Difference between pages "Timeline" and "Health care and safety in Costa Rica"

From Peace Corps Wiki
(Difference between pages)
Jump to: navigation, search
 
 
Line 1: Line 1:
 +
{{Health care and safety by country}}
 +
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Costa Rica maintains a health unit with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Medical services may include hospitalization at authorized facilities that are located in the capital city. If you become seriously ill or the resources in-country are insufficient, the Office of Medical Services at Peace Corps headquarters may decide to medically evacuate you to the United States for further care or treatment.
  
HELLO, Peace Corps Invitees!                     
+
===Health Issues in Costa Rica===
  
Just scroll down until you see your country, and then just follow the pattern like the line above it. If you make a mistake, no problem!           
+
Health conditions in Costa Rica are typical of those found in tropical countries. Most illnesses can be avoided by using common sense and following basic preventive measures.  
  
It is organized both by country and by date. You can add to both categories or just one, but it would be helpful for organization to add to both.              
+
Because you will be serving in an area where malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, is prevalent, you will be given and required to take an approved antimalarial drug while you are in-country for your entire service. Humidity and heat promote the growth of skin infections, which you can help prevent by keeping your body clean and dry. Environmental pollution, mold, and pollen found throughout the country year-round can aggravate existing environmental allergies. (Because it is very difficult, even in the United States, to identify the causing allergen, the Peace Corps does not provide allergy testing.) Other illnesses that exist in Costa Rica are dengue fever, rabies, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, hepatitis A and B, and infection with STDs, including HIV/AIDS.  
  
Don't forget to click 'Save Page' at the bottom to save your changes!
+
===Helping You Stay Healthy===
  
There are actually four different places to add a new invitation. (We are working on a way to make it more efficient)
+
The Peace Corps will provide you with all the necessary inoculations, medications, and information to stay healthy. During training, you will receive a medical kit with supplies to take care of mild illnesses and first-aid needs. The contents of the kit are listed later in this chapter.
a) TIMELINE, by date and country (where you are now)
+
b) DEPARTURES BY MONTH page
+
c) Individual [COUNTRY] page
+
d) Specific MONTH_YEAR page
+
  
Please add to as many places as you feel comfortable. Thanks! =)
+
During training, you will have access to basic medical supplies through the medical officer. However, you will be responsible for your own supply of prescription drugs and any other specific medical supplies you require, as we will not order these items during training. Please bring a three-month supply of any prescription drugs you use, since they may not be available here and it may take several months for shipments to arrive.  
__NOTOC__
+
<center><div style="border-right: 1px solid white; border-bottom: 1px solid white; background: yellow none repeat scroll 0% 0%; width: 20em; text-align: center; margin-right: 1em; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; font-size: 120%;"><div style="border: 1px solid rgb(170, 170, 170);"><div style="border-top: 1px solid white; border-left: 1px solid white;"><span class="plainlinks"> '''[http://peacecorpswiki.org/Timeline?title=Timeline&action=edit Click here to add your country or date!]'''</span></div></div></div></center> <!-- (End of Code for the Button) -->                                             
+
<br><center><big>'''''(Receive an [[Help:Watching_pages | automatic e-mail notification]] when this page has been updated!)'''''</big></center>           
+
{|
+
|-
+
|             
+
[[Image:Pc-invite.jpg|thumb|left|"'''Congratulations!''' It is with great pleasure that we invite you to begin training in..."]][[Image:Invitepaperwork.JPG|thumb|right|''"Speaking of overwhelming...." (Invitee)'']] Please be sure to '''only''' add [[{{CURRENTYEAR}}]] invitations. We only want those, ''nothing'' from any "unofficial directories" we know of, and '''no''' speculations. Please remember that departures can always change, and this should be a guide only, nothing is set in stone. Especially in the Peace Corps! :)                                       
+
  
==Timeline==
+
You will have a basic nurse assessment at midservice and a physical examination for clearance at the end of your service.  If you develop a serious medical problem during your service, the medical officer in Costa Rica will consult with the Office of Medical Services in Washington, D.C. If it is determined that your condition cannot be treated in Costa Rica, you may be sent out of the country for further evaluation and care.  
{| border=0 align=center width=100%
+
|-valign="top"
+
| width=20% | <div style="font-size: 13pt">'''By Date'''</div>             
+
{| width=100%
+
| width=20% | [http://peacecorpswiki.org/Timeline?title=Timeline&action=edit edit]
+
| width=20% |
+
| width=20% |             
+
|}
+
-----
+
  
<!-- *********************** BY DATE ***************** -->               
+
===Maintaining Your Health===
[[2015]]
+
  
[[January]] 10 = [[Burkina Faso]] <br>
+
As a Volunteer, you must accept considerable responsibility for your own health. Proper precautions will significantly reduce your risk of serious illness or injury. The old adage “An ounce of prevention …” becomes extremely important in areas where diagnostic and treatment facilities are not up to the standards of the United States. The most important of your responsibilities in Costa Rica is to take preventive measures for the following:
[[January]] 10 = [[Thailand]] <br>
+
[[January]] 12 = [[Ethiopia]] <br>
+
[[January]] 23 = [[Vanuatu]] <br>
+
[[January]] 27 = [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
[[February]] 2-3 = [[Ghana]] <br>
+
[[February]] 9 = [[Zambia]] <br>
+
[[February]]  = [[Madagascar]] <br>
+
  
[[February]] 27 = [[Senegal]] <br>
+
Many illnesses that afflict Volunteers worldwide are entirely preventable if proper precautions are taken, such as boiling drinking water and washing fruits and vegetables with soap and water. These illnesses include food poisoning, parasitic infections, hepatitis A, dysentery, tapeworms, and typhoid fever. Your medical officer will discuss specific standards for water and food preparation in Costa Rica during pre-service training.
[[March]] 6 = [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
[[March]] 9 = [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
[[April]] 20 = [[Guyana]] <br>
+
[[May]] 6 = [[Peru]] <br>
+
  
[[June]] 1 = [[Ghana]] <br>
+
Abstinence is the only certain choice for preventing infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. You are taking risks if you choose to be sexually active. To lessen risk, use a condom every time you have sex. Whether your partner is a host country citizen, a fellow Volunteer, or anyone else, do not assume this person is free of HIV/AIDS or other STDs. You will receive more information from the medical officer about this important issue.
[[June]] 2 = [[The Gambia]] <br>
+
[[June]] 2 = [[Moldova]] <br>
+
[[June]] 22 = [[Benin]] <br>
+
  
[[2014]]
+
Volunteers are expected to adhere to an effective means of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Your medical officer can help you decide on the most appropriate method to suit your individual needs. Contraceptive methods are available without charge from the medical officer.
  
[[January]] 10 = [[Thailand]] <br>
+
A male Peace Corps Volunteer who fathers a child out of wedlock may be administratively separated if the country director determines that the Volunteer’s action has impaired his ability to perform his assignment or has violated local laws or customs. Absent administrative action, the Peace Corps will pay the prenatal, delivery, and postpartum costs for a non-Volunteer spouse or unmarried partner only if the Volunteer has taken action to acknowledge paternity of the child and only for costs incurred while the trainee or Volunteer is in service. Paternity legislation in Costa Rica states that DNA testing is mandatory when a woman claims a man is the father of her child. If the test establishes paternity, the father automatically must pay child support; if he does not comply, he can be jailed.
January 13 = [[Morocco]] <br>
+
January 14 = [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
January 22 = [[South Africa]] <br>
+
January 23 = [[Vanuatu]] <br>
+
January 28 = [[El Salvador]] <br>
+
January 29 = [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
  
[[February]] 3-4 = [[Zambia]] <br>
+
It is critical to your health that you promptly report to the medical office for scheduled immunizations, and that you let your medical officer know immediately of significant illnesses and injuries.
February 4 = [[Ghana]] <br>
+
February 10 = [[Ethiopia]] <br>
+
February 11 = [[Guatemala]] <br>
+
February 11 = [[Madagascar]] <br>
+
February 12 = [[Tanzania]] <br>
+
February 18 =[[Panama]] <br>
+
  
[[March]] 3 = [[Senegal]] <br>
+
===Women’s Health Information===
March 4 = [[Nicaragua]] <br>
+
March 4 = [[Dominican Republic]] <br>
+
March 10 = [[Jamaica]] <br>
+
March 10 = [[Namibia]] <br>
+
March 10 = [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
March 15 = [[Indonesia]] <br>
+
March 17 = [[Albania]] <br>
+
March 17 = [[Mexico]] <br>
+
March 31 = [[Azerbaijan]] <br>
+
  
[[April 23]] = [[Kyrgyz Republic]] <br>
+
Pregnancy is treated in the same manner as other Volunteer health conditions that require medical attention but also have programmatic ramifications. The Peace Corps is responsible for determining the medical risk and the availability of appropriate medical care if the Volunteer remains in-country.  Given the circumstances under which Volunteers live and work in Peace Corps countries, it is rare that the Peace Corps’ medical and programmatic standards for continued service during pregnancy can be met.
April 27 = [[Georgia]] <br>
+
April 28 = [[Guyana]] <br>
+
  
