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Profile: Kamila Alexander

Ecuador

It's nearly impossible for Volunteers to spend two years making a difference in other people's lives without it making a difference in their own life. For health and nutrition Volunteer Kamila Alexander, part of that difference is a slight change in her career direction.

"When I return to the states, I want to go to medical school, but the Peace Corps experience has changed my desire to be a specialist. I've decided instead to become a primary care physician in an urban community with Latinos. Working with people here, I've seen that there is a great need for basic care. And that's changed my goals a bit."

Like most Volunteers, Kamila Alexander didn't really know what to expect when she arrived at her site.

"I jumped off the bus and I just walked down the road. Didn't know where I was going."

But, like most Volunteers, she quickly adjusted and began making a difference in the small Ecuadorian village of Kupa. She works with the community on general health issues as well as problems that are especially relevant to the community.

"I teach people everything from how to avoid transmitting colds to how to avoid transmitting AIDS. I work within the schools. I have a youth group. I have a mothers' group. I teach cooking classes. Basically I do whatever I can to help educate people about the importance of staying healthy. And whatever I've done, they've loved."

The influence Kamila has had on the people of Kupa has changed the way they think about and care for their health. And it's an influence that will help them for years to come. Likewise, Kamila's Ecuadorian friends have changed the way she thinks about her own future and strengthened her focus for medical school. And it, too, is an influence that will last for years to come.

Kamila Alexander (Ecuador)

Kamila is an African American from Dallas, Texas. She was interviewed in 1998. She has a B.S. in Physics.

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