History of Peace Corps in Brazil

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Brazil: Peace Corps Brazil: The Peace Corps in Brazil: History of Peace Corps in Brazil

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 2:38 pm: Edit Post

History of Peace Corps in Brazil

History of Peace Corps in Brazil

According to the Peace Corps data, approximately 4,200 volunteers served in Brazil during 1962-80. During the 1960s, there were as many as 500 or more volunteers each year in Brazil, many of these in large rural or urban community development (CD) programs. Many of the early volunteers were young, BA generalists who were placed in large programs without adequate training or job support, and did not complete a full two year term. The slogan for those who did complete their work in Brazil was "flexibilidade e jeito" in being creative and self reliant in doing their community development work.

By the early 1970s, the number of volunteers in Brazil slipped to 300 or so annually, and more volunteers were placed in smaller programs or more specific jobs rather than the earlier large groups of B.A. generalists in poorly supported rural or urban CD programs. There was some attempt to bring in more technically specialized volunteers. However, by the mid 70s, there were fewer than 200 volunteers in Brazil, and many of these were in Northeast and North.

Beginning around 1977-78, the Brazilian military governmentís displeasure with the U.S. anti-nuclear proliferation treaty and criticism of Brazilís human rights policies (under President Jimmy Carterís human rights policy) contributed to Brazilís ending of Peace Corpsí presence.

Phil Lopes (the last PC Country Director from 1978-80) wrote in the March 1991 Friends of Brazil newsletter how Brazilís foreign ministry simply stopped issuing visas to trainees until no volunteers were left. Peace Corps was one of the few bilateral Brazilian-U.S. programs remaining in those years, and Brasilia could show its displeasure with the U.S. Government, particularly as the Peace Corps was then trying to model itself as a "junior AID," closely allied to the State Department policy. The bilateral agreement for PC then required Brasilia/Itamaraty to approve and micromanage every PC project and every trainee, something not done in the 1960s and early 1970s. While local or regional Brazilian organizations generally had high regard for volunteers, this support did not extend to Itamaraty which ended PC in Brazil.

It might also be pointed out that about this time German and other European Peace Corps type volunteers had become embroiled in a controversy over the Brazilian Governmentís treatment of Native American (Indian) land and human rights in the Amazonas region. There appeared to be an effort of the Brazilian Government to remove all foreign volunteers from areas where this would bring unfavorable foreign news reports.

By Tom OLeary on Monday, January 20, 2003 - 8:35 pm: Edit Post

Amigos, mil gracias por haber prestado ojo a este
mensaje! For a number of years I've been trying to
re-find a dear old friend of mine, one Hubert Smith (wife, Judy); he was a field rep in Brazil
late 60s/very early 70s. Hugh and I were farflung
rural a.c. volunteers/Colombia/65-67. Last laid eyes on each other late 70's; latest corresp. late
80s; last effort mine, late 90s, letter returned,
addressee unknown. Sure would like to swap words
wirh ol' Hubert again; many thanks for any help!

By Kristen Krintz on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 4:45 pm: Edit Post


Both of my parents, Jerome "Jerry" Krintz and Mary Ann (Dabey) Krintz were in Brazil (Sao Paulo area) with the Peace Corps in the mid 60s. I'm interested in finding any of their fellow volunteers that might know some stories about them from that time. I know this is a long shot, but worth a try.

Kristen Krintz

By Rebecca B on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 2:37 pm: Edit Post

I will be a college graduate this May and im interested in doing Peace Corps type work in Brazil for a year. Any suggestions of other organizations I can go to in order to facilitate this?


By Anonymous on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 11:39 am: Edit Post

There are alot of organizations with less than one year service. If you have to pay for anything avoid the program. Look under USAID Bazil and there are some good programs such as ACDI/VOCA. Peace Corps has a program called Special Operations, which is less than a year. Where you work or volunteer also depends on your background and where you would like to specialize.

Good Luck

By Anthony Villias (dialup- - on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 1:01 pm: Edit Post

I am currently involved with Amircorps, kind of a peace corps for the U.S.
I have been very interested in volunteering in Brazil for quite some time, I just don't know how to get started. Any help, ideas or information would be sooo helpful. Thank you-Anthony Villias

By Domicio Arruda Camara Sobrinho (corsair.digi.com.br - on Sunday, March 07, 2004 - 3:42 pm: Edit Post

Looking for returnees who were in Brazil, northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte in the 70,s.
Anyone who stayed in Nova Cruz?

By Peggy Gray ( on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 7:42 pm: Edit Post

I was in Nova Cruz from November 1972 to February 1974. My name is Peggy Gray. Christina, whose last name I don't remember, was the volunteer before me.

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