Returned Peace Corps
 Volunteers of South Florida

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Donations from AmazonSmile to RPCVSF now exceed $950.



The Florida  Solicitation of Contributions Act requires anyone who solicits donations from people in the state of Florida to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and renew annually.  FDACS collects registration fees and has authority to impose penalties for noncompliance.

Prospective donors should contact the FDACS toll-free hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or use the online Check-A-Charity tool to verify registration and financial information.

You can also visit ttp://

the website of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, where you can access reports on nationally soliciting charities. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluates charities against comprehensive Standards for Charity Accountability to help donors make informed giving decisions. Also, important to visit for information on charities is

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc., Registration #CH43538, has complied with the registration requirements of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes, the Solicitation of Contributions Act.  A copy of the Official Registration and Financial Information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling 800-435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State of Florida.

Welcome to everyone who visits our website, and

especially to those of you who live, work and/or study outside of the United States.


20 May 2022 5:30 PM • 8300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami 33138
21 May 2022 8:30 AM • 2501 SW 32 Terrace Pembroke Park, FL 33023
16 Jul 2022 10:00 AM • Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, Shelter #11

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PCV's Return to Service

March 24, 2022 WASHINGTON – Today, the Peace Corps announced that 35 Peace Corps volunteers have arrived in the Dominican Republic and Zambia, and are among the first volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. Click the following link for the full announcement: PCVs Return to Service

RPCV Alliance for Ukraine

Click Here for Information

Employment Opportunity

11MAR22 - The Miami Field Office for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently hiring Immigration Services Officers and Immigration Services Assistants.  Interested RPCVs should send their resume and evidence of non-competitive status to Field Office Director and fellow RPCV Kurt G. Vicha at

Changemaking Education Award

Click for Information

Refugee Resettlement

14APR22 Team Two Report - RPCV CS 2

The past two months have been fun, exciting and a great learning opportunity for all us RAA volunteers and the family members we have been assigned to.

We are supporting a family of four with Asma and Muhammad the parents and their two very cute and energetic children, Fawad (6) and Laila (4). With the help of our team member, Sitara, who knows Pashto (the Afghan language our family speaks) we have learned that everyone in the house is very excited and motivated to learn English and learn more about life in the United States.


Our team has been able to donate a laptop to them, which they will use to take English classes, a few volunteers are working on getting the children enrolled in school, others are supporting with medical needs and others have brought the family to Goodwill to buy essential home items and have invited them over for dinner during Ramadan! Others have made pop-in visits with donated food from the Coconut Grove Food Pantry and spent time with Asma and the children playing at a nearby park.


We are excited to gather as a team and family next Thursday, 4/21 at fellow volunteer, Helene’s home for a pizza and pool party. While tackling the logistical work and nitty gritty of life in the United States, we have also tried to incorporate fun things for the family to get to know the culture. This will be their first time trying pizza!


We have raised $1,700 of our $5,000 goal thanks to you, RPCVSF members and friends!  


Our friend-raising and fund-raising efforts will not stop here. In the coming weeks and months, The RPCVSF board members, RAA team members, and others plan to bring forth a number of dynamic and fun ways to engage.


If you would like more info. On just how your donation is used, contact


Click Below to donate and help us reach our goal. 

   12APR22 Team One Report - RPCV CS 1

Over the past two months, RPCVSF Team 1 has made tremendous forward progress in assisting Afghan families to resettle in South Florida. Najib and Rabia and their three kids are adapting to their new life. The husband and father Najib started a job at a nearby bakery and after only a few weeks on the job he was named Employee of the Month for his great work ethic and positive personality. Najib has a bike to get back and forth to work.

Our team has donated and delivered furniture to their new apartment including providing the necessary essentials to shape up their place and transition smoothly. Also, our team visits with the family weekly to take them to medical appointments also to just sit and talk with them.

