Hope Fierro and Olivia Pollack volunteer with Mission Guatemala

BW students Hope Fierro (l) and Olivia Pollack (r) had a fantastic summer of service providing humanitarian aid in Guatemala.

On a mission for Guatemala

August 30, 2017

Hope Fierro and Olivia Pollack volunteer with Mission Guatemala

Melding career aspirations with personal fulfillment, BW students Hope Fierro '18 and Olivia Pollack '19 had a whirlwind summer of service interning with Mission Guatemala.

The two honors program students spent eight weeks in Central America assisting the United Methodist-affiliated organization in its mission of providing health, education and nutrition services to impoverished Guatemalans. They arranged the trip through BW's explorations/study abroad office.

Real-world Research Opportunity

Last year, Fierro (pictured left) was part of an honors program contingency that spent two weeks volunteering with Mission Guatemala. That trip was among a series of BW service-learning initiatives with the organization.

This year, she and Pollack (pictured right) were the only BW students on-site. A public health major, Fierro used the experience to begin research for her honors thesis. The Pennsylvania native is focusing her thesis on malnutrition in Guatemala and the effectiveness of Mission Guatemala in addressing this need.

Connecting to Humanitarian Outreach

For Pollack, an international studies and public health major, the internship experience was an opportunity for her to utilize her Spanish skills and learn more about outreach initiatives. The Aurora, Ohio, native is considering the Peace Corps upon graduation.

"Through this internship, I gained insights into how to partner with a target community in order to effectively administer sustainable humanitarian aid," she noted. "It was a great opportunity."