Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic
PCDR Celebrates 50 Years
Almost 200 DR-RPCVs returned on Santo Domingo in early February 2012 to celebrate 50 years of Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic. The weeklong celebration was highlighted by speeches by Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Morales Troncoso, United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Raul Yzaguirre, and Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams (DR '67-'70), and also featured presentations on today's Peace Corps sectors and initiatives, memories of Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic across the last five decades, a reception at the US Embassy, and plenty of tostones and merengue.
PCDR Annual Report
Just in time for 2012 comes the PCDR Annual Report 2010. The report details, sector by sector, Peace Corps Volunteers' efforts working hand in hand with local partners to train youth in computer skills, supply water to rural communities, improve small business's management techniques, build safer cook stoves, help families eat more nutritiously, teach kids to read, and dozens of other community-building development projects.
Director Williams and Members of Congress Visit PCDR
On March 21st 2011, Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams accompanied a congressional delegation to the Dominican Republic to get a first-hand look at the Peace Corps.
Events included a reception at US Ambassador Raúl Yzaguirre's residence, a visit to a current Volunteer's site, and a meeting with Dominican President Leonel Fernández.
The delegation was led by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and included Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, as well as Representatives Xavier Becerra of California and Peter Welch of Vermont.
Director Williams is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in the DR from 1967 to 1970.
2011 Marks Peace Corps' 50th Anniversary
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps, forever changing the way America sees the world and the world sees us. Today, one of President Kennedy's most enduring legacies can be found in the over 200,000 current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have collectively given over a half-century of service to the cause of peace. On its 50th anniversary, the United States Peace Corps remains an enduring symbol of our Nation's commitment to encouraging progress, creating opportunity, and fostering mutual respect and understanding throughout the world.
Read the rest of President Obama's Presidential Proclamation honoring the commitment of the more than 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers who have served worldwide since 1961.
New Peace Corps Volunteers
On May 12, 2010, 39 trainees officially swore in as Peace Corps Volunteers in the Dominican Republic, 22 for the Information and Communications Technology sector and 17 for the Community Environmental Development sector. The ceremony took place at Entrena SA headquarters in Pantoja, a community north of the country's capitol, Santo Domingo. Having completed a rigorous nine-week training coordinated by Entrena SA, the new Volunteers will now depart for different cities, towns and rural communities across the country.
Speakers at the event included John Seibel, president of Entrena; Romeo Massey, director of Peace Corps DR; and Altagracia Suriel, director of social initiatives for the First Lady's Office (Despacho de la Primera Dama). All speakers emphasized that Volunteers play a crucial role in their communities, not only empowering communities to achieve their short- and long-term goals, but providing a means for Dominicans to learn about American culture while the Volunteer becomes immersed in Dominican culture. They also noted that Peace Corps has been working hand-in-hand with the Dominican people uninterruptedly since the very first group of trainees swore in in 1962.
Attendees included current Volunteers, representatives of the American Embassy, Peace Corps and Entrena staff, and members of the Pantoja-area host families that housed the trainees during their time there.
THE SETTING HAS CHANGED, AS WELL AS THE COLOR OF MY HAIR, BUT THE SPIRIT OF THE PROJECT IS STILL AS WONDERFUL.
Volunteer who returned to Colombia after 40 years of his first service