Meet Our Students
Reina Arizaca Chinahuanca Veterinary Science
Born in the urban center of El Alto, Reina Arizaca Chinahuanca grew up cultivating and selling corn products on a plot of land just outside of the city limits. Her family’s specialty is making humintas—the Bolivian version of corn tamales.
Though her parents dreamed Reina would become the first of their family to obtain a college degree, worries about living costs and security threatened to impede her professional path. But then a cousin told her about the UAC-CP. “My parents knew that at the UAC-CP I would be cared for—that I would have food to eat and a new family to call my own.”
Now a seventh-semester student in the College’s Veterinary Science program, Reina is thriving. She is one of three students tasked with caring for the nearly 900 chickens that is part of the Veterinary Science Department’s production program. For Reina, a career in veterinary medicine is about “working to bring happiness and comfort to animals of all shapes and sizes.”
Reina is an active leader in the College’s pastoral ministry program, as well. The program provides a space for students of all years and majors to come together and explore their faith. According to Reina, the ministry’s weekly meetings are an opportunity to share and be present with her peers.
The College’s Food Cooperative Program provides another opportunity for Reina to share with her peers. Thanks to generous donors, all UAC-CP students (and faculty and staff) can participate in a free breakfast program each morning. “The reality is that some of us have the resources to afford the food cooperative and others do not,” Reina says. “But, at breakfast, we have the opportunity to come together as a family and share a meal.”
Reina sends a message of thanks to all of the donors who make these shared meals possible. “If not for you, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn to learn, to share, and to eat as a community each day. God bless.”
Ruben Diego Lopez Zeballos Ecotourism
For Diego Lopez Zeballos, a third year Ecotourism student, the importance of his major is twofold: to protect the environment and to share the richness of Bolivia’s cultures and customs.
Diego first became interested in tourism while working as a tour guide in Madidi National Park. A jungle sanctuary located in northwestern Bolivia, the park is one of the largest protected areas in the country and most ecologically diverse regions in the world. Wanting to advance his career as a tour guide and gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the field, Diego decided to study Ecotourism in Carmen Pampa.
When Diego graduates in 2019-–the first in his family to obtain a college degree–he hopes to open his own experiential tourism business. “I will be able to put everything I learn here in practice when I return to work.”
His message to all friends of Carmen Pampa Fund? “Please come visit us! We would love to show you our beautiful country and home at the UAC-CP.”
Rosy and Isabel Apaza Catari Education & Nursing
When Sr. Damon Nolan, MIFC, founded the UAC-CP College in 1993, she said that the key to lifting people out of poverty was to give them options...and education expands those options.
Rosy and Isabel Apaza Catari, two sisters who study at the College, agree. “At the UAC, it’s our decision—what’s our future going to be like?” says Isabel.
For Rosy, a seventh semester Education student, and Isabel, a second semester Nursing student, the ability to choose their life’s path is a blessing. Since their father passed away several years ago, their mother has sacrificed a great deal to send her children to school and give them these options.
Their mother warns them to not live the same life she has had, Rosy says. “She works hard, in the sun and the rain, so that we can support ourselves with our minds rather than working in the fields.”
In addition to providing an affordable choice for higher education, studying at the UAC-CP allows the sisters to be close to their family. They come from Coripata, a neighboring town in the Nor Yungas region, and often return home on the weekends to work with their mother.
“Her desire for us to get ahead is what motivates me to learn,” says Rosy. Isabel adds, “She often calls us to make sure we’re studying!”
As the first and second in their immediate family to attend college, Rosy and Isabel understand the importance of studying, graduating, and becoming professionals. While they have different interests—and live on different campuses at the UAC—they share a common goal: to use their education to help people. Rosy believes her schooling experience has been a privilege and wants to inspire young people in the region to know that they too have options for their futures.
“Education is my passion,” says Rosy. “I want to make children laugh and learn to be creative. I want to teach them that they can do anything.”