Patty Arias swears in as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama
Kerrville, TX – Patricia “Patty” Arias graduated from Schreiner University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health. She completed her training to become a volunteer earlier this month and is working in a small community in the Comarca Ngabe-Bugle (a semi-autonomous state for the indigenous communities in Panama) helping them to get a better aqueduct and better access to clean water.
Arias’ primarily role is in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). She is working in schools to teach better hygiene and sanitation practices in the community. There is a high prevalence of diarrheal disease among those in the community and she will be working on better water treatment and teaching handwashing in the homes.
The community faces a high rate of HIV and AIDS. As a side project, the Peace Corps has asked Arias to develop a secondary project to assist the community leaders in overcoming issues associated with HIV and AIDS in the population.
Arias says she always knew she wanted to help others and the Peace Corps was the perfect fit for her. She traveled to Guatemala with other public health students in May 2018 and developed a passion for global health. Knowing that she wanted to work overseas, she focused on global health for many of her public health assignments.