The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

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First Peace Corps Auto Mechanics Instructor (Ethiopia)
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PEACE CORPS WRITER’S WORKSHOP THIS SEPTEMBER!
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Sargent Shriver’s official memo giving instructions to staff on selection
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A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors
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NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst reports on volunteering at the border
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Museum of the Peace Corps Experience requesting donations
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A Distinguished Career: Patricia Garamendi (Ethiopia)
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What happens in Montenegro stays in Montenegro
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Montenegro to Welcome Peace Corps Volunteers in 2020 
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Where Did the Schizophrenics Go?

First Peace Corps Auto Mechanics Instructor (Ethiopia)

First Peace Corps Auto Mechanics Instructor  By David Gurr (Ethiopia 1962-64) I entered Peace Corps Training to serve in Ethiopia at Georgetown University in the summer of 1962.  Initially, Georgetown assigned me to teach geography because I had more credits in that area than any other Trainee.  However, because of my earlier experience with repairing and building automobiles, my country director, Harris Wofford, told me that the Peace Corps wanted me teaching auto mechanics.  I was assigned to a group of other technical-skilled Trainees comprised of a machinist, a sheet metal worker and two draftsmen. Our group received little or no instruction in technical training, unlike the classes preparing others teaching academic subjects.  Little stands out other than a tour of the US Steel plant in Sparrows Point, Maryland.  Two officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Education came to one session.  They told us that there were two such schools: . . .

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PEACE CORPS WRITER’S WORKSHOP THIS SEPTEMBER!

PEACE CORPS WRITER’S WORKSHOP THIS SEPTEMBER! Want to spend three days in September on the Eastern Shore of Maryland discussing your book with other writers and RPCV authors? Peace Corps Writers, supported by the Peace Corps Fund, is arranging an inexpensive and small workshop for ten to fifteen RPCVs working on their own Peace Corps memoir, poetry, or fiction. This workshop will be held on the Eastern Shore of Maryland from Friday, September 20th to Monday, September 23rd at this lovely location: https://shoreretreatsonbroadcreek.org/ There will be talks, reviews of your manuscripts, individual conferences, stories to tell (and how to tell them) and plenty of time for conversations and relaxation. Space is extremely limited. At the moment we have not set the workshop fee but we want to make it as reasonable as possible for everyone. If you are interested in attending please let me know. jcoyneone@gmail.com Here are the RPCV . . .

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Sargent Shriver’s official memo giving instructions to staff on selection

    The University of New Mexico was the training site for Peace CorpsTrainees bound for South America, from 1962 to approximately 1967.  Selection was an important part of the training process. Trainees were observed at all times and subject to psychological testing and evaluation in addition to the elaborate background checks.  The University of New Mexico has archived important documents from Peace Corps Training.   Thank you to the Archivists at the University of New Mexico’ s Center for Southwest Research.  The archivist emailed me a digitial copy of the memo. I had to reformate it in order to post it here.  The text was not changed. Here is the citation: Box 1 in the Selections 1962-1963 folder of UNMA 150, the Peace Corps Collection, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. _____________________________________________________________________ PEACE CORPS — Washington 25, D. C. MEMORANDUM TO ALL PEACE CORPS STAFF AND TRAINING  PERSONNEL . . .

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A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors

A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors Approximately 30 years ago, Marian Haley Beil and I (both Ethiopia 1962-64) began to identify Peace Corps Writers. It was our Third Goal Project to spread the story of the Peace Corps in developing countries by promoting the writings of RPCVs here at home.  We did this as two former volunteers, not connected to the Peace Corps agency or the NPCA. We began in April 1989 with a newsletter Peace Corps Writers & Readers and now on a website: www.peacecorpsworldwide.org We announce new books, have them reviewed, interview authors, and publish writings by RPCVs. We also started with Create Space/Amazon a line of Peace Corps Writers Books. Marian Beil is the creative publishing genius behind these projects. Annually we give cash awards in different categories for the best books published every year. We do not receive any money from these efforts, and gifts to . . .

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NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst reports on volunteering at the border

    Here is Glenn Blumhorst Report about his experience. From the NPCA webpage:   “There is a great need for Spanish-speaking volunteers to serve in hospitality centers at the southern border. NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988-91) recently took a leave of absence to lend a hand. Here’s his story and how you can volunteer with Annunciation House. “I can empathize with them; I’ve been in their shoes,” said Lupe, the Amtrak ticket agent in El Paso, Texas. I was dropping off Fortunato and his six-year-old daughter, Lourdes, for their four-day trip to Bellingham, Washington, with connections in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle. I was moved by how kind and considerate Lupe was to these particular travelers – refugees who had made the arduous journey from their village in Guatemala to the United States, desperately seeking the safety and economic security that we Americans take for granted. “I can too,” I . . .

