Difference between pages "Returned Volunteers FAQs" and "Training in Paraguay"

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Keeping former Peace Corps Volunteers informed and involved is very important to us. The topics below are drawn from our most commonly asked questions from RPCVs. We hope you find them helpful.
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{{Training_by_country}}
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Peace Corps/Paraguay’s pre-service training consists of 11 weeks of intensive in-country training in five major areas: language (Spanish and Guaraní), community development and personal adaptation, technical job orientation, Volunteer safety and security, and health. By the end of training, each trainee has to pass qualifying criteria in each of these areas to be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  
  
==How can I get assistance with financial issues, taxes, or a copy of my Description of Service (DOS)?==
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The training center is located in the town of Guarambaré, which is approximately one hour by bus from the capital, Asunción. Trainees also make visits to Volunteer sites to begin preparing for the realities of life in Paraguay. After eight weeks, trainees spend a week at the site to which they will be permanently assigned.
For Readjustment Allowance questions; verification of Peace Corps service for an employer or college (verbal and/or written); copies of your Description of Service (DOS), income tax questions and W-2 forms; loan deferment, cancellation, and economic hardship certifications; and, savings bonds, contact:
 
  
Volunteer and PSC Financial Services<br>
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Trainees live with a Paraguayan family during the entire training period, sharing meals, conversation, and other experiences. The families live in small satellite communities within a few kilometers of Guarambaré, whose residents are from the lower-income to middle-income strata of Paraguayan society. Trainees spend most of their time in language classes at their satellite training facility. Technical, cultural, and community development studies are combined with practice of new skills at the community level, often in cooperation with nearby schools, organizations, and community groups. Combining formal classroom study with ample opportunity for practicing a new language and cultural and technical skills has proved to be an extremely effective way of preparing Volunteers to work as independent professionals during their service.  
800.424.8580, ext. 1770, or<br>
 
202.692.1770 <br>
 
  
 +
Throughout training, you will be encouraged to continue examining your personal motivation for serving in the Peace Corps and your level of dedication and commitment. By the time you are sworn in as a Volunteer, you should have made an informed and serious commitment that will sustain you through a full two years of service.
  
==Where can I get assistance with Early Termination (ET) issues?==  
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===Technical Training ===
For ET consultation/personal counseling, or if you wish to ET while in the United States on home leave or emergency leave, contact:
 
  
Office of Special Services<br>
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The training center is staffed by technical specialists who present a detailed curriculum tailored to the job requirements specified by Peace Corps/Paraguay. Technical training will prepare you to work in Paraguay by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer; in fact, you will be involved in practical, hands-on training during your first week in-country.  
800.424.8580, ext. 1470 or <br>
 
202.692.1470 <br>
 
  
 +
Technical training will include sessions on the economic and political environment in Paraguay and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Paraguayan agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.
  
==Where can I get assistance with medical issues?==  
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===Language Training ===
If within the first six months of your COS you are having a particularly difficult time with your re-entry adjustment and feel you need a medical evaluation, contact the Office of Medical Services to discuss your situation with a medical professional.
 
  
For general medical issues, contact the Office of Medical Services.  
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The importance of language ability cannot be emphasized enough, especially because Volunteers in Paraguay need to gain competency in two languages. Your ability to share information, serve as a community resource, and integrate into Paraguayan culture will be directly related to your ability to communicate not just in Spanish but also in Guaraní.  
  
Office of Medical Services<br>
+
Because of the importance of competency in Guaraní, all
800.424.8580, ext. 1500 or 202.692.1500<br>
 
Learn more about general RPCV health benefits.<br>
 
  
To obtain copies of your medical records, contact:<br>
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language training will be in Guaraní once you reach a basic level of Spanish. Therefore, you are strongly urged to initiate Spanish language studies before you leave for Paraguay. Guaraní is not an especially difficult language for an English speaker, but it is much easier if one has basic competence in Spanish. (Invitees choosing to come to Paraguay to improve their Spanish skills should think twice, since most Volunteers will speak Guaraní at their sites.)
Medical Records Department<br>
 
800.424.8580, ext. 1553 or 202.692.1553 <br>
 
  
For Medical billing/reimbursement, contact:<br>
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From the beginning, your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills further once you are at your site. Prior to your swearing in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your service.  
Health Benefit Program<br>
 
800.544.1802 <br>
 
  
For RPCVs with medical problems resulting from their Peace Corps service, requests for authorization of evaluation or further diagnostic work-up of service-related conditions; authorization for treatment after diagnosis of injury or illness incurred while a PCV or other illness or disability issues related to your Peace Corps service contact:
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===Cross-Cultural Training ===
  
Post Service Unit<br>
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The overall goal of personal and cultural training is to help you work within Paraguay’s cultural norms and modify behaviors when appropriate. You will learn about issues related to cross-cultural adjustment and isolation and methods of dealing with them. A key element of this training is living with a Paraguayan host family, who will be your greatest resource for easing the transition to life at your site. Families go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of pre-service training and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Paraguay. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.  
800.424.8580, ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540 <br>
 
  
For Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) claims or Re-entry difficulty, contact:
+
Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.
Office of Medical Services 800.424.8580, ext. 1500, or 202.692.1500.
 
