Elena Bargo (B.B.A. '09), was vacationing in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 12, 2010, when she felt tremors from the earthquake that devastated neighboring Haiti. Four days later, she wrote to friends and family that she was postponing her return home indefinitely.
A certified professional rescuer, Bargo traveled in Haiti with 30 volunteers who, in the days just after the earthquake, provided aid to more than 8,000 people. She administered first aid, cleaned infected wounds, stabilized broken bones and provided medication to the victims.
She also worked in an orphanage in Léogâne – the epicenter of the quake – where she played with children and otherwise tried to keep them smiling. For the entire three months she volunteered there, Bargo slept in a tent.
“I have done things I’ve never imagined I would do. I have seen things I have never imagined I would see,” she said. “Haiti is an amazing country with amazing people. This has been undeniably one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of my life.”