The  family went on an outing to Brickell utilizing the free City of Miami trolley with our team members to explore some new exciting places. Most recently, our team has provided the  family with a laptop to engage in some fun educational activities. We have raised $3,700 of our $5,000 goal thanks to you, RPCVSF members and friends!!!  

Our friend-raising and fund-raising efforts will not stop here. In the coming weeks and months, The RPCVSF board members, RAA team members, and others plan to bring forth a number of dynamic and fun ways to engage.

If you would like more info. On just how your donation is used, contact

Click Below to donate and help us reach our goal.

22 FEB 22

Members and friends,

As you may know, groups of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have been working with the Refugee Assistance Alliance  helping to resettle Afghan refugee families here in South Florida. We can't help settle these families without your financial support.  One of the ways we decided to obtain dollar donations is to work directly with RAA.

Refugee Assistance Alliance is properly registered to Solicit Contributions in the State of Florida, and their staff has set up a way to focus dollar donations directly to the two RPCVSF teams working with families.

When you open the RAA website,

click on Donate.... Decide on your dollar amount ....Then open ...Designation .....

Here you'll find............




Both teams are Returned Peace Corps...

Dave Garcia Leads team 1, .....and Taylor Majher leads team 2. pick your team and donate

As our teams become more familiar with the families we are helping to resettle, we will share information, insight on their progress, pictures and other insights with you on the web and in our newsletter.  We expect to be working with these families for up to a year. Our team members are very excited and feel very privileged to be working with RAA, we hope that you'll feel part of the team as well. Please tell your friends obout the initiative.

Please donate generously, our goal is to collect $5,000 for each team.  

Our fund-raising efforts will not stop here. In the coming weeks and months, The RPCVSF board members, RAA team members and others plan to bring forth a number of dynamic and fun ways to donate.

If you  would like more info. On just how your donation is used, contact

Again, Here's the link:

Kind regards,

     Dave Garcia  

  RPCVSF President

   PH. 786 553 5993

Travel: Implosion and Recovery



April 15th, 2022 - 2020. Nice numbers. For a year in which travel experienced a BIG birthday. How to celebrate? Safaris to Namibia and Victoria Falls. Travel has been to both places twice and does NOT need to go again. But it would be nice to go as trip leader for friends, family and RPCVs.

It was fortuitous former RPCVSF president Tuey Murdock (Colombia) was living in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, where her foreign service daughter Tura Rocha was on the embassy staff. They suggested I use a travel facilitator people at the embassy found quite helpful. I also found her easy to work with. She made it clear she was a facilitator and not a travel agent. This meant she could put together the land package but could do nothing on the air package.

I could walk the handful of interested people, mostly from the east coast, through the process of getting to Johannesburg and then to Windhoek. She put together a splendid land package which I was about to send out when the pandemic hit. I waited a couple of days and then postponed the trip indefinitely. I continued to talk up the trip for over 2 years.

Now I had a large group of interested people scattered across the USA. These travelers would need the help of a travel agent on the air package. I contacted my favorite agency for safaris, Africa Adventure Company HQd in Ft. Lauderdale. All RPCVSF trips have been customized. Surprisingly, not all travel companies customize packages. AAC advised me they are not traveling in 2022 but they could put together a package for 2023. Since they did the grand package on our last visit there, I moved the travel date to 2 weeks late March, 2023. As you read this, the itinerary is being put together.

There are some definites that can be considered at this time.

1. All travelers must be fully vaccinated and boosted. There could still be some testing requirements.

2. All travelers must take anti-malaria drugs. Generic Malarone is recommended as being the most effective with the fewest side effects; taken every day on safari and for 7 days thereafter. Travel walks you through getting a prescription. The malaria we encounter is not the deadly kind but it will knock you down for about a week during which time you may wish you were dead.

3. Single rooms are scarce. Our lodges are beautiful but on the small side. They also have a sizeable supplement. Even if you have a cozy friendship with the trip leader, a single room may not be available.

4. It is not too soon to look for some smart safari frocks. You do not want to frighten the animals. I am sporting Ralph Lauren (Polo).

