This photo was taken on May 23, 2009 at a dance competition in Ecuador. Traditional Kichwa dances are performed at every public event in the Napo province and troupes are composed children of all ages. The dance steps describe traditional activities such as clearing fields, making guayusa tea, harvesting cacao and preparing chicha (traditional spit beer).

- Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Laurel Howard 

This photo was taken on May 23, 2009 at a dance competition in Ecuador. Traditional Kichwa dances are performed at every public event in the Napo province and troupes are composed children of all ages. The dance steps describe traditional activities such as clearing fields, making guayusa tea, harvesting cacao and preparing chicha (traditional spit beer).

- Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Laurel Howard 

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Have Rainbow, Will Travel: The LGBT Experience in the Peace Corps 

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, June 27 to get a glimpse at what it’s like for Peace Corps Volunteers as they adapt to overseas cultures that can be less than tolerant of their sexual identities.

(HT to the Washington Blade for the awesome photos of RPCVs marching in the DC Pride Parade!)

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In honor of Mother’s Day, we are shining the spotlight on the maternal health work our Volunteers are doing around the world. Here’s a success story from two Peace Corps Volunteers in Albania!

Two years ago, Volunteer Barbara Stallings started a prenatal education program for expectant mothers and health professionals in her community. After her close of service, it was handed over to Volunteer Jessica Goodell, who continued to develop and grow the program. 

Barbara found that the concept of childbirth education was a very novel one in her Albanian community, with many cultural barriers, leading to nervous expectant mothers who were more likely to have complications. 

To address this issue, Barbara helped facilitate a program that successfully trained one Albanian “Childbirth Educator” with a background in nursing and physical therapy to teach classes. Eleven expectant mothers and one father participated in the classes. The participation of the one father during class is a separate success story itself! 

After taking over the project, Jessica worked with Albania’s Ministry of Health, the Institute of Public Health and her local Directorate of Public Health to organize a “Childbirth Educator Training of Trainers” to increase the number of “Childbirth Educators” who can transfer skills and expand the scope of educated expectant mothers. She applied for accreditation through the Ministry of Health and was approved to conduct the training, with seven professional credit hours to incentivize health professionals to participate. 

A total of 20 health professionals (nurse-midwives, midwives, nurses, and social workers) were successfully trained. Now there are twenty-one “Childbirth Educators” prepared to teach a childbirth education class to expectant mothers in this community. 

Great job, ladies!

Peace Corps Mother's Day Peace Corps Volunteers maternal health health pregnancy prenatal care Albania mothers child health education culture public health health professionals


I came across this bridge that had locks in formed into the shape of a heart. I learned from the locals that when you fall in love you take your significant other to the bridge lock on a new lock and then throw the key into the river to signify never ending peace and love.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Tondraya Burton, Ukraine

I came across this bridge that had locks in formed into the shape of a heart. I learned from the locals that when you fall in love you take your significant other to the bridge lock on a new lock and then throw the key into the river to signify never ending peace and love.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Tondraya Burton, Ukraine

Peace Corps love Valentine's Day locks heart hearts Ukraine culture traditions


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.

- Peace Corps Education Volunteer Robin Al-haddad 

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.

- Peace Corps Education Volunteer Robin Al-haddad 

South Africa Africa food insects Peace Corps current countries culture Peace Corps Digital Library