April 23, 2001 - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Peruvian President taught in Peace Corps Training Program

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2001: 01 to 07 January to July 2001 Peace Corps Headlines: April 23, 2001 - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Peruvian President taught in Peace Corps Training Program

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, March 23, 2002 - 9:12 pm: Edit Post

Peruvian President taught in Peace Corps Training Program

Read and comment on this story from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo shown in the photo above and his work teaching in a Peace Corps Training Program in the early 1970's at:


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


Caption: Alejandro Toledo laughs with friends at SUNY Brockport in this 1970 photo. Toledo, Peru's presidential front-runner today, taught in the school's now defunct Peace Crops training program that summer.

To the people of Peru, he is the leading candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

To the people who went through State University College at Brockport's Peace Corps program in the summer of 1970, he is the bright, personable language instructor who rose to prominence from one of the poorest areas of South America.

Leading in recent polls, Alejandro Toledo stands a good chance of winning a runoff election to be held in late May of early June.

"Everyone's really excited about it," said Hugh Pickens, a retired engineer in Baltimore who runs a Web site for alumni of Brockport's long defunct Peace Corps program.

Some 150 graduates of the Peace Corps program still keep in contact via e-mail, and have been following Toledo's career from the time he first ran for president five years ago to his current campaign, Pickens said.

They have even chipped in around $1,000 for Toledo's presidential campaign, he said.

Brockport's program trained people in science and math to be Peace Corps volunteers.

"The basic origin was, if the government has ROTC programs because the military needs leadership, why not do the same thing for the Peace Corps," said psychology Assistant Professor Herbert Fink, who was a staffer in the program.

A native Peruvian, Toledo was a language instructor at SUNY Brockport for one summer while attending Stanford University.

Thirty years ago, Pickens had a handful of classes with Toledo.

"I'm not going to say I was a close friend," he said. But he still remembers that several days after a major earthquake hit Peru and Toledo didn't know if any of his family were injured or killed.

"He displayed an incredible composure in the face of tragedy like that," Pickens said.

The Peace Corps program ended at Brockport in the early 1970's.

Toledo, 55, is an Andean Indian from a poor family who became a World Bank economist.

He ran for president a year ago against incumbent Alberto Fujimori in an election that many observers say was rigged in favor of Fujimori.

Fujimori resigned in November amid scandal and accusations of wrongdoing.

Toledo "is one of the most charming, engaging -- terrific skills with humans," Fink said. "(U.S. Secretary of State) Colin Powell is a very good people person. Alejandro was along the same lines - very open, very friendly, extremely likeable."

Toledo had been to his home a couple of times during that summer, Fink said.

"I don't know if after 30 years he would recognize me," he said.

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