Congressman Sam Farr and journalist Maureen Orth sat on the Peace Porch yesterday, talking with Festival visitors and Peace Corps program curator Jim Deutsch about their lives after the Peace Corps.
Congressman Farr and Ms. Orth first met at the San Francisco airport, as they were just about to begin their journey in the Peace Corps in 1964. Both served in Medellin, Colombia. Congressman Farr converted his Peace Corps experience of working with Colombia’s local governments into public policy work on behalf of California’s 17th District.
Ms. Orth worked as a Peace Corps community development volunteer in Colombia and helped to build a school. She was so transformed by her two years in Colombia that she decided to attend graduate school in Latin American Studies, but she found that the contrast between her vibrant life in Colombia and the pedantic confines of the classroom were too great, so she enrolled in journalism. Ms. Orth continues her engagement in educating Colombian children. She has started two non-profit foundations, one in the U.S. and one in Colombia, to support three Colombian schools that serve 1,200 children through public/private partnerships.