Difference between pages "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Mongolia" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean"

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In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years.  Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.  
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In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years.  Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcome among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.  
  
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Mongolia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Mongolia.  
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In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. Here in the Eastern Caribbean, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from your own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.  
  
Outside of Mongolia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is viewed as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes.  The people of Mongolia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present.  
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The Caribbean people are well-known for their generous hospitality to foreigners. However, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.  
  
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Mongolia, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge, ultimately, will be your own.  
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To ease the transition and adapt to life in the Eastern Caribbean, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge will ultimately be your own.  
  
==Overview of Diversity in Mongolia ==
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===Overview of Diversity in the Eastern Caribbean===
  
The Peace Corps staff in Mongolia recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
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The Peace Corps staff in the Eastern Caribbean recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
  
==What Might a Volunteer Face? ==
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===What Might a Volunteer Face? ===
  
===Possible Issues for Female Volunteers ===
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====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers ====
  
A single woman living alone is against the cultural norm in Mongolia, and you may be asked often about why you are not married or why you are serving alone when your family is living in the United States. You may receive more unwanted and inappropriate attention from Mongolian men than what you are used to in the United States. Therefore, you may need to keep a low social profile and practice discretion in public. You may have to work harder than male Volunteers to gain the respect of host country colleagues in the workplace.  
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Dealing with the behavior of some men in the Eastern Caribbean can be challenging to an American woman of any age. There are no laws in the Eastern Caribbean against sexual harassment, so men are used to making all types of remarks when a woman passes by. These remarks vary from a simple “psst!!” to “Looking good, baby!” to more sexually explicit solicitations. Even the local women whom they see every day are not spared this verbal harassment, but they know how to cope. Some women even regard these remarks as compliments.  
  
===Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ===
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Volunteers of color in Mongolia often express frustration and annoyance at being asked where they are from. When they answer, for example, “African American,” “Asian American,” or “Mexican American,” some Mongolians react with surprise, suspicion, or disbelief. Chinese Americans may be regarded with suspicion because of Mongolians’ historically based mistrust of China. Americans of Korean or Japanese descent may be mistaken for Chinese. You may feel isolated within your Volunteer group if there are no other Volunteers of the same ethnicity.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ====
  
===Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ===
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Volunteers of color face unique challenges in the Eastern Carribean. An African-American Volunteer may pass for a local in tourist areas, but be viewed primarily as an American by many West Indians. The key is to come without preconceptions or expectations of immediate acceptance.  Other minority groups may be called by names that are stereotypical and not very flattering. Hispanic-Americans will generally be labeled as white which might cause an issue with identity. The challenge is to create your own identity outside the stereotype. This is usually easier to do in your own community than in areas where you are not known.
  
Respect comes with age in Mongolia. Younger Volunteers may have to work harder than their older colleagues at being accepted as professionals. On the other hand, older Volunteers may feel isolated within the Peace Corps community, as the majority of Volunteers are in their 20s. They may work or live with individuals who have little understanding of or respect for the lives and experiences of senior citizens and therefore cannot provide needed personal support. Senior Volunteers may find that younger Volunteers look to them for advice and support. While some seniors find this a very enjoyable experience, others choose not to fill this role. Older trainees sometimes encounter a lack of attention to their needs for a particular learning environment, including timing and method of presentation. You may need to be assertive in developing an effective, individual approach to language learning.
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====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ====
  
===Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ===
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Senior Volunteers usually fare well in the Eastern Caribbean.  They may not become victims of some of the harassment that younger Volunteers face, but the same safety issues exist, especially when they are viewed as tourists. Sometimes, seniors command a high level of respect from community members, especially in smaller communities. At other times, they are questioned as to why they are here.
  
Sexual mores in Mongolia are conservative, and Volunteers are expected to respect them. Many Mongolians believe that gay and lesbian relationships are wrong or that such relationships do not exist in their country. Some gay and lesbian Volunteers who have served in Mongolia report that they were not able to be open about their sexual orientation. Those who are open may be hassled in public places or in the workplace. You may serve for two years without meeting other gay, lesbian, or bisexual Volunteers and may sense a lack of support and understanding among your Volunteer group. Men may encounter machismo and be expected to join in talk of sexual conquests and dirty jokes.
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====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ====
  
But there is a small community for LGBT people. The Youth and Health center is formed in 2003 and Volunteers may contact them to get support. http://www.gay.mn
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Many Caribbean people are intolerant of persons with different sexual orientations. Gay and lesbian Volunteers may have a hard time if they are open about their sexual orientation. Some West Indians believe that the Bible says that such people go against the divine plan. They may shun or mock gay Volunteers since they engage in what are considered to be abnormal practices.  
  
In the past, gay and lesbian Volunteers have formed their own support group. You might find some helpful information at www.geocities.com/~lgbrpcv/, a website affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association.
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====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ====
  
===Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ===
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People in the Eastern Caribbean are mostly devout Christians and take religion very seriously. They go to church, say their prayers, read the Bible, and generally engage in a variety of religious activities. Many American evangelists travel to the Caribbean to hold crusades and are well-received. It is often expected that people coming to live and work in the Eastern Caribbean will be active Christians. Volunteers of Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths may be questioned about their religious beliefs, but blatant discrimination is rare.
  
