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Whether you are here because you’re considering service in Guinea; or because you are already involved in Peace Corps Guinea in some way, shape, or form; or you just landed here by happenstance, we hope that you will find your curiosity piqued and your questions answered here.
Peace Corps has been in Guinea since 1962, with projects in Public Health, Agroforestry, Community Economic Development, and Secondary Education. Volunteers are highly respected for their work in Guinea, so they are coveted and protected by the small communities in which they live. In fact, within days of arrival, Guinea volunteers are already integrated into host families and are called by their new Guinean names. Due to Peace Corps’ history in Guinea, many government and non-governmental leaders recall fondly how they were influenced by a volunteer as a child.
Guinea is enormously rich in mineral resources, including bauxite, aluminum, gold, and iron ore. It is also geographically very diverse, from the estuaries and mangrove swamps of Lower Guinea, to the high escarpments and waterfalls of the Fouta Jallon, to the savannah and immense river valleys of Upper Guinea, to the dense rainforests of mahogany, teak, and ebony in the Forest Region. As you can imagine, Guinea is a fertile country capable of feeding the sub-region. Twenty-two West African rivers originate in Guinea, including the Niger, Gambia and Senegal Rivers.
Yet, Guinea is a country with many challenges. It has only recently made a full transition to democratic governance, with Presidential elections in 2010 and Legislative elections in 2013. Indeed, Peace Corps Guinea’s country program has been interrupted several times since 1962, most recently coming to full strength again in 2012. Due to decades of political uncertainty, international isolation, and inconsistent leadership, the country’s infrastructure is either poor or lacking in many areas; from roads to schools to hospitals to communications.
Despite its lack of physical infrastructure, Guinea’s social infrastructure is incredibly rich and enduring. Guinea is home to ethnic groups from across West Africa, and therefore is a treasured gem; for its languages and diverse cultures, its place in West African history, and for its music, dance, literature, and arts. Guineans may laugh at their development challenges, but they are deeply proud of their heritage.
Guineans are keenly entrepreneurial, hard-working, and appreciative of sacrifice and perseverance in the face of one’s goals. They are religiously and culturally tolerant, and indeed highly curious about other peoples. They love a good joke, and will continue it until it is beyond worn out and has become funny again.
The mutual benefits to our partnership with the people of Guinea are many; while we offer technical expertise and other ways of envisioning the world, Guineans offer to us their remarkable generosity, humor, spiritual grounding, and sense of community and familial interconnectedness. Guinea volunteers regularly report that they have received far more than they gave in coming to Guinea.
Please take some time to explore our site and do not hesitate to inquire for more information.
Peace Corps Guinea
“Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.”