Talk About Paid Vacations!

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Criticism of the Peace Corps: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Criticism: January 16, 2006: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Criticism: Black Issues: Humor: Wall Street Journal: Peter Rice says: My view of the Peace Corps is that it is really just a U.S. government program for paid vacations in the Third World : Talk About Paid Vacations!

By Maggie McQuaid ( - on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 12:23 am: Edit Post

Exactly how much did someone like Peter Rice earn in his embassy job(s)? What were his qualifications, and what exactly did he do? Did our country get good value from his service? I saw something of embassy life in the Philippines when I was a child. My father was an Air Force officer there in the 50's. When we left our privileged enclave on the base, we would drive directly to the embassy compound in Manila. I remember servants (lots of them), armed guards, and a life totally removed from the realities of the lives experienced by the Filipino people. It was this memory of the vast remove which made me resolve to join the Peace Corps 20 years later.

I think one of the larger goals of the Peace Corps, when it was founded, was to get Americans out of the bases and compounds, and into the realities of the Third World. Every volunteer who has been through that experience comes back to America changed.

Mr. Rice not only fails to grasp the facts of the costs of Peace Corps service (ten thousand dollars a year, my ass) but also has no clue as to the value.

Maggie McQuaid, Honduras 1976-1978

By Del Johnson ( - on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 12:21 am: Edit Post

Perhaps we should have been selling arms to prove our worth? Land mine sales could have easily paid for our vacation.

How did Mr. Rice prove his worth?

By Dores Jay-Pang ( on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 10:03 am: Edit Post

"Paid vacations"!
My husband is a former PCV. The quality work he did in my country (Colombia) is something our government (US) will not be able to develop and implement with a PCV budget, countless the human sacrifice. It would be interesting to send some of our top decision-makers to work in any poor country on the third world, with a salary of or less than $100USD/month, a schedule of more than 40 hours a week, to organize and mobilize communities, be a researcher, collect and study data, prepare publications, live in under-developed housing without water, sewer, electricity (no A/C, no refrigeration), no fresh food or milk, lots of mosquitoes and other house and jungle pests and rodents, poor healthcare…etc., and “observe” how they will enjoy their vacationing in the third world.
My respects and hats off to most of the PCV.

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