Rural Extension Specialist

Before You Apply

Peace Corps Response positions are open to returned Volunteers or U.S. citizens with significant professional and technical experience.

Don't meet these requirements? View our Peace Corps Volunteer openings.

Project Description

Peace Corps Guatemala is seeking five Peace Corps Response Volunteers to be assigned to the National Rural Extension System at the municipal level with a team of extension agents Guatemala’s Western Highlands. High rates of chronic malnutrition, along with population growth rates, and climate change, have led to increasing demands on Guatemalan agricultural systems to produce greater yields for domestic consumption. In response, the government is rebuilding a once-prominent rural extension system to provide education and technical assistance for rural farmers. The community leaders (promotors) who volunteer their time and property for demonstrative purposes for the extension program hold an important role in sharing new knowledge with fellow farmers, but they do not always understand their role and lack the skills necessary for providing the support and leadership required of them. Rural farmers could benefit from receiving training and technical assistance that will encourage adoption of improved farming and household practices.

Peace Corps Response Volunteers (PCRVs) with advanced proficiency in written and spoken Spanish and experience in adult training design and organizational capacity development strategies are needed to build capacity on methodologies for planning, organization, management and effective delivery of rural extension services. Response Volunteers will co-facilitate with, observe and coach community leaders and extension agents, on methods for non-formal adult learning, participatory community development, inclusion strategies, group management, and project monitoring and evaluation among others. Additionally PCRVs will conduct an initial diagnosis of knowledge and contribute to the development of project resources; training materials and monitoring, reporting, and evaluation (MRE) tools.

Please note that departure dates and other details of this project could change because of the uncertainties as Peace Corps and local partners resume Volunteer operations. Candidates selected for this position will be arriving in Guatemala together as a group, so while the departure dates for the whole group could change, dates cannot be changed for individual candidates.

Partner Information

Guatemala Ministry of Agriculture through the SNER (Sistema Nacional de Extension Rural/National Rural Extension System)

Required Skills

• High tolerance for ambiguity and high level of flexibility – some details of this project could change because of the uncertainties as Peace Corps and local partners resume volunteer operations
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field.
• Advanced proficiency in written and spoken Spanish.
• Experience employing organizational capacity development strategies including participatory assessment, decision making, and planning processes with community based organizations and/or in rural community development projects.
• Experience in adult training design and delivery in non-formal settings.
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills to establish solid working relationships with counterparts in an intercultural environment.
• At least two years of experience working in a low-resource, cross-cultural context.
• Willingness to work with rural populations in the field.

The Peace Corps embraces and leverages the diversity of its volunteers as a reflection of America's diversity. Peace Corps Response is committed to reflecting the diversity of the United States in the professionals we send into the field to support the mission of world peace and friendship. Applicants with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Serving in Guatemala

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guatemala: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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