Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, June 3, 2016
I have served in many countries around the world and I am always happy when I am assigned to a country that has a Peace Corps Program. Volunteers are such interesting people – after all, they have made the decision to dedicate two years of their lives to work under pressing challenges in a foreign country. Here in Nicaragua, volunteers from the Peace Corps:
- Have worked with high school teachers to help students organize businesses and participate in a national entrepreneurship competition.
- Have worked with elementary teachers to help students and the community to carry out environmental projects, including school gardens, composting and garbage collection.
- And they have worked with high school English teachers to improve verbal communication skills of students using participatory communication and new ways of using teaching material.
With the Ministry of Health, they have worked with health promoters to teach healthy lifestyles, promote better nutrition, promote sexual reproductive health, reduce HIV / AIDS rates, reduce maternal and child pregnancies in adolescents. All of this is done in close collaboration with the Nicaraguan government and is based on government priorities that include providing relevant and quality education and improving the lives of Nicaraguans. The Peace Corps depends on its Nicaraguan counterparts. They are the ones who request the volunteers and who plan the places where they will serve, and the type of activities to develop.
And we are always looking for ways to expand our cooperation with the people and Government of Nicaragua. With the addition of this new group of volunteers, there will be a total of 141 Peace Corps volunteers serving in Nicaragua in 4 programs:
- Common health,
- Environmental Education,
- and Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
They work shoulder to shoulder with their Nicaraguan counterparts and colleagues during their two years of service. The volunteers who accompany us today will work specifically on Community Health and Promoting Entrepreneurship, both important areas in which we work with the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Health.
I would like to thank the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health for their continued collaboration and support to the Peace Corps. Nicaragua is one of the 64 countries worldwide that receives volunteers from the Peace Corps.
President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 and his goals remain the same.
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of the United States and its citizens on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote in the United States a better understanding of the citizens of other countries
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to the first group of Peace Corps volunteers; And said to them: “I hope … that you … fulfill your mission in these lands in a way that demonstrates the desire of Americans of different social backgrounds to serve. The success or failure of the Peace Corps can be determined by the way in which our first volunteers faithfully fulfill these great ideals.”
That was a lot of pressure for those first volunteers, but I know that for the past 30 years, volunteers in Nicaragua have been faithful to the ideals presented by President Kennedy, and I know you will too. I wish you and your Nicaraguan colleagues all the best when you begin this important mission.
Thank you so much.
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