Peace Corps Programs Return to St. Kitts & Nevis

July 30, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2003 – Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez is pleased to announce that within the coming year, Peace Corps volunteers will return to St. Kitts and Nevis, located in the Eastern Caribbean.

“The Peace Corps’ return to St. Kitts and Nevis holds a lot of promise. The education project in the 1990s was very successful, and we expect similar results in the future. The upcoming return to the two islands offers even more opportunities through potential projects in education, health education, information technology, small business development, and community development,” Director Vasquez stated.

Peace Corps’ Eastern Caribbean Country Director, Earl Phillips, will administer the program. Phillips, of St. Lucia, will oversee projects that are consistent with the Eastern Caribbean’s Youth and Community Development project framework.

From 1991 to 1998, Peace Corps volunteers were involved in an art education project that promoted art awareness, interest, and participation. Volunteers combined their efforts with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Community Affairs. When the project ended in 1998, the program in St. Kitts and Nevis was temporarily closed.

Much like other Eastern Caribbean nations, the youth of St. Kitts and Nevis represents a majority of its population. The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis comprise the smallest country in the western hemisphere. St. Kitts and Nevis’ capital city is Basseterre, which holds nearly half of the nation’s total population of 40,700. The primary language is English, and the major industries are agriculture, light manufacturing, and tourism.

The Peace Corps’ Eastern Caribbean program currently encompasses programs in the countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada/Carriacou, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. Peace Corps volunteers are working on programs that aim to provide job skills training and health services to youth, increase disaster preparedness and mitigation, and increase awareness of HIV/AIDS. Over 3,200 volunteers have served in the Eastern Caribbean since 1961. More than 70 volunteers are presently serving in the region.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 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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