Peace Corps Officials Visit Puerto Rico in June Almost 400 Puerto Ricans Have Served as Peace Corps Volunteers

Washington, D.C. May 24, 1996 — Two top Peace Corps officials will visit Puerto Rico next month to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Peace Corps, and to honor the nearly 400 Puerto Ricans who have served in the last 35 years.

The Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, Ambassador Charles Baquet III, and the Director of Minority Recruitment, Dr. Raymond Gonzales, will be in Puerto Rico from June 5 to 8.

The two will begin the trip with a reception for Returned Peace Corps volunteers at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 5, at El Escambron Beach Club in San Juan. The public is invited to the reception and all of these events.

Ambassador Baquet and Dr. Gonzales will then speak at a job fair to be held on June 6 in San Juan at the Condado Beach Trio Resort, Casino and Convention Center in Condado. Ambassador Baquet and Dr. Gonzales will conduct a special workshop at 3:30 p.m., June 6. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the fair, which will focus on the jobs for the 21st century.

Ambassador Baquet and Dr. Gonzales will also visit several universities throughout Puerto Rico. They will host a reception in San Juan at 7 p.m., Friday, June 7, at the former Peace Corps office in the Mercatiles Building in Hato Rey.

The two will conclude their trip at a picnic for the more than 250 returned Peace Corps volunteers, the families of the 15 current volunteers who live on the island and others who are interested in the Peace Corps. The picnic will take place from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 8, at the Isla de Cabras, Cantano. 

During their visit, Ambassador Baquet and Dr. Gonzales will discuss the 35-year history, which is being celebrated all over the world, as well as the impact of Peace Corps volunteers have made at home and abroad, and Peace Corps' exciting new initiatives, including sending Peace Corps Volunteers into Haiti and South Africa. 

Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, more than 143,000 Americans have returned from Peace Corps service in 130 countries. Today, there are nearly 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 94 countries. 

Since 1961, 397 Peace Corps volunteers have come from Puerto Rico, including 15 currently serving overseas. There are now 256 returned Peace Corps volunteers living in Puerto Rico, and Ambassador Baquet and Dr. Gonzales will discuss efforts to start a Returned Peace Corps Volunteers group on the island.

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