What’s Peace Corps Like in Peru?

Meet my friend Steve. Steve is a Community Economic Development Volunteer in Peru. I met Steve out in Lake Tahoe, California where we both worked in similar positions that focused on community and regional development (I had a lakeside office, Steve did not). During winters, we played together on a broomball team, which is a ridiculous and fairly dangerous hockey-like ice sport that I will most likely never play again in my life. Today, Steve is going to tell us what it’s like living and working in Peru as a PCV.


 

When and where do you serve in the Peace Corps? Did you get to pick your country?

Currently, I serve in Motupe, Lambayeque, Peru. Motupe is an urban center, like a suburb of our department Lambayeque’s capital city. We grow the most delicious and juicy mangoes, along with other types of agriculture. I began my service in July, 2016 and will finish in July, 2018 (9 more months to go!).

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Camp GLOW: Week One

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10 months ago, I sat on a bus with my friend and Tico 31 comrade Princess as we made our way to our San Jose for our first IST (in-service training) just three months after arriving in our sites.

Princess and I are site neighbors, and I use the word “neighbors” loosely because we live almost two hours away from each other.

Princess lives in Sabalito, a city of about 1,000 people while I live higher up in the mountains in a rural community of 150 people.

Sitting on the bus, Princess told me about the challenges her community was facing, especially the young girls in the local high school where she worked. She told me the dropout rate for girls was 4.85% due to risk factors such as prostitution and teen pregnancy, and because she lives so close to the Panamanian border, drugs and poverty also play a big role in the high dropout rate.

We both eagerly made hypothetical plans together to do a girls empowerment camp at the high school sometime during our service. I mean, 10 months ago, we had plenty of time to make some magic happen.

Fast forward 10 months later to today and here we are, executing two 6-day GLOW camps after having successfully secured a $2,500 Let Girls Learn grant. Continue reading

My Project: A Rural Tourism Site

For all Peace Corps Volunteers (well technically “trainees”), Site Assignment Day is a big deal.

Site Assignment Day is a special day two months into PST (Pre-Service Training) where program teams assign volunteers their:

  • Peace Corps site for the next 2 years
  • The main project they’ll be working on
  • The local partner / counterpart they’ll be working with (generally the person who requested the Peace Corps Volunteer)

In case you’re not familiar with the 27-month Peace Corps commitment, it’s:

  • 3 months of Pre-Service Training (usually in the country’s capital)
  • 24 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in assigned site
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Pre-Service Training Squad
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In-Site Squad

On April 22, 2016, I received my assignment:

  • Site: Fila Naranjo, Coto Brus, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Partner: Ana Cedy Montero, President of the women’s group: Asociación de Mujeres Productoras de Fila Naranjo
  • Project: Development of a Rural Tourism Site

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