Our Team

John “Juan” McLaughlin : Director

John “Juan” McLaughlin

Director

Director and co-founder of EAB, John is a graduate of Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC), the University of Virginia, and the University of Iowa. He lived in the Dominican Republic from 1997-1999, where he was assistant director of Creighton University’s  Semestre Dominicano program, as well as working as a writer and teacher. In 1999, he created The Pentecost Project, and has led nearly 50 group immersion programs since, for colleges, schools, and parishes nationwide; this program’s health and service components fused with a scholarship program to become EAB.  In the US, he has worked with homeless and ex-offender populations for both secular and Catholic non-profit organizations. He has completed spiritual formation programs at Seattle University and the Center for Action & Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. John’s articles about the DR have appeared in various periodicals; his novel, Run in the Fam’ly (University of Tennessee Press, 2007) won multiple literary prizes. John lives with his wife and two children in Seattle.

William “Papito” Poleyón Jose : In Country Program Director - Batey Libertad

William “Papito” Poleyón Jose

In Country Program Director - Batey Libertad

A co-founder of EAB, Papito was born and raised in Batey Libertad, where he lives with his wife and ten children and stepchildren. Over the course of over 25 years, he has held various leadership positions in his community, and has initiated multiple projects in the areas of literacy, worker rights, preventative health, clean water access, and community farming, among others.

Felicia “Fella” Puntiel Pichardo : In Country Program Director - Franco Bidó

Felicia “Fella” Puntiel Pichardo

In Country Program Director - Franco Bidó

A co-founder of EAB, Fella directs the Clínica San Gregorio, EAB’s free-access community clinic. She has worked in various hospital, clinic, and medical operative contexts for over 40 years, while conducting countless preventative health workshops in various rural communities. A coffee farmer, she sits on the governing board of her community’s coffee cooperative.

Genesee “Yenesi” McCarthy : Development & Operations Coordinator

Genesee “Yenesi” McCarthy

Development & Operations Coordinator

Genesee has traveled with EAB to the DR for the past 4 years serving as the translator for 5 immersion trips.

Yanlico Munesi Dusdal : In Country Program Assistant

Yanlico Munesi Dusdal

In Country Program Assistant

A graduate (Accounting, 2010) of EAB’s college scholarship program, Yanlico is Coordinator of Youth Programs (including Deportes Para la Vida) for DREAM Project, an educational nonprofit on the northern Dominican coast. He was born and raised in Batey Libertad.

Jahayra Espinal Nuñez : In Country Program Assistant

Jahayra Espinal Nuñez

In Country Program Assistant

A graduate (Education, 2015) of EAB’s scholarship program, Jahayra was born and raised in Franco Bidó.  She is currently training with the DREAM project to gain skills that will help her serve EAB as a program assistant very soon.

David Lester : Immersion Programs Director

David Lester

Immersion Programs Director

David worked as a Jesuit Volunteer at the Saint Vincent de Paul Society as an Emergency Services Caseworker.  He has spent many years teaching theology at a variety of levels and ran a service program at Seattle Preparatory School.  He is currently teaching theology and leadership courses at the University of Portland while also working at St. Joseph, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic churches as the Pastoral Assistant for Social Concerns.  David has a Masters of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and a BA from the University of Oregon in Psychology and Asian Studies. He has been working with EAB leading students on immersion experiences to the Dominican Republic every year since 2005.