Difference between pages "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Philippines" and "Training in El Salvador"

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In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.  
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{| cellpadding="1" cellspacing="5" style="border: 1px solid #9866FF; background-color: #f3f3ff" width="300"
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| align="center" | '''<big>Country Resources</big>'''
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| width="50%" |
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*[[Packing lists by country]]
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*[[Training by country]] 
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*[[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles by country]]
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*[[Health care and safety by country]]
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*[[Diversity and cross-cultural issues by country]]
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*[[FAQs by country]]
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*[[History of the Peace Corps by country]] 
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|}
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Training is an essential part of your Peace Corps service. Our goal is to give you enough skills and information to allow you to live and work effectively in El Salvador. In doing that, we plan to build upon the experiences and expertise you bring with you to the Peace Corps. We anticipate that you will approach your training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Peace Corps trainees officially become Peace Corps Volunteers after successful completion of training.  
  
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In the Philippines, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in the Philippines.  
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The 10-week training provides you the opportunity to learn new skills and practice them as they apply to El Salvador.  You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-cultural communication, area studies, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your assignment. The skills you learn will serve as a foundation upon which you will build your experience and work together as a group. And you will have the chance to experience local culture and customs on your own during your stay with a host family and on various site visits.  
  
Outside of Manila, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The Filipino people are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
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During the first few days in-country, you will participate in an arrival orientation at the training center in San Vicente. After this initial period, you will move in with your host family in a community in or around San Vicente. You will live with one host family for the duration of your pre-service training.  
  
To ease the transition and adapt to life in the Philippines, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.  
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The host family experience will help you bring some of the topics covered in training to life, and it will give you a chance to practice your new language skills and directly observe and participate in Salvadoran culture. You will be expected to take part in the meals and daily activities of your host family. If you invest yourself in this experience, it will prove to be a rich and positive one. You will be assisted and guided in your cultural adaptation and skills acquisition by members of the training staff. All staff members will work with you—individually as well as in groups—to help you adapt to the new culture and prepare yourself for your eventual assignment.  
  
===Overview of Diversity in the Philippines ===
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===Technical Training ===
  
The Peace Corps staff in the Philippines recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
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Technical training prepares you to work in El Salvador by building on the skills you already have and by helping you to develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, El Salvador experts, and current Volunteers will conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.  
  
===What Might a Volunteer Face? ===
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Technical training will include sessions on general environmental, economic and political situations in El Salvador and strategies for working within such a framework.  You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Salvadoran agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them.
  
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers ====
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You will be supported and evaluated by the training staff throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you will need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.
  
Many American women find Filipino society chauvinistic. Men are allowed much greater freedom than women. For example, Filipinos expect female but not male Volunteers to travel with a companion. Because of depictions in the media, some Filipinos assume American women are promiscuous. Behavior by women that is considered normal in the United States— such as jogging in shorts or wearing a swimsuit to swim—may reinforce this stereotype, especially in rural areas, and may lead to sexual harassment. Female Volunteers should not wear short skirts, halter-tops, or other revealing clothing. In addition, some Filipinos may have a hard time understanding what a single woman is doing away from her family. Female Volunteers used to being independent may feel overprotected and may resent encouragement from Filipinos to get married.  Despite these issues, the overwhelming majority of female Volunteers feel safe and happy in the Philippines.
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===Language Training ===
  
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As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance and will help you integrate into your host community and ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements in order to complete training and become a Volunteer.  Experienced Salvadoran language and cultural facilitators (LCFs) teach formal, participatory language classes five days a week in small classes of four to five people. Spanish terminology is also introduced in the health, culture, safety and technical components of training.
  
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Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. You will have classroom time and will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family to learn the language. Our goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills more thoroughly once you are at your site. Prior to swearing in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your two years of service.
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ====
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===Cross-Cultural Training ===
  
African-American Volunteers may experience racist attitudes but are more likely to face great curiosity from Filipinos about everything from intimate habits to food preferences. All Volunteers can expect to be stared at, but African Americans may get more stares. African-American Volunteers may work or live with individuals who have no experience or understanding of black American culture. They may use offensive terms, although these are more likely to be used because of ignorance than because of malice.  
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As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Salvadoran host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition into life at your site. Families have gone through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of the pre-service training program and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in El Salvador. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.  
  
Asian-American Volunteers may be identified more by their ethnic background than by their American citizenship. They may have to deal with Filipinos’ stereotypical views about other Asian cultures (e.g., all Chinese are rich traders). Mistaken for Filipinos, on the other hand, Asian-American Volunteers may be given less assistance than other Volunteers.  People may expect an Asian American to speak their language and to know local customs. By the same token, by blending in, Asian Americans may not be stared at as often as other Volunteers are.  
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Cross-cultural and community development will be covered to help improve your skills of perception, communication and facilitation. Topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, and traditional and political structures are also addressed.  
  
 
  
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ====
 
  
During training and at their sites, older Volunteers may face challenges solely due to age. Since the majority of Volunteers are in their 20s, they may work and live with individuals in the Peace Corps community who are not able to provide them with adequate personal support. Older Volunteers may find that younger Volunteers look to them for advice and support. While some seniors find this an enjoyable part of their Volunteer experience, others choose not to fill this role.  In addition, difficult issues may arise if your host “parents” are even younger than your children at home.
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===Health Training ===
  
There are also benefits to being an older Volunteer. For instance, older people are shown great respect in the Philippines. But while this will open many doors, senior Volunteers may also find that they are perceived as unapproachable by younger Filipino counterparts. Service in the Philippines may also be physically harder for senior Volunteers, who may, for instance, find riding in motorized, three-wheel bicycles, jeepneys, or minibuses uncomfortable or have difficulty hauling water and other supplies.  
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During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. As a trainee, you are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that Volunteers may encounter while in El Salvador.  Sexual health and harassment, nutrition, mental health, and safety issues are also covered.  
  
