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Nearly 200 Americans Sworn In as Peace Corps Volunteers around Thanksgiving

Washington, D.C., November 22, 2011 Nearly 200 Americans will be sworn in as Peace Corps volunteers in Macedonia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru and Togo throughout Thanksgiving week. The new Peace Corps volunteers will share the American holiday with people in their local communities and Peace Corps volunteers and staff.

This Thanksgiving, the new volunteers and the more than 9,000 Peace Corps volunteers around the world will share Thanksgiving traditions with new friends, host families, and members of their community, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams (Dominican Republic, 1967-1970). I am proud and thankful for the work of volunteers in their communities and the life-long friendships they make during their Peace Corps service. I wish all volunteers a joyful Thanksgiving holiday.

Magnifying glass iconTwenty-one new Peace Corps/Togo volunteers.For approximately two months, the new volunteers have undergone comprehensive cross-cultural, language, and technical training through the Peace Corps. After the swearing-in ceremony, the new volunteers will travel to their permanent site in a local community, where they will complete 27 months of service. There is no deadline to apply to serve with the Peace Corps. The agency is recruiting, placing, and training Americans for service in 75 host countries throughout the year.

The following are highlights of swearing-in ceremonies from Nov. 17 to Nov. 25:

Macedonia:
Thirty-six community development and education volunteers will be sworn in on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, by U.S. Ambassador Paul D. Wohlers. The ceremony will be attended by the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia Pance Kralev and will take place at the Palace Restaurant in Kumanovo. Following the swearing-in ceremony, the new volunteers will eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with their Macedonia host families, Peace Corps staff, and other Peace Corps/Macedonia volunteers.

About Peace Corps/Macedonia: Nearly 430 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Macedonia since the program was established in 1996.Volunteers work in English education, and community and municipal development. Currently, 103 volunteers are serving in Macedonia. Volunteers are trained and work in Albanian and Macedonian.

Morocco:
Forty youth development volunteers were sworn in on Nov. 17 by U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Sam Kaplan. The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Youth and Sports office in Rabat and was attended by Morocco Minister of Youth and Sports Moncef Belkhayat. The new volunteers departed for their permanent worksite on Nov. 18 and many will spend Thanksgiving with other volunteers.

About Peace Corps/Morocco: Nearly 4,320 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Morocco., Peace Corps/Morocco volunteers work in youth development, health, environment, NGO development, and small business development. Currently, 289 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in Morocco. Volunteers are trained and work in Darisha (Moroccan Arabic), French, Tamazight, and Tashelheet.

Nicaragua:
Thirty-four environment and education and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) volunteers were sworn in on Nov. 18 by U.S. Embassy Charg dAffaires Robert Richard Downes. The ceremony was attended by Nicaragua Vice Minister of Education Marlon Siu in Managua. Following the swearing-in ceremony, the new volunteers celebrated an early Thanksgiving at the home of the Peace Corps/Nicaragua Country Director.

About Peace Corps/Nicaragua: More than 2,020 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Nicaragua since the program was established in 1968. Volunteers work in small-business development, community-based environmental education, sustainable food security, HIV/AIDS and maternal child health, and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) education. Currently, 218 volunteers are serving in Nicaragua. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish.

Peru:
Sixty-three environment, health, and water and sanitation volunteers will be sworn in on Nov. 25 by U.S. Ambassador to Peru Rose Likins. The ceremony will take place at the Santa Eulalia Training Center outside of Lima and will be attended by Peruvian host families, local mayors, and returned Peace Corps volunteers. Following the ceremony, Peace Corps staff will prepare a Thanksgiving meal for the volunteers. The new volunteers will perform songs and dances to show their gratitude to their host families.

About Peace Corps/Peru: More than 2,940 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Peru since the program was established in 1962. The post closed in 1975, but Peace Corps operations resumed in 2002. Volunteers work in the areas of youth and community development, environmental and agricultural conservation, health, water sanitation and hygiene promotion, and business development. Currently, 270 volunteers are serving in Peru. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish and Quechua.

Togo:
Twenty-one girls education and empowerment and natural resource management volunteers were sworn in on Nov. 17 by U.S. Embassy Charg dAffaires Simon Hankinson. The ceremony was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Togo Elliott Ohin and took place at the home of the Peace Corps/Togo Country Director. The new volunteers will celebrate Thanksgiving with their host families or spend the holiday with other volunteers.

About Peace Corps/Togo: Nearly 2,640 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Togo since the program was established in 1962. Volunteers work in the areas of education, natural resource management. Currently, 117 volunteers are serving in Togo. Volunteers are trained and work in more than 20 languages.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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