USF Global Spotlight

Tiffiany Portacio

Tiffiany Portacio

Tiffiany Portacio, Class of 2016

October 15, 2019

Spending two years in a foreign country may seem daunting to some, but Tiffiany Portacio has been taking full advantage of her time in Paraguay as a Peace Corps volunteer from the moment she stepped foot in the country.

“I have been learning and using the local indigenous language, along with Spanish, to do presentations at the health post and schools about varying subjects like hand washing and self-esteem/depression,” Portacio said. “I have also been facilitating Zumba and exercise classes and teaching yoga at the health post's pregnancy club. In the future, I plan to continue these projects in a more goal-oriented manner and assure its sustainability by mentoring local youth leaders within the community.”

Upon receiving her undergraduate degree in International Studies with a Minor in Public Health from USF later this year, Portacio plans on pursuing a graduate degree in either Health Policy or International Development.

Her belief that health care is a human right is what drives her to become successful in the global health field.

“My dream is to work for Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) or World Health Organization (WHO) and implement culturally-sensitive health promotion programs around the world, specifically in regards to female empowerment and prevention of non-communicable diseases in underserved communities,” Portacio said.

As for her two years in Paraguay, Portacio will continue to serve as a health Peace Corps volunteer in the countryside. She commences and guides community-centered events and projects to further educate locals about healthy lifestyles.