Santa Ana resident Josue Antonio is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was motivated to join the Peace Corps in order to work with different communities and expose myself to novel experiences,” Antonio said. “I hope to develop a new set of skills and am looking forward to experiencing a different way of living.”
Antonio is a 2022 graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in geography. He will serve as a volunteer in Paraguay in the health sector.
The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development – and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.
Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 58 countries around the world at the request of host country governments to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures. Volunteers have already returned to a total of 53 countries around the world. The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit. Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong connections should apply to Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners, and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, the environment, agriculture, community economic development, and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov