Doctors Without Housing – 3 Crossroads College Prep Alumnae Work to Build Facilities for Visiting Volunteer Physicians in Peru

Updated at March 01, 2013 14:35

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Contact: Heather Lake (314) 367-8085, ext. 202

In 2007, the Yantaló Foundation asked film producer/director Angela Snow (Crossroads College Prep Class of 2003) to create a documentary film about their foundation, the construction of a medical clinic it was sponsoring, and the conditions of healthcare in their Peruvian town.

After working on the film, Angela invited her classmates to Peru to learn more about the foundation.  At the time, Laura Jay (Crossroads College Prep Class of 2003) was working at the U.S. Green Building Council in Washington, D.C., and has since completed her master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University. Margaret van Bakergem (Crossroads College Prep Class of 2003) was completing her master’s degree in public health at Washington University after graduating from The College of Charleston.

The young women traveled to Peru and quickly recognized to recruit visiting physicians, volunteer housing would be needed.  Thus, The Yantaló International Volunteer Organization, a 501©3 organization, was created by this group of young women along with five other volunteers serving the Yantaló community.  The mission of the organization is “to support individuals from all over the world in their desire to volunteer their time and skills in the Yantaló community by building comfortable housing and provide a supportive, enriching environment, including space for short- and long-term housing, volunteer meetings, and planning space.” Since its inception in 2009, land has been donated for the volunteer housing site and money is being raised to bring the project to fruition.

When asked how their time as students at Crossroads College Prep influenced them in choosing their fields and ultimate work, Laura Jay, responds, “Crossroads always instilled in us the importance of using one’s interests to create a better world. Our work in Yantaló is doing just that, through our skills in film, health, and sustainability we are bringing resources to an area of Peru that is greatly in need.”

Laura currently lives in New York City and works at a sustainability consulting firm Terrapin Bright Green. Angela also lives in New York and works freelance on documentaries and TV production. Margaret lives in Nashville and researches public health issues for The Department of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The three Crossroads alumnae not only are raising funds for the house, but they are also developing a robust program and are working with St. Louis University, Washington University, University of Wisconsin and other major univerisities around the country supporting the work being done in Yantaló. The organization is currently in the middle of a flash fundraising campaign to raise enough to complete the first phase of construction on the house.  To read more about the organization and the volunteer house, please visit .


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