Read letters from Bob and Julie Dunsmore
Bob and Julie Dunsmore
Email: Bob and Julie Dunsmore
Bob and Julie ended their term of service in November 2008 and are no longer under appointment as PC(USA) mission co-workers. They are available to speak as their schedule permits. Email them to extend an invitation to your congregation or organization.
In August 2004, Bob and Julie Dunsmore finished their term of service in El Salvador as facilitators for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). They worked in community development in Regalo de Dios, a housing project that victims of the earthquake of January 2001 are building themselves. Their next assignment is in Bolivia as companionship facilitators for the Joining Hands Against Hunger network based in La Paz.
As companionship facilitators, the Dunsmores accompany and, as appropriate, facilitate the Bolivian network of churches and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty in Bolivia. The network is called UMAVIDA, an acronym in Spanish for “Joining Hands for Life.” UMAVIDA is in partnership with the PC(USA)’s Presbytery of San Francisco, which has joined with UMAVIDA to advocate for justice for the hungry of Bolivia.
Prior to their work with PDA, the Dunsmores worked in El Salvador with Alfalit, a Christian organization that works in 13 countries in Latin America in the area of adult literacy, children’s education and community development. With Alfalit, the Dunsmores worked with development and appropriate technology projects, focussing most of their effort on the community at Colima, where they worked with women and young people renovating tourism facilites and supported work in health areas, including the installation of latrines and a potable water system. One of the many projects they worked on was recycling waste from the sugar mill (bagasse) into fuel logs, which burn hot and almost smoke-free.
The Dunsmores were first appointed as mission co-workers in 1987, when they were assigned to work with Alfalit, in Costa Rica. There, they had hands-on involvement with such projects as community water systems, water filters, organic farming projects, bridge building, food storage systems, solar heating systems for homes and domestic water supply, solar cooking devices and food dryers, organic pest control methods, low-cost housing, natural healing techniques and medicinal herbs, literacy training, community organizing methods, and handicraft business management.
The Dunsmores returned from Costa Rica in 1993, when Bob became the area director for South America and the Caribbean for Habitat for Humanity. Bob coordinated self-help housing projects in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The family then moved to Hillsboro, Oregon, where Bob taught English to speakers of other languages.
During the years prior to their mission service, Bob and Julie founded the San Luis Valley (Colorado) Solar Energy Association, one of the most active solar energy groups in the United States. From 1976 to 1987, they conducted training workshops and consulted nationally and internationally about solar energy.
Both Bob and Julie have lived long periods of their lives in Latin America. Bob was born in Brazil, the child of Presbyterian missionaries, and lived there until he came to the United States to attend the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. He received his B.A. in Latin American cultural studies and Spanish. Following college, Bob was employed by the Rio Grande National Forest in Del Norte, Colorado.
Julie was born and raised in Oregon, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. At age 18 she went to Peru and studied with Lewis & Clark College’s overseas program. She spent four years in Puerto Rico studying at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez and the Universidad Interamericana in San German as well as serving as a Presbyterian volunteer in mission. After moving to Colorado, Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and social work from Adams State College in Alamosa. She then worked as a social worker, serving senior citizens in Colorado and Oregon.
The Dunsmores are the parents of three adult children, Aaron, Simone and Damian. The Dunsmores are members of Reedville Presbyterian Church in Aloha, Oregon.
Bob - April 9
Julie - March 28