On April 1st, 2017 a landslide ripped through the Colombian town of Mocoa. The natural disaster sadly left over 300 people dead, 260 people injured, and thousands of others without shelter.
On April 12th a number of second generation Colombia RPCVs participated in The Inter-American Development Bank’s 2k walk/5K run raising money for Emergency Aid in the area.
Friends of Colombia is currently collecting donations for disaster relief in Mocoa. If you are interested in making a donation, you can do so here: #TodosPorMocoa.
The 2016 JFK Service Award was given to six members of the Peace Corps family who have consistently committed to providing outstanding public service, both at home and abroad. The award is granted every five years to two current Peace Corps volunteers, one returned Peace Corps volunteer, one returned Peace Corps Response volunteer and two Peace Corps staff members. Our very own Bob Arias (Colombia, 1964-66; Panama, 2009-10 and 2013-14; Paraguay, 2010-11; Colombia, 2011-13) was one of the response volunteers recognized on September 23, 2016.
Bob’s storied Peace Corps service began in Colombia, where he served from 1964 to 1966. Forty years later, Arias returned to answer the call to serve as a Peace Corps Response volunteer in Panama from 2009 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2014. From 2010-2011 Bob served as a response volunteer in – Paraguay, and once again in Colombia from 2011 to 2013. He also served as Regional Associate Peace Corps Director in Colombia, Language Director at the Peace Corps Training Center for South America, Country Director in both Uruguay and Argentina and ultimately as an expert consultant on safety and security for the Peace Corps Director after the 9/11 attacks.
Congratulations Flaco Bob!
On June 1st the Peace Corps changed their beloved logo from the red, white, and blue quasi-American flag to a sleeker red, white, and blue logo with a single dove. However, the logo wasn’t the only thing that changed that day; the https://www.peacecorps.gov/ website also received a makeover. The first thing I noticed on the revamped website was the easy access to volunteer stories. Check out some of the stories here: https://www.peacecorps.gov/stories/.
As of January 2016, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) dropped its membership dues. Henceforth, anyone in the Peace Corps community – current Peace Corps Volunteers, returned Peace Corps Volunteers, former staff, family, friends and those who espouse Peace Corps values – can become NPCA members simply by registering at http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/membership/. With this change, NPCA can host and facilitate a much broader range of Third Goal activities; i.e. ‘bringing the world back home’ and support them through the Community Fund. Visit peacecorpsconnect.org today and become part of something bigger than yourself.
*Expect to see an update on this page regarding this year’s Peace Corps Connect in the near future!
The www.rpcvs.com website allows all RPCVs to share information about their service with the world. Currently 1,405 returned volunteers have mapped their service on this website. However, only 7 RPCVs who served in Colombia are represented. Let’s increase that number FOC, create an account and map your service today!
Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet announced in October that the agency had smashed a 40-year record for the number of applications received for two-year volunteer service opportunities. About 23,000 Americans volunteered to serve in the Peace Corps in fiscal 2015, a 32 percent increase from the year before. Since 2013, applications have more than doubled. This record-breaking number of applicants comes after the first full year that the agency’s historic application and recruitment reforms have been in place and follows on the heels of a 22-year high in applications in 2014, demonstrating a trend of increased interest in Peace Corps service.
–The above photo is courtesy of Peacecorps.gov
RPCVs interviewing RPCVs about their Peace Corps experience
Recorded interviews become part of the National Archives, housed in the JFK Library
Check out this JFK Library document—http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/RPCV.aspx?=1
Scroll down to “Series List” to see abstracts of nearly 400 interviews already archived. Your interview could be one
The Peace Corps and Michelle Obama have teamed up to create the Let Girls Learn initiative. The Peace Corps website has released the following statement regarding the three pillared initiative,
“As part of the U.S. government’s commitment to Let Girls Learn, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps have formed a powerful collaboration to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world. Educating girls is essential to healthy and thriving communities but, globally, 62 million girls are not in school, and barriers to adolescent girls completing school are particularly significant. In some countries, fewer than 10% of teenage girls complete secondary school.
This program will address that challenge by empowering local leaders to put lasting solutions in place. Peace Corps Volunteers who live and work at the grassroots level will serve as catalysts of community-led change, and every American can get involved and make a difference.”
To learn more about the three pillars and how to get involved please visit the Let Girls Learn website.
The Peace Corps Office of Global Operations has introduced a new policy that requires individuals enrolling as Volunteers to take a Peace Corps Volunteer pledge, in addition to the Peace Corps oath. The pledge is as follows:
I first, last name promise to serve alongside the people of Country of Service.
I promise to share my culture with an open heart and open mind.
I promise to foster an understanding of the people of Country of Service, with creativity, cultural
sensitivity, and respect.
I will face the challenges of service with patience, humility, and
I will embrace the mission of world peace and friendship for as long as I serve and beyond.
In the proud tradition of Peace Corps’ legacy, and in the spirit of the Peace Corps family past,
present, and future- I am a Peace Corps Volunteer.
PC First Coast
On July 15, 2014 Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet announced sweeping changes to the agency’s application process that will make applying to the Peace Corps simpler, faster and more personalized than ever before, according to a Peace Corps news release. Under this new recruitment initiative, applicants will now be able to choose their country of service and apply to specific programs, and do so through a new, shorter application. The changes will include new Apply By and Know By deadlines so applicants can expect to receive an invitation to serve.
For more information, click on http://www.peacecorps.gov/media