5. When the final dates, prices, and itinerary are sent out, the time for acceptance will be very short, 8 or 9 days. Until we make deposits, we are tying up rooms that others want desperately.

A word about customized travel:

I know what I want you to see so we do not waste time.

Our land package tends to be a couple of days shorter than regular packages. This lets us fit better into the schedule, work and vacation, of employed people. A couple of days shorter usually means a few dollars less expensive.

The trip leader is not compensated.

This an official activity of RPCVSF which receives no remuneration.

Coming: Victoria Falls: Your life is incomplete until you see Victoria Falls.

Where do you want to go next? Let travel know.

Would you like to be a volunteer Trip Leader? It is fun. The pay sucks.


RPCVSF Members Volunteer With Feeding South Florida

Those volunteering: L Geiter, C Bush, G Fitzpatrick, M Lamberts, A Siegel, T Majher, D Garcia  Missing from photo: M Bush

Food insecurity is defined as not knowing where your next meal is coming from.  Over 11% of the people in South Florida are food insecure. Feeding South Florida is one of the largest agencies addressing the food insecurity problem.

One of the of the RPCVSF group projects approved by the Board this year was to provide volunteer assistance to Feeding South Florida. The first group of 8 RPCVSF members joined about fifteen volunteers from other groups and a few individual volunteers for a three-hour shift at Feeding South Florida at their warehouse in Pembroke Park on Saturday, January 22nd.

Dave Garcia and Alan Siegel volunteered to clean up and sort a large donation of pet products when others failed to step forward. The rest of the group volunteered to work as food inspectors, ensuring that food donated by supermarkets, other companies and individuals was in good packaging and that the “best by date” was within a modified expiration date.

The inspected food then moved to a sorting team then a repackaging team so the food could be sent to community kitchens and pantries. At the end of our shift, not only had all the pet products been sorted, but the inspection, sorting and repackaging teams had processed 19,000 pounds of food (9.5 tons!), which translates about 15,000 meals. After the session most of the team went to Cilantro, a nearby Thai restaurant for lunch.

The plan is to provide a volunteer team to work at Feeding South Florida each month. Our next appointment is Saturday, February 12th.  New members can be added to the group, but at least a few days before. We will have a date for March soon. Watch the RPCVSF BLOG which is just above for dates and details. If anyone has questions about volunteering for Feeding South Florida, please contact Larry Geiter at


Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Providing support for 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population, its mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education.


Feeding South Florida distributed over 119 million pounds (99 million meals) of food last year, to over 1 million individuals through direct-service programs and a local network of approximately 300 nonprofit partner agencies.

Habitat for Humanity

Our president had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity  during the week of Feb. 14  thru the 18.  While attending the Building Blitz of eight Homes in the South Dade  County Area he met and enjoyed working with Sam Hopkins a returned Peace Corps volunteer ( Guatemala 2013-2015 ) who works for and  is part of the Saff at H4H.

 If you have never volunteered to help out at Habitat for Humanity, you have missed a really fun and rewarding opportunity. Construction skills are not necessary, the seasoned staff enjoying training and making the volunteers feel welcome. 


Hopefully we will be able to sign up a number of returned Peace Corps volunteers for the next Building Blitz Habitat for Humanity initiates. Information about further opportunities to volunteering will be forth coming. 

Hi everyone,

I've joined with some of my fellow RPCVs from Tonga to raise funds for the people in Tonga.  We have partnered with CARE in Australia to help get basic supplies to the Tonga people after the devastating tsunami and volcanic eruption.  Can you help me spread the word about our efforts to other RPCVs in the area?     We have set up a Go Fund Me page and donations would be very much appreciated.

