After leaving my blog for some months, I have a series of old blog posts from the last 6 months or so that have passed. The following two are ones I wrote in March but didn´t have a chance to post.
As some of you may already know, March 1 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps (translated to Cuerpo de Paz in Spanish). It was very exciting to be serving as a Peace Corps volunteer during this historic event. As VAC (Volunteer Advisory Committee) member, I was able to attend the big celebrations February 28th in the Peruvian foreign ministry’s house (an absolutely gorgeous historical building) and March 1st in the U.S. ambassador’s house. It was touching to hear how much the Peruvian guests appreciated our work here. The Peace Corps Peru staff put together a beautiful video displaying volunteers’ work over the years and highlighted a few current volunteer’s stories. It is posted on YouTube (a version in English as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CigNMT-Sgwo), so check it out!
March 1st before the party, Stacy Rhodes, Peace Corps´ Chief of Staff, spoke to us in the US embassy. I learned a lot more interesting Peru specific Peace Corps information. Turns out we are the largest Peace Corps program in all of Latin America and one of the most successful programs in the world, thus confirming I won the “Peace Corps jackpot” being placed in Peru!
Exciting guests at the celebration: 1) First Lady Pilar Nores de Garcia, wife of the current president Alan Garcia. 2) Alejandro Toledo. Toledo is former president of Peru (and current candidate in this year’s elections) who has a touching connection to Peace Corps. Story has it that when he was 18 years old, a Peace Corps volunteer lived in his house and he took advantage of the opportunity to learn English. Inspired, he went on to study in the United States and returned to become the president of Peru in 2001! The Peace Corps Peru program started in the very beginning of the history of Peace Corps, volunteers arriving 1962, but there was a period of time when the program was shut down (political tensions). Peace Corps was invited to return in 2001 from Toledo and to this day working smoothly.