Carolina is an international student that grew up in Guanajuato, a small town located in México. (Fun fact: Ashland, OR is a sister city with Guanajuato). Carolina graduated from the University of Oregon in 2017 with a BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies.While in college, her brother invited her to volunteer at a Wound and needle exchange clinic in Tijuana, Baja California. Through her volunteering, she worked with marginalized communities who use drugs (PWUD) and are at risk of blood borne diseases, such as HIV and HCV. After this experience, Carolina became passionate about the work that can be accomplished through a public health lens.
For the past 5 years, Carolina has also worked with Lane County Public Health. She first initiated her public health career by working on a program called “I’m healthy!/ Soy sano!”. The program focused on providing free primary health care services to undocumented children. She primarily worked with the indegenous Guatemalan community in Cottage Grove. After the completion of this program Carolina was recognized by the Board of Commissioners in Lane County. Later on, she joined the Communicable Disease Department as a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS), specifically in the role of providing case management services to people who have been recently diagnosed with a STI (Sexual Transmitted Infection) and/or HIV. In 2019, Carolina was awarded the World AIDS Day Award by HIV Alliance. During her time at Public Health, she also worked on the initial COVID-19 response, and through this public health emergency she noted that minority communities, especially Latinx, were disproportionately affected. These families have struggled more since they have lost their income and may not have access to affordable healthcare. To address this issue Carolina helped put together a public health sub-committee for Latinx outreach that created recommendations such as support for rent, groceries, free testing, and targeted information in Spanish and other indigenous languages. Prior to her leaving Public Health, she also got the opportunity to be involved in the hMPXV (monkeypox) response. Currently, Carolina serves as a Board Member for a local organization called Daisy C.H.A.I.N.
Through her past experiences Carolina learned the importance of inclusive public health strategies. She decided to pursue a master in Global Studies, with a health focus, in order to be able to design high quality health care delivery systems for stigmatized and underserved communities.