Peace Corps Celebrates 45 Year Legacy in the Dominican Republic

February 2, 2007

Deputy Director Jody K. Olsen honors the Volunteers who have served there

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2007 As part of the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Deputy Director Jody K. Olsen is visiting the Dominican Republic from February 6 10, 2007, to honor the nearly 4,000 Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in the Dominican Republic since 1962.

Among the anniversary events is a reception hosted by Vice President of the Dominican Republic Rafael Albuquerque de Castro honoring the Peace Corps legacy of service in the Dominican Republic. The reception, held at the Presidential Palace in the Salon de Embajadores on February 9, will include U.S. Ambassador Hans Hertell. Other anniversary events will take place in the Melia Santo Domingo Hotel and will include Dominican Ambassador to the U.S. Flavios Dario Espinal, Foreign Secretary Carlos Morales Troncoso, Secretary of Tourism Felix Jimenez, and Secretary of Culture Jose Rafael Lantigua, among other honored guests.

I am honored to be a part of the 45th anniversary commemoration and to pay tribute to the Americans who have served in the Dominican Republic as Peace Corps Volunteers. Their work has been meaningful and the friendships made here have been lasting, said Deputy Director Olsen.

Since 1962, nearly 4,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have provided development assistance to the people of the Dominican Republic. Volunteers have served in the fields of agriculture, urban/rural development, environment, small business development, health, education and youth.

Peace Corps Volunteers have consistently been well received by the Dominican people and remained in the Dominican Republic during the suspension of diplomatic relations in 1963 and the civil war of 1965. In 1979, Volunteers were commended by the Dominican people for assisting in relief efforts in the wake of Hurricanes David and Frederick, and in 1986, the Peace Corps 25th anniversary was recognized with the country's highest medal.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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