[[May]] 27 = [[Cameroon]] <br>
+
Feminine hygiene products are available for you to purchase on the local market. If you require a specific feminine hygiene product, please bring a six-month supply with you.
May 13 = [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
May 28 = [[Mozambique]] <br>
+
May 21 = [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
May 29 = [[Mongolia]] <br>
+
  
[[June]] 2 = [[Burkina Faso]] <br>
+
===Your Peace Corps Medical Kit===
June 3 = [[Uganda]] <br>
+
June 3 = [[Micronesia and Palau]] <br>
+
June 3 = [[Lesotho]] <br>
+
June 4 = [[Moldova]] <br>
+
June 6 = [[Kosovo]] <br>
+
June 5 = [[Malawi]] <br>
+
June 10 = [[Zambia]] <br>
+
June 10 = [[Madagascar]] <br>
+
June 17 = [[Panama]] <br>
+
June 19= [[China]] <br>
+
June 22= [[Benin]] <br>
+
June 26 = [[Belize]] <br>
+
June 30 = [[Ethiopia]] <br>
+
  
[[July]] 7 = [[Philippines]] <br>
+
The Peace Corps medical officer will provide you with a kit that contains basic items necessary to prevent and treat illnesses that may occur during service. Kit items can be periodically restocked at the medical office.
[[July]] 8 = [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
July 10 = [[Cambodia]] <br>
+
July 15 = [[El Salvador]] <br>
+
  
[[August]] 10 = [[Botswana]] <br>
+
====Medical Kit Contents====
[[August]] 12 = [[Nicaragua]] <br>
+
[[August]] 26 = [[Armenia]] <br>
+
  
September 3 = [[Fiji]] <br>
+
Ace bandages <br>
September 5 = [[Nepal]] <br>
+
Adhesive tape  <br>
September 9 = [[Rwanda]] <br>
+
American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook  <br>
September 9 = [[Cameroon]] <br>
+
Antacid tablets (Tums)  <br>
September 11 = [[Peru]] <br>
+
Antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin/Neomycin/Polymycin B)  <br>
September 12 = [[Macedonia]] <br>
+
Antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleaner (Hibiclens)  <br>
September 17 = [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
Band-Aids  <br>
September 22 = [[Senegal]] <br>
+
Butterfly closures  <br>
 +
Cepacol lozenges  <br>
 +
Condoms  <br>
 +
Dental floss  <br>
 +
Diphenhydramine HCL 25&nbsp;mg (Benadryl)  <br>
 +
Insect repellent stick (Cutter’s)  <br>
 +
Iodine tablets (for water purification)  <br>
 +
Lip balm (Chapstick)  <br>
 +
Oral rehydration salts  <br>
 +
Pseudoephedrine HCL 30&nbsp;mg (Sudafed)  <br>
 +
Robitussin-DM lozenges (for cough)  <br>
 +
Scissors  <br>
 +
Sterile gauze pads  <br>
 +
Tetrahydrozaline eyedrops (Visine)  <br>
 +
Tinactin (antifungal cream)  <br>
 +
Tweezers  <br>
  
[[October]] 9 = [[Lesotho]] <br>
+
===Before You Leave: A Medical Checklist===
[[October]] 14 =[[Guatemala]] <br>
+
[[October]] 14 = [[The Gambia]] <br>
+
[[October]]  14=[[Jordan]]<br>
+
[[November]] 12 = [[Uganda]] <br>
+
  
[[2013]]
+
If there has been any change in your health—physical, mental, or dental—since you submitted your examination reports to the Peace Corps, you must immediately notify the Office of Medical Services. Failure to disclose new illnesses, injuries, allergies, or pregnancy can endanger your health and may jeopardize your eligibility to serve.
+
[[January]] 11 = [[Thailand]] <br>
+
January 14 = [[Morocco]] <br>
+
January 15 = [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
January 24 = [[South Africa]] <br>
+
January 29 = [[El Salvador]] <br>
+
  
[[February]] 10 = [[Ethiopia]] <br>
+
If your dental exam was done more than a year ago, or if your physical exam is more than two years old, contact the Office of Medical Services to find out whether you need to update your records. If your dentist or Peace Corps dental consultant has recommended that you undergo dental treatment or repair, you must complete that work and make sure your dentist sends requested confirmation reports or X-rays to the Office of Medical Services.
February 11 = [[Zambia]] <br>
+
February 12 = [[Guatemala]] <br>
+
February 13 = [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
February 19 = [[Panama]]  <br>
+
  
[[March]] 4 = [[Madagascar]] <br>
+
If you wish to avoid having duplicate vaccinations, contact your physician’s office, obtain a copy of your immunization record, and bring it to your pre-departure orientation. If you have any immunizations prior to Peace Corps service, the Peace Corps cannot reimburse you for the cost. The Peace Corps will provide all the immunizations necessary for your overseas assignment, either at your pre-departure orientation or shortly after you arrive in Costa Rica. You do not need to begin taking malaria medication prior to departure.
March 5 = [[Senegal]] <br>
+
March 5 = [[Malawi]] <br>
+
March 5 = [[The Gambia]] <br>
+
March 5 = [[Dominican Republic]]  <br>
+
March 11 = [[Jamaica]] <br>
+
March 11 = [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
March 15 = [[Nicaragua]] <br>
+
March 18 = [[Albania]] <br>
+
March 23 = [[Uganda]] <br>
+
March 25 = [[Ukraine]] <br>
+
  
[[April]] 4=[[Azerbaijan]] <br>
+
Bring a three-month supply of any prescription or over-thecounter medication you use on a regular basis, including birth control pills. Although the Peace Corps cannot reimburse you for this three-month supply, we will order refills during your service.
April 7=[[Indonesia]] <br>
+
April 16=[[Kyrgyz Republic]] <br>
+
April 21=[[Georgia]] <br>
+
April 24=[[Uganda]] <br>
+
  
[[May]] 1=[[Guyana]] <br>
+
While awaiting shipment—which can take several months— you will be dependent on your own medication supply. The Peace Corps will not pay for herbal or nonprescribed medications, such as St. John’s wort, glucosamine, selenium, or antioxidant supplements.
May 14=[[Ecuador]] <br>
+
May 20=[[Armenia]] <br>
+
May 29=[[Mozambique]] <br>
+
May 29=[[Paraguay]] <br>
+
  
[[June]] 1=[[Mongolia]] <br>
+
You are encouraged to bring copies of medical prescriptions signed by your physician. This is not a requirement, but they might come in handy if you are questioned in transit about carrying a three-month supply of prescription drugs.
June 4 = [[Micronesia]] <br>
+
June 4 = [[Moldova]] <br>
+
June 5 = [[Togo]] <br>
+
June 7 = [[Peru]] <br>
+
June 10 = [[Togo]] <br>
+
June 11 = [[Zambia]] <br>
+
June 11 = [[Rwanda]] <br>
+
June 17 = [[Sierra Leone]] <br>
+
June 18 = [[Guatemala]] <br>
+
June 18 = [[Panama]] <br>
+
June 24 = [[Benin]] <br>
+
June 25 = [[Swaziland]] <br>
+
June 25 = [[Belize]] <br>
+
June 27 = [[China]] <br>
+
  
[[July]] 1= [[Ethiopia]] <br>
+
If you wear eyeglasses, bring two pairs with you—a pair and a spare. If a pair breaks, the Peace Corps will replace it, using the information your doctor in the United States provided on the eyeglasses form during your examination. We discourage you from using contact lenses during your service to reduce your risk of developing a serious infection or other eye disease. Most Peace Corps countries do not have appropriate water and sanitation to support eye care with the use of contact lenses. The Peace Corps will not supply or replace contact lenses or associated solutions unless an ophthalmologist has recommended their use for a specific medical condition and the Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services has given approval.
July 1 = [[Guinea]] <br>
+
July 3 = [[Tanzania]] <br>
+
July 4 = [[South Africa]] <br>
+
July 5 = [[Philippines]] <br>
+
July 8 = [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
July 8 = [[Madagascar]] <br>
+
July 9 = [[Cambodia]] <br>
+
July 12 = [[Cambodia]] <br>
+
July 22 = [[Namibia]] <br>
+
July 23 = [[El Salvador]]
+
  
[[August]] 12 = [[Botswana]] <br>
+
If you are eligible for Medicare, are over 50 years of age, or have a health condition that may restrict your future participation in healthcare plans, you may wish to consult an insurance specialist about unique coverage needs before your departure. The Peace Corps will provide all necessary healthcare from the time you leave for your pre-departure orientation until you complete your service. When you finish, you will be entitled to the post-service healthcare benefits described in the Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook. You may wish to consider keeping an existing health plan in effect during your service if you think age or preexisting conditions might prevent you from reenrolling in your current plan when you return home.
August 13 = [[Nicaragua]] <br>
+
August 15 = [[Ukraine]] <br>
+
August 20 = [[Dominican Republic]] <br>
+
August 25 = [[Mexico]] <br>
+
August 27 = [[Colombia]] <br>
+
  
[[September]] 1 = [[Fiji]] <br>
+
===Safety and Security—Our Partnership ===
September 1 = [[Tonga]] <br>
+
September 10 = [[Rwanda]] <br>
+
September 11 = [[Cameroon]] <br>
+
September 12 = [[Peru]] <br>
+
September 13 = [[Macedonia]] <br>
+
September 16 = [[Ukraine]] <br>
+
September 24 = [[Mozambique]] <br>
+
September 24 = [[Senegal]] <br>
+
September 25 = [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
September 28 = [[Kenya]] <br>
+
  
[[October]] 1 = [[Kenya]] <br>
+
Serving as a Volunteer overseas entails certain safety and security risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment, a limited understanding of the local language and culture, and the perception of being a wealthy American are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk. Petty thefts and burglaries are not uncommon. Incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although almost all Volunteers complete their two years of service without serious personal safety problems. In addition, more than 83 percent of Volunteers surveyed say they would join the Peace Corps again.
October 7 = [[Burkina Faso]] <br>
+
October 9 = [[Lesotho]] <br>
+
  
[[November]] 11=[[Uganda]] <br>
+
The Peace Corps approaches safety and security as a partnership with you. This Welcome Book contains sections on: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle; Peace Corps Training; and Your Health Care and Safety. All of these sections include important safety information.
  
