Peace Corps Books That Bring the World Home

(Image Credit: Peace Corps)

(Image Credit: Peace Corps)

You’re lookin’ good at 55, Peace Corps! President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps thru an Executive Order on March 1, 1961. He made the announcement to the American people on television. President Kennedy gave the agency an express mission to promote world peace and friendship and to respond to global issues of the times. Since then, over 220,000 Americans have served as part of his moving and important national service legacy.

GPO published the original Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps and the legislation that followed. Now it makes those founding documents available digitally on

In addition, GPO produces several publications that bring the world of Peace Corps home.

A Life Inspired, Tales of Peace Corps Service

056-000-00056-9Discover Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) parables colored with nostalgic descriptions of dusty roads, cups of tea, and long greetings. Cross-cultural moments give insight into communities, work, and daily lives. Preparing food with Guinean women. Planting a garden with a family in Honduras. Sharing Oreos with a little Moldovan girl!

Each vignette shows how person-to-person connections change the world. Beth Genovese (Panama, 2002-2004), writes that her work “wasn’t about directly creating change but rather motivating change in others.” That change is not radical, it’s committed. And it’s not so much as imperceptible as it is immeasurable.

Aside from the host community, a big product of Peace Corps work is the Volunteer. As evident in these tales, PCVs receive so much. And they change. And then they bring that change back with them. As RPCVs, they apply the spirit of service, and live a life inspired, every day.

Peace Corps Perspective: A Look at the People, Places, and Cultures of the First 140 Peace Corps Host Countries from 1964 to 2014

This stylish flipbook showcases the diversity of locales, cultures, and projects served. A forward by Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (Dominican Republic, 2004-2006) emphasizes storytelling in service. You must tell the stories in order to continue the service. And this book certainly does that through a prismatic collection of photos.

056-000-00060-7Each page feels like a little window into a country. The same can be said about Peace Corps service in general. I’m reminded of a notable quote from the former President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, who said, “The Peace Corps opens a window to the world for many people.” When you step through that window, lives and perspectives are changed forever.

On a personal note, as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Uganda, 2010-2013), I consider myself a part of the enduring movement. Joining the Peace Corps was the best decision I’ve ever made. For me, the experience is never too far away. It is, and always will be, an ongoing part of who I am and what I do.

Discover additional Peace Corps publications available through GPO Bookstore:

Crossing Cultures with the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Letters from the Field

Culture Matters: The Peace Corps Cross-Cultural Workbook

Voices from the Field


You can click on the links above in the blog or through any of these methods:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

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