ALEM and Social Service

In the four years of its existence, ALEM has had the pleasure of working with four volunteers – one each year – from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

What is the purpose of this exchange?

For the church, the intention is to send young people who are committed to social service and justice out into the world, placing them with countries, peoples, and projects where they can understand their reality, way of life and what animates their most profound commitments.

For ALEM, it gives us the chance to see a different reality and way of life. It allows us to share our reality, our lives, and our culture from our own perspective. We consider this exchange to be enormously important on an institutional level as well: not only do we learn from the person who is sharing their time with us but we are able to show and share our world with them, strengthening us mutually through this dynamic of knowledge and social empowerment.


  • Amy Catalino – 2010-2011Amy Catalino

Amy lives up to what Orison Swett Marden wrote:

“The smile is a real life force, the only way to move the immovable”.

With Amy we have to note that the difference is truly equal.

Her life experience, came to enrich our education and reflection on integration, control and commitment that people have with our ideals. Pioneer in the design of our website whose achievements have opened new horizons for ALEM. Designer of Alem’s Facebook page she kept our contacts and friends well informed of our activities and adventures. Pioneer and trainer in the program for promoting physical activity through perseverance and consistency, in we can achieve changes that will empower us. English tutor, motivating the team communication in a foreign language and her continual push to challenge students to apply and use their new knowledge. Enthusiastic and participative in the process of manufacture and repair of our chairs. Rebel and playful in a way that challenges the limits imposed on us and breaks our prejudices. Sensitive to the well being of the team and when the atmosphere seemed a little gloomy… her smile was always awakened a smile in each of us…

Thank you for all to share, for being ALEM in heart and action.
We wish only the best in this new phase of your life.
We will miss you indeed.

  • Peter Severson – 2009-2010

Peter is an example of what a true missionary is.

His character reflects… “That man is not measured by age, but instead he is measured with care, compassion and wisdom”.

He shared his life and ours this year as a process of growth and learning. He reminded us that education is the motor of respect, of struggle, and humanity. That patience and serenity is the best ally in times of lack of clarity. He developed our website, translated it, and made the beautiful newsletters that communicate our experiences of the team. He also created documents on the status of disability in Mexico and other countries further progress in the field. He joined us in several events with government Estatal. He was highly participatory in all our activities. He learned the process of painting, welding, upholstery, concrete. He gave ongoing support at all times and always with a highly professional attitude.

Thanks Peter for a very special year.

  • Alisha Ohlert – 2008-2009Alisha Ohlert

“Sometimes the different views make the friendship stronger, purer and more sincere”.

Alicia shared a year with us after Alem had already been formed into a team. Always cheerful and enthusiastic, she shared our dreams, frustrations, achievements and follies. Demanding and a perfectionist painter, she devoted a lot of her time to the painting department. She demonstrated the richness of the differences between cultures, and these closely linked bonds will not be forgotten.

Thanks Alicia for your eternal sweetness and efforts.

  • Jacob Anderson – 2007-2008

When Jacob did his social service with us, ALEM was just coming together as a project. He was with us through many highs and lows, which are part of growing as a group. His interaction with the group was always friendly and in solidarity. With him, we first began to collect information on the life stories of our members.

We thank him for having been part of this experience!