Linda was born in New York, N.Y. and worked as a registered nurse for over 30 years in the USA, Germany, South Vietnam, and Canada. Along with her husband, Bill, she was an international accompanier for returning refugees from Mexico to Guatemala after the end to the 30-year civil war. Linda and her husband returned many times to Latin America in the ensuing years working in Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua as volunteers with various non-profit organizations dedicated to helping orphans and other marginalized groups in these countries.
In 2000 Bill and Linda started work as full-time faith-based missionaries with the Mayan Pokomchí tribal group in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, for the international organization, Food for the Hungry. They then spent 3 ½ years with Helps International and, in 2004, they founded their own organization called Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP.
Linda is a member of the U.S. Board of Directors and International Coordinator for Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP. She is based in Canada but travels several times a year to Guatemala to interface with the Pokomchí staff.
Bill and Linda are members of the Canadian Advisory Committee for Hope of the Pokomchí, ASOSAP. They are members of both the Living Streams Christian Fellowship and the Clearwater Christian Church in Clearwater, B.C.
Jay Halderman graduated from the University of Southern California in 1994 with a degree in Cinema & Television Production, and lettered on the USC varsity rowing team.
He has spent his career as a Producer for video game software for various companies, as well as freelancing as a creative marketing consultant. He currently is the Studio Producer for BALANCED Media|Technology.
Jay has been a member of First United Methodist Church of McKinney, Texas since 2001, where he has served in various lay leadership areas, including communications, ushering and usher coordination, and teaching middle and high school ages Sunday school.
Jay has been actively involved in a number of local community organizations, including Community Lifeline Center, and the McKinney Education Foundation. After a decade of involvement with the Hope of the Pokomchí, including creating and running their website, Jay joined the organization’s board in 2017.
Jay is married to Dr. Lori Halderman, an OB/Gyn, and has two high school age children.
Following 30 plus years in the legal profession as paralegal and office administrator, June Haugen retired and began volunteering. While daughter Sara was in school, she volunteered on School Site Councils, PTA boards, and for School Fuel, the Education Foundation in Novato, California. Then she spent four years heading up an effort to raise funding to rebuild and restore the local downtown theater.
Since moving to Auburn, California, she has joined the Assistance League of Greater Placer, a nonprofit with 13 community programs under its umbrella. June’s passion is volunteering with Competencies for Independent Living, teaching life skills to students in an alternative high school for foster and formerly addicted teens. She has recently come out of retirement and taken a part-time job at the local refurbished 1930’s theater in downtown Auburn where she previously volunteered.
June is the sister of Linda Brierly and has volunteered as a Board Member and Chief Financial Officer for Hope of the Pokomchi since its inception in 2009. She is married to Jack Haugen and has one daughter, Sara and a tripod dog named Mickey.
Sara Haugen was first introduced to Hope of the Pokomchi and ASOSAP as a child when her mother, June, and aunt, Linda, would bring what are now PokoMaya products to the States to sell to friends and family. As a teenager, she visited San Cristobal and served as a cultural liaison for volunteer groups, translating between Spanish and English alongside the trilingual Pokomchí staff. Her love of the work was solidified by the friendships and fellowship she developed with volunteers and staff on those visits.
After she graduated from Seattle University in 2015 with a B.A. in International Studies & Spanish with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership, Sara interned with the Guatemalan staff for a summer. Coming full circle from her first introduction to the women’s artisan products, she supported the women formalizing PokoMaya’s goals, products, and group leadership. That summer she also developed a curriculum and taught English classes to groups of interested students.
Professionally, Sara worked as a bilingual paralegal for an immigration law firm for a year and a half after returning from Guatemala. Following that, she accepted a job with an international nonprofit based in Seattle, One Equal Heart, which works collaboratively with indigenous groups on local development in Chiapas, Mexico. She has also dedicated herself to social research in Guatemala and Nicaragua, interviewing folks from each country on topics such as migration and gender-based violence with teams from Seattle U.
John became involved with Hope of the Pokomchí through participating in FUMC McKinney’s Guatemala mission trips over 15 years ago. He joined the Board of Directors in 2019. As a member of FUMC, John has also supported the church through ushering, working on Habitat for Humanity projects, participating in the music program, and the church’s Hands and Hammers mission.
John recently retired from Micron Technology after 40 years where he most recently ran Micron’s DRAM engineering operation. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BSEE degree and from Rice University with an MEE degree. He is married to Page Schreck and has three daughters and three granddaughters.