Current Ministry Location-Peru
Sister Esperanza was born in San Rafael, Bulacan, Philippines. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Baliuag Bulacan, Philippines in 1979 and earned a Bachelor of Science – Business Administration in 1983. She joined the Religious of the Virgin Mary shortly after college, serving with the Congregation for 21 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science – Education from the University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City, Philippines in 1992 and in 1996, a Diploma – Rural Development/Social Leadership from the Southeast Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute, a training facility strategically located in Northern Mindanao, Philippines.
Sister Esperanza became an associate Sister of the Maryknoll Sisters on August 10, 2005 and signed an Associate Contract November 16, 2005. She pronounced First Vows August 2, 2009 at the Center in NY and Final Vows July 29, 2012 also at the Center. Her first mission assignment 2006-2007 was to Maryknoll Sisters orientation in Balboa, Panama.
In 2013, Sister Esperanza was missioned to Peru. There she worked with Paz Peru, a non-governmental organization in Arequipa City, and served in their program for the elderly. Later, she taught catechism to the confirmation class at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Enace, Alto Cayma, where she also began the Center for Community Development at Colegio Jose Caruana, the school operated by the parish. At the Center, Sister Esperanza collaborated with parents, students and teachers in environmental, socio-economic and education programs geared toward mothers, children and adolescents at the Colegio and the neighboring Virgen to Chapí School.
Her fulfillment in her work can be manifested in the communal organic farming, rice marketing and sewing projects of the women, as well as in the climate change/environment program at Jose Caruana and the extension program at Virgen de Chapí. A passion for nature, cultivated by the love her parents always had for gardening, coupled with intensive study on sustainable agriculture, helped Sister Esperanza make a difference among the people of Peru.
The training she received in Rural Development and Social Leadership that included Sustainable Agriculture at the Southeast Asian Rural Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN) of Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City, as well as her own parents’ love for gardening, gave her the sense of connection and love for nature that informed and inspired her in the realization of her projects.
Sister Esperanza earned a Master of Arts in Applied Social Research from The Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines that enabled her to engage in Social Development Programs for two (2) decades. As a result of other training she coached and trained individuals and groups in tai-chi, yoga, healing, meditation and the Women Dialogic Café that she prototyped from her course on U. Lab: Transforming Business, Society and Self of MIT.
In the photo above, Sister Esperanza guided members of Mujeres con Esperanza Hacia el Futuro (Women with Hope for the Future) in bonsai making, using a recycled toilet bowl to hold the cypress tree. The tree is now a decoration in the communal organic garden that the women created, along with a rice marketing micro-business in Alto Cayma, Arequipa. The group was organized by Sister Esperanza using the Asset-Based Community Development approach as well as techniques from a project using Dialogic Café discussions.