Programmatic and staffing changes in Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Updated: Sep 8
Dear brothers and sisters,
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 – NIV).
Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
In these changing and challenging times, also times of hope and gratitude for what we are receiving and sharing, we turn to you to inform you of certain programmatic and staffing changes in our Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. These changes imply a certain modification in the way we have been working with you, and at the same time a reaffirmation of the focus and values of accompaniment.
After a long process of maturation and discernment, this year we are implementing a migration strategy at the continental level, which we have called "AMMPARO Continentalization." This means that, taking advantage of the fruitful experience that we have had with AMMPARO in the Mesoamerican corridor (Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America), we are integrating under a single umbrella all our accompaniment of work with migrants by companion churches and organizations in the region, that is, Mesoamerica, the Southern Triangle of Central America and the countries of South America.
The other programmatic change is related to an intentional effort to articulate the work of our companion churches and organizations in the area of Gender Justice with the work of the ELCA in this same strategic area.
The aforementioned changes imply a rearrangement of our Work Team. Stephen Deal will leave his role as "Regional Representative for Central America" and will assume the position of "Regional Representative for AMMPARO throughout the Region." In his new role, Stephen will continue to interact with churches and organizations regarding immigration work only.
On the other hand, we welcome to our regional team and introduce you to Michael Busbey, who has served for several years in our Unit's “Global Service” program, and is finishing his studies at our Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in preparation for his ordination. Michael brings experience, capacity and passion for the work in our region, and will assume the position of "Regional Representative for Central America and Mexico."
Our colleague Hellen Ríos-Carillo, whom most of you already know from her outstanding work in our office for several years and from her previous role in the region with the LWF, will leave her current position to assume the position of “Regional Representative for the Caribbean." In addition, Hellen will coordinate the articulation of Gender Justice work between the churches in the region and the ELCA.
All these changes will take effect on September 15.
Spouses Hellen and Michael will move to Costa Rica, from where they will carry out their new duties, when conditions allow it.
At this time, we do not have a replacement for the vacancy Hellen leaves in our office here in Chicago.
In this sense, as of September 15, our Work Team for Latin America and the Caribbean will be configured as follows:
Paulina Dasse: Manager for Companion Synod Relationships. Responsible for coordinating and facilitating the strengthening of those
Stephen Deal: Regional Representative for AMMPARO (AMMPARO Continental). Responsible for coordinating and articulating the work of
churches and other organizations that are serving migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers throughout the region.
Gustavo Driau: Regional Representative for South America. Responsible for coordinating relationships with churches and organizations in Chile,
Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. He also provides technical support to Argentina and Uruguay.
Michael Busbey: Regional Representative for Central America and Mexico. Responsible for coordinating relationships with churches and
organizations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.
Hellen Rios-Carrillo: Regional Representative for the Caribbean. Responsible for coordinating relationships with churches and organizations in Cuba,
Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname. In addition, she will coordinate the articulation of the Gender Justice strategy throughout the region.
Jaime Dubon: Director of the ELCA / Global Mission program for Latin America and the Caribbean. Oversees all relationships in the region. He
also coordinates relationships with churches and organizations in Haiti, and Argentina and Uruguay.
This reconfiguration also implies that in some countries where churches have Migrant Ministries, there will be double representation: the respective regional representative and Stephen Deal, who will exclusively coordinate the accompaniment of the migration ministry in such country.
We are excited to continue strengthening our work with you, and to have a very experienced, capable, committed, and passionate team for the region. If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
The Rev. Jaime Dubon
Area Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
8765 West Higgins Rd, Chicago, IL 60631
Tel: (773) 380-1726
Cell: (773) 682-7546