Category Archives: Philippines

Peace Corps Celebrates Halloween and Local Festivals

While Americans celebrate Halloween with crazy costumes, haunted houses, and trick-or-treating, people all over the world have been observing a variety of festivals. Peace Corps Volunteers, as temporary residents of various nations around the world, experience these celebrations.

Volunteers have one of three experiences:

1) They don’t celebrate at all.
Halloween is sometimes an easy holiday to overlook so either the volunteer forgets, they are too busy to celebrate, or there are just no celebrations. Bobbe Seibert, who served in Honduras, notes that she just carried on with her day.

Bobbe Seibert, Honduras, 2000. “Tuesday Oct 31 Halloween – not that anyone noticed here. I think tomorrow is day of the dead here too but am not sure. Up at 6:30 – swept & washed up 7:30 at the corredor.

2) They celebrate local festivals.
Claire Pettengill notes in a letter home that she was given a holiday to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, the “sheep-killing” holiday, which honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son at God’s command. She also had some time off for a Moroccan national holiday.

Claire Pettengill, Morocco, ’78-’80. “We get a long vacation for the sheep-killing holiday — 7 days beginning Oct. 30. I’m going to Berkane to see my adopted family for one day, then probably will head south to Marrakech with Amy. Haven’t had much time to travel.”

Claire Pettengill, Morocco, ’78-’80. “We have Monday off because of a national holiday (La Marche Verte–when Spain, in cooperation with Algeria, returned the Spanish Sahara to Moroccan control, in 1970-something, there was a huge peaceful march to that area, which is one of the biggest patriotic holidays each year) and Amy has gone to Taza, a Moroccan town.”

Both Winifred Boge in India and Al & Anne Briggs in Malaysia celebrated the Hindu Festival of Deepavali (Diwali). Also called the Festival of Lights it “spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair,” where people light and place candles all over their home, as Winifred mentions in her letter.

Winifred Boge, India, ’65’67. “Speaking of Christmas – Halloween passed with nary our indication of such – but week before we had Deepavali with candles outside.”

Al & Anne Briggs, Malaysia, ’64’66. “Today we had a holiday for the Hindu festival of Deepavali, but of much more importance to us, of course, are the elections at home. You will be voting while we are asleep.”

3) They celebrate American traditions.
Even though volunteers are far away from home, they are still able to share American customs with their communities.
Margaret Fiedler had a party with her students in Guatemala where she served from 1985-87. She introduced them to bobbing for apples.

That’s Chavez in the tree – in the other end of the rope is another boy – they jerk the rope so the kids can’t break the pinata right away. Notice the girl blindfolded with the big stick – it really gets exciting – the kids can’t wait to pounce on the candy as it spills out.

Lynda Smith-Nehr and fellow volunteers dressed up in costumes while they were in the Philippines.

Lynda Smith-Nehr, Philippines, 1962-1964. “Halloween, Lorrie & me.”

Lynda Smith-Nehr, Philippines, 1962-1964. “Halloween, Mrs. Pamplona.”

Halloween may not be an international holiday, but there are many different ways that people all over the world celebrate this time of year.

 

 

Lynda Smith-Nehr in the Philippines

Country of Service: Philippines
Service Type: Education
Dates in Service: 1962-1964
Keywords: Davao, Mt. Apo, Surigao del Norte, Bagui

Accession Date: October 10, 2017
Access: No restrictions
Collection size: 1.0 linear feet

Document Types

  • 35mm picture slides

Finding Aid

  1. Slides – Davao, 1963 (1 of 3)
  2. Slides – Davao, 1963 (2 of 3)
  3. Slides – Davao, 1964 (3 of 3)
  4. Slides – Surigao del Norte (1 of 2)
  5. Slides – Surigao del Norte, 1964 (2 of 2)
  6. Speech Slides, 1963
  7. Slides – Baguio-Banaue
  8. Slides – Manila-Corregidor-Central Luzon
  9. Slides – Miscellaneous, 1962-1963
  10. Slides – Vacations, 1963
  11. Slides – Miscellaneous, 1963-1964
  12. Slides – Miscellaneous
  13. Slides – Pre/Post Peace Corps Travel – Brussels, Denmark, Sweden
  14. Slides – Pre Peace Corps Vacations – Italy, Brussels, France
  15. Slides – Post Peace Corps Travel – India, Egypt
  16. Slides – Post Peace Corps Travel – Egypt, Palestine
  17. Slides – Post Peace Corps – England
  18. Slides – Post Peace Corps – Switzerland
  19. Slides – Post Peace Corps Travel – DC, New York
  20. Slides – Miscellaneous, Post Peace Corps Travel – Greece
  21. Slides – Miscellaneous, Post Peace Corps Travel – Japan
  22. Slides – Family, Post Peace Corps
  23. Slides – Italian Artwork

