Posh Corps Shorts Episodes
Sisters Carmelina and Flora Ramos Garcia, both in their late 50s, have been growing some of the world's best coffee in the Western Highlands of Guatemala for over 30 years. But over the last six years, climate change-related impacts including coffee leaf fungus and severe drought have decimated the country's crop, eliminating 500,000 jobs between 2012-2016. The coffee market continues to fall by three percent annually. This dramatic shift has spurred more out-migration of males and youth to the U.S. -- including Flora & Carmelina's children -- leaving them behind to face a new normal.
Lowell Powell served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. He met Mayra Orellana in the tiny village of Santa Elena. Though small and unknown, Santa Elena produces some of the highest quality coffee. In order to help make this coffee more widely available, Lowell and Mayra started an new kind of coffee business. Their company, Catracha Coffee, works with farmers to ship coffee directly to merchants in the United States, and the profits are shared with the farmers.
In November of 2015, singer/songwriter and former Peace Corps volunteer Socorra Camposanto returned to Morocco to perform in seven cities across the country. Socorra's tour mirrored her Peace Corps service as she taught music classes to young Moroccan students and encouraged them to perform publicly.
Mark, a sculptor from Northern California, served in Peace Corps Jamaica. Mark worked in Riverton City, on the outskirts of Kingston Jamaica. Riverton is right at the edge of the rather overloaded Kingston landfill. Mark worked with a group of men who live in Riverton. They collect scrap aluminum from the landfill, melt it down in a homemade furnace, and recast it in molds made of river sand.
Carlia served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica. Like other posh corps countries, Costa Rica struggles with the pace of globalization. Tourism is also a powerful force in the country. Tourism brings Costa Ricans face to face with wealth and luxuries that are far beyond their means.
Ryan served as a Peace Corps volunteer placed in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Ryan's story was featured in the documentary Posh Corps. This episode of Posh Corps Shorts reveals the frustrations, the challenges, and the gritty details of the day to day work of volunteers in the field. Ryan extended her service for a third year in order to create an educational development organization for local youth. Her work is an example of a very successful volunteer/community partnership project.
Maria served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia.
Photography by Beatrice Macias, Alan Toth, and Maria Ranallo.
Photos used with permission from the photographer.
Two volunteers speak about their service in Peace Corps Ukraine.
Andrew served as a Peace Corps volunteer in China
John served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa near the boarder of Swaziland.