The link to donate is here:

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Thanks very much,

Steve Hunsicker

For Info about Upcoming Virtual Peace Corps Recruitment Events, Click

Peace Corps Recruiter Updates

Baked for the November 6, 2021 RPCVSF Board Meeting

Click Below for RPCVSFs November-December 2021 Newsletter

RPCVSF NovemberDecember 2021 Newsletter.pdf

Bike Aid to Relaunch in 2022


Bike Aid, the annual cross country bikeathon for global development, will relaunch in the summer of 2022, focusing on climate change.    The multiroute bike ride from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA is slated to take place June 14 to August 10, 2022.


Cyclists will engage citizens and politicians in over 250 communities across the United States to discuss solutions to climate change.    The ride will have nine routes covering all 50 states, culminating in Washington DC to implore the U.S. Congress to act decisively on climate change.  Bike Aid is actively recruiting cross country riders and hosts in each of the communities. 


The routes will start in Seattle, Portland OR, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Tallahassee and Montreal, all meeting in Washington DC.  Additional short routes are planned for Alaska and Hawaii.    Each rider will raise money to support environmental projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America that mitigate climate change.  


As background, Bike Aid was founded in 1986 by a group of Stanford University students.   The cross country ride attracted 80 riders in its first year, and ran for 19 consecutive years, through 2004, with over 1100 participants.    The ride raised over $2 million for development projects sponsored by the Overseas Development Network in Africa, Asia and Latin America.    In July 2021, Bike Aid alumni met for a reunion in Washington DC and decided to relaunch the event in 2022.  


For more information, contact Bike Aid at:    

Phone: 301-944-3370


The RPCVSF December 2021 Annual Holiday Party

Thanks for Hosting Ana!

RPCVs Rally to Be Considered in

Federal Loan Forgiveness Program

Courtesy of The New York Times: The U.S. Department of Education recently announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Applicants who devote 10 years work in the public service sector (and make 120 qualifying student loan payments during that time) are eligible to have further loan payments forgiven. In a press releaseEducation Secretary Miguel Cardona says the changes are an attempt to live up to the promise of the program and could impact more than 550,000 borrowers. But as a recent New York Times story makes clear, Peace Corps Volunteers fell through the cracks. We need to fix that. A number of returned Volunteers have mobilized to seek widespread relief that enables them to receive qualifying months towards PSLF automatically for any months in which their federal student loans were in a deferment or forbearance status due to Peace Corps Service.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Go to NPCA’s Action Center to write President Biden and your members of Congress.

GET CONNECTED on this issue through  the Facebook group RPCVs for PSLF Relief.

Write President Biden Now

2022 Calendar is Ready

To purchase International Calendars, just click on the following website,

and use the following Coupon Code for a dollar discount when you purchase.


A is for Armenia, B is for Benin … and C is for Children. And also for this Calendar—our first “all-kids calendar,” in which we celebrate children worldwide by focusing on kids in the countries where Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have served. 

As the photos in the 2022 International All-kids Calendar show, childhood experiences are both culturally specific and universal—no matter where in the world you go. The 2022 calendar includes photos of children from 12 of the 142 countries where Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the 61 years since the founding of Peace Corps:  Niger, Afghanistan, Thailand, Uganda, Lesotho, Kenya, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Armenia. The cover features a photo taken in Mongolia, along with smaller inset photos from Senegal, Togo, Ethiopia, and Panama.

NPCA Update

The National Peace Corps affiliate news provides a lot of information about what’s going on in Peace Corps around the country. Besides offering help on developing a good returned Peace Corps group, there is a lot of information about different programs, different initiatives, and different efforts by returned volunteers.

Please click the following link to view the latest information from NPCA.

NPCA Affiliate Group News November 2021.pdf

We hope that some of you may find this information very interesting.

