TAMU-CC Alum Leads Peruvian City Through Challenges of Pandemic

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In his first term as mayor of a small city in Peru, Islander Alan Carrasco Bobadilla is facing the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We only have five confirmed cases, which we are closely monitoring,” said Carrasco, who was elected last year as mayor of Santa Rosa, a municipality of the Peruvian capital, Lima. “We are one of the best municipalities at managing this situation. Some others have a lot more cases. We work very closely with the police and military force to keep our people safe at home.”

Just as in the U.S., the Santa Rosa government worked to institute social distancing measures, identified those 60 and older as being among the most at risk, and advised residents to wash their hands often.

Carrasco attended Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi from 2007-2010, earning a master’s in business administration. He feels his education opened a lot of doors for him, both in the U.S. and in Peru.

“Ever since I graduated, I have had much broader opportunities,” Carrasco said. He chose to return to Peru after graduation to work on his personal goals, which included serving the people of his hometown.

“When I returned, I started to plan my political life,” Carrasco said. “I ran for office in 2018, winning in my first attempt.”

Santa Rosa, with a population of about 50,000, is one of 43 municipalities that make up Lima. Despite its scenic, oceanside location, it also is one of the poorest districts.

“It is a real challenge to administer with such limited resources for so many people,” he said. The city government faces many challenges, including a lack of equipment, such as vehicles for police, fire, and trash collection.

In spite of such shortfalls, Carrasco has led efforts to provide food and water for residents, and to ensure they receive proper medical care during the pandemic. He feels a great deal of satisfaction in helping others and plans to run for Congress when his term as mayor ends.

Carrasco said he selected A&M-Corpus Christi from three U.S. universities he was considering because of several factors.

“I finally decided to attend TAMU-CC for the good faculty they have, the system the university belongs to, and because the weather is so good,” he said. “I am a proud Islander and I am planning to visit my alma mater – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi – by the end of this year. God bless you all.”