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Museum of the Peace Corps Experience requesting donations

    From the website of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience — “The Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience was founded by returned Peace Corps Volunteers in 1999 in Portland, Oregon.  As a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization, the Committee has an established record of artifact acquisition, professional exhibitions and modest fundraising. The Committee expanded its focus to the national level in 2016 during Peace Corps’ 55th Anniversary.  Twelve dedicated returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) from across the country stepped forward to comprise a core planning group. The Committee dramatically increased its activities in 2017 with a planning retreat in Denver preceding the annual Peace Corps Connect conference.  Momentum built when Committee members met face-to-face for the first time and reconfirmed their commitment to building a museum, both online and physical. They formulated four strategic initiatives – Operations, Collections, Fundraising, Technology – which provide the road . . .

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A Distinguished Career: Patricia Garamendi (Ethiopia)

    Visionary Women Championed During Women’s History Month Published March 28, 2019 A Distinguished Career of Furthering Peace Throughout the World   “Just say peacemaker,” responded Patti Garamendi when she was asked how she would like to be introduced for an event recognizing National Women’s History Month at the Census Bureau. Clearly, the returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ethiopia, 1966–68), former associate director of the Peace Corps, and former vice chair of the Committee on World Food Security for the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization, sees “peacemaker” as one of the most important roles in her dynamic, impactful career. On March 5 to an audience of employees—some returned Peace Corps volunteers themselves—eager to hear her stories and advice. The event was sponsored by the Census Women Count Chapter of Federally Employed Women and the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. This year’s theme for National Women’s History Month, “Visionary Women: Champions . . .

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What happens in Montenegro stays in Montenegro

  Back in 1966 when the Peace Corps first went to Micronesia, the agency launched its recruitment strategy with a pamphlet showing a glorious sunny beach and palm trees waving with the wind under the headline, “Peace Corps Goes to Paradise.” Needlessly to say, that Ad outraged current and former Volunteers who didn’t see their service as idling away a few years on a blissful island. Now the Peace Corps is headed to Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea in Southeastern Europe, just across the water from Italy, and neighboring Albania, Bosnia and Croatia. In 2020, PCVs will be arriving to work in primary education programs in a nation famous for its gambling and nightlife. Some tourists call the country, “a poor man’s Monaco.” But as Director Jody Olsen said in her announcement, “The Peace Corps is proud to partner with the Government and people of Montenegro. This is a truly unique . . .

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Montenegro to Welcome Peace Corps Volunteers in 2020 

Peace Corps Press Release WASHINGTON – The Peace Corps announced today plans to establish a new program in Montenegro focused on English education. Montenegro will represent the agency’s 142nd country of service and will be considered an extension of the existing Peace Corps post in Albania. The Government of Montenegro invited the Peace Corps to establish a program in the country in August 2018; the new program will open next year. The first group of Volunteers is scheduled to depart in January 2020. The new Volunteers will undergo three months of comprehensive technical, cross-cultural and language training in Albania before starting two years of service in small, under-served Montenegrin communities. The new cohort will serve as education Volunteers in primary schools and co-teach with Montenegrin English teachers. The Volunteers will also work with their teacher counterparts to engage young people in after-school clubs, educational camps and sports initiatives. Volunteers may . . .

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Where Did the Schizophrenics Go?

    The number drops to 750,000 from 2.8 million, and spending per patient soars.   by Fuller Torrey and Wendy Simmons March 26, 2019 6:56 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal Wondrous are the ways of Washington. In a single day, the federal government officially reduced the number of people with schizophrenia in the United States from 2.8 million to 750,000. With a change of the National Institute of Mental Health website in 2017, two million people with schizophrenia simply disappeared. The 2.8 million estimate, or 1.1% of the adult population, had been the official standard for the U.S. since the 1980s, when the last major prevalence survey was carried out. The figure was provided to Congress in 1993 and used for national estimates such as the cost of schizophrenia. NIMH Director Joshua Gordon wrote in the Psychiatric Times that “the 1.1% figure is no longer scientifically defensible” in view . . .

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