Yessenia Picha ’12—Of alpacas and affection
Yessenia Picha ’12 comes from a family of alpaqueros, or alpaca ranchers. She grew up around the curious, long-lashed creatures raised mostly for the fiber made from their soft, durable fleeces. With 80 percent of the world’s alpaca population residing in Peru, it’s no surprise that after completing her veterinary degree at the Catholic University of Santa Maria, she worked for an agricultural social services agency in the area of genetic improvement of the animal.
While the work was rewarding, “I felt there were important gaps in my knowledge,” says Picha. She knew she could obtain more rigorous veterinary training in the United States. Also, … » More …