How Creativity Blossoms During Service

Never before in my life have I gotten to work so closely and so often with many artisans, indigenous crafters, seamstresses, and entrepreneurs. My Peace Corps volunteer service encouraged me to work with all sorts of people, but little did I know that my creative left-sided brain would kick-in full speed. I’m very grateful that…

Surfing in La Guajira and Magdalena, Colombia

After being in the beautiful landlocked pueblo of Polonuevo about 1 hour south of Barranquilla for three months for our Peace Corps (PC) service training, I was becoming anxious to know if there would be any chance that my wife and I would be placed within a reasonable distance to the beach. Even better, if…

Consulting for a Start-Up Wayuu Artesanía Business

In Dibulla, I had the distinct opportunity to meet Luz Darys Martinez, a half-Wayuu woman from Mingueo living in Dibulla in February 2017. She reached out to me after I had posted a sign by my door looking for women who wanted to start a dance studio business. Luz Darys stopped by my house to…

Business Advising & Grants from the United Nations, USAID, USDA, and SENA

Co-written with my wife Alexandra My time in the Peace Corps was spent mostly with a Cacao Association called APOMD (Asociación de Productores Orgánicos del Municipio de Dibulla). I was tied to them through the Cacao for Peace project with USDA/USAID to encourage and accompany APOMD to participate at events and trainings. In this article,…

My Average Schedule and Teaching at the Local Schools & Community Center

As a volunteer, one of the best parts of service is that, for the most part, you really get to shape your weekly schedule however you want. Sometimes a volunteer collaborates with one school, and other schools reach out for collaboration. Sometimes a volunteer doesn’t work well with a counterpart, but then finds three new…

Cacao Training in San Vicente de Chucurí, Santander

During my Peace Corps service, 3 volunteers were assigned and given the opportunity to train in the field of cacao through the Cacao for Peace project run by US Department of Agriculture and USAID. After the three months of initial Peace Corps training, we were sent off to the beautiful Department of Santander to visit…

Contact Your State Reps For Kyle & Alexandra

This does not represent the views or opinions of the U.S. government’s Peace Corps Kyle works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and didn’t receive a paycheck for over a month, from December 28th to January 30th during the first shutdown. There is still threat of another shutdown to take place in February. I’m asking…

Entrepreneurship & English Class at the Agricultural Cooperative Asoreagro

It took over one year to finally organize a successful and collaborative course, but not in Dibulla, rather for the nearby community of Mingueo. One thing I’ve learned in the Peace Corps is that your service requires a lot of patience, trial & error, and relationship building. I had tried to organize a Financial Literacy course…

2nd Goal Event: Cheerleading & Football!

I’ve got to admit that most of my work the past two years in Colombia I’ve probably focused most on the Peace Corps 1st goal followed by the 3rd goal, which is “to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of [U.S.] Americans” by constantly posting across social media to show how…

How I Started a Community Savings Group Through Youth Dance Classes

In November 2016, I had no idea where to start when I moved to Dibulla, La Guajira fresh out of training with the daunting Peace Corps’ community economic development program objective to start a community savings group (CSG). Never did I think it would be a lot easier than I expected thanks to the amazing…

My Journey to the Fincas

Co-Written with my wife Alexandra I have the distinct opportunity to work closely with a Cacao Association called the Asociación de Productores Orgánicos del Municipio de Dibulla (APOMD). With them, I’ve been able to visit about 25 fincas (farms) within the municipality. During my 2 years living in Dibulla, La Guajira, I visited at the least…

35k Bike Ride in Dibulla

Originally posted on Oíste – Peace Corp Colombia’s Online Magazine On my 30th birthday, I decided to take a bike ride for self-reflection. I’ve always found exercise to be therapeutic, even meditative, but I didn’t expect such a random surprise. February 21st, 2018 was pure magic thanks to the happenstance meeting of 4 sparkly-eyed kids,…