El Salvador

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Review — THE LAST OF HIS MIND by John Thorndike (El Salvador)
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Review — MY SADDEST PLEASURES by Mark Walker (Guatemala)
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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022
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EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR THE BEST: a true 1960s love story (Ecuador)
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More on El Salvador and The Peace Corps
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El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees
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The Peace Corps El Salvador Program Suspended

Review — THE LAST OF HIS MIND by John Thorndike (El Salvador)

  The Last of His Mind: A Year In The Shadow Of Alzheimer’s by John Thorndike (El Salvador 1966-68) Swallow Press 264 pages $18.82 (paperback), $27.94 (hardcover), $7.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by: D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • This is a moving story of a son’s devotion to his dying father who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. His determination to help his father fulfill his desire to die at home is admirable. Of interest as well is the author’s recounting of the details of how he arranged for others, including his two brothers, to spell him, giving him needed breaks from his around the clock care for his father. Beyond being a memoir of spending his father’s last year caring for him, the book also covers much of the elder Thorndike’s professional life, marriage, and personal life. It also discusses the author’s raising of his son as a single parent. One . . .

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Review — MY SADDEST PLEASURES by Mark Walker (Guatemala)

  My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road: Part of the Yin and Yang of Travel Series by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) Cyberwit.net May 2022 63 pages $15.00 (paperback) Review by: D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • This book is part of the author’s “Yin and Yang of Travel” series of ten essays, which was inspired by Paul Theroux’s (Malawi 1963–65) The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road  Mr. Walker has spent over 50 years traveling in many countries around the world, first as a Peace Corps volunteer, and later as a professional fund raiser for various nonprofit organizations or NGOs. The book is an easy read. Walker writes in a conversational style, and it is only 63 pages. It is primarily a journal of his travels alone, with his family, and leading trips for donors to NGOs he worked for. His travel has . . .

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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022

  To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and/or  to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and she will send you a copy along with a few instructions. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Please, please join in our Third Goal . . .

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EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR THE BEST: a true 1960s love story (Ecuador)

  Thanks  to the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) • Author Philip R. Mitchell’s Everything Happens for the Best: A Cross-Cultural Romance During the Early Years of the Peace Corps is a 1960s Love Story. Recently published  Philip R. Mitchell (Ecuador 1964-66) Peace Corps memoir is the adventurous and romantic story of the author’s determination to service his country, his fateful encounter with the love of his life, and the lengths he would go to conquer the time and distance between them while he taught in Ecuador. Philip R. Mitchell’s tale details the courtship and passion of Phil and Beatriz, whose paths in life diverge for an agonizing two years before coming together once again.   • Everything Happens for the Best: A Cross-Cultural Romance During the Early Years of the Peace Corps Philip R. Mitchell (El Salvador 1964–66) Page Publishing, Inc. February 2017 $12.12 (paperback), $9.99 . . .

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More on El Salvador and The Peace Corps

Peace Corps suspends El Salvador program as violence surges Thanks to a ‘Heads Up’ from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) By Jerry Markon January 14 at 5:14 PM Washington Post The Peace Corps has suspended its half-century-old program in El Salvador, highlighting the violence that has wracked the Central American nation and helped propel a wave of migration to the United States. In a statement, the agency begun by President John F. Kennedy said it is pulling out its 55 volunteers, who work on youth development and community economic development projects, “due to the ongoing security environment.” El Salvador has suffered a rash of gang and drug-related violence, though Peace Corps officials said no specific security incidents or threats triggered the suspension. The gang wars helped fuel a renewed surge in recent months of undocumented families with children flocking across America’s southwest border, the vast majority from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. That, in . . .

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El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees

Thanks to a “heads up” from Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) this story from The Huffington Post El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees The Central American country is on track to become the homicide capital of the world. Elise Foley Immigration & Politics Reporter The Huffington Post Emergency workers gather bodies after at least five people were killed, allegedly by gang members, in Ciudad Delgado on the outskirts of San Salvador, El Salvador. The Obama administration considers El Salvador too dangerous for Peace Corps volunteers, but will continue to send mothers and children with orders for deportation to the country. The Peace Corps announced Monday that it is temporarily suspending its El Salvador program “due to the ongoing security environment.” “Volunteers’ health, safety and security are the Peace Corps’ top priorities,” the agency said in a statement. “More than 2,300 Peace Corps volunteers have worked on . . .

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The Peace Corps El Salvador Program Suspended

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2016 – The Peace Corps today announced the suspension of its program in El Salvador due to the ongoing security environment. The agency will continue to monitor the security situation in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador to determine when the program can resume. The Peace Corps has enjoyed a long partnership with the government and people of El Salvador and is committed to resuming volunteers’ work there in a safe and secure environment. Volunteers’ health, safety and security are the Peace Corps’ top priorities. More than 2,300 Peace Corps volunteers have worked on community and youth development projects in communities throughout El Salvador since the program was established in 1962. PROGRAM OVERVIEW In 1962 the government of El Salvador invited Peace Corps into the country, and in April of that year the first 20 Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in El Salvador arrived.  By 1977, . . .

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