Peace Corps Volunteers in Panama Meet President Bush

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2005 During his visit to the American Embassy in Panama City recently, President George W. Bush singled out Peace Corps volunteers for "working on the front lines of humanity."

The President and First Lady Laura Bush met with Peace Corps volunteers and discussed the projects and progress of their work as part of the President\'s recent tour of Latin America.

Discussing the volunteers\' work especially in the field of HIV/AIDS which the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief helps fund the President and the First Lady reaffirmed their support for the Peace Corps and its volunteers.

Volunteers greet President Bush at the U.S. Embassy in Panama.
Volunteers greet President Bush at the U.S. Embassy in Panama.
Peace Corps volunteers who attended the event included: Laura Squire of Omaha, Neb., Dost Bardouille-Crem of Redmond, Wash., Allison Musser of Mankato, Minn., Ian Jarvis of Mattapan, Mass., and Emily Pfeifer of Aspen, Colo.

Peace Corps volunteers have committed to developing HIV/AIDS education and prevention projects across Panama. Peace Corps volunteers, working with community leaders, have already begun creating materials and developing education sessions in areas of Panama often isolated or marginalized and at a growing risk of HIV.

Combating HIV/AIDS is a priority in Panama from both the Peace Corps and the President, as the country has the second highest infection rate in Central America. Rural health volunteers work with the Ministry of Health to train indigenous health workers in nutrition, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS awareness. Volunteers in environmental health develop programs to educate poor communities on hygiene, sanitation, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

To commemorate the President\'s visit, the volunteers presented the President with a Peace Corps/Panama baseball cap.

There are currently 151 Peace Corps volunteers serving in Panama. Volunteers are working in the areas of sustainable agriculture systems, community economic development, environmental health, community environment conservation and health and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Since the program\'s inception in 1963, the Peace Corps has sent more than 1,400 volunteers to Panama. To learn more about Panama, please visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? section.

Since 1961, more than 182,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, 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 27-month commitment.

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