Mollie Zuyus (right), College of Charleston alum, is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I joined the Peace Corps to immerse myself in a community unlike the ones in which I was raised, to broaden my understanding of the world and strengthen my international perspective,” said Zuyus. “I hope to improve my Spanish-speaking skills, while making meaningful connections abroad. I also hope to develop creative problem-solving skills within the agricultural field.”
Zuyus is a graduate of the College of Charleston with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and Spanish. She will serve as a volunteer in Panama in the agriculture sector.
The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development – and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.
Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 56 countries around the world at the request of host country governments, to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures. Volunteers have already returned to a total of 45 countries around the world. The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit. Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong connections should apply to Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply.
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