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Leonia Native Lucy Aranda Heading To Guatemala To Serve In Peace Corps

Lucy Aranda
Lucy Aranda Photo Credit: Miriam Tausner

LEONIA, N.J. -- Lucy Aranda, a Leonia High School 2011 graduate, will be serving in the Peace Corps as a maternal and child health volunteer in the Western Highlands region of Guatemala.

Aranda will leave Tuesday, March 29. For the next 27 months, she will work with community organizations to help address their needs with a special focus on maternal and child health.

The purpose of the maternal and child health project is to support national efforts to ensure that mothers and children of rural Guatemala live healthy lives.

"Serving in the Peace Corp in Guatemala is a perfect choice for me at this time. I am very interested in maternal health care issues and policies," Aranda told Daily Voice. 

"I'm looking forward to working with the people in this beautiful country while learning their culture and furthering my Spanish language skills. I'm so happy and fortunate to have this opportunity"  

Aranda attended the University of South Carolina Columbia Arnold School Of Public Health, where she graduated last May. An avid traveler, she has been across the world volunteering in Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America.

She currently is an emergency medical technician at the Fort Lee Ambulance Corps and is an active member of the Rotary Club of the Palisades. Upon her return from the Peace Corps, Aranda plans on attending graduate school with the goal of working in public policy in the public health field.

The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to address the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work with their community members at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions to challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development.

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. Currently, there are 110 volunteers in Guatemala working with their communities on projects in health and youth development.

During their service in Guatemala, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including: Ixil, Kakchiquel, Mam, Q’anjob’al, Qe’qchí, Quiché, Spanish and Tzutuhil. More than 4,945 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Guatemala since the program was established in 1963.

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