Official Blog of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Peace Corps Volunteer and LACIS Alumna Molly Reddy Shares Her Experiences in Paraguay

Molly Reddy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, majoring in Nonprofit & Community Leadership and LACIS. Soon after graduation, Reddy truly put her education received at UW to the test by volunteering for the United States Peace Corps in Paraguarí, Paraguay.


Reddy describes her town, Paraguay and the mission of her work:

“I’m currently a Peace Corps Volunteer in the South American country of Paraguay, often called the heart of South America.  I live in a small town about 2.5 hours outside of the capital called Paraguari.  The fact that we have 9,000 people living in our city center actually makes it a ‘big city’ by Paraguayan standards!  While Paraguay does enjoy access to many modern conveniences and technologies, wealth is unequally distributed, corruption is rampant and Paraguay has long remained the second poorest nation in South America after Bolivia. Creating more public and educational spaces for youth will help train the future leaders of Paraguay.”

Molly aims to help this process along through her work in remolding an old train station into a cultural and community center. According to the Peace Corps website,

“This program aims to train youth in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation, teamwork, social and cross-cultural interaction, communication, and leadership. It also hopes to revive a historic public space as a learning center. This will increase the social capital and civic pride of the citizens, as well as increase tourist visits to the town. Once a part of the steam engine railroad lines that connected the country of Paraguay, the train station is currently maintained by community efforts; their volunteer commission will be aided by the Partnership to create a reading room and art, literacy, leadership and self-esteem programming for youth.” -Peace Corps Website

To learn more about Molly’s activities with the Peace Corps and how she is utilizing her LACIS degree, check out her blog here

UPDATE (3-19-2013): Molly’s project has been fully funded!

For more photos of the train station soon-to-be community and cultural center, click here.

LACIS commends Molly Reddy for her exemplary humanitarian work and wishes her all the best in her future endeavors, wherever they may take her!