Krysta Jones - Volunteer in Paraguay

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Paraguay: Peace Corps Paraguay: Web Sites for Paraguay RPCVs: Krysta Jones - Volunteer in Paraguay

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 11:39 am: Edit Post

Krysta Jones - Volunteer in Paraguay

Krysta Jones - Volunteer in Paraguay

Krysta Jones - Volunteer in Paraguay

UF Volunteer Profile Notes From The Field - a Peace Corps Volunteer's Latin American Experience PARAGUAY

Volunteer: Krysta Jones Location: Villeta College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Political Science Home of Record: Ft. Walton Beach, FL

Assignment: Municipal Services Devel. Language: Spanish and Guarani Training Period: 12 weeks (Aug. 2000) Working with: City Municipality of Villeta

Krysta making Chipa Guassu (cornbread), a traditional Paraguayan dish.

Q. When did you begin/finish, how long was training, how many in your group? I was sworn in as a volunteer in August of 2000, training was 12 weeks long, and 14 volunteers swore in my group.

Q. Who do you work for? I work for the municipality and the community of Villeta, Paraguay.

Q. What do you do on a daily basis? I usually go to work 3-4 times a week for 5 hours. At my municipality, I am still in the stages of getting to know everyone ( in Peace Corps time, you should wait 6 months before beginning a big project). If I am working on a project, I usually have to deliver letters (no intra city mail system). This is great because I get to know the people. They usually invite me in to talk and have something to drink. If I do not go to the municipality, I may go into the capitol of Asuncion and visit NGOs that I am working with.

I also teach 4 English classes a week for and 1 and a half hour each.

I am also working with a women's group, to beautify their neighborhood with sidewalks and trees. The best thing about this project is that they are taking this into their own hands. Most Paraguayans' still depend on the municipality for this, and these women realize that they have a responsibility to make their own lives better.

Q. What are some of the difficult challenges you have faced? The biggest challenge is the way I am treated an approached by Paraguayans'. Because I am black, they often assume that I am Brazilian, they stare, point and laugh.

Q. Where do you live, how far from work, Peace Corps office, from other volunteers, what are the amenities, utilities like? I live in a small town, and my house is a 15 minute walk from work. The house is a 2 bedroom with running water and electricity, its beautiful! It's about an hour and a half bus ride to the Peace Corps office. The closest volunteer is an hour away.

Q. How do you get around? Either walking or bus.

Q. What do you do for fun? I visit my Paraguayan friends, other volunteers, or stay in the city of Asuncion overnight.

Q. How much do you get paid? About the equivalent of 200 dollars a month.

Q. What's been the best experience so far? I would say helping to start the women's group "Mujeres en Accion" (Women in Action). They are very excited about the fact that they are realizing their goals of neighborhood beautification. They are totally responsible and are not relying on the government!

Q. What's been the worst experience? My worst experience so far has been realizing that beauty as a black woman is not appreciated all over the world. That there are people here that find me scary, ugly, think I am sexually "easy" by one glimpse of me. I know these problems exist all over the world, but in a third world country, its sad to see people take the time to point me out and make comments, when either they or their fellow Paraguayans are living in poverty.

But I use this to my advantage. I take the time to teach a little black history, or dispel myths about blacks in America.

Q. Would you do it again? What would you do different? I would definately do it again. I would not change a thing.

Q. Any advice for UF grad thinking about Peace Corps service... It is a wonderful chance to get to know another culture, the good and the bad. Even if you have already traveled a lot, serving in the Peace Corps in a country allows you to see another side. It truly opens your eyes to the world. You also get to share American culture, along with all of its shortcomings. Some of these people have never even thought of leaving their country, they have never even dared to dream about anything outside of their small town. But being a volunteer takes a lot of strength, you may get stones thrown at you one day, and see the smiles of beautiful children who have realized that it is OK to dream. Peace Corps truly is the "Toughest Job You Will Ever Love".

Q. What are your plans after PC service? I hope to go to grad school and get a Masters in Public Policy. I hope to continue to be involved with grassroots organizing.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: University of Florida

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



By Benjamin Bof ( - on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 11:48 am: Edit Post

Dear Krysta Jones: We are working in Brazil in a Sustainable Development System. We make tools from steel scrap like axes, knives, vise bench and more than a hundred of tools useful in farm and country. The charcoal is made in 200 liter steel drum in three hours. We teach in Theblacksmiths an Yahoo Group how to do it. This project is useful in "Healthy Forest" an initiative of George William Bush for increase a safety against fire in woods.Also we build wood gas generators driving electric generators. The waste heat is used to distill ethanol for agricultural uses fuel. We develop a clean fuel based on ricinus communis leaves for replace E85 in FFV (Flex Fuel Vehicles)

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.