Peace Corps Signs Historic Partnership with Mexico

November 12, 2003

Agreement to Place First Volunteers in Science, Technology & Small Business Development Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2003 – Today, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez signed an historic agreement with the country of Mexico that will lead to Peace Corps volunteers serving in Mexico for the first time.

Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez and Jaime Parada of The National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico shake hands after signing the agreement that will send volunteers to Mexico for the first time.<br />
Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez and Jaime Parada of The National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico shake hands after signing the agreement that will send volunteers to Mexico for the first time.
“The citizens of the United States and Mexico have shared culture, family connections, history and common triumphs, and now, for the first time, Peace Corps volunteers will be a part of that tradition and history,” Director Vasquez stated at the ceremony. “The Peace Corps is in an historic time and nothing could be more historic than this Partnership with the citizens of Mexico and CONACYT. As Peace Corps continues to expand and reach new areas of the world, it will be through innovative partnerships like the one we are signing today.”

Director Jaime Parada Avila of The National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico joined Director Vasquez at a signing ceremony at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza and the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Juan Jose Bremer were also there to witness the signing of the new partnership agreement.

Peace Corps volunteers assigned to Mexico will work in partnership with CONACYT in the areas of information technology, small business development, and science and technology. A Peace Corps assessment team has worked closely with CONACYT to select sites and determine the best way to utilize the volunteers. Peace Corps will send its first group of approximately 15 to 20 volunteers to Mexico in 2004.

Peace Corps first began exploring the possibility of entering Mexico after U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the “Partnership for Prosperity” initiative during their summit in September 2001.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS awareness and 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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