As fall turns into winter in Peru’s Sacred Valley, the team in the Ayni Wasi office (Peru’s SVH base) is also changing. We are excited to have such dynamic and enthusiastic people working with us and would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to them, and to describe what they will be doing during their time in Ollantaytambo.
Erin Ryan is SVH’s new monitoring and evaluation coordinator. She graduated from Boston College in 2012 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a double minor in Chemistry and Hispanic Studies. She is currently pursuing a master’s in public health at Boston University, where she has studied the areas of International Health, Epidemiology, Monitoring and Evaluation and Pharmaceuticals. Erin sought out SVH as an opportunity to satisfy the practicum requirement for her MPH, and because she is interested in how small, young international NGOs are organized and developed in their first few years of existence. She also strongly believes in empowering individuals (particularly women) from rural communities through education. Erin has been with us since May and will return to Boston in the fall to complete the last semester of her MPH degree. After completing her degree she intends to get a job with one of the many NGOs requiring program monitoring and evaluation.
During her high school and college years, Elly got her start in the health field as a certified nursing assistant at nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. From this experience in direct care, Elly realized her passion for working in prevention and public health. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish, she spent a year and a half in Oregon working at the health promotion/chronic disease prevention division of a local public health authority. Ready to utilize her Spanish language skills further and gain experience on an international level, Elly discovered Sacred Valley Health/Ayni Wasi and became enthusiastic about the community health worker (promotora) program. At Ayni Wasi, Elly is working as a Community Coordinator for the promotora program, as well as on various monitoring and evaluation initiatives. In the future, she plans to return to school for a master’s in public health and to continue working in regions with health disparities.
Erica was born and raised just outside of Seattle, Washington. After becoming involved with reproductive health education and HIV prevention efforts in Seattle, she developed a passion for international health. Global health pursuits have brought her to rural health clinics in Mexico and Guatemala, primary schools in Namibia, and sexual health and AIDS education programs in South Africa and Botswana. During her time with SVH/Ayni Wasi, she will conduct research on current community health challenges and assist with the monitoring and evaluation of the promotora training program.
In her free time, Erica enjoys exploring, hiking, backpacking, travelling, and anything involving being outdoors. In the future, she hopes to use her training to reduce healthcare disparities among marginalized populations, both in her own community and internationally.
A big thank you to all of our current and former volunteers. Your hard work and dedication are much appreciated!
Check out SVH-ers Keri Baker and Julia Curry as they bike across the USA to raise awareness and support for SVH and community health in rural Peru! You can track their progress – and make plans to join them at SVH-related events – through their Spokes and Paddle trip blog.