My name is Vera Cristina Crespo Peñagarícano and I will be graduating from American University in May 2019 with a degree in biology. I have interned in non-profits like Every Child Matters were my interest in children’s health grew. My love for community service is inexplicable and I’ll love to continue doing it through my career path. I am very interested to continue studying Biology and then go to medical school.
For two years, I had the opportunity to be part of a missionary team from Puerto Rico in Santa Rita, Paraguay which was a life changing experience. We were about 39 teenagers from different parts of the Island, with a great deal of diversity in religion, races, and education. Our goal was to evangelize and be evangelized. Also, we dedicated our time to help in social, physical and emotional areas. It was planned to last for two weeks and spend the other weeks visiting some places in South America. During the community service weeks, we visited and interviewed different sectors of the community to know more about them. We dedicated part of our time in religious, sports, and other activities for the kids. By the end of the week, five houses were built, eleven were provided with electricity and about twenty were provided with water. The saddest moment was to leave them, and even harder thinking when I will see them again. My greatest satisfaction was to know that the time dedicated made a good change. I still keep in contact with a few of the residents from Santa Rita. I had built a very strong relationship with some of them. This relationship has made me grow and become the girl I am today. I have learned plenty from them. I truly believe that they have taught me more than I have taught them the time I spent there. It was an experience that I will never forget, it is impossible to. I’m sure I’ll be back one day.