My name is Kimmy Mazza. I graduated from Mines in 2015 with a degree in chemical engineering. I have always had an interest in seeing the world and getting to know other cultures. I was a Harvey Scholar at Mines and this provided me with opportunities to travel to other countries during my collegiate career and I am forever grateful for those experiences. Towards the end of my Mines career I became interested in working in international development.
Shortly after graduation when I was deciding what I wanted to do with my life I found a Peace Corps posting for a water-engineer position in Peru. It was exactly the type of position I was looking for, so I decided to apply and a few months later I was accepted to the Peace Corps.
As I am writing this I have been in Peru for 14 months. As a WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) volunteer I work in the surrounding rural communities in my district training the water committees that are in charge of the local water system on proper operation, maintenance and management of their water system. I have also been working with my counterpart to install chlorination systems on the water systems so that the water in the community is potable.
I also work to promote better sanitation and hygiene practices in the communities by teaching about hand washing, proper water treatment and storage, and bathroom usage and maintenance.
As I reflect on my Peace Corps service so far there have been many ups and downs, but I can honestly say it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I am learning and growing so much. Not only am I learning about water systems and Peruvian culture, but I am also learning a lot about myself. Working as a young woman in a very machismo country has helped me become a strong and confident leader.
I highly recommend joining the Peace Corps, it is a beautiful experience that you won’t forget. If you want to follow my adventure in Peru you can check out my blog at https://mividahermosaenperu.wordpress.com/blog/.