The Not-So-Ugly Americans, 1965 (Ecuador)


Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)

In 1965 Public Television produced a documentary about the Peace Corps in Guayaquil. Marnie Elberson Mueller, Dave Zimmerman, and James Samiljan were chosen as subjects for the project, which was titled THE NOT-SO-UGLY AMERICANS. Jim’s dad managed to get a copy of the film through a friend who worked at WGBH in Boston. It had been sitting in storage until last month when Jim had it digitized. Marnie Mueller thought other RPCVs would enjoy seeing the video after all these years and forwarded it to me to share on this site. (Thank you, Marnie.) Jim had the video uploaded to YouTube. It is about 30 minutes long. The link below should take you directly there:

The Not-So-Ugly Americans, 1965




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  • What an incredible archival document!
    I am making a film on Rachel Cowan who was a
    Peace Corps volunteer at the same time.
    I would love to use a clip of this!!!

    Can you tell me how to get permission??

    All the best,
    Paula Weiman-Kelman

  • Thank you for documenting my father, Dave Zimmerman’s, work in the barrio of El Cisne. He passed away Nov 2017 so it was an awesome gift to see his smiling face among his Ecuadorian neighbors.

    He ended up marrying my mom, Maria Hoppe in 1966 who was from Quayaquil, Ecuador and bringing her mother and almost all of her brothers, their wives and children to the US in the 1970’s and 80’s.

    Thank you for sharing it on Youtube! Now my children can see what their grandfather did in Ecuador.

    Nina Edwards

  • Dear Nina, I was very happy to read your comments about seeing your father in the film and having it as a remembrance for your children. He was a wonderful man: quiet, strong, and committed to his work with the people of Guayaquil. He and I shared in one project, building a soccer league of young boys across the city. One of my favorite memories is of your father arriving at the Cerro Santa Ana Community Center in his rattling flatbed truck, to pick up the team from our neighborhood and carry them and me to the next game. I savored those Saturday mornings spent with him. Please communicate my fond regards to Maria and my condolences to your entire family for your loss of great man. My best, Marnie (Elberson) Mueller

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