Angélica Rincón Alonso and Jenny Neme of MCC partner Justapaz and Anna Vogt
Photo/Inge Landman

Angélica Rincón Alonso and Jenny Neme of MCC partner Justapaz and Anna Vogt attend the Mennonite Church of Colombia’s 70th anniversary celebration in downtown Bogotá.

Name: Anna Vogt

Hometown: Dawson City, Yukon (Mennonite Church of Canada)

Assignment: To encourage and build bridges for advocacy on issues that affect the Latin American and Caribbean countries where MCC works.

Typical day: Working from Bogotá, Colombia, I research and update MCC’s Latin American advocacy blog. As I travel, I lead workshops on advocacy, learn from MCC’s partners and encourage connections. I’m always trying to explore how partners are working for change in their communities and how MCC can connect with their efforts.

Joys: Despite trauma, conflict and death, every day I hear and see those around me continuing to build the future, together. I love entering a new place, unsure of what I will encounter, and leaving encouraged by the good and creative ways local organizations and communities are working for social justice. And I love sharing their stories. Often I feel like I haven’t finished a visit until I write something about it.

A mural showing migrant routes through Mexico, painted on the wall of the migrant shelter, La 72, in Tenosique, Mexico. The Franciscan run shelter hosts thousands of Central American migrants and refugees who cross over into southern Mexico on their journey north.MCC photo/Anna Vogt

On a recent trip to Guatemala and Mexico to learn about migration, I was reminded of my own family’s Russian Mennonite journey of leaving farmlands in Ukraine to search for a better life. Being able to see these connections and talk to those migrating is a joy and privilege but also a call to action.

Challenge: Not being overwhelmed by challenges communities face, from climate change to forced migration, especially because so many are connected to Canadian or U.S. policies.

Dig into Anna’s experiences through MCC’s blog for Latin America and the Caribbean, including a post on her journey to Guatemala and Mexico, “The year of mercy.”