Category Archives: Friends of Colombia

William Dennis Grubb in Colombia

Place of Service: Zipacón

Service Type: Community Development

Dates in Service: 1961-1963

Keywords: Business, Community Development

Accession Date: January 14, 2022

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 1.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Publications
  • Film/Video
  • Sound

Related Items in Other Repositories:

JFK Library: Peace Corps, 1962: January-March subcollection- see scans 36-38, 60-61 for an advertisement featuring Grubb, a report on an administration trip to Colombia, and a letter about Grubb from Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps Director, to Gordon Tullock, a University of Virginia professor

Finding Aid:

Box 1

  1. Documents
    1. Documents, 1961-July 1963, undated
    2. Documents, August 1963-1970
    3. Documents and Photos on National Politics, c. 1978-1984
    4. Documents and Similar Materials, 1981-1986
    5. Documents and Similar Materials, 1988-1990, undated
    6. Documents, 2008-October 2010, undated
    7. Documents, c. November 2010-2018
    8. Documents from Grubb’s passing and funeral, 2021
    9. Graduate Projects, 1966-1969
    10. Stamps, Money, and Envelope, undated
  2. Newspaper Articles
    1. Newspaper Articles and Photos, 1961
    2. Newspaper Articles, 1962-1964
    3. Newspapers, 1983-1984
    4. “After the Yankees Left For Home,” article, September 29, 1986
    5. Oversized Articles, c. 1961-1969 [in oversized collections]
  3.  Photos
    1. Photos, c. 1961-1963
    2. Photos, c. 1960s
    3. Photos, c. 1980s
    4. Large Photos, c. 1961-1963
    5. Filmstrips and Related Photos, c. 1960s
  4. Publications
    1. Making a Difference: The Peace Corps at 25, autographed by Loret Miller Ruppe, Peace Corps Director, 1981-1989
    2. Portrait of a Peace Corps Gringo by Paul Arfin, autographed by Arfin, 2009
    3. New York City and Bogotá Maps, 1971, 2007
    4. Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Poster [in oversized collections)
  5. Audiovisual (Box 2)
    1. DVDs/ CDs
      1. American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver, 2008
      2. School at Ricon Santo, undated
    2. Miniature tape labeled “TV,” undated
    3. 6 film reels
  6. Other
    1. Peace Corps Colombia button, c. 2010s


Darrel Young in Colombia

Place of Service: San Pablo

Service Type: Community Development

Dates in Service: 1961-1963

Keywords: Community Development

Accession Date: December 17, 2015; October 15, 2022

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 0.1 linear feet (located in Friends of Colombia, Box 50)


Document Types

  • Publications


Finding Aid:

  • “Peace Corps Random Writings/Designs,” 2015
  • “Peace Corps Random Writings/Designs,” 2022 update


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Third Goal

The Peace Corps has always operated with a three-point goal in mind: serve host countries, introduce host countries to Americans, and to help Americans better understand non-Americans. [1] Peace Corps Volunteers do not stop fulfilling this third goal when they finish their service. One of the ways that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) have accomplished this goal is by establishing organizations that work to help their country of service.

The American University Archives features materials from these organizations, whether donated by a Volunteer or the organization itself. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers often founded these associations in the final decades of the twentieth century. Many have the title “Friends of [Country of Service].” These groups provide a way for members who served together or in the same country to keep in touch. However, they also have a central focus on providing resources to and keeping American attention on their country of service. As such, they continue to fulfill the third goal of the Peace Corps.

This flyer shows how the Friends of Costa Rica Organization clearly thought of themselves as fulfilling the Peace Corps’ third goal and wanted other RPCVs to do the same. Friends of Costa Rica, “Third Goal Forum!” 1996, American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

The Peace Corps Community Archive has materials from organizations for RPCVS from five countries: Colombia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. A former fellow has written an amazing post about materials from the Friends of Nigeria, but the other four groups’ collections are also fascinating. Of especial note is the Friends of Colombia, which has been donating material since before the Peace Corps Community Archive began. The archive now has several decades of the organization’s materials, as well as the collections of dozens of Colombia RPCVs. These boxes are filled with stories, such as the organization’s founding, Colombian RPCV reunions, and donations and events that the group facilitated to help Colombians. However, Friends of Colombia has also worked to make a wider circle of Americans become more familiar with Colombians, such as through their participation in President Clinton’s 1992 inaugural parade. [2]

The founders of the Friends of Colombia in the living room where they started the organization. Photo undated, circa 2000. American University, Washington D.C.

While the archives does not have as much material from the Friends of the Dominican Republic, Ghana, or Kenya, these collections are still incredibly interesting. The Friends of Ghana organization has donated materials including meeting notes, newsletters, and the donation information. Members of the Friends of the Dominican Republic donated materials from their time assisting the organization (a list of members and related blog posts can be found here). Robert Scully donated materials from the Friends of Kenya. These groups also helped to facilitate connections between RCPVs, the country in which they served, and other Americans. For example, Robert Scully’s collection features Friends of Kenya materials from the 1990s and early 2000s, when he served on the organization’s board. During his tenure, the group donated to causes such as fighting polio in Kenya. Similar to Friends of Colombia, the group also interacted with Kenyans at the highest levels of government. This included the Kenyan ambassador to the United States, as seen below.

This is Robert Scully’s invitation to the thirty-third anniversary celebration of Kenya’s independence, courtesy of the Kenyan ambassador to the United States. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

All of these organizations have also continued to carry out the Peace Corps’ third goal. The Peace Corps Community Archive has information on dozens of charitable projects that these five organizations alone have assisted. As shown above, these groups frequently have a great deal of influence due to their ties to the Peace Corps and former country of service. Meetings with ambassadors or other high-ranking officials from their countries of service, such as Scully’s, are not uncommon. Such work has made it more likely that other Americans will learn about their countries of service. These groups have all helped Americans, whether or not they are RPCVs, better understand non-Americans, therefore fulfilling a key Peace Corps purpose.





[1]”2020 Fact Sheet,” Peace Corps, December 2019,

[2] “Friends of Colombia (FOC) Activities,” c. 1996. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.