Unlike other programs, Vive Peru has many connections in Peru and there are full time staff who live in Peru year round. This is key to having a good program.
I will never forget the day I was shadowing doctors who were performing a cesarean on a young Peruvian woman. The smells, the blood, and the huge incision was right in front of me. My wary gut instinct was ignored by my curiosity and adrenaline. I thought “other students would kill for this opportunity!” The next thing I knew I had fainted and was being rushed out by one of the nurses and put into a bed. Well, let’s just say I got to meet quite a bit of the staff this day and made friends I will never forget. From this day on, I decided I was going to stick to my passion for just working in nutrition and leave the blood for the future surgeons.
I am very passionate about nutrition and public health which made my trip to Peru something very special. I have always known I wanted to work in public health but after Peru I knew I was going to come back. Some of the personal things I did in Peru was develop nutrition lessons, cooking demos, and taught on the importance of a varied diet. Besides nutrition, I gave vaccinations, performed interviews, and helped out at medical campaigns.
Currently, I am a U of A alumni and I am a nutritionist at Arizona State University. Being fluent in Spanish and having other experiences like Vive Peru really set me apart from other people applying for jobs. Traveling and working abroad changes your perspective on life and makes you more of a culturally aware individual. My job at ASU has me doing all different aspects of nutrition. I provide cooking demos, nutrition presentations, design major health events, and do private consultations. I love my job but after my opportunity with Vive Peru I am definitely going back to work abroad after I finish my masters.
My final words to future prospects is working abroad is a must. Unlike other programs, Vive Peru has many connections in Peru and there are full time staff who live in Peru year round. This is key to having a good program. Overall, you are going to make friends that will be like family, eat amazing food, and have the opportunity to do many things that you couldn’t do in the states. I hope you take a leap of faith and seize the opportunity to work abroad. You won’t regret it.
Clinical Medicine Volunteer, Summer 2011