After graduating in Politics and Social Anthropology from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK) I worked for a BBC local radio community programme in Bristol. A long spell of travel and work in South, Central and North America was followed by a year in Gibraltar working as a radio, newspaper and magazine contributor and founding and coordinating the local Friends of the Earth group.
In my mid 20s I moved back to the UK and took up a career in international development. My work at the Oxfam HQ in Oxford took me to several countries in the Middle East and Latin America and the Caribbean. One such assignment was a six-week stint in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in early 1996. My instant love affair with the Dominican Republic was sealed by a relationship with one of its citizens, photographer Pedro Guzmán, who I met during my third visit to the country, in 1998.
I settled there and married Pedro in 1999. At first, I lived in the central province of Cotui, working as a fundraising and communications advisor to campesino groups in Cotui and Salcedo as a cooperante (skills-sharing volunteer) for British agency ICD (now Progressio), before moving to the capital, Santo Domingo, where we lived for nine years. At first, I went back to working for Oxfam GB, as Communications Officer for Central America and the Caribbean based in the Santo Domingo office.
After the Oxfam GB regional office moved to Mexico City and my son was born in July 2000 I took a career break and did not return to full-time work until the January 2004 crisis in Haiti, when I spent several months working as Oxfam GB’s communications officer.
Since then, I’ve worked as a freelance consultant for Oxfam and a number of other international organisations (including Plan International and Unicef), Dominican media in English like DR1.com and several PR agencies and private clients, providing research, communications, translating and editing services.
Pedro, Lucas and I now live in Punta Cana on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.