Community Economic Development Facilitator
Peace Corps' Community Economic Development (CED) program has been operating in Peru since 2002. It seeks to support the capacity of the country's most vulnerable populations, especially women and youth in rural communities, to expand their economic opportunities in income generation, entrepreneurship, and financial education so that they can achieve economic security and improve their quality of life.
CED Facilitators have the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of community counterparts, including local governments (Economic and Social Development offices), women’s groups, school teachers, and community-based organizations. This collaborative work may include co-training community members (women’s groups, small business owners, and students) in personal money management skills, such as developing a personal or household budget; keeping financial records; developing a financial plan for short- and long-term financial goals; and other related topics. They will also co-facilitate the creation and operation of community savings groups (CSGs) which are small community-formed groups (generally 10–20 individuals) that provide savings and lending services to one another.
CED Facilitators and their local partners also promote women economic empowerment by co-training community members (especially women) in personal development (self-steam, leadership, personal vision, gender awareness, etc.) and business skills (market assessment, business planning, book keeping, marketing, etc.).
Additionally, CED Facilitators and their partners co-train youth in entrepreneurship behaviors and basic business skills at high schools and technical institutions. This will also include co-training high school teachers in planning and facilitating entrepreneurship courses for their students.
There are also numerous opportunities for CED Facilitators to participate in secondary activities. These might include (but are not limited to) teaching computer classes, organizing environmental awareness workshops, developing a school gardening project, coaching sports, teaching English classes, or even organizing community-wide recycling projects.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline
• 5 years professional experience in business management
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Masters of Business Administration degree or a Masters of Arts/Masters of Science degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Management, Accounting, Banking, or Finance
• Experience working with entrepreneurship, especially with youth and women
• Knowledge of financial education/literacy and micro-finance
• Experience in business advising/coaching
• Experience delivering training/facilitating workshops
• At least 1 year of experience working with cooperatives, small business, or credit unions involving management or administration, sales and marketing, cost analysis, financial planning, inventory control and/or bookkeeping
• Experience working with teachers/school personnel and/or with youth (16-24 years old)
• Experience working with community based organizations and/or in community development projects.
Required Language Skills
Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.
A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish
Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).
All Volunteers learn and work in Spanish. Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate-mid level of proficiency in Spanish after 11 weeks of Pre-Service Training in order to swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Some Volunteers may be placed in Quechua-speaking communities. To be considered for placement in a Quechua-speaking community, Trainees must arrive to Post with a Spanish proficiency level of intermediate-high or higher. While continuing to learn Spanish, these Trainees will receive 7 weeks of basic Quechua language training (equivalent to 40 hours of Quechua). Trainees studying Quechua should demonstrate novice-mid proficiency in Quechua after 11 weeks of Pre-Service training.
Geography and Climate: Peru has three primary geographic regions: Pacific Coast, Andean mountains, and Amazon rainforest. The climatic conditions in each of these three regions are vastly different depending on the time of year. Pacific coastal communities can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The mountain areas are often high altitude communities with cold weather, experiencing a wet season and dry season. Rainforest communities experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.
CED Facilitators are assigned to all three geographic regions; however, most live and work in the mountains (Andean Highlands) and along the coast.
It is common for CED Facilitators to live and work in small to mid-sized towns, usually provincial or district capitals, which facilitate access to the organizations and small businesses with which they will work. The smallest sized community would be comprised of approximately 2,000 people. Even if placed in district towns, it is important for CED Facilitators to engage smaller rural communities surrounding the area (called caseríos or annexes), to which Volunteers will walk or ride a bike to visit.
Host Family: Volunteers are required to live with a host family during Pre-Service Training and in their assigned community for the full two years of service. Couples will live together with the same host family. The homestay experience increases safety and security, language acquisition, and overall integration, and it is often one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences in service.
Diet: Volunteers often come to love the food in Peru. Its cuisine rivals many, and Peru is known as the gastronomic capital of South America. Peru is famous for “lomo saltado” as well as many varieties of “aji”. While your daily diet may be more basic, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore traditional Peruvian foods.
The Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location, but in general it will be a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) and potentially include an option of meat, chicken, or fish. Host families will prepare meals based on what is available in their area, and Volunteers should be prepared to eat with host families to show respect for their hospitality and culture. Host families may not be accustomed to eating as many fruits and vegetables as Volunteers, and they are not expected to prepare special meals. Volunteers will need to adapt to a new diet and be flexible in their dietary habits.
Transportation: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation options for Volunteers will be regulated in accordance with the risk posed by community transmission. Peace Corps staff will monitor the COVID-19 environment closely and will advise on the safest approved options during training and throughout service. Peace Corps Peru expects that Volunteers will be able to walk or use a bicycle to travel to and from work, for shopping for basic needs (food items, personal care, household essentials, etc.), and for other personal errands in their assigned community. For official travel (training, health, or administrative reasons), Volunteers will travel in Peace Corps vehicles or other private transportation provided by the Peace Corps. Use of public transportation (buses, ‘combis’ [small buses], ‘colectivos’ [shared taxis], moto-taxis or ‘tuk-tuks’ [three-wheeled motorcycles]) will depend transmission risk levels, as determined by Peace Corps staff. International travel will not be allowed, except for emergencies and with approval from the Country Director and Peace Corps Headquarters.
Communication: Wi-Fi availability at restaurants and cafés is common, especially in bigger cities. However, Volunteers may not have regular access to the internet in their communities. Adaptation is the key to a successful service. International phone service is relatively good. There are various international phone cards available.
Serving in Peru
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Peru: 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.
Peru cannot accommodate couples within the same sector. Therefore, your partner must qualify and apply for:
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Education Facilitator
Couples live together with a host family during Pre-Service Training, but may be separated for certain field-based activities because they will be in different project sectors. During service, couples also live together with a host family, but may be separated for workshops and conferences for up to two weeks at a time due to in-service training events.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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