VAC Minigrant Spotlight

Nakita Naik is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia - Peace Corps Colombia’s Volunteer Advisory Council (VAC) offers a mini-grant worth 50 thousand Colombian Pesos (~15 USD) each month to which any Volunteer can apply to support a project. September’s winning applicant was CED volunteer Nakita Naik. Her … Continue reading VAC Minigrant Spotlight


Staff Spotlight: Country Director Geralyn Sheehan

Country Director Geralyn Sheehan and daughter

Oíste's copyeditor Barbara Lewton Beach recently interviewed our Country Director, Geralyn Sheehan. -   Geralyn loves her job. “How fun is this?” she said, back in February when I had the opportunity to interview Geralyn Sheehan our Country Director in Peace Corps Colombia.  She comes through with her unbridled enthusiasm for her job, her love … Continue reading Staff Spotlight: Country Director Geralyn Sheehan

Grateful for Jo Anne

Michelle and Jo Anne with mural

When asked what I am thankful about in my service, one of my first thoughts goes to my site mate, whom I was lucky enough to overlap with for five months. Jo Anne Cohn is a whirlwind of energy, friendliness, and positivity. She introduced me to San Jacinto and many amazing people and friends in … Continue reading Grateful for Jo Anne

Staff Spotlight: Oscar Mejia Gallego

Palm trees in sun

Editor’s note: Oscar will be leaving Peace Corps Colombia on November 25, 2016, after six years as our Training Manager. Everyday from Monday to Friday, I go off at 4:30 am for a one-hour walk. The first thing I do after leaving my apartment is thank God for everything I have and do. This is … Continue reading Staff Spotlight: Oscar Mejia Gallego

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Lindsay Copelly-Lerma

by Barbara Alvarado When the Oíste content editor asked me to drop my current story (but really his) to interview Mrs. Lindsay Lerma for our up-coming issue I was thrilled! You mean you want me to stop research on the “Perennial Shrubs: the Marvelous and Wondrous life of Yucca” story? You want me to interview … Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Lindsay Copelly-Lerma

Host Family Spotlight: Zulmira Cabrera

by Trevor Johnson For those who ever had the pleasure of coming to my house during pre-service training, you know the love of Zulmira. She was my host mom during training, but continues to be my host mom every day.  We whatsapp almost daily and I’ve visited her several times since we have moved to … Continue reading Host Family Spotlight: Zulmira Cabrera

Staff Spotlight: Johan Villafañe Torres

by Kathleen Rodriguez This month’s office MVP award goes to Johan. He’s our beloved driver, package deliverer, and passport specialist (and those are just his official duties). Johan is siempre a la orden and always attends us with a smile and good conversation. We’re quite sure Peace Corps operations would not function effectively without him. … Continue reading Staff Spotlight: Johan Villafañe Torres

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Casey Keating

by Christopher Gordon Casey Keating is a dedicated volunteer who is enthusiastic about her community, host family, and volunteer service projects. She has continued the work of CII-3 volunteer Taylor Ramsey by working alongside the Wiwa community in both English and community projects. She has volunteered in a number of camps, and is always there … Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Casey Keating

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

From the Cornfields to the Coast; Volunteer Spotlight-Michael Owen

By Jessi Atha When Oíste asked me to write a volunteer spotlight on Michael Owen, I figured I wouldn’t even have to interview him. The man is so open and outgoing, not to mention I thought I knew all there was to know about him, since he is my site mate. I realized there is … Continue reading From the Cornfields to the Coast; Volunteer Spotlight-Michael Owen

Counterpart Spotlight: Eika de la Rosa Meza

by Alex Reed I first met Eika in November 2014. It was my first time attending a community meeting. I remember sitting in amazement as a young, feisty, passionate, under 5' tall girl was rapid firing her suggestions to the leaders of the community. I soon found out that Eika de la Rosa Meza WAS a … Continue reading Counterpart Spotlight: Eika de la Rosa Meza

Staff Spotlight: Marggie Borda

By Barbara Alvarado She keeps us laughing and on check. It’s time to learn a little bit more about one of our favorite office staff members. What is your full name? Marggie Borda Villanueva. Where were you born and raised? Barranquilla. Where did you go to college and what did you study? I went to … Continue reading Staff Spotlight: Marggie Borda