Ivy Challis is a former New York City resident who set off to Central America to dedicate her life to helping others. During a visit to San Marcos la Laguna, Ivy began volunteering at the Konojel Community Center. She spent a year at the organization as a full-time volunteer, learning about the indigenous culture, cultivating relationships with the beneficiaries, and gaining intimate access to the ins and outs of running a small non-profit organization. In addition, she became a vital part of Konojel by lending her time and energy to help fulfill the day to day needs of the organization. With a background in communications and public relations, combined with a year of volunteer experience at Konojel, she stepped into her role as Director of Communications in April 2017.
Ivy believes that working closely with the indigenous community of San Marcos is a privilege and she approaches her work with humility and respect for the vibrant, yet disenfranchised community. “Sometimes my job is like any office job- working at a computer, sending emails, and whatever other tasks there might be. Other times the work is more emotional, like being a soft, maternal presence for the kids who might not be getting enough hugs or displays of affection at home. Or sometimes I’m advocating on behalf of the community by spreading the word and informing others, mainly tourists, about the painful realities that the indigenous are struggling with everyday. I consider the beneficiaries and employees of Konojel my family and I feel extremely grateful that they see me as family too.”