The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Statement by the President Announcing a Peace Corps Project in Colombia.
May 16, 1961

SOME WEEKS AGO, I announced the first project of the newly-organized Peace Corps. It was to assist the Tanganyikan Government in its farm-to-market road surveying program. Today, I am pleased to announce the second project of the Peace Corps: this time in Colombia. The Colombian project will train and assign some sixty-four volunteers in small farming, handicraft, rural construction, and sanitation. They will work with already trained Colombian counterparts in a joint program sponsored by the private voluntary agency, CARE, and Colombia's Department of Community Development. There they will assist small rural communities to develop their own economic resources and educational and sanitary facilities.

I am particularly pleased to announce that the second project of the Corps will be in Latin America, because of the many ties of mutual respect and mutual ideals which bind us together as brother republics in this traditionally free and democratic hemisphere. It is also gratifying that the Peace Corps is entering a joint venture with Colombia, with which we have long and historic ties of friendship.

I am particularly pleased with the high quality of the 7,000 people who have volunteered for the Peace Corps. And I strongly urge each one of them to take the entrance test given on May 27th--or for those interested in being secondary school teachers on June 5th. The tests will be given at 330 cities throughout the country and in Puerto Rico. The first projects will be staffed from the candidates who qualify from this exam.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Statement by the President Announcing a Peace Corps Project in Colombia.", May 16, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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