Additional information is available from the FECA Benefits page on this site.
 
  
Sometimes RPCVs encounter problems in obtaining assistance from the Office of Medical Services or the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP).  OWCP is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for administering the FECA program.  An RPCV group has been formed to help RPCVs secure health care and other benefits that they are legally entitled to (see OWCP Yahoo! Group in the external links section, below).
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===Health Training ===
  
==How can I change my address?==
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Health training is designed to enable trainees to become more self-sufficient. As a Volunteer, you will be expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies.  
Use our online form or send an e-mail to: rpcvupdate@peacecorps.gov
 
  
You may also send your information via regular mail. Include your name, address, social security number, country, and years of service to:
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You will learn how to use locally available food to prepare nutritionally balanced meals. You also will be given basic medical training and information. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Paraguay. Mental health and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered. Current Volunteers will participate in some of the health sessions to highlight the value of peer support in health maintenance.
  
RPCV Database Manager<br>
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When Peace Corps Volunteers are confronted with difficult situations or crises, they are most likely to go to a friend, rather than to someone they do not know very well. Although ideally a Peace Corps Volunteer will complete service without facing major problems, sometimes a Volunteer is presented with a difficult problem or situation. During pre-service training as well as in-service trainings, you will learn to deal with sensitive issues such as depression and stress, as well as how to help other Volunteers when they experience difficulties.
Peace Corps Domestic Programs<br>
 
1111 20th Street NW<br>
 
Washington, DC 20526<br>
 
  
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===Safety Training ===
  
==How can I find an RPCV?==
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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 travel. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service. You will also be briefed on the post’s emergency action plan.  
Peace Corps no longer has resources available for contacting returned volunteers; however, there are a number of search resources available on the Web including Yahoo People Search and Google. The [http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org National Peace Corps Association] maintains a "Seeking" area on its website under the News section.  Also, every five years NPCA publishes a directory of RPCVs and former staff.
 
  
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Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service
  
==How can I locate the RPCV group nearest me?==
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In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system throughout the two years of service that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their language, technical, and community development skills. During your service, there are usually four training events. The titles and objectives of those trainings are as follows:
Contact the National Peace Corps Association via their website ([http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org www.peacecorpsconnect.org]) or call them at 202.293.7728. '''First year of membership is free to recently returned volunteers.
 
'''
 
  
==How can I stay connected to the Peace Corps? ==
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* Reconnect in-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their language, safety and security and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three months.
There are many ways to stay connected. Visit our Stay Connected section or select from the following list:  
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* Project design and management workshop: Provides Volunteers and community contacts with the skills necessary to identify needs, set priorities, and design sustainable community projects. This workshop is usually held after the sixth month of service.  
 +
* Technical in-service training: Provides focused technical training towards the close of the first year of service and helps Volunteers review their first year, reassess personal and project objectives, and plan for their second year of service.
 +
* Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the transition after Peace Corps service, reviewing their work and personal experiences as well as identifying future aspirations.
  
* Assist with recruiting potential Volunteers.  
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The number, length, and design of these trainings are 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 to the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.  
* Help RPCVs with their career and life transition back to the United States by agreeing to be listed in the Career Information Consultants Guide.
 
* Participate as a Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools speaker.
 
* Share your experience during Peace Corps Week.
 
* Become a Crisis Corps Volunteer.
 
* Submit a story for the Peace Corps Web site.
 
* Let Peace Corps help pay for graduate school. Learn more about the Peace Corps Fellows Program.
 
* Join the [http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org National Peace Corps Association] and get involved with one of its 140 geographic or country of service affiliate groups.  '''First year of membership is free to newly returned volunteers.''' 
 
  
 
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[[Category:Paraguay]]
==Where can I order Returned Volunteer Services publications? ==
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[[Category:Training|Paraguay]]
RVS publishes a series of career manuals. These are available free of charge to all RPCVs, but can only be mailed to addresses in the United States. Most are now available online. Learn more.
 
 
 
 
 
==How do I apply for employment with the Peace Corps? ==
 
Visit our Jobs section for a comprehensive look at working at the Peace Corps, plus listings for open positions at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as regional, overseas, and short-term jobs.
 
 
 
 
 
==Campus Recruiting Positions==
 
The Peace Corps occasionally places Peace Corps campus coordinators/graduate assistants ("strategy contractors") at certain colleges and universities that are good sources for potential Volunteers.
 
