March 6, 2004 - New Jersey Online: After joining the Peace Corps, Luke Griffith found himself in a little-known region of Guatemala, working to help build a town

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guatemala: Peace Corps Guatemala: The Peace Corps in Guatemala: March 6, 2004 - New Jersey Online: After joining the Peace Corps, Luke Griffith found himself in a little-known region of Guatemala, working to help build a town

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-13-23.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.13.23) on Monday, March 08, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit Post

After joining the Peace Corps, Luke Griffith found himself in a little-known region of Guatemala, working to help build a town



After joining the Peace Corps, Luke Griffith found himself in a little-known region of Guatemala, working to help build a town

Bringing back a worldly adventure

Saturday, March 06, 2004

By Denise Jewell
djewell@sjnewsco.com

PITMAN -- After joining the Peace Corps, Luke Griffith found himself in a little-known region of Guatemala, working to help build a town.

He didn't speak the language and he didn't know anyone.

"I was the first foreigner to ever be on my site," said Griffith, 27. "So you're really on your own. I remember writing in my journal, 'Wow, How did I get here?'"

For the next two years, the Pitman High School graduate had experiences he never thought possible.

The former Peace Corps volunteer, who now attends law school at Rutgers University-Camden, returned to Pitman last week to tell his story during national Peace Corps week.

Although not the best student in high school, Griffith said he buckled down and worked toward his goals when he got to college. He encouraged the high school students to follow their dreams.

"I just dove in and did this and it was a fantastic thing," Griffith said. "It really opens your eyes up."

Thousands of miles from home and living among people who had never used computers or heard of the borough of Pitman, Griffith helped build a library, teach classes and work on municipal services.

"I think you have to offer yourself in some way," Griffith said.

But sharing his culture and learning from theirs was the core of his experience.

"It was real difficult for me to convey what my life was life," Griffith said. "That I grew up in a town called Pitman and what that was like."

Griffith, who now lives in Collingswood and is hoping to go into the foreign service, urged the students to give back in their own ways.

"This is not something that you have to go abroad to do," Griffith said. "You can do things here at home."




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Story Source: New Jersey Online

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guatemala

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