From Peace Corps Wiki
The Face of America
In the new millennium, the Peace Corps’ mission is more vital than ever.
On June 27, 2000, Director Mark Schneider announces that, for the first time ever, all 2,400 Peace Corps Volunteers serving in 25 countries in Africa will be trained as educators of HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush calls on each American to commit at least two years or 4,000 hours of his or her life to the service of neighbors. His remarks, delivered during the State of the Union Address to the nation on January 29, 2002, specifically highlights the work of Peace Corps Volunteers and results in record highs in application requests and applicants.
On September 14, 2002, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo visits Peace Corps headquarters. During President Toledo’s historic visit, he shares with agency staffers personal details of the crucial role that Peace Corps Volunteers played in his young life. In 1963, President Toledo, then an adolescent shoeshine boy, developed a lasting friendship with Peace Corps Volunteers Joel Meister and Nancy Deeds. After President Toledo graduated from high school, Meister and Deeds helped him gain admission to San Francisco City College and later, San Francisco State University. Subsequently, the future Peruvian President would earn a scholarship for graduate studies at Stanford University.
On September 26, 2002, Hipólito Mejía Domínguez, President of the Dominican Republic, visits Peace Corps headquarters. President Mejia discusses the importance of his country’s relationship with the Peace Corps and his plans to ensure the partnership continues and prospers. President Mejia learned English from Peace Corps Volunteers when he was a child. Mejia states, "I understand firsthand the work of Peace Corps Volunteers, and I tell everyone I can, especially other politicians, that Peace Corps is very important. The work that Peace Corps Volunteers do in my country is wonderful."
On September 30, 2002, Habitat for Humanity International and the Peace Corps join forces by signing a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on projects in select regions across the world.
In December 2002, the Peace Corps debuts its online library. The library contains materials used to train and support Peace Corps staff, Volunteers, and host country partners. The addition of this library to the Peace Corps Web site is part of the agency’s mission to use innovative technology to maximize communications and share knowledge more efficiently around the globe.
In May 2003, the Peace Corps commits an additional 1,000 Volunteers to fight HIV/AIDS as part of legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush. The new law, H.R. 1298, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, will direct $15 billion over the next five years to fight HIV/AIDS abroad, focusing on African and Caribbean countries where HIV/AIDS is heavily concentrated.
On July 16, 2003, the Peace Corps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sign a memorandum of understanding to work together on global health challenges.
On September 25, 2003, the agency launches its newest national recruiting campaign to reacquaint Americans with the Peace Corps and the work of the Volunteers. Centered on the theme, “Life is calling. How far will you go?” the campaign underscores President Bush’s call to service and his goal to expand the Peace Corps. The campaign emphasizes the Peace Corps’ long and illustrious history while establishing a new approach that conveys a modern image and works to ensure that Volunteers represent the diverse face of America.
On November 12, 2003, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez, the first Hispanic director, signs a historic agreement with Mexico that will lead to Peace Corps Volunteers serving in that nation for the first time.
On February 10, 2004, the Peace Corps and the American Association of Community Colleges introduce a new recruitment campaign—the first major concentrated effort specifically targeting community college graduates. This initiative will increase opportunities for licensed nurses, trained information technology experts, and other specially trained Americans to share their skills abroad.
On November 24, 2004, the Peace Corps and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations sign a historic agreement that will enhance the two organizations’ collaboration and efforts to improve food security and the conditions of rural people around the world.
In January 2005, the Peace Corps sends former Volunteers to Thailand and Sri Lanka as part of the Peace Corps’ Crisis Corps program to assist those people whose lives were shattered by the December 26, 2004, Asian tsunami.
On September 13, 2005, Volunteers are deployed domestically for the first time when Crisis Corps aids the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief operations in the Gulf Coast region following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
On October 1, 2005, Peace Corps’ Volunteer numbers reach a 30-year high: 7,810 Americans currently serve in the Peace Corps in 77 countries. To date, 182,000 Volunteers have served in 138 countries.
2000s Official US Peace Corps Website