Director's Welcome

Matthew Carlson - Country Director

Dear Friends,

I hope you will enjoy reviewing the Peace Corps Colombia website and that this will allow you to get a sense of our work that is being carried out by American professional volunteers who have committed 2 years of their hard work for important projects with and for the people of Colombia. Our efforts are focussed on two program areas, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Community Economic Development. On this webssite, we have shared stories and experiences of our volunteers to give you a sense of the life and work of a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia. Peace Corps Colombia Volunteers currently serve in communities throughout six departments (states) of the Caribbean Coast: Atlántico, Bolivar, Magdalena La Guajira, Sucre, and Cesar and in 2020, we will start to have Volunteers in the Andean Region of the country in the Department of Boyacá.

The Peace Corps Colombia staff is a team of Colombian professionals that are highly skilled and experienced in their fields. Our team consists of development professionals, trainers, administrators, financial analysts, culture and language educators, security specialists, and medical doctors. Each of them are committed to Peace Corps’ mission and to and ensure that the Volunteers are safe, health yandproductive.

The success of our mission depends on the commitment and dedication of our Volunteers and the relationships they build in their communities and with their partners. Each Peace Corps volunteer is assigned a local organization or institution where they will commit to building the capacity and knowledge of their counterpart staff and contribute to the goals of that organization. A partner organization may be a school, a small business, an educational center, a cooperative, a nonprofit or an association. Volunteers in our Teaching English as a Foreign Language program are assigned to one or more schools where their focus is to assist local English teachers to improve their own English language abilities and to expand their teaching techniques and skills. Volunteers co-plan and co-teach with their assigned English language teachers on a daily basis. Volunteers in the Community Economic Development program are assigned to SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje). SENA is a government entity providing technical education, business skills and small business support throughout the country. Peace Corps volunteers work with SENA instructors promoting entrepreneurship, money management and small business development. Their daily work may involve working with community savings groups, supporting small businesses or working with youth to develop their entrepreneurial skills through practicums.

Volunteers in Colombia live with local families for the duration of their service. These families open their homes and hearts to the volunteers, serving as guides and support to the volunteer as they get accustomed to their new culture and community. Our volunteers come from throughout the United States and represent the diversity of our great nation. We are very proud of our staff and volunteers who together, make up the Peace Corps Colombia family. Enjoy our website and I hope you get a sense of the work and life here in Colombia. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Sending you my very best regards,

Matthew Carlson

Country Director, Peace Corps Colombia