What is the Peace Corps?

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The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship.

Since that time, more than 187,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have been invited by 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.

Today's Peace Corps is more vital than ever, working in emerging and essential areas such as information technology and business development, and committing more than 1,000 new Volunteers as a part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Peace Corps Volunteers continue to help countless individuals who want to build a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities.

Learn about the Peace Corps' three goals.

Fast Facts
Statistics, facts, figures and other Peace Corps information.

In-depth information about the countries in which Volunteers serve.

Learn more about the individuals and institutions supporting Volunteers around the world.

Notable Former Volunteers
Find out what Chris Matthews, Reed Hastings, and Paul Theroux have in common.

Peace Corps Today
As needs around the world change, so does the Peace Corps.

Books on the Peace Corps
A list of books about the Peace Corps experience, many written by returned Volunteers.

External Links

What is the Peace Corps? Official US Peace Corps Website