How we got started

Founded and created by Michael Ewens, our name was inspired by a song that the Ewens family used to sing to their four sons, Drop a pebble in the water watch the ripples grow, using this to demonstrate how each one of us has the ability to impact others lives.

The first ripple began when on June 16, 2006; their son Forrest lost his life in an ambush in Afghanistan. With the proceeds from Forrest’s life insurance, Michael went looking for a memorial project in Guatemala where he could help Forrest’s ripple continue to impact others lives. Like Michael and Forrest, each one of us can create our own ripple and make a better world.

From The Ripple Effect


When actions speak louder than inaction we are making a better world

The Ripple Effect Inc. is creating new opportunities for the Ixil people of Guatemala through sustainable self-managed programs for change.

Our board

Michael Ewens, President – Michael was born November 22 1958 in Roseburg Oregon held an interest in developing countries and poverty relief from a early age. With a background in construction and an adventurous heart he has dedicated his passion to helping the Ixil people. In pursuit of simple living he has developed skills in organic gardening and animal husbandry that he combines in this work. Since 2006 he has been working and developing relationships in the United States and the Chajul Region to support the work of this organization.

Shirley Anderson, Vice President – Shirley has lived and raised her family of five in Puyallup Washington. Currently she is an office manager for J&B Excavation and their family rentals. She was a dedicated volunteer for Habitat for Humanity for 5 years in their Tacoma store. Bringing that dedication and heart to TRE she has served on our board since our beginnings using mind, heart and hands to help guide us.

Pat DeLapp, Treasurer – Pat has raised a wonderful family in the Gig Harbor area. He has a background of over 20 years in event planning. After leaving the entertainment business he spent 15 years doing in home care for the terminally ill. Years of spiritual dedication have developed an attitude of giving and service that Pat freely contributes to all including us at TRE.

Christie Fierro, Secretary – Christie is a professor at Tacoma Community College – Gig Harbor. Christie takes to heart changing lives as she involves herself with her students. She brings energy, ideas and vision to the board.

Dan Russell, Guatemalan Operations – Dan lives in Guatemala and has been involved over the years with mission work in Costa Rico and running the Rainbow Home repair project with Bear Creek Assistance Ministry in Houston, TX. He has also completed several humanitarian projects in Guatemala working with Miracles in Action. One of the main reasons for he and his wife, Anne, in moving to Guatemala was the Mayan people and their wonderful attitude toward life.

Teresa Farrell, Chair at Large – Teresa lives on the Kitsap Peninsula and truly appreciates the abundant nature and lifestyle of the Northwest. Having spent her career as a marketing and systems consultant, she now enjoys volunteering for social justice and NGO projects abroad and is excited by the possibilities that TRE is bringing to the Ixil people of Guatemala.