RPCV Costa Rica 2008-2011
M.A. International Development
My name is Mariana Bojaca, and I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica from 2008 to 2011. I was a Community Economic Development volunteer in a semi-rural indigenous community where I taught English, computer, and business skills. Among my most memorable activities were facilitating a Junior Achievement youth entrepreneurs program in which high school students initiated and operated a business in a nation-wide competition and leading life skills and self-esteem workshops for elementary school age children. I served as a Volunteer Coordinator for a third year in the country office. During this time, I designed and facilitated technical training sessions for groups of trainees and volunteers, and supported them in the field. I also analyzed volunteer work reports and program evaluations.
I selected American University because it did not focus on a specific sector of international work; instead, it offers a diverse learning environment that focuses on poverty alleviation and sustainable efforts that I value. Being in DC is an added bonus. I am currently pursuing a degree in International Development with a focus on Development Management at the School of International Service. My experience with Peace Corps gave me valuable insight in topics that I study in graduate school, and allows me to reflect on how best to work in local as well as international settings. Overall, AU is a wonderful school where you can meet people with diverse perspectives, including RPCVs.