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Peace Corps prepares to re-open program in Belize

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Posted: Friday, July 2, 2021. 8:19 am CST.

By Zoila Palma: Yesterday, the Peace Corps announced that it is closer to returning volunteers to overseas service.

The agency says it will resume inviting volunteers to serve at posts that have met a comprehensive set of health, safety and security criteria.

“Following 15 months of global isolation, tireless work by our staff around the world and incredible patience from our applicants and host country partners, the Peace Corps is moving forward in the process of returning to our overseas posts,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn.

The Peace Corps is implementing plans to move forward with re-opening its program in Belize.

At the request of the government of Belize, volunteers will engage in literacy work to help local schools recover following disruptions to the education system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful that our government’s consistent efforts to mitigate COVID-19 in Belize have been able to bear fruit in this way, and that the Peace Corps Volunteers will soon be able to return. We are more excited to know that we will be the first country across the world to receive Volunteers again.” – Dian Maheia, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.

 The agency notes that it is continuously reviewing and evaluating its reentry criteria to ensure that the timing of return is safe, respectful of culture and on-the-ground conditions, supportive of host country’s urgent needs, and compliant with local laws, regulations, and protocols.

The agency anticipates additional country-specific invitations in the upcoming weeks and months.

Last year, the Peace Corps temporarily suspended its global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from 62 countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event marked the first time in the agency’s 60 year history that volunteers were evacuated from all global posts.

However, the Peace Corps has continued to further its mission of world peace and friendship through several virtual service engagements with overseas partners.

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