Peace Corps Swears-In Volunteers in Peru

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2003—The first full group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Peru since 1975 was sworn-in on Monday, February 3, 2003. Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, along with U.S. Ambassador John Dawson, swore-in the 27 Volunteers during a ceremony in Santa Eulalia, Peru.

President Toledo invited the Peace Corps to return to Peru in 2001 after a 27-year absence and signed an agreement with the Peace Corps on March 23, 2002. The first contingent of Peace Corps staff and four transferred volunteers arrived in Peru to restart programs in August 2002.
photo of Ambassador Dawson swearing-in volunteers as President Toledo looks on
Ambassador Dawson swears-in the first full group of volunteers to serve in Peru since 1975 as President Toledo looks on.

The Peruvian President’s long-standing relationship with the Peace began when he was a young boy. He looks at the work volunteers do with great honor, as he himself benefited directly from the Peace Corps programs. In 1966, President Toledo obtained a scholarship to study in the United States with the help of volunteer programs.

The 27 new volunteers – one for every year of the Peace Corps’ absence – completed their training in Santa Eulalia and are preparing to leave for their work sites. The new volunteers will work in Peru’s northern provinces of Ancash, Piura, and Cajamarca. Sixteen volunteers will serve in a community health promotion project and 11 in a small business development project. Local partners in the projects include PRISMA, ADRA, and CARE, non-governmental organizations working in Peru.

In 1962, Peru became one of the first countries in which Peace Corps volunteers served. Volunteers worked in grassroots development projects targeting health, agriculture, education and business development. A total of 2,646 volunteers served in Peru until the departure of the Peace Corps in 1975.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education and awareness, 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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