[[December]] 2=[[Guinea]] <br>
+
The Peace Corps makes every effort to give Volunteers the tools they need to function in the safest and most secure way possible, because working to maximize the safety and security of Volunteers is our highest priority. Not only do we provide you with training and tools to prepare for the unexpected, but we teach you to identify and manage the risks you may encounter.
  
[[2012]]
+
===Factors that Contribute to Volunteer Risk===
  
[[January]] 3 = [[Guatemala]] <br>
+
There are several factors that can heighten a Volunteer’s risk, many of which are in the Volunteer’s control. Based on information gathered from incident reports worldwide in 2003, the following factors stand out as risk characteristics for assaults. Assaults consist of personal crimes committed against Volunteers, and do not include property crimes (such as vandalism or theft).
January 8 = [[Thailand]] <br>
+
January 10 = [[Nicaragua]] <br>
+
January 10 = [[Panama]] <br>
+
January 18 = [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
January 23 = [[South Africa]] <br>
+
January 24 = [[El Salvador]]  <br>
+
January 24 = [[Zambia]] <br>
+
January 26 = [[St. Vincent and the Grenadines]] <br>
+
January 30 = [[Guyana]]  <br>
+
  
[[February]] 6= [[Ghana]] <br>
+
* Location: Most crimes occurred when Volunteers were in public areas (e.g., street, park, beach, public buildings).  Specifically, 47 percent of assaults took place when Volunteers were away from their sites.
February 8= [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
* Time of day: Assaults usually took place on the weekend during the late evening between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.— most often occurring around 1:00 a.m.
February 12= [[Tanzania]] <br>
+
* Absence of others: More than 75 percent of crime incidents occurred when a Volunteer was unaccompanied. 
February 20= [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
* Relationship to assailant: In most assaults, the Volunteer did not know the assailant.
February 21= [[Kazakhstan]] <br>
+
* Consumption of alcohol: Almost a third of all assaults involved alcohol consumption by Volunteers and/or assailants.
February 22= [[Honduras]] <br>
+
February 27= [[Madagascar]] <br>
+
February 28= [[Dominican Republic]] <br>
+
  
 +
===Summary Strategies to Reduce Risk===
  
[[March]] 5= [[Malawi]] <br>
+
Before and during service, your training will address these areas of concern so that you can reduce the risks you face.
March 6=  [[Senegal]] <br>
+
March 6=  [[The Gambia]] <br>
+
March 12= [[Ukraine]] <br>
+
March 13= [[Jamaica]] <br>
+
March 19= [[Morocco]] <br>
+
  
[[April]] 24= [[Uganda]] <br>
+
For example, here are some strategies Volunteers employ:
  
[[May]] 1= [[Panama]] <br>
+
<u>Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of theft: </u>
May 7= [[Rwanda]] <br>
+
May 8= [[Nicaragua]] <br>
+
May 16= [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
May 21= [[Ethiopia]] <br>
+
May 30= [[Paraguay]] <br>
+
May 31= [[Mali]] <br>
+
May 31= [[Togo]] <br>
+
  
[[June]] 1= [[Mongolia]] <br>
+
* Know the environment and choose safe routes/times for travel
June 4= [[Costa Rica]] <br>
+
* Avoid high-crime areas per Peace Corps guidance
June 4= [[Burkina Faso]] <br>
+
* Know the vocabulary to get help in an emergency
June 5= [[Swaziland]] <br>
+
* Carry valuables in different pockets/places
June 6= [[Cameroon]] <br>
+
* Carry a “dummy” wallet as a decoy Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of burglary:
June 6= [[Liberia]] <br>
+
* Live with a local family or on a family compound
June 12= [[Senegal]] <br>
+
* Put strong locks on doors and keep valuables in a lock box or trunk
June 27= [[Benin]] <br>
+
* Leave irreplaceable objects at home in the U.S.
June 29= [[China]] <br>
+
* Follow Peace Corps guidelines on maintaining home security Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of assault:
 +
* Make local friends
 +
* Make sure your appearance is respectful of local customs; don’t draw negative attention to yourself by wearing inappropriate clothing
 +
* Get to know local officials, police, and neighbors
 +
* Travel with someone whenever possible 
 +
* Avoid known high crime areas
 +
* Limit alcohol consumption
  
[[2011]]
+
===Support from Staff ===
  
[[June]] 1 = [[Cameroon]] <br>             
+
In March 2003, the Peace Corps created the Office of Safety and Security with its mission to “foster improved communication, coordination, oversight, and accountability of all Peace Corps’ safety and security efforts.” The new office is led by an Associate Director for Safety and Security who reports to the Peace Corps Director and includes the following divisions: Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security;
June 1 = [[Sierra Leone]] <br>
+
June 1 = [[Ecuador]] <br>
+
June 1 = [[Mali]] <br>
+
June 1 = [[Sierra Leone]] <br>
+
June 1 = [[Armenia]] <br>
+
June 1 = [[Togo]] <br>
+
June 2 = [[Mongolia]] <br>
+
June 2 = [[Mozambique]] <br>
+
June 2 = [[Swaziland]] <br>
+
June 6 = [[Burkina Faso]]<br>
+
June 6 = [[Kenya]] <br>
+
June 6 = [[Ghana]] <br>
+
June 7 = [[Moldova]] <br>
+
June 8 = [[Liberia]] <br>
+
June 9 = [[Peru]] <br>
+
June 13 - [[Tanzania]] <br>
+
June 13 = [[Senegal]] <br>
+
June 14 = [[Malawi]] <br>
+
June 28 = [[The Gambia]] <br>
+
June 28 = [[Jamaica]] <br>
+
June 29 = [[Benin]] <br>
+
June 29 = [[China]]<br>
+
  
[[July]] 1 = [[Philippines]]<br>
+
Information and Personnel Security; and Emergency Preparedness, Plans, Training and Exercise. The safety and security team also tracks crime statistics, identifies trends in criminal activity, and highlights potential safety risks to Volunteers.
July 5 = [[South Africa]]<br>
+
July 6 = [[Honduras]]<br>
+
July 6 = [[Guinea]]<br>
+
July 11 = [[Madagascar]]<br>
+
July 13 = [[Cape Verde]]<br>
+
July 18 = [[Zambia]]<br>
+
July 19 = [[El Salvador]]<br>
+
July 22 = [[Cambodia]]<br>
+
  
[[August]] 1 = [[Zambia]] <br>             
+
The major responsibilities of the Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security Division are to coordinate the office’s overseas operations and direct the Peace Corps’ safety and security officers who are located in various regions around the world that have Peace Corps programs. The safety and security officers conduct security assessments; review safety trainings; train trainers and managers; train Volunteer safety wardens, local guards, and staff; develop security incident response procedures; and provide crisis management support.
August 3 = [[Uganda]]<br>
+
August 8 = [[Guatemala]]<br>
+
August 12 = [[Botswana]] <br>
+
August 16 = [[Panama]]<br>
+
August 17 = [[Cameroon]]<br>
+
August 17 = [[Dominican Republic]]<br>             
+
August 17 = [[Kazakhstan]]<br>
+
August 18 = [[Namibia]]<br>
+
August 29 = [[Senegal]]<br>
+
August 29 = [[Mexico]]<br>
+
August 30 = [[Nicaragua]]<br>
+
  
[[September]] 9 = [[Macedonia]]<br>
+
If a trainee or Volunteer is the victim of a safety incident, Peace Corps staff is prepared to provide support. All Peace Corps posts have procedures in place to respond to incidents of crime committed against Volunteers. The first priority for all posts in the aftermath of an incident is to ensure that the Volunteer is safe and receiving medical treatment as needed.
September 12 = [[Morocco]]<br>
+
September 12 = [[Rwanda]]<br>
+
September 15 = [[Botswana]]<br>
+
September 15 = [[Peru]]<br>
+
September 14 = [[Togo]]<br>
+
September 19 = [[Ukraine]]<br>
+
September 21 = [[Cameroon]]<br>
+
September 21 = [[Ukraine]]<br>
+
September 22 = [[Azerbaijan]]<br>
+
September 27 = [[Paraguay]]<br>
+
September 29 = [[Turkmenistan]]<br>
+
September 30 = [[Mozambique]]<br>
+
  
