I’ve stated a bunch of times on this blog that Peace Corps has three goals:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained Volunteers
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
The first two goals are great but the last one, the one we appropriately call Third Goal, is what this blog is basically all about. Simply put, Third Goaling is sharing the culture of your host country with Americans. Now, Peace Corps was founded in 1961 when computers were still the size of conference rooms so, historically, it has been hard for volunteers to actively pursue Third Goal activities during their service due to lack of communication with the world outside of their sites.
In the past ten years, due to rapid globalization, easy access to internet sauntered onto the scene and began to change the world – including the Peace Corps Volunteer experience. It’s actually quite amazing if you think about it. I’m thousands of miles away from home in the middle of nowhere South America but I’m still able to talk to my friends and family in the States every single day.
And with the advent of the internet, volunteers have started to use the power of blogging and social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram – you name it – to share their experiences and host country cultures with loved ones back home. Recognizing how this technology can be utilized to do amazing Third Goal work, in 2013 Peace Corps started the Blog It Home Contest to encourage volunteers to use their blogs to increase cultural awareness.
Each year since, winning volunteers are invited to Washington, D.C. for one week to promote the Third Goal in a series of intercultural presentations, professional development events, and other activities around the city. And this year, my blog has been chosen as one of the 20 blogs that made it to the final voting round.
On August 11th, Peace Corps will host about a week long Facebook voting round. The scores from the Facebook voting and the scores the judges have given our blogs are then tallied up and the top 8 or 9 are selected to participate in the week long activities in October.
So thank you to anyone who has ever read or supported this blog – If you want to send me to D.C. this October to continue to share Peruvian culture (and to be reunited with my beloved Dunkin Donuts) get ready to vote for me this August.
I’ll be sure to write a reminder post when the voting starts in a couple weeks!