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OIA Peer Advisor & UCEAP Returnee off to the Peace Corps

UC Merced Study Abroad Stories of Interest

Reproduced from the Next Peace Corps Volunteers Blog:

Juanita Mercado, OIA Peer Advisor & UCEAP Florence returnee from UC Merced

Mercado will be departing for El Salvador in March 2015 to begin pre-service training as a Youth in Development Peace Corps volunteer.

Mercado says she was motivated to join the Peace Corps because, “My husband and I had studied abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy during our Junior year of college. That experience changed my life, and his, forever and opened my eyes to the many opportunities there are outside of the U.S. During my last semester I decided that I wasn’t ready for graduate school; I wanted an experience that I couldn’t get from a classroom. When I went to the grad fair I was introduced to the Peace Corps and knew it was the perfect fit; I’d get to travel and help others with my husband by my side.”

During her first three months of service, Mercado will live with a host family in El Salvador to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist her community, she will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in El Salvador, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.

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