Peace Corps Worldwide celebrates the Peace Corps experience by publishing stories from around the world by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), and Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), to share with all who have a desire for international understanding.
This effort is at the heart of the Third Goal of the Peace Corps — to “bring the world back home.” Publicizing the writings of RPCVs and PCVs, all their novels, short stories, essays and poetry is a positive way of educating Americans about the world, an essential Peace Corps Third Goal activity to provided a link between the cultures of the world and our culture.
All work done for Peace Corps Worldwide is volunteer, and the site is in no way associated with the Peace Corps or the National Peace Corps Association.
This site is an outgrowth of the print newsletter Peace Corps Writers that was first published in 1989 by John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil (both Ethiopia 1962–64) to promote, encourage and recognize Peace Corps writers. In the duration the effort has expanded to do all that as well as to share news and information about the Peace Corps, assist the members of the Peace Corps community bridge cultures as they fulfill the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, tell the incomparable stories that come from the Peace Corps experience, and more recently publish their books.
You can —
- read about new books by Peace Corps writers,
- become acquainted with with Peace Corps writers through our interviews,
- learn about the history of the Peace Corps that is soon to be 55 years old,
- gain insight into the life-long impact of Peace Corps service on its Volunteers,
- receive tips on writing from highly accomplished RPCV writers to assist you develop your skills in sharing your stories, and
- emulate the examples of successful — as well as struggling — writers whose work fosters the commitment to service.
We look forward to your contributions in the form of comments, support and articles if you like.
No one needs to join, but every one can belong. All it will cost you is your time and interest — that means no membership, no sign up, no joining, no log on, no dues! Our bloggers post articles on no particular schedule, so we hope our readers will visit often to read what’s new. Glad you found us.
Our volunteer staff
Editor: John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64)
John was with the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to go to Ethiopia and taught English in Addis Ababa. After completing his service, he worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, and then became an Associate Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia.
He left the Peace Corps in 1967 to become Dean of Admissions and Students at the SUNY/Old Westbury, and later turned to writing full time. In 1995 John returned to the Peace Corps as Special Assistant to the Associate Director for Volunteer Support where he conceived of and edited three essay books about the Peace Corps experience: To Touch the World, At Home in the World, and Peace Corps: The Great Adventure, and wrote the concept paper that outlined a new role for Peace Corps Volunteers — the Crisis Corps, later renamed the Response Corps. In 1996 he was appointed Manager of the New York Peace Corps Recruitment Office.
John, who is considered an authority on the history of the Peace Corps, has written or edited over twenty-five books including Going Up Country: Travel Essays by Peace Corps Writers and Living on the Edge: Fiction by Peace Corps Writers.
John was a co-founder of the Peace Corps Fund — the non-profit foundation to support Third Goal activities of returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and is a member of the board of Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs. He writes for three categories on this site: “Peace Corps Writers,” “John Coyne Babbles,” Peace Corps Writers, and About Writing and Publishing.
Publisher/designer: Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962–64)
Marian has enjoyed a variety of incarnations. As a Volunteer she taught math in a secondary school in the town of Debre Berhan. Subsequently she worked at Peace Corps/Washington, from 1965 to 1969, married RPCV Donald Beil (Somalia 1964–66) and had two sons, earned an MFA in weaving and textile design and worked as a fiber artist. Since 1987 she has worked as a publication designer and technical illustrator — and now book designer and editor. She was the founder of Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs in 1991 and for many years was president of the board, co-founder of Rochester (NY) RPCVs and has been publisher and designer of Peace Corps Writers/Peace Corps Worldwide since its inception.
Writer: Suzanne Adam (Colombia 1964–66)
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, I worked as a Peace Corps community development Volunteer in two barrios in Barranquilla, Colombia from 1964 to 1966. With the Juntas de Acción Comunal, we struggled to instill the concept of self-help among the residents, constructing projects of their choosing, including a school, a health center and road improvements.
I met my Chilean man in Berkeley and moved to Santiago, Chile in 1972, a year before the coup. Now the mother of two sons and grandmother to four, I taught learning disabled children at the International School Nido de Aguilas. Now retired, I spend my time writing (a memoir is in the works), talking to stray dogs, feeding the hummingbirds, exploring Chile’s wild places and planning yearly trips to my homeland. My dream is to return to Barranquilla someday.
Suzanne says about her writings for Peace Corps Worldwide:
Despite living in Chile for over four decades, I still have one foot on each continent, my California roots stubbornly tugging at me. In my writings I reflect on being an ‘introduced species,’ a non-native like my backyard redwood tree that I smuggled through customs years ago (before I knew about ‘biodiversity’). The natural world of Chile is my muse, prompting me to pay attention to life’s little things that fill me with wonder.
Writer: Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963–65)
Joanne was a Health Education/Rural Community Development Volunteer in Colombia where she worked with a Colombian nurse and indigenous midwives to develop an UNICEF sponsored Maternal Education program. The nurse taught the midwives basic hygiene and safe practices. The midwives and she then taught the same course to pregnant women. She and her site partner also worked in other health education programs.
When Joanne returned to the US, she worked briefly in Washington DC in a low-level position at the Office of Economic Opportunity, but fled that city for the mountains of the West. She did graduate work at the University of New Mexico in Latin American Studies with an emphasis on Anthropology, and then earned a Masters in Public Administration. Joanne’s main career focus was as a caseworker and rehabilitation manger for agencies serving the developmentally disabled; subsequently she retired to raise her family.
After decades she is once more interested in all things Peace Corps — what it was and what it might become. She has searched for Peace Corps public records in many places, and it is this research she hopes to share.
Joanne says about her writing for this site:
The history of the Peace Corps can be found in the hearts and minds of people all over the world. It abounds in books and blogs, oral histories, letters, journals, and stories we tell each other. My focus is on one small part of this history: the public records of the Peace Corps. I hope to share what I have found about these records and what I couldn’t find. I welcome comments, corrections, and suggestions.
Tech Man: Noah Beil
Peace Corps Worldwide owes a special debt of gratitude to Noah Beil — our incomparable IT support guy.
Want to help Peace Corps Worldwide?
- Volunteer to be a book reviewer.
- Submit an article, story, poem, etc. you feel will be of interest to the Peace Corps community to be considered for publication to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a check (not tax deductible) to help with expenses for site hosting and the annual writers awards to:
Peace Corps Worldwide, c/o Beil, 492 Staten Ave, Apt 1003, Oakland CA 94610.