November 13, 2021 RPCVSF Pool Pot Luck Party - Surfside, FL

(Photos in Our  Photo Album in the Left Margin Menu)

Coming Soon

World Affairs Council of Miami


The World Affairs Council of Miami will be similar to the 90 other chapters spread across the United States.  This network is one of the most well-respected international affairs organizations in the world.  You may learn more about the national organization at WACA | Main (


In just the past six months Miami lost out on several opportunities because it does not have a chapter.  When NATO wanted to reach out to cities across the United States they contacted the ITC but advised they would only work through the World Affairs Council network, so they went to six other cities with chapters.  When the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil wanted to address the Miami community, he would only do it through a World Affairs Council Chapter (he instead went to the Atlanta chapter), and currently the IDB wants to work through a World Affairs Chapter.  Bringing the "World Affairs Council" brand to Miami will help attract more international organizations and speakers to our community, strengthening all Miami-based international affairs groups.


The 90 World Affairs Council chapters are free to have slightly different priorities, but almost all arrange speaker series.  About fifty of them sponsor the Academic WorldQuestcompetition in their local communities' schools (we plan to do this).  Many also host the Great Decisions series (for example in Vermont) and/or actively promote travel opportunities, offered by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia


As a "start-up" non-profit, we are looking for input and active involvement from the entire Miami international affairs community.  We plan on having monthly social gatherings along with monthly speaker/roundtable events.  We hope to work with local school districts to start the Academic WorldQuest program this Fall and will add other activities as individual and partner organizations propose them. 


For your reference, below are just a few more examples of what other leading and neighboring councils are doing:


Los Angeles World Affairs Council › Home (

HOME | Wacatl (

Naples Council on World Affairs - Home (

Sarasota World Affairs Council | Welcome (

For more information, contact Jon Ward by e-mail at,

or by phone 305-713-7922.

From Left to Right

Saif Ishoof, Vice President for Engagement, FIU

Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Miami Dade County, District 5

David Garcia, President, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida

Mark B. Rosenberg, President, FIU

Dr. Jill Beloff Farrell, Dean of the Adrian Dominican School of Education, Barry University

Dr. Hilary Landorf, Director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, FIU

Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Vice President, FIU Global

Glenn Blumhorst, President, National Peace Corps Association

Peace Corps Sculpture Ribbon Cutting



New Version for the Next Installation


Travel Tidbits

August 24th, 2021 -  If you get on Jeopardy! and make a lot of money due to this article,

do make a large donation to RPCVSF for world peace.

Safari vehicles Modern safaris use Toyota SUVs or the like with 4 wheel drive and A/C. Traditional  safaris use modified Land Rover British military personnel carriers, roofed and quite comfy, no A/C. These can be a little tricky getting in or out of. There is always a large gentleman nearby to assist. Vehicles carry 7 passengers plus the driver/guide. This means the group is limited to 13 travelers plus the Trip Leader in 2 vehicles, 20 if a third vehicle is used.

The Gates You probably have heard the Gates (Bill and Melinda) are no longer in like and are not doing it with each other any more. The lack of bliss should not have any effect on the grand work being done by their foundation to develop a preventative vaccine against malaria. Trips sponsored by RPCVSF follow CDC guidelines for anti-malaria drugs.

Names Trip leaders and guides often have names rooted in their native languages which are very difficult for westerners to pronounce so they adopt noms de travaille (work names}. Rosie in Namibia had a name that began with r-o-s and went on for many more letters. The mother of Stewart, a Zimbabwean working in Namibia, just liked the name Stewart. He did not have an African name but all his brothers and sisters had one. Anna in Thailand really wanted to be Ann but another woman in her office was Ann. God only knows how Sean in Laos came up with that name. Travel answers to the name Greg.

Libations: Singapore Sling When in Singapore you must try a Sling, preferably at Raffles, one of the great colonial hotels in the world. If you are refused entry to the Long Bar because of the truly Byzantine dress code, go around the building to the entrance of the pool bar. You better like cherries because cherry brandy provides the dominant flavor with a splash of gin to add kick. Pisco Sour When in Chile or Peru, this grape brandy cocktail is a must. A splash of egg white insures a frothy head. In Peru, the head features a couple of drops of Angostura Bitters. Caipirinha In Brazil, this is the drink of choice. Made from cachaca (unaged rum) and muddled lime wedges, it tastes like a daiquiri relative. Travel prefers caipirinha maracuja made with passion fruit.

