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Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean Welcome Book | August 2012

Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean Welcome Book | August 2012

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Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean Welcome Book | August 2012
Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean Welcome Book | August 2012

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Accessible Journal Media Peace Corps Docs on Aug 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to
assure 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 history. 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.

Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In the Eastern Caribbean, as

in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural

context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the
United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in the Eastern Caribbean.

Outside of the Eastern Caribbean capitals, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to
other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a
misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of the
Eastern Caribbean 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 cultural differences that you present.

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 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 pre-service training and will be on call to provide support,
but the challenge ultimately will be your own.

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