December 24, 2001 - Peace Works: Costa Rica RPCVs support Peace Works

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By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, December 24, 2001 - 2:52 pm: Edit Post

Costa Rica RPCVs support Peace Works

Read and comment on the story about Costa Rica RPCVs who have created a program to address the need for responsible leadership and global awareness for high school students through the dynamic learning proceesses of volunteerism and cultural immersion at:

Costa Rica RPCVs support Peace Works*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Initiated in June of 1994, Peace Works International (PWI) was designed as an International Youth Service Organization. Filed Articles of Incorporation as a Non-Profit Organization on June 29, 1995 as Obras de Paz (dba. Peace Works International.) Peace Works International was granted tax exempt status under 501 (c) 3 in 1996 as an educational NPO. The original idea of PWI was conceived by Christopher and Heather Kealey and Christopher and Kathleen Bertrand. Together with Randy Haley, they spent two and a half years in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica and learned Spanish through the experiential learning method. The experience of living abroad became an integral part of their lives. So much so, that they returned with the desire to start Peace Works International- a program for young people to become active in volunteer work, to learn Spanish and to discover the people of a developing country. The idea for PWI came from the experiences the founders had in the Peace Corps but Peace Works International is not associated with The United States Peace Corps or the U.S. government.

In July of 1994 the founders of Peace Works International embarked on an investigatory trip to Costa Rica. Previous Peace Corps sites were visited for the initial introduction. The small village of La Perla was chosen for the first trip and was more than cooperative with all aspects of the program. Plans began immediately in California to get teachers and students interested and involved. After extensive campaigning to high schools, PWI departed to Costa Rica in the summer of 1995 and successfully launched it's program. With congregations from 3 area high schools, PWI undertook two 16-day trips. In 1996, a total of 6 high schools sent students with PWI to Costa Rica on three 16-day trips and one 33 day trip. In 1997 we grew to 15 participating Northern and Southern California high schools, 4 trips and 55 students. 1997 also was PWI's first year in the community of Canaan. As with Canaan, all new sites will be chosen on the basis of community participation, organization, and community resources. In 1999 PWI partnered with 3 communities in Costa Rica. We expect over 80 students abroad this year to work on five separate service projects. The year 2000 represented our introduction to Peru as we worked a group of students in the Urubamba region in the Sacred Valley. In the years ahead PWI will be investigating community options in Ecuador and Bolivia.

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