Propaganda or teaching about any religion other than Buddhism, Islam, and shamanism by foreign residents is prohibited in Mongolia outside the monasteries and churches of the respective religions. Volunteers who openly proselytize for a particular religion are in direct violation of Peace Corps policy. More confusing and difficult to deal with, however, are the seemingly innocent things many Americans do, such as discussing major religious holidays like Easter and Christmas, which could be misconstrued by people who are sensitive about missionary activities. Volunteers who are not clear as to what constitutes religious proselytizing should consult with the country director.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities====
  
You are, of course, free to exercise or express your personal religious beliefs in a way that does not impair your effectiveness as a Volunteer. Peace Corps/Mongolia interprets this to mean that you should not engage in any religious activity while at work.  
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As a disabled Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean, you may find that you face a special set of challenges. Here, as in other parts of the world, some people may hold prejudicial attitudes about individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against you. There is very little of the infrastructure to accommodate individuals with disabilities that has been developed in the United States.  
  
===Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities ===
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That being said, as part of the medical clearance process, the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform a full tour of Volunteer service in the Eastern Caribbean without unreasonable risk of harm to yourself or interruption of your service. The Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations for them in their training, housing, job sites, or in other areas, to enable them to serve safely and effectively.
  
As a disabled Volunteer in Mongolia, you may find that you face a special set of challenges. In Mongolia, as in other parts of the world, some people may hold prejudices against individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against them. And there is very little of the infrastructure to accommodate individuals with disabilities that has been developed in the United States.
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=====Possible Issues for Married Volunteers ====
  
That being said, as part of the medical clearance process, the Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, of performing a full tour of Volunteer service in Mongolia without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/Mongolia staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.  
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Married couples serving in the Eastern Caribbean generally have a very positive Volunteer experience. They support each other in integrating into the community, in evaluating progress in their assignments, and in putting their challenges and frustrations in perspective.  
  
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Couples live together throughout their service, including pre-service training. In additition to their individual projects, couples usually can find opportunities for collaborative work as well. However, given the small communities in the Eastern Caribbean, some couples may find the continuous presence of a spouse leaves each with little privacy.
  
[[Category:Mongolia]]
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Married Volunteers may not readily participate in activities in which their single peers are involved, and find that they are left out of the social “loop.”
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The female partner may be subjected to the same sexual harassment as a single female Volunteer. Generally, most local men will desist from such behavior when it is established that the Volunteer is married.
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[[Category:Eastern Caribbean]]

Revision as of 13:14, 3 February 2010

Diversity and cross-cultural issues in [[{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with their host countries, Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]
See also:
[[Category:{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in the Eastern Caribbean| |7}}]]

In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcome among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.

In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. Here in the Eastern Caribbean, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from your own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.

The Caribbean people are well-known for their generous hospitality to foreigners. However, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.

To ease the transition and adapt to life in the Eastern Caribbean, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge will ultimately be your own.

Overview of Diversity in the Eastern Caribbean

The Peace Corps staff in the Eastern Caribbean recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.

What Might a Volunteer Face?

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Dealing with the behavior of some men in the Eastern Caribbean can be challenging to an American woman of any age. There are no laws in the Eastern Caribbean against sexual harassment, so men are used to making all types of remarks when a woman passes by. These remarks vary from a simple “psst!!” to “Looking good, baby!” to more sexually explicit solicitations. Even the local women whom they see every day are not spared this verbal harassment, but they know how to cope. Some women even regard these remarks as compliments.


Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

Volunteers of color face unique challenges in the Eastern Carribean. An African-American Volunteer may pass for a local in tourist areas, but be viewed primarily as an American by many West Indians. The key is to come without preconceptions or expectations of immediate acceptance. Other minority groups may be called by names that are stereotypical and not very flattering. Hispanic-Americans will generally be labeled as white which might cause an issue with identity. The challenge is to create your own identity outside the stereotype. This is usually easier to do in your own community than in areas where you are not known.

Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

Senior Volunteers usually fare well in the Eastern Caribbean. They may not become victims of some of the harassment that younger Volunteers face, but the same safety issues exist, especially when they are viewed as tourists. Sometimes, seniors command a high level of respect from community members, especially in smaller communities. At other times, they are questioned as to why they are here.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

Many Caribbean people are intolerant of persons with different sexual orientations. Gay and lesbian Volunteers may have a hard time if they are open about their sexual orientation. Some West Indians believe that the Bible says that such people go against the divine plan. They may shun or mock gay Volunteers since they engage in what are considered to be abnormal practices.

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

People in the Eastern Caribbean are mostly devout Christians and take religion very seriously. They go to church, say their prayers, read the Bible, and generally engage in a variety of religious activities. Many American evangelists travel to the Caribbean to hold crusades and are well-received. It is often expected that people coming to live and work in the Eastern Caribbean will be active Christians. Volunteers of Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths may be questioned about their religious beliefs, but blatant discrimination is rare.

Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities

As a disabled Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean, you may find that you face a special set of challenges. Here, as in other parts of the world, some people may hold prejudicial attitudes about individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against you. There is very little of the infrastructure to accommodate individuals with disabilities that has been developed in the United States.

That being said, as part of the medical clearance process, the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform a full tour of Volunteer service in the Eastern Caribbean without unreasonable risk of harm to yourself or interruption of your service. The Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations for them in their training, housing, job sites, or in other areas, to enable them to serve safely and effectively.

=Possible Issues for Married Volunteers

Married couples serving in the Eastern Caribbean generally have a very positive Volunteer experience. They support each other in integrating into the community, in evaluating progress in their assignments, and in putting their challenges and frustrations in perspective.

Couples live together throughout their service, including pre-service training. In additition to their individual projects, couples usually can find opportunities for collaborative work as well. However, given the small communities in the Eastern Caribbean, some couples may find the continuous presence of a spouse leaves each with little privacy.

Married Volunteers may not readily participate in activities in which their single peers are involved, and find that they are left out of the social “loop.”

The female partner may be subjected to the same sexual harassment as a single female Volunteer. Generally, most local men will desist from such behavior when it is established that the Volunteer is married.