 
 
Strategy contractors are returned Volunteers who work half-time on campus as Peace Corps recruiters while pursuing degrees. The recruiter is actually employed by the university which has been awarded a contract by the Peace Corps for recruitment activities.
 
 
 
If you plan to attend school, you might contact the local Peace Corps office responsible for the state in which your school is located to inquire about these positions.
 
 
 
 
 
==Temporary and Short-Term Positions==
 
RPCVs can inquire about current temporary openings by contacting the specific office that interests them, or by visiting the RVS career center at the Regional Recruitment Office in Rosslyn, Virginia, where these openings are sometimes posted. You may also inform any office of your availability in the event that the office has an upcoming temporary need.
 
 
 
For short-term jobs or consulting, the Short Term Assistance Unit (STAU) of the Peace Corps provides trainers for Pre-Service Trainings when requested by a Peace Corps overseas post. To identify trainers, the STAU maintains a database of potential short-term contractors and actively recruits new candidates. Learn more about STAU.
 
 
 
To submit your résumé or federal application by mail, send it to:
 
 
 
Short-Term Assistance Unit<br>
 
of the Center for Field Assistance<br>
 
and Applied Research<br>
 
Paul D. Coverdell<br>
 
Peace Corps Headquarters<br>
 
1111 20th Street, NW<br>
 
Washington, DC 20526<br>
 
 
 
 
 
==Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD) Jobs==
 
Competitive APCD candidates usually will have position-specific education, several years of managerial experience, technical skills, and cross-cultural language skills. Check the Peace Corps Employment Center for current APCD openings.
 
 
 
Or, send a federal application or résumé to:
 
 
 
Paul D. Coverdell<br>
 
Peace Corps Headquarters<br>
 
Overseas Staff Recruitment<br>
 
1111 20th Street, NW<br>
 
Washington, DC 20526 <br>
 
 
 
 
 
==What is a GS level? Where do I rank? ==
 
The Peace Corps uses a Foreign Service (FP) system rather than the GS hiring system used at many government agencies. The majority of recently Returned Volunteers may qualify for positions at the GS-5, GS-7, or GS-9 levels. This will of course depend on the amount of relevant experience and the education level of the applicant.
 
 
 
For more information about the federal government's GS system, see the RPCV Benefits section.
 
 
 
 
 
==What is non-competitive eligibility? ==
 
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) is a special mechanism through which RPCVs can be appointed to federal GS positions without competing with the general public in order to be hired.
 
 
 
What this means is federal agencies are permitted to hire a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer without posting a vacancy announcement, interviewing candidates or going through the other steps that often cause the hiring process to idle. This does not mean Returned Volunteers are entitled to federal employment. Also, state and local agencies fall under separate laws and do not have the NCE benefit.
 
 
 
RPCVs may provide a non-competitive eligibility letter (PDF) to prospective federal employers explaining their non-competitive eligibility.
 
 
 
Noncompetitive eligibility can be used at expected service agencies. USAJobs.gov lists these expected service agencies here:
 
 
 
http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/exceptedservice.asp#icc
 
 
 
For more information about the federal government's GS system, see the RPCV Benefits section.
 
 
 
==What is an SF-50? Do I have a performance appraisal from the Peace Corps that I can use in the federal hiring process? ==
 
Federal employers sometimes ask RPCV applicants for a copy of their SF-50s. This form is called a "Notification of Personnel Action." As a PCV/RPCV, you did/do not have an SF-50.
 
 
 
You may use a copy of your Description of Service (DOS), instead, as a formal description of your Peace Corps work. The DOS is a factual account of your service. It does not evaluate your work as a PCV.
 
 
 
Most federal job applications ask for a copy of your most recent performance appraisal. Try to get a general letter of recommendation that gives an account of your work habits and character, from an overseas Peace Corps staff member familiar with your work.
 
 
 
It is advisable to get a letter of recommendation before you leave or shortly after you return from overseas. The longer the time since you left service, the more difficult it is to get such letters. This letter can be used in lieu of a performance appraisal.
 
 
 
 
 
==What if I have other questions about services for former Volunteers? ==
 
Refer to the Career Resource Manual presented to you at your COS conference, or contact Returned Volunteer Services: rvs@peacecorps.gov
 
 
 
==External Links==
 
[http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org National Peace Corps Association] a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization connecting, informing and engaging returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs), former Peace Corps staff and friends of Peace Corps committed to fostering peace through service, education and advocacy.
 
