Integration Through a Shared Love

Isaac Ehlers is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. - I remember being in first grade, eager to get to school early so I could spend time with my first love.  It was the beginning of a budding relationship that would influence the rest of my life. As I … Continue reading Integration Through a Shared Love

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How to be costeño

Andrew with his family and softball team

Andrew Koch is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Magdalena, Colombia. -   “In the Peace Corps you will become a human being instead of a human doer” The above was one piece of advice I received from an RPCV right after I accepted the invite to serve. In my past … Continue reading How to be costeño

How to Dress Professional, Fashionable, AND Comfortable on the Colombian Coast

Alexandra Tracy Chavarriaga is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in La Guajira, Colombia. -   There is no doubt that the first piece of important information a Peace Corps Colombia volunteer will tell potential trainees is that the Colombian Coast is HOT HOT HOT. I still remember the video of … Continue reading How to Dress Professional, Fashionable, AND Comfortable on the Colombian Coast

The Identity Dilemma: Experiencing Multiculturalism in the US and Colombia

Alyssa is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. -   From a conversation with a friend who has just seen me in a shirt that says “100% California”: Friend: You should get a shirt that says 50% California, 50% Chinese. Me: Well, actually the Chinese side has been in … Continue reading The Identity Dilemma: Experiencing Multiculturalism in the US and Colombia

Life As a Queer Volunteer

José is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -   Before coming to Colombia, I didn’t think I would have much culture shock. After all, I’m of Latino origins, I speak Spanish at home, and I’ve lived in Mexico and Chile. However, I was wrong.  The move came with … Continue reading Life As a Queer Volunteer

Spot the Americans In This Picture

Karen is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in veredas in Magdalena, Colombia. -\   I've had a great time showing off my family to curious friends, neighbors, students and coworkers.  For them, meeting one Hispanic-American volunteer was shocking enough -- realizing she comes from an entire family of racially ambiguous people has … Continue reading Spot the Americans In This Picture

What PC Service is like as a Costeña-Americana

Dezi is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. - When I submitted my application to serve in the Peace Corps my expectation was to be placed in any Community Economic Development (CED) sector in Africa or Eastern Europe. When the Peace Corps invited me to the Caribbean Coast … Continue reading What PC Service is like as a Costeña-Americana

La Gringa con la Cara de Asia

Angell

Angell is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in veredas in Magdalena, Colombia. -   -“Japonesa?” -“No.” -“China?” -“Tampoco.” -(And if we are really good at guessing…) “Coreana?” *Umm, you forgot the Americana part, señor. Then, we proceed to the next level of some of my favorite questions… -“De dónde eres?” -“Soy de … Continue reading La Gringa con la Cara de Asia

Gringa Postiza

Daniella is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. -   When I think of diversity in the Peace Corps and my experience serving in Colombia as a first generation Latina I automatically reflect on my own identity. Growing up in Los Angeles with immigrant parents from El Salvador, … Continue reading Gringa Postiza

Being Fat in a Beauty Pageant Culture

Carrie is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -   “You are getting fat, Carrie,” my host mom says to me as I sit down outside with my afternoon cup of coffee. “You were getting thin but now you’re getting fat again.” It shocks me because, while … Continue reading Being Fat in a Beauty Pageant Culture

Afro-Colombian Dances at Semana Santa Celebration

Alexandra is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in La Guajira, Colombia. -   https://youtu.be/qxzFpgyGT4k Girls between the ages of 6 and 12 performed with Afro-Colombian pride during this past spring break celebration in Dibulla, La Guajira. The older girls performed a remix of three songs they chose: a song by … Continue reading Afro-Colombian Dances at Semana Santa Celebration

A Gringo-Latino in Colombia

Samuel is a Practical English for Success volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -\   One of the things I most appreciate about being from California is the diversity I have been exposed to my entire life. I grew up interacting with people of all backgrounds and cultures.  I had friends who were … Continue reading A Gringo-Latino in Colombia

Manzanillo del Mar Photo Camp

Pictures from the photo camp

Alyssa lives in a vereda (incorporated community) of Cartagena in the department of Bolivar, as a Practical English for Success volunteer. -   A few months ago, I did a photo camp with some of my students. The purpose of the camp was to allow students (ages 7-13) to express themselves artistically while also learning … Continue reading Manzanillo del Mar Photo Camp

Dibulla Pre-Carnavales – “Nueva Generación” Dance Youth

Ale with her group of Carnaval dancers

Alexandra lives in the department of La Guajira, as a Community Economic Development volunteer. -   I have been dancing with young ladies from my community since the very beginning of January. Once school started in early February, they stopped coming to my class because they had to prepare for their grade-specific Carnaval dance presentations at … Continue reading Dibulla Pre-Carnavales – “Nueva Generación” Dance Youth