[[October]] 3 = [[Kenya]]<br>
+
After assuring the safety of the Volunteer, Peace Corps staff provides support by reassessing the Volunteer’s work site and housing arrangements and making any adjustments, as needed. In some cases, the nature of the incident may necessitate a site or housing transfer. Peace Corps staff will also assist Volunteers with preserving their rights to pursue legal sanctions against the perpetrators of the crime. It is very important that Volunteers report incidents as they occur, not only to protect their peer Volunteers, but also to preserve the future right to prosecute. Should Volunteers decide later in the process that they want to proceed with the prosecution of their assailant, this option may no longer exist if the evidence of the event has not been preserved at the time of the incident.
October 04 = [[Ghana]]<br>
+
October 05 = [[Ethiopia]]<br>
+
October 07 = [[Vanuatu]]<br>
+
October 09 = [[Burkina Faso]] <br>
+
October 10 = [[Kenya]]<br>
+
October 10 = [[Tanzania]] <br>
+
October 12 = [[Lesotho]] <br>
+
October 12 = [[Colombia]] <br>
+
October 18 = [[Jordan]] <br>
+
October 28 = [[Mali]] <br>
+
  
[[November]] 28 = [[Guinea]] <br>
+
The country-specific data chart below shows the incidence rates and the average number of incidents of the major types of safety incidents reported by Peace Corps Volunteers/trainees in Costa Rica as compared to all other Inter-America and Pacific region programs as a whole, from 1999–2003. It is presented to you in a somewhat technical manner for statistical accuracy.
  
 +
To fully appreciate the collected data below, an explanation of the graph is provided as follows:
  
|<div style="font-size: 13pt">'''By Country'''</div>
+
The incidence rate for each type of crime is the number of crime events relative to the Volunteer/trainee population. It is expressed on the chart as a ratio of crime to Volunteer and trainee years (or V/T years, which is a measure of 12 full months of V/T service) to allow for a statistically valid way to compare crime data across countries. An “incident” is a specific offense, per Peace Corps’ classification of offenses, and may involve one or more Volunteer/trainee victims. For example, if two Volunteers are robbed at the same time and place, this is classified as one robbery incident.
{| width=60%
+
| width=60% | [http://peacecorpswiki.org/Timeline?title=Timeline&action=edit edit]
+
| width=60% |             
+
| width=60% |             
+
|}
+
-----
+
{|border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"
+
|- valign="top"
+
  
| Albania
+
The chart is separated into the eight most commonly occurring assault types. These include vandalism (malicious defacement or damage of property); theft (taking without force or illegal entry); burglary (forcible entry of a residence); robbery (taking something by force); minor physical assault (attacking without a weapon with minor injuries); minor sexual assault (fondling, groping, etc.); aggravated assault (attacking with a weapon, and/or without a weapon when serious injury results); and rape (sexual intercourse without consent).
|2010 Albania Mar 17 <br>
+
 
2011 Albania Mar 14<br>
+
When anticipating Peace Corps Volunteer service, you should review all of the safety and security information provided to you, including the strategies to reduce risk. Throughout your training and Volunteer service, you will be expected to successfully complete all training competencies in a variety of areas including safety and security. Once in-country, use the tools and information shared with you to remain as safe and secure as possible.
2012 Albania Mar 14<br>
+
 
2012 Albania Mar 18<br>
+
===Security Issues in Costa Rica===
2013 Albania Mar 18 Philadelphia<br>
+
 
2014 Albania Mar 17 Washington D.C. G18 <br>
+
When it comes to your safety and security in the Peace Corps, you have to be willing to adapt your behavior and lifestyle to minimize the potential for being a target of crime. As with anywhere in the world, crime does exist in Costa Rica. You can reduce your risk by avoiding situations that make you feel uncomfortable and by taking precautions. Crime at the village or town level is less frequent than in the large cities; people know each other and generally will not steal from their neighbors. Tourist attractions in large towns, for instance, are favorite work sites for pickpockets.
2015 Albania Mar 13
+
 
|-
+
The most common safety risks to Volunteers in Costa Rica are petty crimes like pickpocketing, theft, robbery, and simple assault. Aggravated assault, sexual assault, and rape also occur, as in any other place in the world, so Volunteers must avoid unsafe environments and situations.
|Armenia
+
 
|2010 Armenia May 27 Philadelphia<br>             
+
===Staying Safe: Don’t Be a Target for Crime===
2011 Armenia May 26 Philadelphia<br>       
+
 
2011 Armenia June 1 Philadelphia A19<br>
+
You must be prepared to take on a large degree of responsibility for your own safety. Only you can make yourself less of a target, ensure that your house is secure, and develop relations in your community that will make you an unlikely victim of crime. In coming to Costa Rica, do what you would do if you moved to a new city in the United States: Be cautious, check things out, ask questions, learn about your neighborhood, know where the more risky locations are, use common sense, and be aware. You can reduce your vulnerability to crime by integrating into your community, learning the local language, acting responsibly, and abiding by Peace Corps policies and procedures. Serving safely and effectively in Costa Rica may require that you accept some restrictions on your current lifestyle.
2012 Armenia May 24 <br>
+
 
2013 Armenia May 20<br>
+
Volunteers attract a lot of attention in large cities and at their sites, but they are likely to receive far more negative attention in highly populated centers than at their sites, where “family,” friends, and colleagues look out for them. While whistles and exclamations are fairly common on the street, this behavior can be reduced if you dress conservatively, avoid eye contact, and do not respond to unwanted attention. Keep your money out of sight by using an undergarment money pouch, the kind that hangs around your neck and stays hidden under your shirt or inside your coat. Do not keep your money in outside pockets of backpacks, in coat pockets, or in fanny packs. You should always walk with a companion at night.
|-
+
 
|Azerbaijan
+
===Preparing for the Unexpected: Safety Training and Volunteer Support in Costa Rica ===
|2010 Azerbaijan September 23 Philadelphia<br>
+
 
2011 Azerbaijan September 22<br>
+
The Peace Corps’ approach to safety is a five-pronged plan to help you stay safe during your two-year service and includes the following: Information sharing, Volunteer training, site selection criteria, a detailed emergency action plan, and protocols for addressing safety and security incidents. Costa Rica’s in-country safety program is outlined below.
2013 Azerbaijan April 4<br>
+
 
2014 Azerbaijan March 31<br>
+
The Peace Corps/Costa Rica office will keep Volunteers informed of any issues that may impact Volunteer safety through information sharing. Regular updates will be provided in Volunteer newsletters and in memorandums from the country director. In the event of a critical situation or emergency, Volunteers will be contacted through the emergency communication network.
|-
+
 
|Belize 
+
Volunteer training will include sessions to prepare you for specific safety and security issues in Costa Rica. This training will prepare you to adopt a culturally appropriate lifestyle and exercise judgment that promotes safety and reduces risk in your home, at work, and while traveling. Safety training is offered throughout service and is integrated into the language, cross-cultural, health, and other components of training.
|2010 Belize March 24 Dallas <br>
+
 
2011 Belize March 22 Miami<br>
+
Certain site selection criteria are used to determine safe housing for Volunteers before their arrival. Peace Corps staff works closely with host communities and counterpart agencies to help prepare them for a Volunteer’s arrival and to establish expectations of their respective roles in supporting the Volunteer. Each site is inspected before the Volunteer’s arrival to ensure placement in appropriate, safe, and secure housing and work sites. Site selection is based in part on any relevant site history; access to medical, banking, postal, and other essential services; availability of communications, transportation, and markets; different housing options and living arrangements; and other Volunteer support needs.
2013 Belize June 25 <br>
+
 
2014 Belize June 26<br>
+
You will also learn about Peace Corps/Costa Rica’s detailed emergency action plan, which is implemented in the event of civil or political unrest or a natural disaster. When you arrive at your site, you will complete and submit a site locator form with your address, contact information, and a map to your house. If there is a security threat, Volunteers will receive instructions from the Peace Corps about the appropriate action to take. This might include gathering with other Volunteers at a predetermined location until the situation is resolved or the Peace Corps decides to evacuate.
|-
+
 
| Benin 
+
Finally, in order for the Peace Corps to be fully responsive to the needs of Volunteers, it is imperative that Volunteers immediately report any security incident to the Peace Corps medical officer. The Peace Corps has established protocols for addressing safety and security incidents in a timely and appropriate manner, and it collects and evaluates safety and security data to track trends and develop strategies to minimize risks to future Volunteers.
|2010 Benin July 14 Philadelphia<br>
+
 
