Peace Corps Returns To Peru

Country Agreement Signed By Peace Corps Director and Peru Minister of Foreign Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2002—Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez joined Peruvian Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Diego Garcia-Sayan Larrabure as they signed the bilateral country agreement between the United States and Peru that re-opened the Peace Corps program in Peru for the first time in 27 years. The signing took place at 11:00 am today and took place in the Department of Foreign Affairs Torre Taggle ceremonial building. The signing was announced later in the day during a joint press availability by President George Bush and President Alejandro Toledo following their meeting in Lima.

One hundred thirty volunteers first opened the Peace Corps grassroots development projects targeting health, agriculture, education and business development in 1962. Over the 13-year duration of the program in Peru, volunteers worked in agriculture, education, fisheries, forestry and earthquake reconstruction programs following the earthquake in 1970.

President Toledo expressed interest in Peace Corps returning to Peru in his inaugural speech, sent a letter formally inviting Peace Corps to return to Peru in December 2001, which was followed the affirmative response by Peace Corps on January 30, 2002.

Peace Corps anticipates two initial projects in health and in agriculture. The first volunteers are expected to be placed in August with a second group of volunteers beginning their training in November.

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