History of the Peace Corps in Honduras

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History of the Peace Corps
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Since 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries, more than 182,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries all over the globe.

See also:



Times have changed since the first lady of Honduras, Doña Alejandra Bermudez de Villeda Morales, accompanied the first training class of Peace Corps Volunteers to Honduras in 1962. Over the past 43 years, more than 5,000 Volunteers have served in Honduras in a wide range of project areas, including health, fisheries, beekeeping, animal husbandry, special education, vocational education, small business, and agriculture. Project areas and numbers of Volunteers have changed in response to the changing needs of the country. Projects such as fisheries, beekeeping, and education were phased out as Honduran people and institutions developed the capacity to continue the work on their own. Other projects, such as municipal development, HIV/AIDS prevention, and business development, have been initiated or have evolved with technological advances, increased globalization of world markets, and other developments.

In response to the crisis caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the number of Volunteers in Honduras increased dramatically. Today an average of 200 Volunteers work in the western, eastern, and southern regions of Honduras. In 2003 Peace Corps/Honduras expanded its program to the north coast of Honduras.


History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Honduras

The Peace Corps/Honduras program has six primary projects: business, child survival and HIV/AIDS prevention, water and sanitation, protected areas management, youth development, and municipal development. We collaborate with the government of Honduras, Honduran and international nongovernmental organizations, and communities throughout the

country. Our program is very much in concert with the poverty reduction strategy developed by Honduras and the international donor community. This type of integrated community development program makes Peace Corps/Honduras a very traditional post in many ways. Community development and integrated rural development have been around conceptually for at least 40 years and were especially popular from the mid-1960s until about the late 1970s. We all have learned a lot since then about human capital, social capital, dependency and empowerment, and sustainability. We know that development takes a long time, with consistent work in an auspicious setting, which we do our best to provide through excellent site selection. Despite the traditional appearance, Peace Corps/Honduras’ approach to and work in HIV/AIDS prevention, municipal development, business and information technology, protected areas management, and youth development put us very much in the vanguard of Peace Corps programming worldwide. Our objective as community development facilitators is not to teach the people of Honduras “American” values, but to help them help themselves within their own cultural framework.

The health project focuses on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, child survival, and reproductive health. The water and sanitation project provides technical assistance for constructing water supply and waste-management systems, while at the same time empowering communities to manage their water systems and protect their watersheds through the development of water boards and in conjunction with municipal environment committees. The protected areas management project focuses on agroforestry and natural resource management in buffer-zone communities. Business Volunteers apply basic business skills to help organizations and entrepreneurs better utilize local resources to increase income and opportunity. Municipal development Volunteers work with municipal employees and community leaders to improve public services, increase citizen participation, and enhance civic education. Finally, the youth development project builds on existing cross-project efforts, focusing on youth at risk, leadership development, gender equality, and increasing all types of opportunities for Honduran youth.

Peace Corps/Honduras emphasizes cross-project collaboration. Volunteers are likely to find themselves sharing or coordinating projects with Volunteers from other sectors. Additionally, Peace Corps/Honduras has taken a number of initiatives to enrich projects and allow for increased opportunity in community development. These initiatives include gender inclusion and development, environmental education, cross-project youth development, HIV/AIDS prevention, and information and communication technology.

Assignment History

Sector Assignment Beg. Yr End. Yr
Agriculture Ag Economics 1987 1988
Ag Education 1979 1985
Ag Extension 1971 2008
Animal Husband 1969 1989
Animal Husband Lg 1981 1989
Apiculture 1972 1991
Crop Extension 1962 2007
Farm Mechanics 1980 1981
Fisheries Marine 1986 1986
Soil Science 1976 1991
Business Accounting 1983 1998
Archictecture 1978 1990
Business Advising 1967 2008
Computer Science 2001 2008
Cooperatives 1980 1993
NGO Advising 1999 2007
Urban and Regional Planning 1999 2007
Crisis Corps Crisis Corps 1998 2001
Education Art Education 1981 1981
English Teacher 1967 1991
English Teacher Trainer 1987 1990
Fisheries Fresh 1980 1993
Gen. Construction 1980 1992
Home Economics 1981 1985
Industrial Arts 1970 1992
Library Science 1981 1983
Literacy Ed. 1985 1993
Prim-Ed/Teach Trn 1981 2007
Science Ed/Gen. 1981 1983
Secondary-Ed Math 1985 1989
Secondary-Ed Sci. 1981 1991
Special Ed/Deaf 1982 1990
Special Ed/Gen. 1980 2006
Speech Therapy 1991 1991
Univ. English Teaching 1985 1985
Voc. Trainer 1974 1990
Environment Comm Forestry Ext 1987 1999
Environmental Ed. 1979 2003
Forestry 1980 2007
Protected Areas Management 1987 2007
Health Disease Control 1982 1989
Envir. and Water Resource 1970 2008
Health Degreed 1973 2008
Health Extension 1980 2008
Home Econ/Ext. 1984 1988
Hygiene Ed/Sanitation 1980 2008
Nursing 1978 1994
Master's International Masters Internationalist 1993 2001
Other Flexible App 1970 1986
Unique Skill 1978 1993
UNV United Nations Volunteer 1984 1993
Youth and Community Development Appropriate Tech. 1980 1990
Commun. Serv/Deg. 1977 2008
Mechanics 1986 1986
Road Const/Engin. 1974 1989
Rural Youth Dev. 1981 1986
Youth Development 2003 2007