Peace Corps Pará, Brazil Agricultural Cooperatives 1969-1971

Photos of the Pará Peace Corps Experience plus Photos of the 1979, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2002 & 2004 Reunions


Brazilian handwoven rug made by artist Kennedy da Bahia A Short History of Pará Ag Coops
In July 1969 a group of 35 young Peace Corps Trainees came together in El Centro, California. After 12 weeks "training" in Portuguese, accounting, principles of cooperativism, cultural awareness and irrigated rice production, a reduced ("self-selected") number of the group moved on to Belém, Pará to continue with 5 additional weeks of in-country training. At the end of this period, 12 of the origninal 35 trainees, were sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers and sent out to their sites throughout the State of Pará. The majority worked in Agricultural Coops and a few taught irrigated rice production. Volunteers lived in places like Santarem, Ourem, Santa Isabel, Guama, Garrafaõ, Saõ Pedro and Bragança. The training experience and the subsequent two years living and working in Brazil's Amazon changed the lives of all the volunteers forever. They formed a special bond that has lasted through the years. Many married Brazilians. Some still live and work in Brazil. Each is successful in his own way.

Photos of the Pará years1969-1971.

In July 1979, the first Pará Ag Coop Peace Corps Reunion was held in Pomeroy, Ohio to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first gathering of this group in El Centro. A second reunion was held in Belém and Bragança, Brazil in 1989. The third reunion was held 5 years later in Albuquerque in July 1994. The next reunion convened in Great Barrington, Mass. in July 1999.

Photo highlights of the first 4 reunions.

Photos of the 2002 reunion held in Athens, Ohio, July 3-6.

Photo highlights of the 2004 reunion held in Great Barrington, Mass.

Photos of the 2006 reunion held in Panama City, Panama, July 1-7.

If you have photos, corrections and/or additional text to contribute to this site please send them to Blair Cooper.