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More Than 150 Americans Sworn In as Peace Corps Volunteers During Thanksgiving Week

Washington, D.C., November 21, 2012 – More than 150 Americans will be sworn in as Peace Corps volunteers in Colombia, Nicaragua and Peru during the week of Thanksgiving. 

Upon their swearing-in, the new volunteers will have completed two months of 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, where they will complete 27 months of service.

Peace Corps volunteers around the world will celebrate and share the American Thanksgiving tradition with people in their communities and with fellow Peace Corps volunteers and staff. Thanksgiving is a chance for volunteers to share American culture in their communities, exemplifying the Peace Corps’ second goal to promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of people served. Currently, more than 8,000 Americans are serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

“I thank all current and returned volunteers for their unceasing efforts to make this a more peaceful and prosperous world through their commitment to the mission of the Peace Corps,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “We appreciate the resolve and generosity of the more than 8,000 volunteers laboring far from home this year to make a positive difference in the lives of people who live without the abundance granted to us. I wish all volunteers a joyful Thanksgiving holiday.”

The following are highlights of swearing-in ceremonies from Nov. 19 to Nov. 23:

Cameroon:

Fifty-six youth development, health and agriculture volunteers were sworn-in on Wednesday, November 21 during a ceremony held at the Yaounde Conference Centre in Yaounde, Cameroon. The ceremony was held in conjunction with an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps/Cameroon. The event was attended by the First Lady of Cameroon, Chantal Biya and several senior ministers, including Minister of Secondary Education, Louis Bapes Bapes.

About Peace Corps/Cameroon: Nearly 3,380 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Cameroon since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 231 volunteers serve in Cameroon. Volunteers work in the areas of education, environment, agriculture, health, business, and information technology. Volunteers are trained and work in Pidgin English and French.

Colombia:

Twenty-nine education volunteers were sworn-in on Monday, Nov. 19 at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. Distinguished guests included the Mission Director for USAID in Colombia, Peter Natiello (returned Peace Corps volunteer Ecuador 1985-1988), Barranquilla mayor Elsa Noguera de la Espreiella and the Governor of Atlantico, Jose Antonio Segebre. All Peace Corps Colombia volunteers have been invited to attend one of three Thanksgiving celebrations that will be held at the homes of in country Peace Corps staff members on Thursday.

About Peace Corps/Colombia: More than 4,720 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Colombia since the program was established in 1961. Currently, 56 volunteers serve in Colombia. Volunteers work in the area of English education. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish.

Nicaragua:

Twenty-seven education and environment volunteers will be sworn-in during a ceremony at the Princess Hilton Hotel in Managua on Friday, Nov. 23. The ceremony will be attended by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Phyllis M. Powers and the Vice Minister of Education from the Government of Nicaragua. Following the ceremony, the new volunteers will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with fellow Americans, including Ambassador Powers, Peace Corps Nicaragua Country Director Carol Barrick and U.S. Foreign Service Officers. 

About Peace Corps/Nicaragua: More than 2,220 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Nicaragua since the program was established in 1968. Currently, 231 volunteers serve in Nicaragua. Volunteers work in the areas of business, environment, health and education. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish.

Peru:

Fifty-seven environment, health and water and sanitation volunteers will be sworn in on Friday, Nov. 23. The ceremony will take place at U.S Ambassador to Peru Rose Likins’ residence in Lima.

About Peace Corps/Peru: More than 3,170 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Peru since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 271 volunteers serve in Peru. Volunteers work in the areas of youth development, small business development, health and environment. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish, and some receive language training in Quechua.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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