Peace Corps experience focus of Bangor library talk

Posted March 08, 2011, at 11:28 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Anyone who has ever wondered what the Peace Corps is and what it’s like to serve in the humanitarian organization can find out Saturday afternoon when Jessica Atherton shares some of her experiences during a presentation at 2 p.m. at the Bangor Public Library.

During her talk, Atherton, who works in the children’s section of the library, will share some of her Peace Corps adventures through stories, photographs and video.

The public is invited to attend the free discussion, which will feature Atherton’s accounts of her two-year stint ranging from living without electricity and running water to bungee-jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, which spans the Zambezi River.

Atherton received a degree from the University of Pittsburgh before joining the Bangor Public Library staff last October.

Established by executive order of the late President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps marked its 50th anniversary on March 1. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship by helping the people of interested countries meet their need for trained men and women; promoting a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people served; and helping Americans better understand other people of the world.

Since 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 139 countries. Today, there are more than 8,650 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 77 countries.

Volunteers are assisting communities in a variety of ways, including teaching English as a second language, working with HIV-AIDS prevention and care programs and providing advice and instruction on nutrition and food availability problems.

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