Libations: wine Did you know France dumps its lower grade wines in Southeast Asia? The natives drink very little imported wine so this is for the tourists. You do not need to know a lot about wine when you order a glass and then say to yourself after finishing it, “That was really not distinguished.” No such problem in southern or east Africa due to competition from South Africa.

Libations: South Africa sparkling wine El cheapo is about $12 US a bottle; the good stuff is about $17 US a bottle. Spring for it.

Libations: whiskey and whisky If you ask for whiskey outside the States, expect to get Scotch whisky. Very little American bourbon is exported beyond Europe. The  Commonwealth is everywhere so you might find Canadian whisky available upon request.

Libations: mojitos The rum producing countries have made this drink very popular. Mint leaves grow close to the ground so they must by thoroughly washed. The question comes up in countries where one does not drink tap water was the mint washed in purified water?

Libations: water The modern approach in countries where tap water should not be drunk is for each traveler to be given a plastic bottle with the traveler’s name embossed on it. It is filled from a purified water fount usually located in the reception or lobby area. The traveler keeps it with him at all times. DO NOT BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH TAP WATER. This is also an effort to solve the world-wide plastic pollution problem. In every instance, the trip leader is in charge of water distribution.

Libations: gin and tonic In the early 1960s, the British Empire was transforming into the British Commonwealth. There was no need for the dedicated servants in the Colonial Service. It was folded into the Foreign Service where the colonials were treated as rubes and pariahs by the elitists. On top of that, their turf was being invaded by American Peace Corps volunteers in what were countries within the British sphere of influence. There was only one thing to do: Be nice to the Yanks. And helpful.

Make sure you drink plenty of gin and tonics. For the malaria, you know. If .the “kwih neen” doesn’t kill the malaria parasite, the gin will.

“No way!” said the Peace Corps doctor. There is not enough quinine in tonic to do more that tickle the parasite; the gin will only make it happy.

The Brits invented gin (Beefeater) and discovered quinine in cinchona bark.

Libations: beer Most countries have entered into foreign assistance agreements with European breweries so the beer around the world is generally very good and on the heavy side.

Libations: martini; manhattan Request a martini and you will get a glass of vermouth. You need to ask for a glass of gin shaken with ice straight up with olives if they have them. As for Manhattan, do not press your luck.

Libations: Islamic countries Those seeking a tourism industry have specially licensed facilities for foreign tourists. Their own citizens are not allowed in them to enforce the prohibition of alcohol for Muslims. My principal and I had a beer every day at lunch. He said he was not taking alcohol, just washing down his burger. Besides, the government owned the brewery so he was helping the economy.

New CDC guidelines There are new CDC guidelines for 61 countries as of June 9. In fact, the international travel scene is a mass of contradictions. The virus is raging everywhere so most places require masks. UK now welcomes fully vaccinated tourists without mandatory quarantine. New Zealand, too.

BBC reports the World Health Organization has declared China to be a malaria-free country.

Spirit Airlines probably should be avoided based on news reports. American Airlines has some of the same problems but is a much larger operation and can handle them better.

Travel is busy planning a super tour of Belize including an optional package in the cayes (pronounced “keys”) for divers and an excursion to the major Mayan ruins at Tikal in Guatemala. Stay tuned. You better Belize it.


Click Travel for the February 16th, 2021 Update

I knew we should have re-confirmed our return flight!


 Click Want More Peace Corps for More Information

Happy 60th Birthday Peace Corps

Zoom Fiesta - February 28, 2021

RPCVSF's Zoom Holiday Get-Together - Sunday, December 20th, 2020

A big thanks to everyone who participated in our Holiday zoom gathering yesterday!!  The event was a lot of fun, and it was so great to hear members from both our Gulf Coast group as well as the Miami group recounting stories from their Christmas pasts in their respective countries!  Let's aim to make this an annual event!