2011 Benin June 29 Philadelphia<br>   
+
[[Category:Costa Rica]]
2012 Benin June 27<br>       
+
[[Category:Health and Safety]]
2013 Benin June 24<br>       
+
2014 Benin June 22<br>       
+
|-
+
|Botswana
+
|2010 Botswana April 10 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Botswana April 1 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Botswana September 15 Philadelphia<br>
+
2013 Botswana August 12 <br>
+
2014 Botswana August 10 <br>
+
|-
+
|Bolivia
+
|
+
|-
+
|Bulgaria
+
|2009 Bulgaria  Washington, DC<br>
+
2010 Bulgaria May 10 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Bulgaria March 28 Philadelphia B27 June 10<br>
+
|-
+
|Burkina Faso
+
|2010 Burkina Faso June 9 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Burkina Faso June 21 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Burkina Faso October 13 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Burkina Faso May 23 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Burkina Faso June 6 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Burkina Faso October 9 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Burkina Faso June 4  <br>
+
2013 Burkina Faso October 7  <br>
+
2014 Burkina Faso June 7  <br>
+
2015 Burkina Faso January 10 Philadelphia, PA  <br>
+
|-  
+
|Cambodia
+
|2010 Cambodia July 19 San Francisco <br>
+
2011 Cambodia July 22 San Francisco K5 <br>
+
2013 Cambodia July 9 <br>
+
2013 Cambodia July 12 <br>
+
|-
+
|Cameroon
+
|2010 Cameroon June 2 Philadelphia<br>
+
2010 Cameroon September 15 <br>
+
2011 Cameroon June 1 <br>
+
2011 Cameroon August 17 <br>
+
2011 Cameroon September 21 <br>
+
2013 Cameroon May 29 <br>
+
2013 Cameroon September 11<br>
+
2014 Cameroon May 28 <br>
+
|-
+
|Cape Verde
+
|2010 Cape Verde July 15 Boston<br>
+
2011 Cape Verde July 13 Boston <br>
+
|-
+
|China
+
|2010 China June 29 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 China June 29 Chicago <br>
+
2012 China June 29 <br>
+
2013 China June 27 San Francisco<br>
+
2014 China June 19 Los Angeles <br>
+
|-
+
|Colombia
+
|2011 Colombia October 12 Miami <br>
+
2013 Colombia August 27 <br>
+
|-
+
|Costa Rica  
+
|2010 Costa Rica March 1 Washington, DC<br>
+
2010 Costa Rica October 4 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Costa Rica February 20 <br>
+
2012 Costa Rica June 4 <br>
+
2013 Costa Rica March 11 <br>
+
2013 Costa Rica July 8 <br>
+
2015 Costa Rica March 9 <br>
+
|-
+
|Dominican Republic
+
|2010 Dominican Republic March 2 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Dominican Republic August 18 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Dominican Republic March 1 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Dominican Republic August 17 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Dominican Republic February 28 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Dominican Republic March 5 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Dominican Republic August 20 <br>
+
2014 Dominican Republic March 4 <br>
+
|-
+
|Eastern Caribbean
+
|2010 Eastern Caribbean February 15 Miami <br>
+
2010 Eastern Caribbean August 23 Miami <br>
+
2011 Eastern Caribbean January 27 <br>
+
2013 Eastern Caribbean January 24 <br>
+
|-
+
|Ecuador
+
|2010 Ecuador February 16 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Ecuador June 15 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Ecuador February 2 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Ecuador June 1 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Ecuador January 18 Dallas, TX <br>
+
2013 Ecuador January 15 <br>
+
2013 Ecuador May 14 <br>
+
2014 Ecuador January 13 <br>
+
2014 Ecuador May 13 <br>
+
|-
+
|El Salvador
+
|2010 El Salvador February 2 Washington, DC<br>
+
2010 El Salvador July 20 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 El Salvador January 18 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 El Salvador July 19 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 El Salvador January 24 cancelled <br>
+
2012 El Salvador January 29 Washington, DC<br>
+
2013 El Salvador January 29 <br>
+
2013 El Salvador July 23 Washington, DC <br>
+
2014 El Salvador January 28 <br>
+
|-
+
|Ethiopia
+
|2010 Ethiopia September 13 Atlanta <br>
+
2011 Ethiopia May 23 Atlanta <br>
+
2013 Ethiopia July 1 <br>
+
2014 Ethiopia February 10<br>
+
|-
+
|Fiji
+
|2010 Fiji May 19 Los Angeles<br>
+
2011 Fiji May 17 Los Angeles <br>
+
2013 Fiji September 3 <br>
+
|-
+
|Gambia, The
+
|2010 The Gambia June 29 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 The Gambia January 4 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 The Gambia June 28 Chicago <br>
+
2012 The Gambia March 6 Washington, DC<br>
+
2013 The Gambia March 5  <br>
+
2014 The Gambia October 14 <br>
+
2015 The Gambia June 2 <br>
+
|-
+
|Georgia
+
|2010 Georgia April 26 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Georgia April 25 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Georgia May 29 <br>
+
2013 Georgia April 21 <br>
+
2014 Georgia April 27 <br>
+
|-
+
|Ghana
+
|2010 Ghana June 1 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Ghana June 6 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Ghana October 4 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Ghana February 6 Philadelphia <br>
+
2013 Ghana February 6 <br>
+
2014 Ghana February 3 <br>
+
2015 Ghana February 2 <br>
+
2015 Ghana June 1 <br>
+
|-
+
|Guatemala
+
|2009 Guatemala January 6 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Guatemala January 4 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Guatemala April 28 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Guatemala August 10 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Guatemala January 4 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Guatemala April 27 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Guatemala August 8 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Guatemala January 3 Cancelled <br>
+
2013 Guatemala February 12 Washington, DC<br>
+
2013 Guatemala June 18 <br>
+
2014 Guatemala February 11 Washington, DC <br>
+
2014 Guatemala October 14 <br>
+
|-
+
|Guinea
+
|2011 Guinea November 27 Philadelphia <br>
+
2013 Guinea July 1 <br>
+
|-
+
|Guyana
+
|2010 Guyana February 9 Miami <br>
+
2011 Guyana February 15 Miami <br>
+
2013 Guyana May 1 <br>
+
2014 Guyana April 28 <br>
+
|-
+
|Honduras
+
|2010 Honduras February 22 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Honduras June 22 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Honduras February 23 Atlanta        <br>
+
2011 Honduras July 6 Atlanta <br>
+
2012 Honduras February 22 Cancelled  <br>
+
|-
+
|Indonesia
+
|2010 Indonesia March 15 <br>
+
2011 Indonesia April 4 San Francisco  <br>
+
2013 Indonesia April 7 <br>
+
2014 Indonesia March 15 <br>
+
2015 Indonesia March 14 <br>
+
|-
+
|Jamaica
+
|2010 Jamaica March 17 Miami <br>
+
2011 Jamaica June 28 Miami <br>
+
2012 Jamaica March 13 Miami <br>
+
2012 Jamaica March 11 Miami <br>
+
2013 Jamaica March 11 <br>
+
2014 Jamaica March 10 <br>
+
|-
+
|Jordan
+
|2010 Jordan October 22 Philadelphia J14 <br>
+
2011 Jordan October 18 Philadelphia J15 <br>
+
|-
+
|Kazakhstan
+
|2010 Kazakhstan August 18 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Kazakhstan March 9 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Kazakhstan August 17 Washington, DC <br>
+
|-
+
|Kenya
+
|2010 Kenya May 24 Philadelphia <br>
+
2010 Kenya October 11 Philadelphia  <br>     
+
2011 Kenya June 6 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Kenya October 10 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Kenya October 03 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Kenya June 4 Philadelphia <br>
+
2013 Kenya October 1 <br>
+
2014 Kenya September 28 <br>
+
|-
+
|Kiribati
+
|
+
|-
+
|Kyrgyz Republic
+
|2010 Kyrgyz Republic March 26 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Kyrgyz Republic March 25 Philadelphia <br>
+
2013 Kyrgyz Republic April 16 <br>
+
2014 Kyrgyz Republic April 23 <br>
+
|-
+
|Lesotho
+
|2010 Lesotho June 1 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Lesotho May 31 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Lesotho October 12 Philadelphia <br>
+
2013 Lesotho June 5 <br>
+
2013 Lesotho October 9 <br>
+
2014 Lesotho June 3 <br>
+
2014 Lesotho October 9 <br>
+
|-
+
|Liberia
+
|2010 Liberia July 7 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Liberia June 8 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Liberia June 6  <br>
+
|-
+
|Macedonia
+
|2010 Macedonia September 10 Washington, DC  <br>
+
2011 Macedonia September 9 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Macedonia September 13 <br>
+
2014 Macedonia September 12 <br>
+
|-
+
|Madagascar
+
|2010 Madagascar March 1 <br>
+
2010 Madagascar July 19 <br>
+
2011 Madagascar February 28<br>
+
2011 Madagascar July 11 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Madagascar February 27 <br>
+
2013 Madagascar March 4 <br>
+
2013 Madagascar July 8 <br>
+
2014 Madagascar February 11 <br>
+
|-
+
|Malawi
+
|2010 Malawi February 24 Philadelphia <br>
+
2010 Malawi July 1 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Malawi February 27 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Malawi June 14 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Malawi March 5  <br>
