Returned Peace Corps
Volunteers of South Florida

Want more Peace Corps?  Help make it happen!

To: PCVs/RPCVs Everywhere!

From: Colombia I/1961-63


Just as Covid is causing people to pause and reflect on what is really essential and what they want life to be post-Covid, the present hiatus in Peace Corps presence worldwide affords us the opportunity to re-imagine what we want Peace Corps to be, once it returns to the world stage. How might Peace Corps seize this moment to become even more, and in the process, align itself

even more closely with Peace Corps’ founding vision? What do we want? More! More Peace Corps!

For almost six decades now, Peace Corps has proven itself to be of value, abroad and at home. Over the years, visiting foreign heads of state have personally expressed praise and gratitude to U.S. presidents for Peace Corps Volunteers. At the village level, Returned Volunteers-visiting their sites ten, fifteen years later on-are often stunned to find themselves not only warmly welcomed but lionized as local legends. Peace Corps service is transformative, and after serving, a high percentage of Returned Volunteers pursue paths of public service never before considered, much to the benefit of America in domestic and foreign affairs.

As Founding Peace Corps Volunteers, we, of Colombia I, remember JFK talking of 100,000 volunteers in the field as a matter of course, a goal that also loomed large in Sargent Shriver’s aspirations. Right now’s the right time then, for Peace Corps to take that quantum leap and think big! Our focus should be, once Covid is controlled, on placing Peace Corps on a trajectory such that the new normal becomes tens of thousands of volunteers serving at all times.

With more volunteers being there, working side by side, the more the basis of Peace Corps’ appeal – we’re with you! – is embraced everywhere. Greater Peace Corps presence in the world would mean greater presence

in the consciousness of prospective host countries as well as in the United States, including within the U.S. Congress. If Peace Corps is to have the heft and thrust needed to “break the bonds of misery” around the globe, then the task of moving toward a bigger, better Peace Corps, must be undertaken now.Choice of major spokespersons to gather Congressional endorsement is crucial. The Obamas, Michelle and Barack, would be ideal, perhaps as Peace Corps Ambassadors At Large. They, with massive PCV/RPCV support, could persuade Congress to increase Peace Corps size and funding in the coming years.

Sufficient applicants to fill tens of thousands Peace Corps slots year after year shouldn’t be a problem anytime soon. It’s going to take time for our economy to not only recover from the shutdowns wrought by Covid, but even more time to sort through and adjust to the changes in lifestyles that might well follow. That being the case, there will likely be, over the next several years, a lot of worthwhile, competent people coming out of college and others ten-twenty years older, facing an uncertain job market, open to opportunities to serve. In addition, Millennials, now the largest part of the young-adult workforce, are committed to change and diversity. Living/working overseas - experiencing other cultures, learning other languages - will be an attractive option for many of these eager-to-work, eager-to-serve individuals.

Over the longer haul, a lot depends on how much “Peace Corps mystique” is generated with more volunteers in the field, on how much a newer and bolder Peace Corps re-captures not only the attention, but more importantly,

the imagination of America and the world. Will America once again embrace Peace Corps, not just as a gift to others, but even more so as a gift to ourselves, the image of what we, as a nation, want ourselves to be?

Fulfilling our founders’ wishes, with tens of thousands of Peace Corps Volunteers serving all over the world on a regular basis, will not be easy. “But let us begin.”

Who’s with us? We welcome your response at

  Colombia I / June 25, 1961 – June 25, 1963

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