in 2019, which further deepened her love for the people of San Lucas. Alli brings a background of banking, accounting, and investment experience to the team. In her free time, she likes finding new walking paths with her husband and pup, reading, and traveling to new places.
Britt is an experienced leader with over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, including program development and oversight, fundraising, innovation and strategic planning. Britt began her career working on the US/Mexico border advancing affordable housing and financial education in El Paso, Texas. She has spent the last 9 years in leadership roles at Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), including most recently as Vice President of Development, Impact and Innovation. In this role Britt led efforts to advance organizational growth and innovation including supporting development of new initiatives, fundraising, integration and alignment of programming, and organizational infrastructure for strategic advancement. Brittany holds a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies and Spanish from Hamline University and a Master’s in Social Work with a Community Practice concentration from the University of Minnesota. Britt spends most of her free time with her husband, Ricardo, and two children, Nico Azul (1yr) and Luca (7 yrs). She loves to travel, read, garden, and spend time enjoying nature!
Director of Communications
Julie brings experience in education, communications, and non-profit management to Friends of San Lucas. Shortly after graduating from college, Julie founded a non-profit called City Stay to facilitate opportunities for Minnesota high school students of all backgrounds to live with new Minnesota families in the Somali, Hmong, and Latino communities. City Stay’s work to break down barriers and increase equity in Minnesota gained international recognition by the BBC, Huffington Post, NPR, and other media outlets, and earned the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Anti-Racism Initiative Award.
Julie also worked as a kindergarten teacher at a Spanish-English dual language school for several years. Julie holds a Master of Education from Hamline University.
Julie joined Friends of San Lucas in 2019. She continues to be inspired by the San Lucas Mission’s talented in-country leadership and their multi-faceted approach to social justice.
Director of Visitor Program & Special Events
Ellen was born and raised in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and grew up hearing about the San Lucas Mission from family, church and community members. She made her first visit to San Lucas in 2010 and was inspired by the beauty of the country and its people. Ellen attended the University of St. Thomas and developed a passion for social justice through her social work and Catholic Studies degrees. Since then, she has spent her career in community-focused organizations, including as a Community Relations intern for the Minnesota Twins, Event Planning Manager at Feed My Starving Children and Program Coordinator for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. In each role, she gained experience in group coordination, creative problem-solving and community engagement. Ellen joined the FOSL team in 2022 and as the Director of the Visitor Program and Special Events, Ellen loves interacting with the many supporters of FOSL and serving as a resource to the 1,000+ individuals who visit the Mission each year. Ellen lives in New York City and loves every adventure and experience the city has to offer. She spends much of her free time exploring Central Park, trying out new restaurants or checking out new Broadway shows.
Eisa Patino learned about the San Lucas Mission while working at Cabrini University as an AmeriCorps member. In February/March of 2022, she visited San Lucas through Cabrini’s spring immersion trip. Her visit to San Lucas was beautiful, and she fell in love with the community. At the end of her visit, she was asked by a student if she’d ever return to San Lucas in the future. At that time, Eisa knew she wanted to return to the Mission.
Eisa grew up with her family in a suburb outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from Allegheny College in 2021 with a dual degree in Community & Justice Studies and Spanish. Eisa has had previous experience working as an AmeriCorps volunteer serving the Latino community. She has also spent time in Ecuador working with the elderly living in extreme poverty. Eisa’s upbringing as a first-generation Mexican-American had always impacted her life and led her to pursue her career working with community and service learning-based programs.
In her free time, Eisa enjoys hiking, listening to music, and dabbling in photography.
Director of Development
Shelby Schmidt learned of Friends of San Lucas in the fall of 2020, when she attended a virtual event learning the perfect way to brew Juan Ana coffee. Her past 5+ years were spent working with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity engaging volunteers and donors. While working at Twin Cities Habitat, she saw the transformational power of homeownership and community engagement. Shelby joined the Friends of San Lucas team in 2022 as the Director of Development. She is excited to work with donors to deepen their engagement with the Mission.
She is continually inspired by the strong community that has been built in San Lucas. The values of the Mission are apparent in all of the locally led programs.
Shelby is originally from Iowa City, but currently lives in Spirit Lake, Iowa. When Shelby is not working she enjoys drinking coffee and adventuring with her husband (Brad) and two young kids. You can often find them on their family farm in Southern Minnesota or enjoying the lake.
Director of Coffee
Terri’s introduction to the Mission began with her first trip to San Lucas in 2001 as a chaperone for a youth trip from St. John Neumann church in Eagan, MN. Meeting Fr. Greg and having the opportunity to work beside him with a small group changed the direction and path of her career. That group began to support him and help him raise funds under the unofficial name: Friends of San Lucas.
After Fr. Greg passed, Terri and a small group of friends continued his work and formalized what is now known as Friends of San Lucas. What started as a volunteer position for many years has become a staff position. Terri has enjoyed seeing the changes and the growth of the Mission programs and the continued miracles that happen every day with the help of the Mission staff. Ultimately her driving force has been to work from her heart and to help those in the San Lucas area.
Terri is a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of five. Her faith, family, friends and work are what bring joy and dimension to her life.
Board of Directors
Kate DuVal, SSND (President)
Liliana Letran Garcia
Fr. Jerry Meidl
Kate DuVal, SSND
Ex Officio Members
Msgr. Douglas L. Grams
Bishop Chad W. Zielinski
Msgr. Eugene L. Lozinski
Jim Seifert (Chair)
Julio Cesar Morales† (Director)
Veronica Ajcot† (Assistant Director)
Jereme Abshire (Chair)
Rafael Tun, M.D.† (Director)
Julio Lopez† (Assistant Director)
Larry Turner (Chair)
Jim Seifert, M.P.H.
Jim Butterworth, M.D.
Sean Duffy, M.D.
Byron McKnight, D.D.S.
Taryn McGinn Valley
Paul Wise, M.D
Richard Korentager, M.D.
Tom Garigan, M.D.
Edy Morales† (Director)
Chuck Spaeth (Chair)
Juan Carlos Hernandez† (Director)
Mynor Tax† (Assistant Director)
Tasha Barron* (Visitor Coordinator)
Kadence Bran de León* (Visitor Coordinator)
Women’s Center Committee
Guicha Ajcibinac† (Director)
Karina Hernandez† (Assistant Director)
Heather Statz (Chair)
* Friends of San Lucas Staff
† San Lucas Mission Staff