Working for Justice in Mexico
When Ashlee Santos Cruz (Brandsma) graduated from Bulkley Valley Christian School in 2008, she might not have guessed where God would use her. Eight years later, she finds herself in Cuernavaca, Mexico as a volunteer with Quest Mexico (www.quest-mexico.org), working for social change and justice as well as providing ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching and tutoring.
Ashlee met and married Dani Santos Cruz through her volunteer work and the couple now resides in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Through their work, Dani and Ashlee demonstrate the vision of Bulkley Valley Christian School to prepare graduates who are responsive disciples of Jesus Christ who live with the realization that all of life is meant to be lived in service to Christ (see our graduate profile).
Through education, critical thinking, social engagement and service projects Quest seeks to transform not only the social environment of Mexico but the way we think about poverty, justice, equality, consumption, faith and joy. Transformation happens on a lot of different levels through Quest Mexico. To quote the organization's website:
Quest Mexico believes that true education liberates students from the oppression of existing authorities. For us, the art of teaching is not the transfer of ideas from teacher to student, but the creation of moments in which students make their own discoveries. We assist this discovery by arranging encounters, presenting our students with people, situations, and stories which challenge previously held assumptions about work, about poverty, about consumption, about faith, about joy. Through these encounters participants become authors of their own lives, critically examining their previously held assumptions and rewriting their futures with a new commitment to just living.
After graduation in 2008, Ashlee spent three years at Kings University in Edmonton, AB. Ashlee's passion for justice was given opportunity for expression through three separate trips to Honduran villages, helping to provide access to clean water in each of these villages. Later involvement in Mexico led to her meeting and marrying Dani and taking up residence as a volunteer at Quest Mexico.
Bulkley Valley Christian School seeks to prepare students to see the world through the lens of a Biblical worldview. BVCS graduates are equipped to seek justice, demonstrate compassion and care for the "least of these". This mission and call is carried out wherever our graduates are found: from office towers to jungles, homes to workshops, pulpits to hospitals.
Ashlee and her husband Dani, like many of our graduates, have given expression to a verse that is often discussed here at BVCS: Micah 6:8 "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
The couple is currently working on immigration to Canada.