Me with four teens from my community who spent their first (two) nights ever away from home at a camp I organized with other PCVs.

Me and PCVs Matt Crowe and Sam Stratton with the Ambassador to El Salvador and his wife, translating at an Army Medical Brigade.

School children in my community painting a map of the world on the school wall.

Name: Danielle Hidalgo-Crowe
U-M Affiliation: Staff

Where do you work?

Undergraduate Admissions

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

2006-2008

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

El Salvador

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Municipal Development: Mobilizing community members to participate in the development of their community.

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

Matthew Crowe: My husband and I were fortunate to serve together.

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

Working with youth as a secondary project was one of the most rewarding experiences. Particularly memorable was painting the World Map on a wall in my community's school with the 4th graders and organizing/implementing a sleep away camp for teens.

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

First, it allowed my husband time to study for and take (in country) the LSAT…which brought us to Ann Arbor where he is in law school at U-M. I was a Master’s International student through the MIDA program at WMU and earned credits for my Master’s degree while serving. As recent RPCVs (two years back in States), I believe we are just beginning to see the ways that our Peace Corps experience has shaped/is shaping our lives and careers.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

Although it will truly be the ‘toughest job you’ll ever love’, I strongly encourage anyone interested to commit to serving in the Peace Corps. You will be forever changed and prepared to face any future challenges! Take with you good walking shoes, a durable backpack, nalgene bottles, your iPod, a head lamp, and an open heart and mind… everything else you need you will find in the community which you will soon call home.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

Learning to integrate yourself in another culture is invaluable. Your ability to adapt, be flexible, have empathy, and show compassion will serve you in all areas of your life (school, work, family, etc.). It will change your perspective on life and allow you to prioritize what truly is (and is not) important. Also, you will have a whole new outlook and appreciation for everyday chores (laundry, washing dishes, photocopying, grocery shopping, etc.).

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