Smithsonian Institution
Festival Dates
Festival Blog
Festival Radio
Join Our Email Mailing List
Support the Festival

Smithsonian Folklife Festival


The first Peace Corps volunteers began their training fifty years ago in June 1961. Since then, more than 200,000 volunteers have served in 139 countries around the world. Most of these volunteers served for twenty-seven months, including three months of training, but others extended their service for a third or even fourth year. When these volunteers COS (Peace Corps terminology for Close of Service), they become RPCVs (or Returned Peace Corps Volunteers).

This area of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is our RPCVillage, where we hope that RPCVs and others with Peace Corps connections may:

  • Meet each other through the message boards in our Reunion Hall
  • Participate in discussions in our Full Circle conversation area
  • Share memories or reflections in our Oral
    History tent

If you are not an RPCV, we hope our R P C Village will offer you a glimpse into the history and culture of the Peace Corps, and perhaps kindle the spirit of volunteerism within you.

click to enlarge and view captions