Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Reunite in Estes Park

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For over fifty years the Peace Corps has provided volunteers to more than 70 countries around the world. This weekend, returned Peace Corps volunteers who served in the developing country of Honduras from 1962 to 2012 are reuniting to recreate in and, hopefully, stimulate the economy of flood-devastated Estes Park, Colorado.

Around 300 returned volunteers from Honduras have been planning for over a year to meet at the YMCA of the Rockies. From all corners of the continent, Peace Corps volunteers made arrangements to convene in Colorado. When the 500-year flood of September 2013 ravaged the state, the organizing committee was rightfully concerned that the dream of a nationwide Peace Corps reunion would also be washed away. On the heels of the natural disaster, came the government shutdown, which closed Rocky Mountain National Park. Would two such ominous events derail the reunion? “After the fires, floods and devastation that Colorado has endured, we are still volunteers at heart and want to be here to help and have a lot of fun doing it!” reported Leslie Hughes-Lind from Boulder County, Colorado.

Peace Corps volunteers are known to be a hardy group, having endured living conditions that vary from a simple mud home to a dwelling in the barrio, with potentially no electricity or running water. Despite closed highways and water damaged roads which threatened to slow down the arrival to Estes Park, Returned Peace Corps volunteers who have previously traveled unpaved roads through mud and muck were still willing to make the trek.

The esprit de corps that called Peace Corps volunteers to serve in a foreign land contributes to the current desire for adventure and potential service in this recent disaster area. Although the reunion this weekend in Estes Park is a two-day event, volunteers are actively investigating opportunities to serve in the community while reconnecting with friends they may not have seen in many decades. “Being a Peace Corps volunteer is not necessarily ‘mainstream’," said Jon Lind, one of the reunion organizers, “It’s people looking for something different who want to make a difference---either abroad or here at home”. This weekend brings the hope of contributing to a community that needs rebuilding and rejuvenation here at home.

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Jon Lind
RPCV Honduras/Colorado Reunion
+1 303.917.9138
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Leslie Hughes-Lind
RPCV Honduras/Colorado Reunion
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