+
2013 Malawi March 5  <br>
+
|-
+
| Mali
+
|2010 Mali July 1 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Mali January 31 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Mali October 28 Philadelphia <br>
+
|-
+
|Mauritania
+
|2009  Atlanta <br>
+
|-
+
|Mexico
+
|2010 Mexico August 17 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Mexico March 14 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Mexico August 29 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Mexico August 25 <br>
+
2014 Mexico March 17 <br>
+
|-
+
|Micronesia and Palau
+
|2010 Micronesia and Palau September 1 Honolulu <br>
+
2013 Micronesia and Palau June 4 <br>
+
|-
+
|Moldova
+
|2010 Moldova June 8 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Moldova June 7 Philadelphia <br>
+
2013 Moldova June 4 <br>
+
2014 Moldova June 4 <br>
+
|-
+
|Mongolia
+
|2010 Mongolia June 3 San Francisco <br>
+
2011 Mongolia June 2 San Francisco <br>
+
2012 Mongolia June 1 San Francisco <br>
+
2013 Mongolia June 1 <br>
+
2014 Mongolia May 29<br>
+
|-
+
|Morocco
+
|2010 Morocco March 1 Philadelphia <br>
+
2010 Morocco September 13 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Morocco March 14 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Morocco September 12 <br>
+
2012 Morocco March 19 <br>
+
2013 Morocco January 14 <br>
+
2014 Morocco January 13 <br>
+
|-
+
|Mozambique
+
|2010 Mozambique September 27 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Mozambique June 2 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Mozambique September 30 <br>
+
2013 Mozambique May 29 <br>
+
2013 Mozambique September 24 Philadelphia <br>
+
2014 Mozambique May 28<br>
+
|-
+
|Namibia
+
|2010 Namibia February 16 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Namibia August 17 Washington, DC<br>
+
2011 Namibia February 18 Washington, DC<br>
+
2011 Namibia August 18 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Namibia March 11 <br>
+
2013 Namibia July 22 <br>
+
2014 Namibia March 10 <br>
+
|-
+
|Nepal
+
|2014 Nepal September 5 <br>
+
|-
+
|Nicaragua
+
|2010 Nicaragua January 19 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Nicaragua May 11 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Nicaragua August 31 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Nicaragua January 11 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Nicaragua May 10 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Nicaragua August 30 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Nicaragua January 10 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Nicaragua March 15 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Nicaragua August 13 <br>
+
2014 Nicaragua March 4 <br>
+
2014 Nicaragua August 12 <br>
+
|-
+
|Niger
+
|2010 Niger July 7 Philadelphia <br>
+
2010 Niger October 18 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011
+
|-
+
|Panama
+
|2010 Panama April 20 Miami <br>
+
2010 Panama August 17 Miami <br>
+
2011 Panama January 11 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Panama April 26 Washington, DC<br>
+
2012 Panama January 10 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Panama May 1 <br>
+
2013 Panama February 19 <br>
+
2013 Panama June 18 <br>
+
2014 Panama February 18 <br>
+
2014 Panama June 17 <br>
+
|-
+
|Paraguay
+
|2010 Paraguay February 8 Miami <br>
+
2010 Paraguay June 1 Miami        <br>
+
2010 Paraguay September 29 Miami <br>       
+
2011 Paraguay February 2 Miami <br>
+
2011 Paraguay May 25 Miami <br>
+
2011 Paraguay September 27 Miami <br>
+
2012 Paraguay February 8 Miami <br>
+
2012 Paraguay September 22 Miami <br>
+
2013 Paraguay February 13 Miami <br>
+
2013 Paraguay May 29 <br>
+
2013 Paraguay September 25 Miami G43 <br>
+
2014 Paraguay January 29 <br>
+
2014 Paraguay September 17 <br>
+
2015 Paraguay March 06
+
|-
+
|Peru
+
|2010 Peru June 10 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Peru September 16 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Peru June 9 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Peru June 7 <br>
+
2013 Peru September 12 Washington, DC <br>
+
2014 Peru September 11 Washington, DC <br>
+
2015 Peru May 6 Washington, DC <br>
+
|-
+
|Philippines
+
|2010 Philippines August 19 Los Angeles <br>
+
2011 Philippines July 1 Los Angeles <br>
+
2013 Philippines July 5 Los Angeles <br>
+
|-
+
|Romania
+
|2010 Romania May 18 Chicago <br>
+
2011 Romania April 26 Chicago <br>
+
|-
+
|Rwanda
+
|2010 Rwanda February 23  <br>     
+
2010 Rwanda October 19 <br>
+
2011 Rwanda May 4 <br>
+
2011 Rwanda September 12 <br>
+
2013 Rwanda June 11 <br>
+
2013 Rwanda September 10 <br>
+
2014 Rwanda September 9 <br>
+
|-
+
|Samoa
+
|2010 Samoa October 5 Los Angeles<br>
+
|-
+
|Senegal
+
|2010 Senegal March 8 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Senegal August 9 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Senegal March 7 Washington, DC <br>       
+
2011 Senegal June 13 Washington, DC <br>       
+
2011 Senegal August 29 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Senegal March 5 Washington, DC<br>
+
2013 Senegal September 24 <br>
+
2014 Senegal March 3 <br>
+
2014 Senegal Sepetember 19 Philadelphia <br>     
+
|-
+
|Sierra Leone
+
|2010 Sierra Leone June 2 <br>
+
2011 Sierra Leone June 1  <br>
+
2013 Sierra Leone June 18  <br>     
+
2013 Sierra Leone July 17 Philadelphia <br>
+
|-
+
|South Africa
+
|2010 South Africa January 28 Washington, DC <br>       
+
2010 South Africa July 12 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 South Africa January 24 Washington, DC <br>       
+
2011 South Africa July 5 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 South Africa January 23 Washington, DC  <br>
+
2013 South Africa January 24  <br>
+
2013 South Africa July 4 Washington, DC SA28 <br>
+
2014 South Africa January 22  <br>     
+
|-
+
|Suriname
+
|2011 Suriname May 3 Miami <br>
+
|-
+
|Swaziland
+
|2010 Swaziland June 25 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Swaziland June 2 Washington, DC <br>
+
2012 Swaziland June 5 Washington, DC <br>
+
2013 Swaziland June 25 <br>
+
|-
+
|Tanzania
+
|2010 Tanzania June 14 Philadelphia <br>
+
2010 Tanzania September 20 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Tanzania June 13 Philadelphia<br>
+
2011 Tanzania October 10 <br>
+
2012 Tanzania June 11 <br>
+
2013 Tanzania July 3 <br>
+
2014 Tanzania February 12 <br>
+
|-
+
|Thailand
+
|2010 Thailand January 16 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Thailand January 8 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Thailand January 8 Detroit <br>
+
2013 Thailand January 11 Detroit <br>
+
2014 Thailand January 10 Washington DC<br>
+
|-
+
|Togo
+
|2010 Togo June 3 <br>
+
2010 Togo September 16 <br>
+
2011 Togo June 2 <br>
+
2011 Togo September 15 <br>
+
2013 Togo June 5 <br>
+
2013 Togo June 10 <br>
+
|-
+
|Tonga
+
|2010 Tonga October 5 Los Angeles <br>
+
2013 Tonga September 3 <br>
+
2014 Tonga September 4 <br>
+
|-
+
|Turkmenistan
+
|2010 Turkmenistan March 23 <br>
+
2010 Turkmenistan September 30 <br>
+
|-
+
|Uganda
+
|2010 Uganda February 8 <br>
+
2010 Uganda August 9 <br>
+
2011 Uganda February 9 <br>
+
2011 Uganda August 3 <br>
+
2012 Uganda April 24 <br>
+
2013 Uganda March 23 <br>
+
2013 Uganda April 24 <br>
+
2013 Uganda November 11 <br>
+
2014 Uganda June 3 <br>
+
|-
+
|Ukraine
+
|2010 Ukraine March 29 <br>
+
2010 Ukraine September 17 <br>
+
2010 Ukraine September 24 <br>
+
2011 Ukraine March 21 <br>
+
2011 Ukraine September 19 <br>
+
2011 Ukraine September 21 <br>
+
2012 Ukraine March 12 <br>
+
2013 Ukraine March 25 <br>
+
2013 Ukraine August 15 <br>
+
2013 Ukraine September 16 <br>
+
|-
+
|Vanuatu
+
|2010 Vanuatu September 10 Los Angeles <br>
+
2011 Vanuatu October 07 Los Angeles <br>
+
2014 Vanuatu January 23 <br>
+
2015 Vanuatu January 23 <br>
+
|-
+
|Zambia
+
|2010 Zambia February 17 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Zambia July 19 Washington, DC <br>
+
2010 Zambia July 19 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Zambia January 31 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Zambia February 14 Washington, DC <br>
+
2011 Zambia July 18 Philadelphia <br>
+
2011 Zambia August 1 Philadelphia <br>
+
2012 Zambia January 24 <br>
+
2012 Zambia February 29 <br>
+
2013 Zambia February 11 <br>
+
2013 Zambia June 11 <br>
+
2014 Zambia February 4 <br>
+
2014 Zambia June 10 <br>
+
|}
+
|<div style="font-size: 13pt">'''Other Resources'''</div>
+
{| width=20%
+
| width=20% | [http://peacecorpswiki.org/Timeline?title=Timeline&action=edit edit]
+
| width=20% |             
+
| width=20% |             
+
|}
+
-----
+
<!-- *********************** Other Resources ***************** -->             
+
Additional pages relating to the application:<br>
+
*[[Timeline Archive]]<br>
+
*[[Application Timelines]]<br>
+
*[[Advice for applicants]]<br>
+
*[[Departures by month]]<br>
+
*[[Staging Cities]]<br>
+
*[[Calculator|Placement Calculator]]<br>
+
*'''Other information:'''<br>
+
**'''[[Blogger | Show new stories]] on your own blog in real-time<br>
+
'''More [[resources]]<br>'''
+
*[[Volunteer discounts]]
+
*[[Volunteer Surveys]]<br>
+
*[[Interview Questions]]
+
*[[Forms]]
+
*[[Educational requirements for volunteers]]
+
*[[Phone Directory]]
+
*[[Peace Corps offices by country]]
+
<br>
+
-----
+

