Returned Peace Corps
 Volunteers of South Florida

RPCVSF Participates in the AmazonSmile Program. To sign up and participate at no cost, please select Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc. as your charity when you visit

Donations from AmazonSmile to RPCVSF now exceed $910.



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.


13 Nov 2021 2:00 PM • Surfside

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Click Below for RPCVSFs August - September Newsletter

RPCVSF Aug Sep Newsletter.pdf

RPCVSF Directors and Officers 2021 - 2022

RPCVSF Board of Directors 2021-2022.doc

RPCVSF Officers 2021-22.docx

The Family of our long time member Kiki Mutis has organized a Fundraiser

Click below for Updates Including August 22nd, 2021, when Kiki wrote:

"Today I feel strong, healthy, whole, and complete, just as I am (most days)."

Click Kiki Mutis for Updates from Kiki

September 1, 2021

Dear Friends,

September has arrived and with it, cautious optimism on the HELP campus. Last week HELP hosted a two-day vaccine clinic in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health & Population for HELP students, staff, and family members, and friends. 150 people received their first dose of the vaccine which should allow HELP to return to full, in-person capacity at the beginning of October!

With 50 new freshmen joining the student body this month, we are looking forward to the energy of a full campus and sharing stories of growth, success, and service throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Help our students start the year right. Gifts of any amount support our students, covering everything from school supplies to housing, or tuition.

Donate Now

Thank you,

The HELP Team

Connect with us on Facebook

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If you would like to learn more, please reach out to us here.


Haitian Education & Leadership Program - HELP

64 Fulton Street, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10038

World Affairs Council of Miami

From: Thomas Marvin Hancock <>

Subject: Meeting Memo - World Affairs Council of Miami

Date: September 15, 2021 at 1:04:46 PM EDT

To: of Directors Board RPCVSF <>

Memo of Meeting to the RPCVSF Board and Website

Tuesday, September 14, 2021, the World Affairs Council of Miami Co-Hosted a virtual panel discussion with Global Ties - Miami and the Refugees Assistance Alliance titled “Welcoming Syrian, Afghan and other Refugees to South Florida."

The Moderator was Kevin Huntting, and panel members were Nancy Jackson who is the District Director of the Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Ileen Higgins and was formerly with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, David Oliver who is the Florida Director of the International Rescue Committee, and Kristen Blood who is the Executive Director and Founder of the Refugees Assistance Alliance.

Nancy Jackson asked “Why do some become refugees?” and answered her own question with “War”. She said people are obliged to flee for their lives. She added that currently the largest number of refugees are from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. She talked about the role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, and how the office is supported by signatures to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

David Oliver said that the International Rescue Committee has an office in Tallahassee and is hoping to open an office in Miami. He said that the committee has a contract with the US Department of State that provides for the committee to help refugees with housing, schools, employment opportunities and other needs. He said it is important to identify family ties to ensure that refugees are in the right location to benefit from family support. He also said that the biggest hurtles are transportation, childcare, and limited English.

Kristen Bloom, a RPCV, said her involvement started when she met the first refugee family. She was initially overwhelmed and promised folks that “we will get you the information you need.”  An interesting anecdote was when she visits a refugee home they give her stacks of mail they do not understand and she separates out the junk mail. Kristen said that Miami-Dade has many resources for refugees especially since 50% of Miami residents were born elsewhere.

When asked about their needs, all the speakers said that they are looking for volunteers and donations.

Attendees were also welcomed by Co-Hosts Lynare Robbins and Jon Ward of the World Affairs Council and Dr. Athena Passera, President of Global Ties - Miami.

Help us create an unusual exhibit of Peace Corps Recruitment Posters

Do you have Peace Corps recruitment posters? A Peace Corps poster exhibit is on its way and we are looking to the community for help.

ArtReach Gallery in Portland OR is curating a poster exhibit with the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience for summer 2022. Along with Peace Corps posters, particularly agency-issued posters, the exhibit will feature artists who designed them to recruit volunteers and market Peace Corps to the general public. 

The Museum is looking to collect 15 - 20 posters for the exhibition – think of “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love.” In addition, the exhibit team plans to interview poster artists about creating their poster and its relationship to their personal lives. Poster artists will be featured speakers in exhibition programming. 

If you or anyone you know would like to donate Peace Corps posters, please email soon:

Thank you for your support.

Nicola Dino, Co-chair 
Patricia Wand, Co-chair

The June - July 2021 Tropical Currents Newsletter is here - Click Below

RPCVSFs JuneJuly Newsletter.pdf

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.

Our Condolences

In Memoriam: Maria (Betty) Bruquetas  (9/24/54 – 8/12/21)

President, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of the Gulf Coast of Florida, Sarasota, Florida

~ In Memoriam ~

Zoom Memorial Service - September 26, 2021

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.


July 6th, 2021. -- Summary

These positions allow returning Peace Corps and certain Peace Corps Response volunteers the opportunity to gain experience in the Federal Government while continuing to support the Peace Corps mission. Applicants will be placed in a position, in the duty locations that they identify, and will be expected to perform the duties of the position, in that specific duty station. Please click on the following link for detailed information:


Seeking 12 Literacy Support Specialists

June 29, 21 Peace Corps Response has asked for our help! They are looking for 12 Literacy Support Specialists for late 2021 departure to Belize.

For information about these or other opportunities in the Peace Corps, please contact:


Taylor Majher, Regional Peace Corps Recruiter, Miami

Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs

Peace Corps will be hiring soon for Recruiter positions in various locations across the United States. To be considered, an individual must have noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) and submit materials to the NCE job posting on USAjobs. Once you are added to the RPCV/RPCRV Non-Competitive certificate, you will receive notifications from hiring managers for open positions. Some of these are field-based positions, meaning you would work from your home, and others are office-based positions, which would require you to work from our HQ or one of the three regional offices. However, Peace Corps is currently in maximum telework flexibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to indicate “Volunteer Recruitment” as a job category for consideration.

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!