President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. In the fifty years since, nearly 200,000 Americans have served in 139 countries, providing technical assistance, promoting a better understanding of American culture, and bringing the world back to the United States. In Voices from the Peace Corps: Fifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers, Angene Wilson and Jack Wilson, who served in Liberia from 1962 to 1964, follow the experiences of volunteers as they make the decision to join, attend training, adjust to living overseas and the job, make friends, and eventually return home to serve in their communities. They also describe how the volunteers made a difference in their host countries and how they became citizens of the world for the rest of their lives. Among many others, the interviewees include a physics teacher who served in Nigeria in 1961, a smallpox vaccinator who arrived in Afghanistan in 1969, a nineteen-year-old Mexican American who worked in an agricultural program in Guatemala in the 1970s, a builder of schools and relationships who served in Gabon from 1989 to 1992, and a retired office administrator who taught business in Ukraine from 2000 to 2002. Voices from the Peace Corps emphasizes the value of practical idealism in building meaningful cultural connections that span the globe.
Voices from the Peace Corps
The University Press of Kentucky
Fifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers