Over 100 of the 3,000 reunited in Washington to celebrate Peace Corp’s 50th Anniversary and 48 years of Peace Corps work in Costa Rica. The group, representing various different years of service in Costa Rica, participated in a variety of activities sponsored by the NPCA and FoCR to celebrate our service. Costa Rica specific events included a night out at Washington Nationals Major League Baseball Park and a special reception with the Minister Counselor for Environmental and Cultural Affairs from the Embassy of Costa Rica.
Members of FoCR made their way into DC on Friday September 23rd and a few stopped by the NPCA office before heading out to the Nationals Stadium. Two current 3rd year PCVs from Costa Rica, Dina Navar and Carmen Lavit, along with Atlanta Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Vice President, Maricarmen Smith-Martinez (RPCV Costa Rica 2006 – 2008) were greeted by NPCA staff.
On Saturday September 25th members of FoCR enjoyed NPCA events around town or visited local historic sites. While that evening FoCR organized reception at the 51st State restaurant in Washington, DC. Several members of the third Peace Corps group to ever be sent to Costa Rica were present along with many other RPCVs from various different years of service. In addition, we were joined by David Lockshin (RPCV Costa Rica 1981-1984) and the HippieCoffee Company that sold commemorative coffee from the Tarrazu region through NPCA in celebration of 50th Anniversary. David generously donated 20% of the proceeds from the sale of the coffee to benefit the National Peace Corps Association's 50th Anniversary activities.
Also we were delighted to have the Minister Counselor for Environmental and Cultural Affairs from the Embassy of Costa Rica, Ms. Anna María Oduber present. Ms. Oduber and her family arrived with a large Costa Rican flag from the Embassy and took time to poise with all the RPCVs present at the end of the reception. On behalf of FoCR, Chad Chadbourn and Billy Lowery, Co-Presidents of FoCR thank all the RPCVs who assembled for the reception. We were overwhelmed with the number of RPCVs who came out in support of Costa Rica and the 50th Anniversary of Peace Corps.
The rest of FoCR joined The Peace Corps Fund for the Third Goal Bash held at George Washington University Smith Arena for a fun evening of international music, dancing and cultural performances. The bash included West African high-life music, Reggae music, and salsa music.
On Sunday September 25th we joined Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams, former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, Ceremony Director Maureen Orth Russert, and thousands of fellow Peace Corps veterans at Arlington Cemetery's Amphitheater to honor those who died in Peace Corps service, and to honor the legacies of Sargent Shriver and President John F. Kennedy. Following the commemoration ceremony FoCR members walked with the Costa Rican flag carried by Diana Ray (RPCV Costa Rica 2004 – 2006) for the Walk of Flags over the memorial bridge sponsored by RPCV/Washington, DC.
FoCR would like to thank all of the Costa Rica RPCVs & PCVs who came out for the 50th Anniversary! We would like to say a special thank you to Katherine Stackel who helped photograph the weekend’s events. Also a special thanks to Diana and Andy Ray for helping to record a video that will feature several RPCVs present including Doris Higgins, Jeff Levine, Bret Campbell, Billy and Angela Lowery, Anna Myers, Doug Clark, Peter Carver, Kathryn Silvestri, Katherine Stackel, and many more. The video will be coming soon.