Peace Corps Looks Back On Year Anniversary of Hurricanes Mitch and George; Volunteers Committed to Ongoing Relief Efforts in Central America and Caribbean

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 5, 1999—A year after Hurricane Mitch struck Central America and the Caribbean, Peace Corps and Crisis Corps volunteers have dedicated to helping local communities get back on their feet. Volunteers have been providing disaster preparedness training and technical assistance to individuals and groups.

Immediately following the hurricane, most volunteers helped their communities organize the distribution of medical supplies, food and clothing.

In the past year, Peace Corps volunteers have worked to help rebuild water systems and latrine infrastructure, replant basic grains and provide income generating opportunities through production of small livestock, and help communities rebuild infrastructure and services.

Crisis Corps volunteers have worked with communities to rehabilitate water systems, build new housing, train unskilled workers in basic construction techniques, assist with immunization campaigns, provide trauma counseling, and work with farmers on rehabilitation techniques.

The hurricanes\' onslaught included washing away top soil, causing mudslides, destroying crops, contaminating potable water, and destroying water and sewage infrastructure. The countries most affected by the hurricane include Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.

The Crisis Corps is a program within the Peace Corps that was formed by President Clinton in June 1996. Crisis Corps volunteers are former Peace Corps volunteers who are able to provide short-term assistance after natural disasters and in humanitarian crises. These Peace Corps veterans have the language, technical, and cross-cultural skills to make an immediate impact in critical situations.

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