In a statement issued March 1, 1961, President Kennedy acknowledged that Peace Corps Volunteers would never make a fortune from their service abroad. Most made enough to subsist. Nevertheless, volunteers often went above and beyond—taking on additional projects to satisfy the community’s needs. Projects included recruiting volunteer labor and additional funding for renovating and construction projects.
During his service in Paraguay, Robert Meade oversaw a school partnership project to build an elementary school. A school in Bethesda, Maryland partnered with the Paraguay community and raised $700 for the construction. Meade documented the efforts of local volunteers, as well as the entire building process, through photography. The partnerships created during the school project represent the essence of the Peace Corps. Robert Meade created the captions below.
“Paraguayan workers on the building of Maria Auxiliadora Elementary School. Bricks were made nearby and all labor on the school was voluntary.”
“Putting on the roof of Maria Auxiliadora.”
“Oxcart delivering bricks for the school project.”
To learn more about Peace Corps Volunteers in Paraguay, visit the Peace Corps Community Archive at American University.