Hello, everyone! My name is Jessica Jimenez and I am a third year student at the University of California at Santa Cruz. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California but have fallen in love with living in Santa Cruz. In my spare time I enjoy running, hiking, being outdoors and following Major League Baseball. I have traveled to Latin America and Japan before but have never been given an opportunity to work aboard on a great project like this before and am very excited about it!

I first heard about this project from Sydney while on a recreation trip she was leading. Her passion and excitement about it drew me in and I knew instantly that I wanted to apply to be a part of the team. While I did not know very much about the Maldives, I knew this project would give me the chance to be completely submerged in another culture while helping combat a disease that unfortunately still claims the lives of many Maldivian people. I am very honored to have been chosen as part of the team along with my fellow UCSC teammates.

From this project I hope to form relationships with members of the community while we work together to help control the mosquito population and fight Dengue Fever. Education is one of the world’s most powerful tools for community growth and that is exactly what we will be doing while working on this project. Cultural immersion is another one of the things I am looking forward to and I hope to take in the culture of the Maldives by learning some Dhivehi, trying many new foods, and overall learning about the great people who live there.