Photographing the Firsts: Maureen Carroll in the Philippines

 

Maureen Carroll served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to the Philippines from 1961-1963. Carroll served as an English Teacher in Castilla, Philippines. Carroll previously worked for AT&T, who paid H.A. Figueras of Black Star Photography to come to her town in the Philippines and follow her around for a day to capture every angle of her life there.  The photos show her housing, her transportation, in the classroom, in the market, at church, at the beach, and around town.

 

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Carroll lived in Castilla with three other PCV roommates in the home pictured above on the left. The home had a tin roof and was raised on poles above the ground. There were three rooms, a sala or living room with a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.

 

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Pictured here is the community library Carroll and her roommates fashioned out of the former store attached to their home.

 

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Carroll and other Volunteers regularly used the local bus which also transported neighbors and their animals. Pictured here, Carroll and another PCV wait for the bus to arrive.

 

pcca_carroll_0004Maureen Carroll lived with three other roommates, Gloria Paulik, Hope Gould, and Anne Wilson. Here, Carroll and her roommates enjoy lunch in their living room.

 

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Pictured here, Carroll prepares her English lessons for her students. She co-taught with local teachers across multiple classrooms at Milagrosa Elementary School.

 

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Carroll and her fellow PCVs taught local Filipino students both English and Science.

 

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Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines purchased provisions from the local businesses. Carroll purchased rice from the market and canned corned beef, candles, soap, salt, and other small sundries from the sari-sari stores.

 

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Like other PCVs, Carroll’s connection to family and friends back in the United States came in the form of mail. Pictured here, Carroll checks with the local mailman for her letters.

 

For more information on Maureen Carroll’s service, read her article “Not For Girls like You: A Jersey Girl’s Journey,” in Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

 

For more information, please visit the Peace Corps Community Archive website. To use the collections or make a donation, please contact the AU Archives at archives [at] american.edu.

Maureen Carroll in the Philippines

Country of Service: Philippines
Service Type: Education
Dates in Service: 1961-1963
Keywords: Castilla, Sorsogon

Accession Date: October 28, 2016
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Photographs
  • Correspondence
  • Publications
  • Reports
  • Memoir
    • “Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines”

Finding Aid

  1. Ugaling Pilipino 
    1. “An Introduction to Filipino Thought and Action” 
  2. Should you eat rice? Compilation of Reports & Letters of PCVs in the Philippines  
    1. A compilation of Materials Written by and excerpted from Reports and Letters of Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines 
  3. Peace Corps Paperwork 
  4. Photographs 
  5. Publications & Newspaper Clippings 
    1. About the beginning years of the Peace Corps 
  6. Correspondence 

Waterways and Local Communities

Marines Fisheries photo jpg

“Marine Fisheries Trainees Doing Artificial Reef Construction,” Avram Primack, Peace Corps Community Archive

Avram Primack served his time in the Peace Corps (1987-1989) in the Philippines working with marine fisheries. One of the goals of the Peace Corps is to “to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.” For many Filipinos, fishing is a major source of both nourishment and trade. Coastal Resources Management Volunteers continue to support the Filipino communities by creating eco-friendly environments that provide food and revenue for local fishermen.

One of the methods employed by Peace Corps volunteers is the construction of artificial reefs. The practice of artificial reef construction is thousands of years old. Recently, such reefs have been used to create semi-permanent habitats for fish as well as preventing erosion of crucial shorelines. These reefs give local communities the environmental support they need for economic development, which is especially crucial in the islands of the Philippines.

