- A former Peace Corps volunteer.
- A biochemistry and Spanish degree holder.
- Finding my way in the global community.
- Proud of Willamette’s commitment to volunteerism.
Dedicated to Service
Willamette’s emphasis on study abroad and service led Ana Moreno ’05 to join the Peace Corps after graduation.
Willamette consistently ranks among the top 20 in the nation among small undergraduate schools producing Peace Corps volunteers — a fact that is not surprising to Ana Moreno '05, who served two years in Paraguay.
"Willamette has a strong culture of promoting volunteer work and travel and study abroad," Moreno says. "It makes sense that Willamette alumni seek out the Peace Corps as an affordable way to continue doing volunteer work and traveling to other parts of the world after they graduate."
When Moreno started her Peace Corps assignment, she expected challenges as she taught local residents the importance of nutrition and sanitation.
She didn't expect that before she could accomplish anything, she would have to gain people's trust.
She worked in a town located about 20 miles from the closest paved road, where the 500 residents had never seen a Peace Corps volunteer and were wary of American outsiders.
"I was the only person in town who owned a camera, so I started bringing people prints of the photos I'd snapped around town," Moreno says. "For most, these pictures were a cherished possession.
"I also recognized people's birthdays with homemade cakes — a treat most people there can't afford. I can't count how many of my friendships started with my camera and the birthday cakes."
Moreno's experiences added to a path she began exploring during her time at Willamette: her role in the global community.
"In the farthest corner of rural Paraguay, in dirt-floor kitchens, I met some of the wisest and most generous people I have ever encountered."
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