Latest revision as of 12:10, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Costa Rica maintains a health unit with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Medical services may include hospitalization at authorized facilities that are located in the capital city. If you become seriously ill or the resources in-country are insufficient, the Office of Medical Services at Peace Corps headquarters may decide to medically evacuate you to the United States for further care or treatment.

Health Issues in Costa Rica[edit]

Health conditions in Costa Rica are typical of those found in tropical countries. Most illnesses can be avoided by using common sense and following basic preventive measures.

Because you will be serving in an area where malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, is prevalent, you will be given and required to take an approved antimalarial drug while you are in-country for your entire service. Humidity and heat promote the growth of skin infections, which you can help prevent by keeping your body clean and dry. Environmental pollution, mold, and pollen found throughout the country year-round can aggravate existing environmental allergies. (Because it is very difficult, even in the United States, to identify the causing allergen, the Peace Corps does not provide allergy testing.) Other illnesses that exist in Costa Rica are dengue fever, rabies, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, hepatitis A and B, and infection with STDs, including HIV/AIDS.

Helping You Stay Healthy[edit]

The Peace Corps will provide you with all the necessary inoculations, medications, and information to stay healthy. During training, you will receive a medical kit with supplies to take care of mild illnesses and first-aid needs. The contents of the kit are listed later in this chapter.

During training, you will have access to basic medical supplies through the medical officer. However, you will be responsible for your own supply of prescription drugs and any other specific medical supplies you require, as we will not order these items during training. Please bring a three-month supply of any prescription drugs you use, since they may not be available here and it may take several months for shipments to arrive.

You will have a basic nurse assessment at midservice and a physical examination for clearance at the end of your service. If you develop a serious medical problem during your service, the medical officer in Costa Rica will consult with the Office of Medical Services in Washington, D.C. If it is determined that your condition cannot be treated in Costa Rica, you may be sent out of the country for further evaluation and care.

Maintaining Your Health[edit]

As a Volunteer, you must accept considerable responsibility for your own health. Proper precautions will significantly reduce your risk of serious illness or injury. The old adage “An ounce of prevention …” becomes extremely important in areas where diagnostic and treatment facilities are not up to the standards of the United States. The most important of your responsibilities in Costa Rica is to take preventive measures for the following:

Many illnesses that afflict Volunteers worldwide are entirely preventable if proper precautions are taken, such as boiling drinking water and washing fruits and vegetables with soap and water. These illnesses include food poisoning, parasitic infections, hepatitis A, dysentery, tapeworms, and typhoid fever. Your medical officer will discuss specific standards for water and food preparation in Costa Rica during pre-service training.

Abstinence is the only certain choice for preventing infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. You are taking risks if you choose to be sexually active. To lessen risk, use a condom every time you have sex. Whether your partner is a host country citizen, a fellow Volunteer, or anyone else, do not assume this person is free of HIV/AIDS or other STDs. You will receive more information from the medical officer about this important issue.

Volunteers are expected to adhere to an effective means of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Your medical officer can help you decide on the most appropriate method to suit your individual needs. Contraceptive methods are available without charge from the medical officer.

A male Peace Corps Volunteer who fathers a child out of wedlock may be administratively separated if the country director determines that the Volunteer’s action has impaired his ability to perform his assignment or has violated local laws or customs. Absent administrative action, the Peace Corps will pay the prenatal, delivery, and postpartum costs for a non-Volunteer spouse or unmarried partner only if the Volunteer has taken action to acknowledge paternity of the child and only for costs incurred while the trainee or Volunteer is in service. Paternity legislation in Costa Rica states that DNA testing is mandatory when a woman claims a man is the father of her child. If the test establishes paternity, the father automatically must pay child support; if he does not comply, he can be jailed.

It is critical to your health that you promptly report to the medical office for scheduled immunizations, and that you let your medical officer know immediately of significant illnesses and injuries.

Women’s Health Information[edit]

Pregnancy is treated in the same manner as other Volunteer health conditions that require medical attention but also have programmatic ramifications. The Peace Corps is responsible for determining the medical risk and the availability of appropriate medical care if the Volunteer remains in-country. Given the circumstances under which Volunteers live and work in Peace Corps countries, it is rare that the Peace Corps’ medical and programmatic standards for continued service during pregnancy can be met.

Feminine hygiene products are available for you to purchase on the local market. If you require a specific feminine hygiene product, please bring a six-month supply with you.

Your Peace Corps Medical Kit[edit]

The Peace Corps medical officer will provide you with a kit that contains basic items necessary to prevent and treat illnesses that may occur during service. Kit items can be periodically restocked at the medical office.

Medical Kit Contents[edit]

Ace bandages
Adhesive tape
American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook
Antacid tablets (Tums)
Antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin/Neomycin/Polymycin B)
Antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleaner (Hibiclens)
Band-Aids
Butterfly closures
Cepacol lozenges
Condoms
Dental floss
Diphenhydramine HCL 25 mg (Benadryl)
Insect repellent stick (Cutter’s)
Iodine tablets (for water purification)
Lip balm (Chapstick)
Oral rehydration salts
Pseudoephedrine HCL 30 mg (Sudafed)
Robitussin-DM lozenges (for cough)
Scissors
Sterile gauze pads
Tetrahydrozaline eyedrops (Visine)
Tinactin (antifungal cream)
Tweezers

Before You Leave: A Medical Checklist[edit]

If there has been any change in your health—physical, mental, or dental—since you submitted your examination reports to the Peace Corps, you must immediately notify the Office of Medical Services. Failure to disclose new illnesses, injuries, allergies, or pregnancy can endanger your health and may jeopardize your eligibility to serve.

If your dental exam was done more than a year ago, or if your physical exam is more than two years old, contact the Office of Medical Services to find out whether you need to update your records. If your dentist or Peace Corps dental consultant has recommended that you undergo dental treatment or repair, you must complete that work and make sure your dentist sends requested confirmation reports or X-rays to the Office of Medical Services.

If you wish to avoid having duplicate vaccinations, contact your physician’s office, obtain a copy of your immunization record, and bring it to your pre-departure orientation. If you have any immunizations prior to Peace Corps service, the Peace Corps cannot reimburse you for the cost. The Peace Corps will provide all the immunizations necessary for your overseas assignment, either at your pre-departure orientation or shortly after you arrive in Costa Rica. You do not need to begin taking malaria medication prior to departure.

Bring a three-month supply of any prescription or over-thecounter medication you use on a regular basis, including birth control pills. Although the Peace Corps cannot reimburse you for this three-month supply, we will order refills during your service.

While awaiting shipment—which can take several months— you will be dependent on your own medication supply. The Peace Corps will not pay for herbal or nonprescribed medications, such as St. John’s wort, glucosamine, selenium, or antioxidant supplements.

You are encouraged to bring copies of medical prescriptions signed by your physician. This is not a requirement, but they might come in handy if you are questioned in transit about carrying a three-month supply of prescription drugs.

If you wear eyeglasses, bring two pairs with you—a pair and a spare. If a pair breaks, the Peace Corps will replace it, using the information your doctor in the United States provided on the eyeglasses form during your examination. We discourage you from using contact lenses during your service to reduce your risk of developing a serious infection or other eye disease. Most Peace Corps countries do not have appropriate water and sanitation to support eye care with the use of contact lenses. The Peace Corps will not supply or replace contact lenses or associated solutions unless an ophthalmologist has recommended their use for a specific medical condition and the Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services has given approval.

If you are eligible for Medicare, are over 50 years of age, or have a health condition that may restrict your future participation in healthcare plans, you may wish to consult an insurance specialist about unique coverage needs before your departure. The Peace Corps will provide all necessary healthcare from the time you leave for your pre-departure orientation until you complete your service. When you finish, you will be entitled to the post-service healthcare benefits described in the Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook. You may wish to consider keeping an existing health plan in effect during your service if you think age or preexisting conditions might prevent you from reenrolling in your current plan when you return home.

Safety and Security—Our Partnership[edit]

Serving as a Volunteer overseas entails certain safety and security risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment, a limited understanding of the local language and culture, and the perception of being a wealthy American are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk. Petty thefts and burglaries are not uncommon. Incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although almost all Volunteers complete their two years of service without serious personal safety problems. In addition, more than 83 percent of Volunteers surveyed say they would join the Peace Corps again.

The Peace Corps approaches safety and security as a partnership with you. This Welcome Book contains sections on: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle; Peace Corps Training; and Your Health Care and Safety. All of these sections include important safety information.

The Peace Corps makes every effort to give Volunteers the tools they need to function in the safest and most secure way possible, because working to maximize the safety and security of Volunteers is our highest priority. Not only do we provide you with training and tools to prepare for the unexpected, but we teach you to identify and manage the risks you may encounter.

