May 1, 2013

Peace Corps Volunteers over 50

The Peace Corps has been a part of America for almost 50 years. Its volunteers span all ages, and it has a program specifically geared toward volunteers over 50.

Currently, more than 8000 Americans are serving as Peace Corps volunteers. About six percent of the current volunteers in the field are age 50 or older.

Lillian Carter, former President Carter’s mother, is the Peace Corps’ most notable age 50+ volunteer. At 68 years old, she served in India from 1966 to 1968 as a health volunteer. You can read more about Carter's time in the Peace Corps in her book "Away from Home: Letters to My Family". Arthur Goodfriend remains the oldest serving volunteer in the history of the Peace Corps. He was 73 when he completed his service in The Philippines (1979-1981), and 86 years old when he finished his second tour in Hungary (1991-1994) as an education volunteer.

Older Americans can serve almost anywhere their qualifications meet the needs of the host country. Last year, volunteers over age 50 served in 67 of the 74 Peace Corps countries. The programs hosting the most 50+ volunteers are (in order): Ukraine, South Africa, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Philippines. “The 50+ population represents a tremendous opportunity for the Peace Corps,” according to Peace Corps Director and former volunteer, Ron Tschetter. “The 50+ volunteers bring a lifetime of experience.”

Still Asking What You Can Do for Your Country?

A 50+ Couple Volunteers with the Peace Corps
to Teach English in the Kyrgyz

The Peace Corps Volunteer Experience
with a 50+ Couple in Ecuador

50+ Peace Corps Volunteers Teach
AIDS Awareness in South Africa