Susana Herrera, a UCSC graduate who spent her Peace Corps tour in Cameroon teaching English to schoolchildren

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: Peace Corps Cameroon: The Peace Corps in Cameroon: Susana Herrera, a UCSC graduate who spent her Peace Corps tour in Cameroon teaching English to schoolchildren

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 9:52 pm: Edit Post

Global Slugs; UCSC Alumni in the Peace Corps

Global Slugs; UCSC Alumni in the Peace Corps

Global Slugs; UCSC Alumni in the Peace Corps

This article was originally published in the University of Califonia-Santa Cruz student newspaper, City on a Hill Press, on October 21, 1999.

Kristen Judy
State/National Desk Writer

You're just months away from graduation, satisfying those last few requirements, and you're trying to figure out what to do after college. You know you don't want to settle straight into a job. You know you want to travel. You know you want to help people and learn new, interesting things.

If you're thinking "Peace Corps," chances are you're not alone.

UC Santa Cruz currently boasts the third highest number of Peace Corps volunteers among all colleges and universities in California, with a total of 56 alumni currently serving. Only UC Berkeley and UC Davis - both much larger campuses than UC Santa Cruz - have a higher number of former students participating in the organization. Since UCSC opened in 1965, only four years after President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, over 500 alumni have worked as volunteers in 134 countries around the world.

So what is it exactly that attracts UCSC students to the Peace Corps? "I think Santa Cruz is a mecca for people who are into saving the planet," said Susana Herrera, a UCSC graduate who spent her Peace Corps tour in Cameroon teaching English to schoolchildren.

Herrera now teaches at Santa Cruz High School. Her recently published book, Mango Elephants in the Sun, recounts her experience as a volunteer and how living in an African village affected her life. "I feel like the Peace Corps gave me the best gift: to know myself," she said.

Morgan King, another UCSC alumni who graduated in 1995 with a degree in ecology, spent his tour in Nepal as a fisheries extension worker. He worked one on one with local farmers in the field as well as at the government fish farm. "[I gained] a greater understanding of humanity as a whole and a realization of who I am personally and what I can accomplish," he said. King now serves as the Peace Corps representative at UCSC, speaking at monthly information meetings in the community and on campus.

Some UCSC alumni do not think about joining the Peace Corps immediately after graduation. Windy, a UCSC graduate currently enrolled in nursing school at Cabrillo College, attended the recent Oct. 13 meeting at the Louden Nelson
Center. Although she said she is not considering volunteering for the Peace Corps in the near future, she came to the meeting with an interest in finding out more information. "I want to work as a health care provider in another country," she said.

Peace Corps volunteers are placed in a variety of positions around the world, ranging from teaching to health care to small business management. So any experience a prospective volunteer possesses will most likely be useful. Volunteers spend 27 months in the country they are assigned to and are given a living allowance for food, clothing, and travel, including travel to and from the country of placement. Although a bachelor's degree is not required to join the Peace Corps, 99 percent of its volunteers hold one.

Volunteering for the Peace Corps isn't referred to as "the toughest job you'll ever love" for nothing. Learning a new language and culture while trying to help the country you are in is a job only for those willing to take on the task. But, as Peace Corps recruiter Jean Ellisen jokes, there is one thing that volunteers are not required to do: "You don't have to sing 'Kumbaya.' "

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Cameroon



By Aben on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 9:01 am: Edit Post

Please my main problem here is just to learn how to write directed writings.

By Abbo Mendandi ( on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 7:32 pm: Edit Post

I am Abbo Mendandi .I am looking for Suzane Herrera.Please ,could I have her e-mail address with you?Thanks in advance.

By ESEME ISAAC NJANG ( on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 3:34 am: Edit Post

hello, i just want to know what it takes to be avolunteer in cameroon.

By Anonymous ( - on Friday, June 30, 2006 - 3:32 am: Edit Post


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