Peace Corps Volunteers in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are Safe in the Wake of Tropical Storm Gustav

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2008 - Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter announced today that Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the areas affected by tropical storm Gustav are all accounted for and safe.

Peace Corps/Washington is working closely with the Peace Corps posts in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica to monitor the status of the tropical storm as well as any and all activations of the country-specific emergency action plans.

All 207 Peace Corps Volunteers, including 50 Volunteer-trainees, who are currently serving in the Dominican Republic are accounted for and safe. Tropical storm Gustav has passed over the Dominican Republic and the Peace Corps continues to monitor the impact of the storm. Since 1962, the Peace Corps has provided development assistance to the people of the Dominican Republic. Over 4,000 Volunteers have served in the fields of agriculture, urban/rural development, environment, small business development, health, education and youth.

In Jamaica, all 92 Peace Corps Volunteers, including 49 Volunteer-trainees, are also all accounted for and safe. The Volunteer-trainees will be sworn-in today as Peace Corps Volunteers, as previously scheduled. All Volunteers have been reminded of the Peace Corps storm security plans and are in close contacted with the Peace Corps staff. Since 1962, Volunteers in Jamaica have been working in education, health and agriculture. To date, 3,400 Volunteers have worked on small business, community service, youth development or environmental development projects.

Families of Volunteers serving in the Dominican Republic or Jamaica seeking information are encouraged to contact the Peace Corps Office of Special Services. During business hours, families may contact the Dominican Republic/Jamaica Desk Officer at 202-692-2515. After business hours, please contact the Peace Corps Duty Officer on the 24-hour a day, 7 days a week duty system: 1-800-424-8580, Extension 1470; or 202-692-1470. The Office of Special Services can also be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 47-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. 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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