In case you haven't heard, the Peace Corps is pulling its volunteers out of Honduras and freezing new volunteers to El Salvador and Guatemala. It's a sad day indeed.
Kristina Edmunson, a Peace Corps spokeswoman in Washington, said the moves stemmed from “comprehensive safety and security concerns” rather than any specific threat or incident.
However, a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras was recently shot in the leg during a botched bus assault. I also heard that several PCVs in Guatemala were robbed on a bus about two weeks ago. The violence does not appear to yet have targeted PCVs, but they continue to be caught up in the violence that affects the Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran people daily.
I said on Twitter that they should send the volunteers to Nicaragua. I wasn't really joking. It's a beautiful country. The volunteers could learn a lot and the people of Nicaragua could use the help. It's still in Central America. And it's a lot safer.
The other destination is Colombia where the Peace Corps reopened in 2010 after a twenty-nine year absence. There aren't that many PCVs serving in Colombia yet but the country should be able to handle more than the 20 or so that are currently placed.
I sincerely hope that the Peace Corps does not pull out of El Salvador and Guatemala as I fear a return to the region will be a long time in the making.