10/12/2014 | N.Y. nurse finds niche in Nepal, wins Kaplan U. award


Kaplan University School of Nursing adjunct faculty member Natasha Zurcher knew she had a unique student the moment she read Maria Almanza’s introductory email.

That was when Zurcher, MSN/Ed, RN, CPN, learned Almanza was writing from the other side of the world — Nepal, to be exact.

“I had to read her introduction over a couple of times,” Zurcher said. “I was like, ‘Wow, she’s actually over there?’”

Zurcher’s course, Bachelor’s Capstone in Nursing, is the final one taken by students in the RN-to-BSN program before receiving their diplomas, so enthusiasm is high. Almanza’s presence raised that level when she shared experiences in Nepal with classmates during live online meetings. “She talked about things like tiger bites and wounds from hiking in the area,” Zurcher said. “It was so interesting and a great learning opportunity, not only for myself but for the whole class.”

See the original post on, here.

05/23/2014 | Kaplan University #LEADLIKEANURSE CONTEST


Bucketts of Love founder Maria Almanza is the first winner of our ‪#‎LeadLikeANurse‬ contest! While on a volunteer trip to Chitwan, Nepal, she recognized that diabetes caused many conditions that could be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment. Bucketts of Love now conducts diabetes camps that combine testing and education for the local people of Nepal. You can learn more at Congratulations Maria!

See Kaplan’s official Facebook post, here. and the announcement on their website, here.


08/29/2012 | Staten Island woman inspired, determined to make a difference in Nepal | Staten Island Advance

Bucketts of Love in the Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – ELTINGVILLE – Imagine a tiny, jammed hospital room with 20 sick patients, no medical masks, outdated equipment, and the inability to afford adequate health care.

In Nepal, this is reality.

Eltingville resident Maria Almanza recently visited the country, which borders the northeast portion of India in South Asia. She spent two months learning about the everyday conditions some of Nepal’s inhabitants face in the area of Chitwan, where the College of Medical Sciences houses dozens of patients and trains medical students.

Read the entire article on, here.

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