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Thursday, April 27, 2023


(DENVER, Colo. | Thursday, April 27, 2023) – Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn this week convened a roundtable with Hispanic leaders from the public and private sectors in Denver, Colorado. Director Spahn discussed with participants opportunities to increase inclusion and belonging in international volunteerism and opportunities for Hispanic Americans, of all ages, to join the Peace Corps.

Director Spahn emphasized the tremendous contributions of Hispanic Americans within the Peace Corps and reflected on the expansive skills that returned Peace Corps volunteers gain during international service. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from the community shared their experience and the impact service had on their careers. Underscoring the critical need to meet the moment, roundtable participants emphasized the importance of the Peace Corps’ approach to recruiting a diverse Corps, engaging communities as a whole and the families of those considering service, as the Agency seeks to grow the number of individuals from diverse backgrounds to unite in addressing important and challenging global impact goals.

Hispanic Roundtable participants included:

  1. Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS); 48th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado (January 2011 to May 2016)
  2. Joelle Martinez, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Latino Leadership Institute
  3. Crestina Martinez, Director for Strategic Outreach and Advocacy at Xcel Energy
  4. Carlos Martinez, President and CEO of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado (LCFC)
  5. Javier Alberto Soto, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation
  6. Antonio Mendez, Deputy Region Director for Programming at the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Southwest Region Campus
  7. Jeanette Fabela, National Civilian Community Corps Southwest Region Director, AmeriCorps
  8. Angela Cessna, Executive Director of the Latina Safehouse; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Paraguay
  9. Aisury Vasquez, Director of Latinx Student Services at the University of Colorado/Denver; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Paraguay
  10. Yessica Holguin, Director of the Center for Community Wealth Building; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Nicaragua
  11. Carlos Valverde, Southwest Regional Director, Working Families Party; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Nicaragua

The Peace Corps has formal partnerships with twelve colleges and universities in Colorado, including four Peace Corps prep schools and eight Coverdell fellow schools. Since 1961, over 7,300 residents of Colorado have answered the call to serve, including 44 Volunteers serving in 26 different countries currently.

The mission of the Peace Corps is to provide a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle pressing challenges. Building on 60 years of experience, Peace Corps orients and trains its Volunteers to work in six sectors, including agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development. Visit, HERE to read the Peace Corps Equity Action Plan and visit to learn more.

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