 
 
[http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.former.formervolfaq Returned Volunteers FAQs] Official US Peace Corps Website
 
 
 
[http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/owcp OWCP Yahoo! Group] An Online Community of RPCVs that Advocates for Better Post-Service Health Care from Peace Corps and the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
 
[[Category:resources]]
 

Revision as of 05:42, 27 February 2011


Training in [[{{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
Pre-service training will probably be the most intense period of your Peace Corps service, as you will need to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully serve as a Volunteer in just 10 weeks. While the training period will be extremely busy, it should also be a time of excitement, discovery, and self-fulfillment. The effort and challenges of adapting to a new culture will draw on your reserves of patience and humor but will be handsomely rewarded with a sense of belonging among new friends.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]
|3}} [[Image:Flag_of_{{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}}.svg|50px|none]]}}

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

[[Category: {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Paraguay| |4}}]]

Peace Corps/Paraguay’s pre-service training consists of 11 weeks of intensive in-country training in five major areas: language (Spanish and Guaraní), community development and personal adaptation, technical job orientation, Volunteer safety and security, and health. By the end of training, each trainee has to pass qualifying criteria in each of these areas to be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

The training center is located in the town of Guarambaré, which is approximately one hour by bus from the capital, Asunción. Trainees also make visits to Volunteer sites to begin preparing for the realities of life in Paraguay. After eight weeks, trainees spend a week at the site to which they will be permanently assigned.

Trainees live with a Paraguayan family during the entire training period, sharing meals, conversation, and other experiences. The families live in small satellite communities within a few kilometers of Guarambaré, whose residents are from the lower-income to middle-income strata of Paraguayan society. Trainees spend most of their time in language classes at their satellite training facility. Technical, cultural, and community development studies are combined with practice of new skills at the community level, often in cooperation with nearby schools, organizations, and community groups. Combining formal classroom study with ample opportunity for practicing a new language and cultural and technical skills has proved to be an extremely effective way of preparing Volunteers to work as independent professionals during their service.

Throughout training, you will be encouraged to continue examining your personal motivation for serving in the Peace Corps and your level of dedication and commitment. By the time you are sworn in as a Volunteer, you should have made an informed and serious commitment that will sustain you through a full two years of service.

Technical Training

The training center is staffed by technical specialists who present a detailed curriculum tailored to the job requirements specified by Peace Corps/Paraguay. Technical training will prepare you to work in Paraguay by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer; in fact, you will be involved in practical, hands-on training during your first week in-country.

Technical training will include sessions on the economic and political environment in Paraguay and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Paraguayan agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.

Language Training

The importance of language ability cannot be emphasized enough, especially because Volunteers in Paraguay need to gain competency in two languages. Your ability to share information, serve as a community resource, and integrate into Paraguayan culture will be directly related to your ability to communicate not just in Spanish but also in Guaraní.

Because of the importance of competency in Guaraní, all

language training will be in Guaraní once you reach a basic level of Spanish. Therefore, you are strongly urged to initiate Spanish language studies before you leave for Paraguay. Guaraní is not an especially difficult language for an English speaker, but it is much easier if one has basic competence in Spanish. (Invitees choosing to come to Paraguay to improve their Spanish skills should think twice, since most Volunteers will speak Guaraní at their sites.)

From the beginning, your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills further once you are at your site. Prior to your swearing in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your service.

Cross-Cultural Training

The overall goal of personal and cultural training is to help you work within Paraguay’s cultural norms and modify behaviors when appropriate. You will learn about issues related to cross-cultural adjustment and isolation and methods of dealing with them. A key element of this training is living with a Paraguayan host family, who will be your greatest resource for easing the transition to life at your site. Families go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of pre-service training and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Paraguay. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.

Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.

Health Training

Health training is designed to enable trainees to become more self-sufficient. As a Volunteer, you will be expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies.

You will learn how to use locally available food to prepare nutritionally balanced meals. You also will be given basic medical training and information. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Paraguay. Mental health and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered. Current Volunteers will participate in some of the health sessions to highlight the value of peer support in health maintenance.

When Peace Corps Volunteers are confronted with difficult situations or crises, they are most likely to go to a friend, rather than to someone they do not know very well. Although ideally a Peace Corps Volunteer will complete service without facing major problems, sometimes a Volunteer is presented with a difficult problem or situation. During pre-service training as well as in-service trainings, you will learn to deal with sensitive issues such as depression and stress, as well as how to help other Volunteers when they experience difficulties.

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 travel. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service. You will also be briefed on the post’s emergency action plan.

Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service

In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system throughout the two years of service that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their language, technical, and community development skills. During your service, there are usually four training events. The titles and objectives of those trainings are as follows:

  • Reconnect in-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their language, safety and security and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three months.
  • Project design and management workshop: Provides Volunteers and community contacts with the skills necessary to identify needs, set priorities, and design sustainable community projects. This workshop is usually held after the sixth month of service.
  • Technical in-service training: Provides focused technical training towards the close of the first year of service and helps Volunteers review their first year, reassess personal and project objectives, and plan for their second year of service.
  • Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the transition after Peace Corps service, reviewing their work and personal experiences as well as identifying future aspirations.

The number, length, and design of these trainings are 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 to the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.