Thursday, January 19, 2012

Peace Corps be with you

I have been hearing a lot lately from potential groups coming from the USA, unfortunately not for the kinds of questions as normal due to some recent headlines in papers there. 

It was announced a few weeks ago that the US Peace Corps would not be bringing in new volunteers in 2012 to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala while they re-evaluate the situation in the respective countries. Some of the wording, statements, etc. were purposefully vague...some not so vague, but through all of it it smacked of a political ploy as well.

To be sure, Honduras, along with many countries has its fair share of problems. It has been repeatedly suggested that this “pull out” is due to security concerns here (I suppose for the same reasons then in Guatemala and El Salvador.) While that may play a part, I highly doubt that is the only piece in their decision making process.

If you are thinking/praying about coming to Honduras as a tourist or in a short term group, I would like to take this time to encourage you to come on down.

Peace Corps volunteers live a much different life than short term people that come in groups do...often living alone in different communities, with differing levels of supervision, and not always have the best rules imposed on them for healthy living. Being youth-filled exuberant and exploring types and of sometimes seeking more worldly pursuits...this is not always a good combination when it comes to the joys and challenges of living in a different culture anywhere really.

We are not seeing any change to our safety conditions where we work and live, the same conditions that have greeted teams in year’s past. If you leave your camera sitting on the ground while you are chatting away...expect it to be gone, but as to anything more serious than that, we have never had a problem.

To be sure, the world is not always a friendly place, but we also take precautions that the Peace Corps does not, especially when it comes to having the groups here working with us. Those include many good sense rules, such as no leaving by yourselves, no going out at night, and staying in areas we know well, with people we know well.

Of is not guaranteed no matter where you go, but we have never had an issue with groups, and do not anticipate any in the coming months either. If that situation were to change, you would hear about it right here...but the situation is not such that I anticipate such a change either.

The change that needs to come, as a wise brother pointed out, is that with the Peace Corps gone, all that more work that needs to be taken up by Christ’s Church!


Rich said...

Well written and I appreciate your thoughts. I am planning on bringing a team to work with Laurie in March and I have had to field a lot of questions due to the Peace Corps pull out. Personally it has not change my thoughts of coming. I am all in!!

Cindy in California said...

I just returned yesterday from a short-term mission trip to Honduras with a team of six women from our church. We are already beginning to plan our trip for next January. I completely agree with what you wrote and encourage churches and team leaders to continue going to Honduras. It's a wonderful place to serve God and interact with people with tremendous spiritual and physical needs.

Our team never felt threatened or unsafe. We know we are where God wants us and follow the recommendations of the Hondurans we work with.

Felipe Colby said...

Thanks to both of you, hopefully others will follow your lead!