Annika Lynn Rodriguez was born and raised in Puerto Rico prior to attending Washington University. She received a B.S.B.A. degree from the University’s Olin School of Business in 1996, majoring in international business. While a student, she was active with the Association of Latin American Students, serving as its president during her senior year. Annika planned the first Latin American Awareness Week on campus, educating Washington University students about issues affecting Latin America, as well as teaching merengue and other dances.
She joined the Peace Corps after graduation and was sent to Honduras to help aid people living in poverty. Tragically, she was killed in a flash flood while there. In remembering her, a friend said, “Annika gave herself wholeheartedly to every person who entered her life.”
The Rodriguez Program
Washington University’s Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program recognizes students of exceptional merit who demonstrate academic and leadership achievements, along with the passion for service exemplified by Annika Rodriguez. In keeping with the legacy of the program, applicants should demonstrate their commitment to, or a history of, bringing diverse groups together and celebrating the cultures of diverse people.
Those selected as Rodriguez Scholars are expected to participate in a program designed for them, including orientation to Washington University, meetings with University and community leaders, academic support and advising, the Rodriguez Freshman Seminar, and events with other Rodriguez Scholars. The Scholars are expected to become involved in activities on campus and in community service projects.
I was a peace corp volunteer in Ecuador in 1978`81. 1n 1996 on a flight to Honduras as Latin America executive for Burger King, I met Annika on her first flight to Honduras, we instantly became one… the same dreams, the same education , from the same country (Im from Puerto Rico) Her first 3 days in Tegucigalpa we spend countless hours talking and dreaming of all sort of things in life…
During her short time in Honduras, I visited her twice a month in my continuous traveling on the region, I help her on several of her projects advising her and finding local resources to better accomplish her dreams in that country… On her, I became a peace corp volunteer again.
The week of her tragic departure from this world…I visited her on Sunday I was on my way to Mexico. We had a long talk prior my flight, I also told her about my father stroke the day before. I always call her every week to see how she was doing, that week she told me that she was very excited to visit a coffee project in Olancho. I just blessed her and told her that next week I will come over to Honduras.
That Friday while in Guadalajara Mexico I got a call from my house in Puerto Rico of my father sudden death…I try to call Annika to let her know but I couldn’t communicate to her. Saturday at my father funeral, I took the newspaper and on page 32, I found the news of her tragic death, I Immediately call the embassy and the consul told me that she died tragically as a HERO, trying to save the live of another volunteer.. while trying to cross in a jeep a flash flooded river on the road, coming from a dinner.
I buried my father on a Sunday and Annika on Wednesday.. Her funeral service was beautiful, her church choir sang songs celebrating Annikas live and this is true Annika gave herself wholeheartedly to every person who entered her life and as a Hero she died trying to save another human life… It took me 2 years dare to return to Honduras.
I have carried annika´s memory for this past 23 years and worked harder to serve other up to this day on her name.. It was so hard when I lost to of my shining stars within hours, my father and Annika. God Bless Washington University for keeping her legacy of service and humanity.
And Claudia God bless you for honoring a HERO and an angel…my humble respect to you always for your service to mankind in you name and of a Hero…Annika Lynn Rodriguez
My name is Michael Mitchell. I served in Us Navy during Lebanon war. I took leave from military in chameleon cortes Honduras where I met my Hondurans wife from chamelecon in 1987. I stayed with her very very poor family while on leave but I got sick had to be airlifted to USA in 1987. I lost contact with my fiancee till I returned to Honduras after I got out military an came in contact with my new Peace corps friend. Barbara cooper Haas who served in Honduras in yr I got married to my fiancee Doris Hernandez Guzman 1990. I lost contact with my friend in peace corp an my wife try to find both of them but no avail. My wife could died in terrorist bus attack on Christmas Eve 2004 or during Hurricane Mitch try to find barbara or my wife or both if any body that might did service with barbara can any person help me
I am from Alma Michigan went to high school in Massillon Ohio in 80s.
I served in Us Navy 6 yr.my last visit to Honduras WS when I was with barbara an my wife 1993 month of April. I hear over 10000 Honduras citizens missing because of Mitch. If any person see my message please contact me on Facebook. Michael Mitchell Massillon Ohio.
I would like to know how to contact Annika Rodriguez family in Puerto Rico. I am honduran and I’m closely related to her story and would like to contact her parents.
I am in close contact with some of her friends in Puerto Rico, and I am also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a Washington University Annika Rodriguez Scholar. Annika deeply influenced my life. I would love to talk to you! You may also check out a short video I made about her:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So82weY-arw
Looking forward to hearing from you firstname.lastname@example.org