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ====
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===Safety Training ===
  
It is not uncommon to encounter gay men (and to a lesser extent, gay women) in the Philippines. But Volunteers will find that an openly gay lifestyle is not acceptable in all sectors of Filipino society. Volunteers who are open about their sexual orientation in their community may limit their effectiveness as Volunteers. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual Volunteers need to know that there may or may not be support for their sexual orientation and that they may serve for two years without meeting another gay or bisexual Volunteer. Lesbians will have to deal with constant questions about boyfriends, marriage, and sex (as do all women). Wearing an “engagement ring” may help. Men and women of any orientation must deal with machismo: talk of conquest(s), girl watching, and dirty jokes.
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During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces risk in your home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.  
  
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ====
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===Additional Training During Volunteer Service ===
  
The Philippines is the only country in Asia with a predominantly Christian population—more than 90 percent (about 80 percent of these are Roman Catholic). Of minority religious groups, about 8 percent are Muslim and 4 percent belong to the Philippine Independent Church—a nationalist Catholic Church. The Iglesia ni Kristo (Church of Christ) is the largest Protestant denomination with 4 percent, while Baptists, Methodists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other denominations make up about 2 percent. Although Volunteers are free to exercise their personal religious beliefs, they may not engage in religious proselytizing or other activities that are against the law or would impair their effectiveness as a Volunteer.  
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In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides trainees and Volunteers with continuous opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills.  
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities ====
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During your service, there are usually four training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
  
The Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, of performing a full tour of Volunteer service in the Philippines without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/ Philippines staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.  
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* Pre-service training: Provides trainees with solid technical, language, and cross-cultural knowledge to prepare them for living and working successfully in El Salvador. 
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* In-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their technical, language, and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three to six months.  
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* Midterm conference (done in conjunction with technical sector in-service): Assists Volunteers in reviewing their first year, reassessing their personal and project objectives, and planning for their second year of service.
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* Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and to review Volunteers’ respective projects and personal experiences.  
  
Buildings in the Philippines generally are not suited for disabled people. Only a few hotels and other establishments are equipped with wheelchair ramps, although some movie houses in big cities now have toilets with big doors. These deficits are largely made up for by the sheer humanity of the people. When they see a disabled person, Filipinos behave perfectly naturally, without ingratiating themselves in an embarrassing way. And there is always someone around with a helping hand.  
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The number, length, and design of these trainings will be adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.  
  
  
[[Category:Philippines]]
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[[Category:El Salvador]]
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[[Category:Training|El Salvador]]

Revision as of 08:29, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

Training is an essential part of your Peace Corps service. Our goal is to give you enough skills and information to allow you to live and work effectively in El Salvador. In doing that, we plan to build upon the experiences and expertise you bring with you to the Peace Corps. We anticipate that you will approach your training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Peace Corps trainees officially become Peace Corps Volunteers after successful completion of training.

The 10-week training provides you the opportunity to learn new skills and practice them as they apply to El Salvador. You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-cultural communication, area studies, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your assignment. The skills you learn will serve as a foundation upon which you will build your experience and work together as a group. And you will have the chance to experience local culture and customs on your own during your stay with a host family and on various site visits.

During the first few days in-country, you will participate in an arrival orientation at the training center in San Vicente. After this initial period, you will move in with your host family in a community in or around San Vicente. You will live with one host family for the duration of your pre-service training.

The host family experience will help you bring some of the topics covered in training to life, and it will give you a chance to practice your new language skills and directly observe and participate in Salvadoran culture. You will be expected to take part in the meals and daily activities of your host family. If you invest yourself in this experience, it will prove to be a rich and positive one. You will be assisted and guided in your cultural adaptation and skills acquisition by members of the training staff. All staff members will work with you—individually as well as in groups—to help you adapt to the new culture and prepare yourself for your eventual assignment.

Technical Training

Technical training prepares you to work in El Salvador by building on the skills you already have and by helping you to develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, El Salvador experts, and current Volunteers will conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.

Technical training will include sessions on general environmental, economic and political situations in El Salvador and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Salvadoran agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them.

You will be supported and evaluated by the training staff throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you will need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.

Language Training

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance and will help you integrate into your host community and ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements in order to complete training and become a Volunteer. Experienced Salvadoran language and cultural facilitators (LCFs) teach formal, participatory language classes five days a week in small classes of four to five people. Spanish terminology is also introduced in the health, culture, safety and technical components of training.

Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. You will have classroom time and will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family to learn the language. Our goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills more thoroughly once you are at your site. Prior to swearing in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your two years of service.

Cross-Cultural Training

As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Salvadoran host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition into life at your site. Families have gone through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of the pre-service training program and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in El Salvador. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.

Cross-cultural and community development will be covered to help improve your skills of perception, communication and facilitation. Topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, and traditional and political structures are also addressed.


Health Training

During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. As a trainee, you are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that Volunteers may encounter while in El Salvador. Sexual health and harassment, nutrition, mental health, and safety issues are also covered.

Safety Training

During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces risk in your home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.

Additional Training During Volunteer Service

In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides trainees and Volunteers with continuous opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills.

During your service, there are usually four training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:

  • Pre-service training: Provides trainees with solid technical, language, and cross-cultural knowledge to prepare them for living and working successfully in El Salvador.
  • In-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their technical, language, and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three to six months.
  • Midterm conference (done in conjunction with technical sector in-service): Assists Volunteers in reviewing their first year, reassessing their personal and project objectives, and planning for their second year of service.
  • Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and to review Volunteers’ respective projects and personal experiences.

The number, length, and design of these trainings will be adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.