Between 1973 and 1975, Jonathan Green served in the Kanchanaburi Province of Thailand assisting with malaria control. While in Thailand, Green observed how communities use rivers to transport goods and materials. During the rainy season, roads become impassable quagmires. Rivers are thus the primary means of transportation and communication when there are no asphalt roads in the area.

Service in the Peace Corps gives volunteers the opportunity not only to assist local development, but to gain new appreciation for the environment and how other cultures live side by side with various environmental concerns.

People are loading bamboo in barges, presumably to take down the river to sell in the big cities, Jonathan Green, American University Peace Corps Community Archive

“People are loading bamboo in barges, presumably to take down the river to sell in the big cities”, Jonathan Green, American University Peace Corps Community Archive. In other countries such as Thailand, Peace Corps volunteers observe how crucial waterways are in the economy of local communities.

 

 

 

 

Avram Primack in the Philippines

Avram Primack

Country of Service: Philippines
Place of Service: Negros Oriental
Service Type: Marine Fisheries
Dates in Service: 1987-1989
Keywords: Agriculture, Environment

Accession Date: July 9, 2014
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 1 item

Document Types and Finding Aid

Peace Corps through Images: The People

Below are images of local citizens taken by Peace Corps volunteers.  Each photograph captures local culture and customs through the nation’s people — as artisans, students, families, and participants in celebrations.

“Paraguayan artisan making ‘nanduti’ (spider-web lace) in her home shop in Itagua, the center of the nanduti artistry.” Caption written by Robert Meade.

 

“Students husking–polishing the floor with a coconut husk. At 7:00 AM–before school duties.” Caption written by Joyce Emery Johnston

 

“Campesino home and family.” Caption written by Robert Meade.

 

PC Boge- Snake Charmer edit

Snake Charmer

 

Celebration. Captured by Norm and Janet Heise while working for Walt Sangree, professor of anthropology. circa 1963-1965.

 

Worth A Thousand Words

Images offer a chance to peak inside someone else’s world.  Often, they provide the best means for understanding an event in the past, or an experience beyond our own comprehension.  This is especially true when it comes to the many exciting and exotic opportunities encountered by Peace Corps volunteers.

Reading about these experiences, or hearing RPCVs recall stories from the past, doesn’t convey the same understanding as seeing it with your own eyes–even if that means through a photograph.  While they may have faced difficult challenges and unpleasant moments, Peace Corps volunteers also witnessed beautiful landscapes, sampled local cuisine, and embraced traditional cultures and customs.

From ordinary to the unusual, images in the PCCA depict the wide variety of Peace Corps volunteers’ experiences.  Enjoy a few of the images found in the collection.

Miango Village near Jos. Home of the Irigwe people studied by Walt Sangree, professor of anthropology at Rochester University. circa 1963-1965.

 

Pearl Diver

A Peace Corps volunteer followed by a crowd of children. Winifred Boge remembered, “she always got a big ‘following’–she was smiling and friendly to all.”

 

Peace Corps volunteer on top of a termite mound in Concepcion, Paraguay.

 

 

 

Peace Corps Philippines IX

Country of Service: Philippines
Service Type: Education
Dates in Service: 1962-1964
Keywords: Education

Accession Date: October 1, 2013
Access: No restrictions other than copyright
Collection Size: 1 item

Document Types

  • Publication- Memories and Reflections (includes photographs, interviews, and excerpts from diaries and letters)

Joyce Emery Johnston in Philippines

Joyce Emery Johnston

Country of Service: Philippines
Place of Service: Zamboanga City
Service Type: Education
Dates in Service: 1965-1967
Keywords: Education, Literacy, Youth

Accession Date: July 2, 2013
Access:
Collection Size:  0.5 linear feet

Document Types

  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • Correspondence

Finding Aid

  1. Manuals 
    1. “Approaches to teaching literature in Philippine high schools” 
  2. Manuals 
    1. “Teachers guide in English I” 
  3. News Clippings 
  4. Newsletters 
  5. Correspondence 
    1. Written and transcribed 
  6. Slides 
  7. Maps of Travel 
  8. A Peace Corps Experience 
    1. Scrapbook of experiences, ID, certificates