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In Costa Rica, since 1963, Peace Corps volunteers have served at the invitation of the Costa Rican government.
- Peace Corps photo -

Published Tuesday, May 4, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services
Nominations for the Peace Corps’ Lillian Carter Award are open and will be accepted until Sunday, May 23.

According to the Peace Corps, this biennial award honors outstanding individuals who served in the organization at age 50 or older.

The Lillian Carter Award was established in 1986 in honor of President Jimmy Carter's mother, Lillian Carter, who, at age 68, served as a Peace Corps health volunteer in India. "Her commitment to Peace Corps service was an extension of her dedication to humanitarian efforts at home and abroad," the organization said in its statement.

“Nearly 14,000 older U.S. citizens have answered the call to service and advanced the Peace Corps’ mission of promoting world peace and friendship. These volunteers bring their rich life experiences to the communities they serve,” Acting Director Carol Spahn said. “The Lillian Carter Award is given to one outstanding senior volunteer who demonstrates that service–both at home and abroad–can be impactful at any age.”

All qualifying submissions received during the nomination period will be reviewed by a selection committee and awardees will be selected based on the information provided on this nomination form.
With permission from the nominee, the information provided on this nomination form may be used by the Peace Corps during the award ceremony and for other communication purposes.

Current employees of the Peace Corps and their immediate family members are not eligible to receive the 2021 Lillian Carter Award.

According to the organization, candidates for this award must demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement and service, with a track record of supporting the Peace Corps’ mission. "They should also have a history of advancing the Peace Corps' Third Goal of strengthening Americans' understanding of the world and its people."

Over 240,000 U.S. citizens participated in the program, of which 13,898 served over the age of 50, and have dedicated themselves to promoting world peace and friendship since the Peace Corps was established 60 years ago in 1961.

The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 24, at 4:00 p.m. EST on Zoom. The awardee should be available to participate in the award ceremony.

Those who are interested in nominating a returned Peace Corps volunteer for this award can do it on the organization's web page.

In March,  Peace Corps celebrated 60 years. In Costa Rica, since 1963, Peace Corps volunteers have served at the invitation of the Costa Rican government.

The theme for the anniversary was “The Peace Corps through the Decades: Sixty Years, Countless Stories”, commemorated during Peace Corps Week, from February 28 to March 6.

"With nearly one-fifth of Costa Rica's population living below the poverty line, Peace Corps Volunteers see the real Costa Rica, its persistent pockets of poverty, the real needs that affect vulnerable communities, and the stunning beauty of this diverse country," the organization said in its statement.

According to Peace Corps Costa Rica, more than 120 volunteers are devoting two or more years of their lives to work in the country in one of three program areas such as Community Economic Development, English education, and Youth Development.

"Whether in rural communities or urban centers, our volunteers live at the humblest level alongside their local counterparts, helping to design creative approaches to development challenges," they said.

The volunteer's mission is to promote world peace and friendship through community-based development and cross-cultural understanding. "The rewards can be life-changing," they said.

As part of the celebration activities, the organization is sharing on their Facebook page, part of the experiences of the first volunteers who arrived in Costa Rica.

What former Peace Corp member should be nominated for this award? 
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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