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News

July 31, 2019

In Memoriam – July 2019

This month, we honor members of the Peace Corps community who have died, and also mourn the deaths of two serving volunteers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their nation.   Alan Hale died at age 80 following a bicycle accident in the Philippines where he was serving as a Volunteer in Southern Leyete province. He was working with local officials on waste management issues, conducting trainings for more than 2,000 people to address issues ranging from trash burning to littering. Alan was on his second tour of duty as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, having begun his Philippines service in September...

July 16, 2019

Why I Give: Haskell Ward

NPCA asked Haskell Ward why he supports his greater Peace Corps Community. His response: "Amazing Impact." Haskell Ward’s international career began with Crossroads Africa in Kenya which led to his Peace Corps service in Nazareth, Ethiopia. He built his international career developing African and Middle Eastern economic development strategies for the Ford Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria. He served as New York City’s deputy mayor during the Ed Koch administration and as deputy assistant secretary for Africa under Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in the Carter administration. Ward later worked on Africa energy and mining issues for Global Alumina and spent...

July 9, 2019

Community Achievements – July 2019

Community News - Achievements of RPCVs Author: Peter Deekle July 2019   PEACE CORPS Mark Gearan, the longest serving president in the history of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, concluded his duties as president at the end of the 2016-17 academic year and now serves as Director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. At the time of his appointment in 1999, he was one of the youngest college presidents in the nation, previously serving as Director of the Peace Corps Rowland Scherman was the subject of a documentary film by Chris Szwedo, titled Eye on the Sixties. He was...

July 3, 2019

Raise Your Voice to Educate the 110 Members of Congress Who Voted to Eliminate Funding for the Peace Corps in 2020

Last month, the House of Representatives voted 315 - 110 to reject an amendment introduced by Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) that would have slashed more than $19 billion from our international assistance programs, including the complete elimination of funding for the Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2020. More than 9,000 members of National Peace Corps Association's advocacy network took action to turn back this ill-conceived amendment. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to educate the 110 members of Congress who voted in favor. How Did Your Representative Vote? Find out here.   IF YOU LIVE IN A DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTED IN...

July 1, 2019

A Divided Heart

Jacobo is a compact, 43-year-old man with too many teeth and a big smile. He is about to address a Monday morning class of 23 pre-med students from Minnesota’s College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University who are on a three-month immersion Spanish language program in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second largest city. On the day before, Jacobo stood in the living room of the two-story house in the village of San Lorenzo that he built for his family. The house, like Jacobo, is a bit unsettled. Four of the five bedrooms remain vacant and his father sleeps in what is...

July 1, 2019

Trouble in the Highlands

The influx of undocumented immigrants into the United States last year reached a 10-year high of more than 115,000 and has already passed that figure this year, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Since the recession, Guatemalans represent the second-largest group of undocumented Latino immigrants after El Salvador, according to the Pew Research Center. No longer is the majority of these immigrants young males seeking work, but families and children, many of whom are seeking asylum. So what is pushing these people away from their homes? What impact do our government’s policies and those of the Guatemalan government...

July 1, 2019

The Caravan: Poster Child for a Broken System

The migrant caravans that have wound their way to the southwestern border of the United States from Honduras through Guatemala and Mexico have their roots in the failure of reform to our immigration policies. Despite two previous attempts during the George W. Bush administration and another during Barack Obama’s tenure in office, our politicians have preferred the path of bloated, fear-mongering rhetoric than one of serious, complicated policy reforms that would address the situation. Our current President knows that demeaning immigrants helped launch him on the path to the presidency, and he clings to the old tried and true slogans...

July 1, 2019

Our Service Continues

If you’re like me, your Peace Corps service was a life-transforming experience. Those three and a half years in Guatemala from 1988 to 1991 changed my perspectives, my perceptions and – in many ways – my plans. Thirty years later, that period in my life seems like just a moment in the past, but to this day Peace Corps ideals have guided every step of my life and career. So, when I saw the need for volunteers at Annunciation House to assist with refugees in transition at the southern U.S. border, I couldn’t resist the call to serve again. I...

June 27, 2019

Peace Corps Connect 2019: Community, Advocacy, and the Third Goal

What happens when hundreds of members of the Peace Corps community get together to discuss innovation, collaboration, and service? An exhilarating two-and-a-half days of conversation on topics ranging from immigration to social media, economic development to climate change, and everything in between.  "What starts here changes the world." As our co-host, the Heart of Texas Peace Corps Association (HoTPCA), pointed out, this University of Texas at Austin saying applies to the shared Peace Corps experience and inspired attendees to be curious, go beyond expectations, and take what they learned in Austin back to their home communities.     The conference officially kicked off on Thursday, June...

June 27, 2019

In Memoriam – June 2019

From Follansbee, West Virginia to Painesville, Ohio or Tacoma, Washington to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Peace Corps experience took some of our community members who recently passed away to places that perhaps they'd never imagined. As a recent Peace Corps campaign asked "Life is calling, how far will you go?," these RPCVs and community members answered that call to the fullest. Dr. Maurice “Moe” Sill (born in Follansbee, West Virginia) was one of the Peace Corps pioneers who served as the training officer for the initial group of Volunteers sent to India. From 1961-1963, he served as the first country director of the Peace...

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