Zuza was born and raised in East Germany and was deported to West Berlin for political reasons during the Cold War. She received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the University of Texas at Austin and completed a MA in linguistics anthropology. She moved to Boulder, CO in 1991. She has worked as an educator for more than 20 years, working in bilingual as well as private schools. She is involved in the Boulder community, advocates for immigrants and inclusiveness, environmental education, empowerment of marginalized people, global awareness and peace.
She has been actively involved with FCP since 2006 and member of the FCP board since 2008.
Greg has worked in international development in one way or another over the last twenty years, which includes work with the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Mongolia and as staff in Bangladesh. He first went to Nicaragua as the representative of FCP in Jalapa, a job he held from 2000-2002. Greg has also worked in sustainable agriculture throughout Central America over the last decade, and currently works in development projects focused on Nicaragua and Nepal.
Mercedes is from Nicaragua, where her chemical engineering degree led her to government work in water treatment and analysis during the 1980′s and 1990′s. She worked for seven years in sustainable agriculture programs throughout Central America, while at the same time founding a non-profit in Nicaragua that helps impoverished women learn how to build and use solar ovens and solar food dryers. As executive director of this non-profit, Mercedes promotes healthy alternative lifestyles for rural Nicaraguans that also preserve and protect the environment.
Mercedes and Greg have been married for over ten years.
Barbara moved to Boulder in 1983. After receiving an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and a masters of science in environmental health sciences, Barbara’s professional career involved environmental regulatory work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Interior. Outside of work, she has enjoyed, at least once, all of the outdoor activities offered by living in Colorado.
She first became involved with FCP through Project FE and decided she wanted to spend more time helping individuals and communities. She was impressed with the opportunities through FCP for artistic cultural exchange, education of the young, and continuing environmental work through the creation of clean water supplies. FCP seemed a perfect fit for volunteering her time towards these ends.
Françoise has more than 20 years of experience working on environmental issues and political campaigns. Her work as an elected official on the Boulder City Council and on city boards has helped shape Boulder’s sustainability policy and programs, especially with transportation planning, waste reduction and Boulder’s Climate Action Plan. In the nineties, her work was focused on forest and wildlife conservation as an advocate with the Sierra Club and as a children’s environmental and art education teacher.
Francoise has taught French and art as a public school teacher in Colorado for many years. Her dedication to social justice and sustainable solutions led her to join Friendship City Projects at its inception in 1984, where she has been active as a board member since 2007.
Mark brings years of water engineering experience.
His specialties include project management, treatment plant construction, treatment plant permitting, alternative project delivery methods, utility planning for water and wastewater
Gary has served on the FCP board since 1990. He has been directly involved in the engineering and management of four water systems in the Jalapa valley and has visited Nicaragua six times. Gary is an Aerospace Engineer with 30 years of experience in the design, analysis, fabrication, and test of thermal, cryogenic and optical systems. He has authored 25 publications in his field and holds three patents. He works at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder.
Phil has been involved with Friendship City Projects since 2001. As an active board member and a professional photographer he has helped FCP by shooting projects, creating newsletters and shooting video to help publicize the many projects in the Jalapa Valley. He lives in Boulder with his wife.
Since the 2007 youth delegation, Tasia has continued to support the people of Jalapa as a board member for the Friendship City Projects and co-director of Project FE.
Since graduating from American University with degrees in international development and environmental studies in 2013, she has pursued her interests in accessible and high quality education for all students as Site Manager of an educational nonprofit in Kumasi, Ghana and School Gardens Coordinator at New York City Parks/GreenThumb.
Tasia is a MA candidate in International Development at the University of Denver Josef Korbel School.
Helen first visited Jalapa in 2007 on that year's youth delegation. Since then, she has worked to partner with the people of Jalapa in building strong and healthy communities through her work as co-director of Project FE, and serving as a board member of FCP. This work reflects her lifelong goal of effecting change throughout the world through a focus on grassroots development.
Helen graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Religious Studies and from SOAS, University of London with a master's degree in the Politics of Conflict, Rights, and Justice. She currently works in population health.
In the summer of 1994, I had just graduated from Niwot High School and was on my way to Jalapa with Friendship City Projects. I had such an incredible and transformative experience working with the local community that I returned to Nicaragua with FCP the following summer. I whole- heartedly believe that those formative cross-cultural volunteer experiences set my life course. I am a carpenter by trade with 20 years experience
(in fact, my first construction experience was with FCP in 1994!). Since then, I have continued to volunteer my carpentry skills across the globe. Currently, I am a non-traditional anthropology undergrad (i.e., older than some of my professors) at CU Boulder.