Factors that Contribute to Volunteer Risk[edit]

There are several factors that can heighten a Volunteer’s risk, many of which are in the Volunteer’s control. Based on information gathered from incident reports worldwide in 2003, the following factors stand out as risk characteristics for assaults. Assaults consist of personal crimes committed against Volunteers, and do not include property crimes (such as vandalism or theft).

  • Location: Most crimes occurred when Volunteers were in public areas (e.g., street, park, beach, public buildings). Specifically, 47 percent of assaults took place when Volunteers were away from their sites.
  • Time of day: Assaults usually took place on the weekend during the late evening between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.— most often occurring around 1:00 a.m.
  • Absence of others: More than 75 percent of crime incidents occurred when a Volunteer was unaccompanied.
  • Relationship to assailant: In most assaults, the Volunteer did not know the assailant.
  • Consumption of alcohol: Almost a third of all assaults involved alcohol consumption by Volunteers and/or assailants.

Summary Strategies to Reduce Risk[edit]

Before and during service, your training will address these areas of concern so that you can reduce the risks you face.

For example, here are some strategies Volunteers employ:

Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of theft:

  • Know the environment and choose safe routes/times for travel
  • Avoid high-crime areas per Peace Corps guidance
  • Know the vocabulary to get help in an emergency
  • Carry valuables in different pockets/places
  • Carry a “dummy” wallet as a decoy Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of burglary:
  • Live with a local family or on a family compound
  • Put strong locks on doors and keep valuables in a lock box or trunk
  • Leave irreplaceable objects at home in the U.S.
  • Follow Peace Corps guidelines on maintaining home security Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of assault:
  • Make local friends
  • Make sure your appearance is respectful of local customs; don’t draw negative attention to yourself by wearing inappropriate clothing
  • Get to know local officials, police, and neighbors
  • Travel with someone whenever possible
  • Avoid known high crime areas
  • Limit alcohol consumption

Support from Staff[edit]

In March 2003, the Peace Corps created the Office of Safety and Security with its mission to “foster improved communication, coordination, oversight, and accountability of all Peace Corps’ safety and security efforts.” The new office is led by an Associate Director for Safety and Security who reports to the Peace Corps Director and includes the following divisions: Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security;

Information and Personnel Security; and Emergency Preparedness, Plans, Training and Exercise. The safety and security team also tracks crime statistics, identifies trends in criminal activity, and highlights potential safety risks to Volunteers.

The major responsibilities of the Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security Division are to coordinate the office’s overseas operations and direct the Peace Corps’ safety and security officers who are located in various regions around the world that have Peace Corps programs. The safety and security officers conduct security assessments; review safety trainings; train trainers and managers; train Volunteer safety wardens, local guards, and staff; develop security incident response procedures; and provide crisis management support.

If a trainee or Volunteer is the victim of a safety incident, Peace Corps staff is prepared to provide support. All Peace Corps posts have procedures in place to respond to incidents of crime committed against Volunteers. The first priority for all posts in the aftermath of an incident is to ensure that the Volunteer is safe and receiving medical treatment as needed.

After assuring the safety of the Volunteer, Peace Corps staff provides support by reassessing the Volunteer’s work site and housing arrangements and making any adjustments, as needed. In some cases, the nature of the incident may necessitate a site or housing transfer. Peace Corps staff will also assist Volunteers with preserving their rights to pursue legal sanctions against the perpetrators of the crime. It is very important that Volunteers report incidents as they occur, not only to protect their peer Volunteers, but also to preserve the future right to prosecute. Should Volunteers decide later in the process that they want to proceed with the prosecution of their assailant, this option may no longer exist if the evidence of the event has not been preserved at the time of the incident.

The country-specific data chart below shows the incidence rates and the average number of incidents of the major types of safety incidents reported by Peace Corps Volunteers/trainees in Costa Rica as compared to all other Inter-America and Pacific region programs as a whole, from 1999–2003. It is presented to you in a somewhat technical manner for statistical accuracy.

To fully appreciate the collected data below, an explanation of the graph is provided as follows:

The incidence rate for each type of crime is the number of crime events relative to the Volunteer/trainee population. It is expressed on the chart as a ratio of crime to Volunteer and trainee years (or V/T years, which is a measure of 12 full months of V/T service) to allow for a statistically valid way to compare crime data across countries. An “incident” is a specific offense, per Peace Corps’ classification of offenses, and may involve one or more Volunteer/trainee victims. For example, if two Volunteers are robbed at the same time and place, this is classified as one robbery incident.

The chart is separated into the eight most commonly occurring assault types. These include vandalism (malicious defacement or damage of property); theft (taking without force or illegal entry); burglary (forcible entry of a residence); robbery (taking something by force); minor physical assault (attacking without a weapon with minor injuries); minor sexual assault (fondling, groping, etc.); aggravated assault (attacking with a weapon, and/or without a weapon when serious injury results); and rape (sexual intercourse without consent).

When anticipating Peace Corps Volunteer service, you should review all of the safety and security information provided to you, including the strategies to reduce risk. Throughout your training and Volunteer service, you will be expected to successfully complete all training competencies in a variety of areas including safety and security. Once in-country, use the tools and information shared with you to remain as safe and secure as possible.

Security Issues in Costa Rica[edit]

When it comes to your safety and security in the Peace Corps, you have to be willing to adapt your behavior and lifestyle to minimize the potential for being a target of crime. As with anywhere in the world, crime does exist in Costa Rica. You can reduce your risk by avoiding situations that make you feel uncomfortable and by taking precautions. Crime at the village or town level is less frequent than in the large cities; people know each other and generally will not steal from their neighbors. Tourist attractions in large towns, for instance, are favorite work sites for pickpockets.

The most common safety risks to Volunteers in Costa Rica are petty crimes like pickpocketing, theft, robbery, and simple assault. Aggravated assault, sexual assault, and rape also occur, as in any other place in the world, so Volunteers must avoid unsafe environments and situations.

Staying Safe: Don’t Be a Target for Crime[edit]

You must be prepared to take on a large degree of responsibility for your own safety. Only you can make yourself less of a target, ensure that your house is secure, and develop relations in your community that will make you an unlikely victim of crime. In coming to Costa Rica, do what you would do if you moved to a new city in the United States: Be cautious, check things out, ask questions, learn about your neighborhood, know where the more risky locations are, use common sense, and be aware. You can reduce your vulnerability to crime by integrating into your community, learning the local language, acting responsibly, and abiding by Peace Corps policies and procedures. Serving safely and effectively in Costa Rica may require that you accept some restrictions on your current lifestyle.

Volunteers attract a lot of attention in large cities and at their sites, but they are likely to receive far more negative attention in highly populated centers than at their sites, where “family,” friends, and colleagues look out for them. While whistles and exclamations are fairly common on the street, this behavior can be reduced if you dress conservatively, avoid eye contact, and do not respond to unwanted attention. Keep your money out of sight by using an undergarment money pouch, the kind that hangs around your neck and stays hidden under your shirt or inside your coat. Do not keep your money in outside pockets of backpacks, in coat pockets, or in fanny packs. You should always walk with a companion at night.

Preparing for the Unexpected: Safety Training and Volunteer Support in Costa Rica[edit]

The Peace Corps’ approach to safety is a five-pronged plan to help you stay safe during your two-year service and includes the following: Information sharing, Volunteer training, site selection criteria, a detailed emergency action plan, and protocols for addressing safety and security incidents. Costa Rica’s in-country safety program is outlined below.

The Peace Corps/Costa Rica office will keep Volunteers informed of any issues that may impact Volunteer safety through information sharing. Regular updates will be provided in Volunteer newsletters and in memorandums from the country director. In the event of a critical situation or emergency, Volunteers will be contacted through the emergency communication network.

Volunteer training will include sessions to prepare you for specific safety and security issues in Costa Rica. This training will prepare you to adopt a culturally appropriate lifestyle and exercise judgment that promotes safety and reduces risk in your home, at work, and while traveling. Safety training is offered throughout service and is integrated into the language, cross-cultural, health, and other components of training.

Certain site selection criteria are used to determine safe housing for Volunteers before their arrival. Peace Corps staff works closely with host communities and counterpart agencies to help prepare them for a Volunteer’s arrival and to establish expectations of their respective roles in supporting the Volunteer. Each site is inspected before the Volunteer’s arrival to ensure placement in appropriate, safe, and secure housing and work sites. Site selection is based in part on any relevant site history; access to medical, banking, postal, and other essential services; availability of communications, transportation, and markets; different housing options and living arrangements; and other Volunteer support needs.

You will also learn about Peace Corps/Costa Rica’s detailed emergency action plan, which is implemented in the event of civil or political unrest or a natural disaster. When you arrive at your site, you will complete and submit a site locator form with your address, contact information, and a map to your house. If there is a security threat, Volunteers will receive instructions from the Peace Corps about the appropriate action to take. This might include gathering with other Volunteers at a predetermined location until the situation is resolved or the Peace Corps decides to evacuate.

Finally, in order for the Peace Corps to be fully responsive to the needs of Volunteers, it is imperative that Volunteers immediately report any security incident to the Peace Corps medical officer. The Peace Corps has established protocols for addressing safety and security incidents in a timely and appropriate manner, and it collects and evaluates safety and security data to track trends and develop strategies to minimize risks to future Volunteers.