The Peace Corps entered the Eastern Caribbean in 1961, when St. Lucia became one of the first three countries in the world to receive Volunteers. Since then, approximately 3,800 Peace Corps Volunteers have served on 10 island nations in the region. Volunteers were initially assigned to education, agriculture, health, youth, and community development projects.
The contributions of Volunteers in these areas have provided strong and consistent technical support to the Eastern Caribbean for more than 50 years. Basic human needs programming in the 1970s encouraged health, special education, preschool education, teacher training, forestry, fishery, and livestock extension projects. The 1980s was a period that focused on four projects: education, health, agriculture, and small enterprise development. In the 1990s, education, environment, health, developing partnerships with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and youth initiatives were priorities.
Currently, Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean is focusing on Primary English Literacy in Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, targeting grades 1, 2, 3 in primary schools, while Response Volunteers support other areas of need.