I'm looking for an old peace corps friend - how do I find him?

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By Admin1 (Admin) on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 4:20 pm: Edit Post

I'm looking for an old peace corps friend - how do I find him?

Are you trying to get members of your training group together for a reunion or want to locate some old friends from the peace corps?


We wanted to do the same thing and set out to locate members in our group. We were able to locate over 65% of the 78 members who started peace corps training with us over thirty years ago.

This message contains some of the strategies for finding old peace corps friends that worked for us.

Step 1. Go to the "Directory of RPCVs" topic and search the country and the specific years that the volunteer served.

This is the easiest way but it doesn't work every time because out of the total population of volunteers, not all volunteers have e-mail addresses, not all volunteers are registered, and not all volunteers are listed under the country you knew them in.

BTW, if you can't find your own name on our site and you haven't registered on this site yet under "New Members" then someone you knew 20 years ago may be trying to find you and can't because your name isn't in our database.

Register Now.

Step 2. There are many volunteers who served in two different countries. So if you can't find your friend under the country you knew him in, he may be listed under another country.

To find out, you will have to search the entire web site for his name. Here's how -

Go to the "Utilities" command on the left side of this page and click on it. Then click on the "Search" command on the right side of the page. Type in the name of the person you are looking for in the "Search for:" box. The right side of the page will show the matches.

Step 3. One of the best ways to find someone is to let them find you or to let someone else find them for you.

Leave a message in the Message Center for your Host Country for the person you are looking for.

To increase your chances of success, provide as much of the following information as you can in your message:

- the name of the person you are looking for

- the country they served in

- the years they were there

- what cities they worked in

- what training group they were in

- what kind of work they did

Leave your contact information and ask anyone who may know about the person you are looking for to leave or send you a message.

Here is an example of a message that can get results.

Hi - my name is John Jones and I served in Peru from 1968 to 1970.

I'm looking for a friend I worked with named Harvey Smitt. He and I went through training together in Puerto Rico in the Papa IV group.

He was stationed in Puno working with the Ministry of Agriculture doing agricultural extention work.

Anyone who may have heard from Harvey please leave a message on this board or e-mail me at jjones7492@aol.com


Step 4. If you have competed strategies 1 and 2, and have also posted your message on the board for at least 6 weeks, then, it is time to do a search of the entire web. Here are some hints that helped us find returned volunteers that no one had heard from in 30 years.

Your chances of finding your friend increase geometrically if you have any of the following information:

- his full name including middle name (This should be in your training group directory if you have saved it.)

- where and when he was born

- what college he graduated from

- what his major was in college

-what fraternity (or sorority) he was a member of

- when was the last time you heard from him and what was his address then

- an old e-mail address

- who was he working for the last time you heard from him

-any professional societies he would belong to

Interesting enough, the more uncommon your friend's name, the easier it will be to find him - the problem with having a name like "john smith" is that there are tens of thousands of people with that name nationwide, so it is difficult to narrow it down to the correct one. That's where the information above comes in handy.

I think you get the idea now. Any one of the facts above has a good chance of leading you to your friend. If you have three or four of them, the odds really go up.

Our favorite sites for doing searches are the following:

Google - for general name searches

Deja - for Usenet postings

Anywho - for phone numbers and addresses

Good luck.