Peace Corps celebrates 60 years of global volunteerism

Young woman measuring baby held by another woman while third woman watches (Peace Corps)
Peace Corps volunteer Megan Pipe, serving in the health sector, measures a baby in Rwanda in 2018. (Peace Corps)

President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, to promote world peace and friendship with countries around the globe by sending Americans to volunteer their services in developing countries.

Over six decades, it has sent 250,000 volunteers — mostly young Americans — to more than 140 countries around the world.

Line of men seated at desks outdoors watching man and woman standing at table with bowls and jars (Peace Corps)
Peace Corps Rural Aquaculture Promotion volunteers Adam Greenberg and Lianne Bronzo demonstrate how to make fish feed for new fish farmers in Zambia in 2018. (Peace Corps)

Though the Peace Corps suspended its operations and recalled volunteers for the first time in its history in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization plans to put volunteers in the field as soon as mid- to late-2021.

A man and two children crouching over plant as another child stands nearby (Peace Corps)
Volunteer Rick Ranalli works with students on transplanting plants into a garden in Mexico in 2012. (Peace Corps)