A 2010 graduate of the UAC-CP’s Veterinary Science Department, Maribel is the only certified veterinarian in the entire Municipality of Irupana located in the rural mountains of Bolivia’s South Yungas —seven hours away by bus from the capital city of La Paz.
As the owner and operator of a small veterinary clinic, Maribel is responsible for providing consultations and prescribing and selling medicines to animal owners. Her services are mobile; she often rides her motorcycle to make house calls to attend to sick animals in remote areas.
A native of El Alto, a large and extensively poor city on the outskirts of La Paz that is home to many Bolivians who are leaving the rural areas, Maribel and her husband Porfirio (UAC-CP ’09) made a conscious decision to raise their three children in Irupana.
Although it’s her husband hometown and there is still skepticism about the role of women in the workplace, Maribel has made a name for herself as the only college-educated veterinarian in the municipality. “Here, I am respected for my profession.”
“I’m proud to be an example—especially for my children and for other women,” Maribel says. “And I’m proud to be living the mission of the UAC-CP—helping to educate and respond to the needs of people who are marginalized.”