Meet the team
Lynne Moquete, Executive Director
Lynne has few moments to herself on a given trip to the Dominican Republic, but they’re best spent in her most peaceful place on Earth: a rocking chair on her Dominican mother’s patio with her Dominican mother, Vianela. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she’s spent most of her adult life returning to the DR to continue the work she started in ’90-’92. With a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas, Lynne continues to teach Human Interaction at Casa Grande High School, where she loves her job, and encouraging her students to become involved in the local and global community.
Kara Klinge, Strategic Initiatives
Kara can be found dancing bachata in a Dominican disco, exploring SF Bay Area backroads, or exploring the world's Coffeelands. Committed to social entrepreneurship, Kara has worked as a Tour Manager at Invisible Children, and helped launch a groundbreaking farmer-owned coffee company in Tanzania. She is the founder of The Madres Collective, a social enterprise that exists to equip rural women to rise above poverty. Kara has an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.
Tricia sweeney, Trip Leader & Health Coordinator
Tricia could happily eat Dominican arroz y habichuelas, rice and beans, for the rest of her life. Like many other UV staff, she took her first trip to the DR as an Una Vida volunteer at the age of 16 and has been in love with the island ever since. Motivated by her travels to the DR, she studied International Relations and Migration Studies at UC San Diego, and practiced her language skills working in Argentina and Bolivia. She has been leading trips with Una Vida since 2010, with a specific focus on health and community. Tricia also works for UCSF as a research associate and is working to pursue nursing studies to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She hopes to practice in the DR once her studies are completed.
Pedro Rodriguez & Candy Rodriguez, Country Directors
Candy studied ophthalmology in Ecuador before returning to La Descubierta to start a family. She is a certified Ophathalmic Technician. She loves that her work includes helping the poorest of her community, and appreciates that Dominicans “siempre estamos feliz” in spite of day to day struggles; she is happiest spending time with her family, including her husband, a constant source of inspiration in her life. Candy hails from Los Pinos del Eden, the mountain community that is home of our Madres program.
Pedro Rodriguez has worked for the Dominican Ministry of the Environment for the past nine years as a Biosphere Reserve management specialist. As part of his duties he works with local communities on environmental education and sustainable development (ecotourism). Pedro was born in the eastern Dominican Republic, but moved to the southwest (La Descubierta) where he lived for four years before he settled in Barahona. He arrived in La Descubierta as part of a program to develop ecotourism activities with local people in the Enriquillo National Park. While living in La Descubierta he met his lovely wife Candy, and they have two children: Isaac and Jahdiel.
Pedro also met Lynne Moquete in La Descubierta, and he became an integral supporter of Una Vida. Pedro is passionate about changing people’s lives.
Alexis Halstenson, Nurse
Alexis joined Una Vida in 2009 as a high school participant. She then couldn’t stay away and came back as a group leader, university liaison three more times while she was a nursing student at UC Irivine. After getting her nursing degree she spent the next 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru brewing her passion for rural health. She now works as an RN for the underserved community at Marin Community Clinics in San Rafael.
Anita J. Tarzian, Medical Consultant
Anita believes in hospitality, mindfulness meditation, and lifelong learning. She has a Doctorate in Nursing Research with an emphasis in medical ethics, as well as a Masters in Intercultural Nursing, from the University of Maryland. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to La Descubierta during her service, Anita is particularly well-acquainted with the people and culture of our community. Currently she enjoys teaching nursing research, ethics and end-of-life care.
Lesly Joseph, Dental Lead
Lesly joined Una Vida in 2012 to lead the first mobile dental clinic in Los Pinos del Eden, providing dental care to community members and to the children living in the Hogar de Niños Jeremie in the neighboring town of Neyba. Lesly is a US Department of States alumni, and studied Leadership and Civic Engagement at University of Delaware during the Summer 2010. He has just been granted a Fulbright Scholarship to begin to study for his MPH in Health Policy and Management in the US.