I took this photo on December 19th, 2008 in Ecuador. A local boy’s mother is preparing him for the parade of the traveling child (niño viajero) through the city of Cuenca. The main parade takes place in the week before Christmas, though every surrounding parish, hamlet and even schools have their own parade of some kind. Cuenca’s is by far the largest in Ecuador, taking the better part of a day from start to finish, winding its way through the colonial cobblestone streets of the historic center. In the parades, children dress up as nativity scene figures, such as the three wise kings. There are also floats with scenes from Jesus’s life and the famous Niño Divino, a highly venerated religious figure of the baby Jesus. - Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Bradley Mattan
This photo was taken in Peru, on the eve of World AIDS Day, 2009. We received a small PEPFAR grant to run a year-long HIV prevention program, focused on training youth peer educators and educating the community about prevention through mass media. World AIDS Day was a flurry of activity, with our peer educators participating in educational fairs, talking to the media, and organizing community-wide parades.
However, on the eve of November 30th, we took a pause to hold a candle-light vigil in the central plaza of our community. Young and old all came together to hold up candles and sing in solidarity with those who have been affected by HIV and with hope for the next generation that they may grow-up HIV free. - Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Walker
"This photo was taken in my first village, a small Bulgarian Muslim community in northeastern Bulgaria. I was playing in my yard one day with three of my girls, and we just enjoyed one another’s company through games, eating apples, and air guitar. This was one of those simple and defining moments of service when I realized, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, that our work here goes far beyond the technical guidelines. As I read before I came, we expect to give, but in fact we receive much more than we are able to share. These girls gave me so much inspiration, love, and hope. I hope I gave them the same. And we will always remain friends!" - Peace Corps Education Volunteer Karina E. Strange
The children in my village have taken me in at their big sister, calling me “kakak” rather than my actual name. It’s heart-warming. They love to take me to the sugarcane fields that surround our village. They run with knifes, and it makes me nervous, but it’s the norm here. Children run free here. I love this photograph because I actually let Sylvie, a 9-year old with very sticky fingers from the sugarcane juices, use my Canon SLR to take this. Whenever she sees this photo, she proudly says “aku aku” or “mine mine”.
This photo was taken in a community in Nicaragua during the month of May in 2011. As a maternal and child health Volunteer in El Jícaro, I assisted the doctors that day with collecting HIV tests. We ate lunch at a woman’s house, and she had five children, all very close in age. Her home was made of adobe, and she cooked everything over an open flame. The kids ran around barefoot and naked, except for this little girl who was in a pink, ruffly dress. One of the doctors had given her a piece of candy, and she seemed to treasure the candy more than anything. She didn’t want to eat it; she only wanted to hold it in her tiny hands! I titled this photo “Chigüina” because this word is what the people in the campo of Nicaragua use when they’re children.
I ate fried Mopane (Mopani) worms for the first time here in South Africa. Well, they are not actually worms, they’re caterpillars. So, I guess you can say that I’m officially an insectivore now. Mopani worms are a local delicacy especially for the Shangaan people. Sometimes they are fried and other times they are boiled. People eat them here like potato chips or popcorn. Eventually, if these creatures are allowed to grow, they will become a beautiful Emperor moth.
Ibrahim was a resident at the Orphanage for Boys Handicapped with Polio located adjacent to the Koutubia Mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco. I worked at the orphanage and facilitated the adoption of a puppy to help enhance the quality of life for the boys and staff. The new addition was a huge success.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Dorothy Andrake - Morocco, 1974