Counterpart Spotlight: Gracce Llanos

by Alex Lerma Gracce Llanos has been an English teacher at Escuela Normal Superior La Hacienda for the past eight years in Barranquilla, Colombia. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in modern languages with an emphasis in English and Spanish. She is a native of Barranquilla and has demonstrated patience and love for a long … Continue reading Counterpart Spotlight: Gracce Llanos


Counterpart Spotlight: Nancy Elena Granados Barceló

by Barbara Alvarado Nancy Granados is your modern day Super Woman. She is a full-time mother; her son Carlos Mauricio is fifteen and Juan David is twelve. She’s also a wife, a full time teacher at Colegio Mayor de Barranquilla y el Caribe, and she's also my counterpart. I sat down with Mrs. Granados to … Continue reading Counterpart Spotlight: Nancy Elena Granados Barceló

Never Going Home: Peter Macala

by Stacy Johnson Peter Macala, a former CII-4 volunteer, has been continuing his work in Colombia as an English teacher, but this time he’s working in a very well recognized bilingual school in Barranquilla.  When I asked him if he felt a major difference in working in a private school versus public school, his response … Continue reading Never Going Home: Peter Macala

The Mazzino Band: Now and Then

By Rick Grijalva It all began with a conversation I had with Peter when I was fresh off the plane. We were hanging out in Hotel Caribe at a Peace Corps get-together, where boxed wine and the smell of feet circulated around the little crowded room. We were talking about music and I mentioned that … Continue reading The Mazzino Band: Now and Then

A SPA Grant Story

By Thomas Nolan Backstory: For the last year of my service, más o menos, I have focused much of my attention on Fundación Futuros Valores, a home for abandoned, abused, and neglected boys between the ages of four and twenty-three. The majority of the boys struggle with emotional stability and are educated within the foundation by a single … Continue reading A SPA Grant Story

VAC Mini-Grants

By Aara Johnson In May, the Volunteer Action Committee (VAC) had enough money to fund five projects. Unfortunately, one will not happen, so the funds will be returned to the VAC. The VAC sincerely thanks all PCVs and staff for supporting volunteer projects by patronizing the VAC Tienda and purchasing patches and stickers. What follows … Continue reading VAC Mini-Grants

The Oíste Poetry Jam

By Rick Grijalva “When’s the next poetry jam, Rick?” “Hey, man, congratulations, this was awesome.” “You should do this every month!” It all began with an unusual flicker of a daydream. It would be really nice, I thought, to hear writers on the Coast read their poetry and stories for an audience in an intimate … Continue reading The Oíste Poetry Jam

Counterpart Spotlight: Geyhler Vizcaino Molina

By Rick Grijalva Geyhler Vizcaino Molina is a creative and curious Costeña who enjoys spending time with her family, painting, and relaxing with her cat. She teaches English at SENA, holds degrees in International Trade and Business Management, and is currently studying Computer Science. We began working together at SENA four months ago when she … Continue reading Counterpart Spotlight: Geyhler Vizcaino Molina

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

By Aara Johnson In college, I thought the Gender Studies major/minor was unnecessary and only the crazy feminists studied it. I never thought of myself as a feminist, because let’s face it, most people scoff or turn away from the word. In graduate school, I took a course called Gender, Education, and Development. Throughout the … Continue reading Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Displaced Volunteers: A Commitment to Service

By Sammy Quezada Arriving to Barranquilla was an overwhelming experience, so many lights, so many sounds, all the trees painted with various colors, an abundance of people that matched that of a metropolitan area back home, and music played everywhere. I wasn’t sure if this suited me, but having gone through Pre-service Training, and being … Continue reading Displaced Volunteers: A Commitment to Service

The Newest Member of Our Peace Corps Family

By Nereida Angulo Only two weeks after being showered with gifts and lots of love at his baby shower, Miguelangel showed up to the world. He came a month earlier than he was supposed to, but he was so ready to experience firsthand all of the love that he already felt from inside his mommy. … Continue reading The Newest Member of Our Peace Corps Family

Students, Businesspeople and Agencies Network at Inaugural FIT: Feria del Inglés de Trabajo

By Shanna Crumley Peace Corps Colombia’s first FIT business English fair, designed to create a forum for networking between the private and public sectors and to address the utility of English in the workplace, brought together professionals from 16 local and international businesses and organizations and over 1,000 area high school English students and their … Continue reading Students, Businesspeople and Agencies Network at Inaugural FIT: Feria del Inglés de Trabajo

Counterpart Spotlight: Gerardo Gil Peralta

By Thomas Nolan One of the greatest aspects of my service thus far has been my relationship with my counterpart Gerardo Gil Peralta. Gerardo and I first met on October 21, 2013 in the Hotel Charthon at the Counterpart Conference. He has taken a liking to the Peace Corps, and has befriended many of the … Continue reading Counterpart Spotlight: Gerardo Gil Peralta