Peace Corps Director Visits Armenia

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 13, 2002—In honor of Peace Corps’ tenth year of service in Armenia, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez will meet with staff, volunteers, and Armenian officials throughout the country. Director Vasquez is the first Peace Corps Director to visit Armenia, one of the smallest of the former Soviet Republics.

Director Vasquez’s itinerary includes visits to volunteer sites, a meeting with Ambassador John Ordway, and press conference. This visit will mark the second opportunity Director Vasquez has had the honor to participate in a historic Armenian event. In his last trip to the nation’s capital, Vasquez was a member of the international delegation who observed the historic 1991 election. In this election, Armenians voted to become a free and independent sovereign nation.

Since 1992, Peace Corps has established work sites for 335 volunteers in the areas of Business Education & Community Development, English Education, and Community Health Education. In visiting volunteers at a nearby YMCA, Director Vasquez will have an opportunity to see the benefits of a recent donation from the Sabre Foundation. Through this Peace Corps organized donation, the YMCA received over 10,000 books.

Director Vasquez extended his thanks to the Armenian people for welcoming Peace Corps volunteers into their town, villages, homes, and families. “It is local support that brings success to the work our volunteers are doing. The people of Armenia have embraced the volunteers in a way that has allowed them to become part of the community, enhancing their experience and success as volunteers,” said Vasquez.

Since 1961, more than 165,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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