>> Tuesday, January 22, 2008
While we were in Managua last week for an in-service training, the worldwide Peace Corps director came to visit Nicaragua as part of his Central American tour. Since our hotel was right across the street from the airport, his first stop was to meet all the TEFL volunteers. Director Tschetter and his wife served together as a married couple in India in the late 1960s, so he spoke to us about their experiences and about the current Peace Corps. Perhaps best of all, he gave us all a Peace Corps patch and lapel pin! No, it doesn't take much to impress us.
Peace Corps Director Tschetter Visits Central America
Director Travels to Guatemala and Nicaragua
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2008 - Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter finished a week-long visit to Peace Corps programs in Central America today. Director Tschetter started his trip in Guatemala meeting with Peace Corps Volunteers and staff, and continued to Nicaragua where he met with President Ortega and visited Volunteer sites.
Director Tschetter had a meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua on January 17. During their historic meeting Tschetter said, “As I traveled around the country, I'm not only impressed by the work our Volunteers are doing, but also by the strong relationships they are building with your citizens. I thank you and the people of Nicaragua and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.” Tschetter met other Nicaraguan government officials including Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Santos Lopez, Health Minister Guillermo Gonzalez, and Education Minister Miguel De Castilla Urbina.
Nearly 1,800 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the Central American nation of Nicaragua since the program opened in 1968. The program closed in 1979 but reopened in 1991 with a special focus on agriculture, business development, education, environmental protection, and health and HIV/AIDS initiatives. Tschetter visited Agriculture/ Food Security Volunteers David Grist, of Atlanta, Ga., and James Hollins, of Waxhaw, N.C. and Small Business Development Volunteer Melanie Bittle of Carrollton, Texas.
The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 8,000 Volunteers serving, 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.