Ralph Baumgartner

Why did you want to serve on this board? 

When I was traveling with a PML-sponsored travel group (the birding trip) spring of 2017, I saw in action Rosa Lira, whom PML supports as a community organizer, while our group was meeting with a dozen women in the community of San Carlos. I was impressed with the confidence and determination of those women, which they gained through their work with Rosa. I decided then and there that I wanted to be a part that effort. Hence, I joined the PML board as a way of carrying out that intention.

How do you see PML changing the people we reach in Minnesota? 

The most likely and profound change happens when people go to León, Nicaragua, and experience for themselves what is happening there. If they develop relationships with Nicaraguans, the impact of the trip is even greater.

What are your hopes for the future of PML? 

PML is blessed with a host of supporters, many of whom have themselves gone to León with one of the travel groups. However, we need to expand both the number of interested people and the organization's financial support. Emily Wallace-Jackson is working diligently on both of those dimensions, and we all need to join with her in reaching those goals.

What do you think you personally bring to the board? 

First, I am fluent in Spanish, and I want to build deeper relationships with our Nicaraguan members of the PML board. Second, I have lots of experience with community organizing, and I want to use that knowledge to support Rosa in her work.  And finally, I have my own network of relationships in Minnesota that I want to invite into PML’s work.

What do you most want people who visit PML’s website to know? 

Don’t sit on the sidelines! Consider joining a travel group to León, or organize your own travel group. Join in the excitement of building friendships with people of another culture.