Eastern Caribbean

Director's Welcome

Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer can be one of the most challenging - and amazing! - experiences of your life. We hope you have given serious thought to what service will mean to you and to the people of the Eastern Caribbean. If you come with an open mind, a warm heart, patience, flexibility, and a good sense of humor, you will be well on your way to adjusting to life and work in a new culture.

If you become a Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean, you will arrive in St. Lucia and spend six weeks in an intensive training program focusing on primary literacy, youth development, cross-cultural training, language training, health and wellness, and keeping yourself safe. Peace Corps trainees spend the first six weeks living with a host family in the training community on St. Lucia, and then with another family in an assigned community on island of service.Trainees attend group sessions with the other trainees and will also participate in community-based learning activities. It is during this period when we will assign you to a site on one of the four island nations where Peace Corps Volunteers serve in the Eastern Caribbean.

Upon successful completion of preservice training, Trainees are sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers.

As a Volunteer, you will be exposed to many new experiences. During the training, staff members are there to provide information and guidance to embrace the exciting opportunities of and also help you determine how you will respond to the various challenges of Peace Corps service. We will do our best to prepare you to have a positive and fulfilling Peace Corps experience. You can begin the process now by reading about life in the Eastern Caribbean.

You may be surprised that there are Peace Corps Volunteers in this part of the world. Many people associate the Eastern Caribbean with tourist destinations and lavish surroundings. As a result, you may have special challenges as you discover life beyond that stereotype. Because you are asked to adhere to a modest lifestyle, many of the opportunities that tourists enjoy will not be available to you on a Volunteer’s living allowance. You will have to make adjustments in your lifestyle to be accepted and effective in the Eastern Caribbean. You should not expect the people and culture to adjust to you.

We make site assignments by matching Trainees skills and background with the general needs of a particular organization and community, and not on the basis of personal preferences. It is not an exact match of skills; we look for a general set of skills that will help you be successful at a site. You may find that you will learn new skills that will help you to be effective.

During your two years of service you will have the opportunity to work with local leaders and organizations and contribute to the achievement of their development goals. Staff and local community members across the islands have been preparing for your arrival. We hope you are excited about the opportunity to be of service to the warm and friendly people of the Eastern Caribbean while you enjoy the many splendors that these island nations offer.

Staff and Volunteers are eagerly awaiting your arrival and look forward to accompanying you on this journey of a lifetime. We hope you will consider joining us!

Mary Kate Lowndes
Eastern Caribbean Country Director