Soy Voluntaria del Cuerpo de Paz

I wandered around the career fair aimlessly.  Per usual, almost none of the employers had anything to do with public health, and as a senior public health major, I was frustrated.  I almost didn’t even approach the Peace Corps table because frankly, it scared the crap out of me.  But I skeptically went over and took a free pen as Christian told me about the Peace Corps info session later that day.  You should check it out, he said.  I felt a twinge of guilt as I entered the small, stiflingly hot classroom because I was skipping Frisbee practice to attend.  I joked with Mongo that I had to go because it’s my lifeeee! But I had no real intention of joining the Peace Corps.  It’s too unrealistic, too long, too far, and too dangerous.  But I watched the propaganda video.  I asked questions. I read the booklet. And I realized the opportunity I had in front of me: to do REAL public health out of college, to travel, to learn a language, to…let’s be honest here, have a job. So, over the next few months, I worked on my application and submitted it in December of my senior year.

So much energy went into this process.  I waited for months to hear from Peace Corps. During the application process, the Peace Corps evolved from this thing that I was scared of, to this thing that I wanted so badly, to an invitation to Nicaragua.  I became an aspirante, a Spanish-speaker, a daughter of a new family.  And finally, a year and a half after I walked into that career fair, I became a Volunteer.

This was my attempt to show you how much this all means to me.  It’s been a process.  The Swearing-In Ceremony on April 1 represented way more than the completion of 3-months of training.  It represented the culmination of a year and a half of hard work, and finally, finally, finally, marks the beginning of my two-year journey.  Here we go.

My Nicaraguan family.

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2 Responses to Soy Voluntaria del Cuerpo de Paz

  1. Erin says:

    Hey Lauren,

    So I just randomly stumbled across your blog and was so surprised! I lived in La Dalia from 2006-2008 as a health volunteer with nica 40. I thought that Heather and Kory were going to be the last volunteers there because they were the “third generation” of health volunteers. It made me a little sad to think no one was in la dalia anymore. Anyway, I will be sure to keep an eye on your blog. I wasn’t initially excited about La Dalia when I got it as my site, but I came to really really love it there and I hope that you do too.

    Also, did you live with Dona Petrona in La Paz in training? Because I did too. And that is an even crazier coincidence!


    • Lauren says:

      Hi Erin–I’m so glad to hear from you. Yes I lived with Dona Petrona in La Paz. What a great family! I’ve only been here for about a week, but I’m already loving it. It seems like there’s a lot of work to do. If you have any suggestions of projects I could do that worked with you/ things you want me to check out to see if it’s still around, feel free to send me an e-mail: Thanks for getting in touch with me!



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