Remarks by Ambassador Lynch at Peace Corps Swearing In Ceremony

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Peace Corps Swearing in Ceremony
December 7, 2022

The Honorable Minister of Parliamentary Affairs & Governance, Gail Teixeira
Members of the Government.
Members of the Opposition.
Mayor of Georgetown His Worship Ubraj Narine;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Peace Corps Country Director, Dr. Nadine Rogers;
Peace Corps Trainees and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers;
Members of the Media;
Distinguished Guests.

It is such an honor for me to swear in this new group of Peace Corps Volunteers. I am absolutely thrilled to see Volunteers back in Guyana after the evacuation of March 2020. Peace Corps Volunteers bring a special vibrancy to a country, and they are a source of great inspiration to us in the Embassy community. Before I administer the Oath of Service and the Peace Corps Pledge, though, let me say that I have long believed that the Peace Corps represents the very best of the United States. Perhaps, I might be a little biased being that I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. However, I strongly believe the Peace Corps truly reflects the strong sense of service that marks our nation, our openness to other people and cultures, and a strong spirit of adventure.

Peace Corps Volunteers come to Guyana from all over the United States and represent the ethnic, cultural, religious, and social diversity that our nation offers. They come from many backgrounds, with a variety of skills and experiences to contribute to their service in Guyana.

For over 60 years, Peace Corps has accepted invitations to work in about 140 countries across the globe, and there are now several generations who have worked in every corner of the world in the pursuance of friendship and peace. Many have gone on to continue service to others abroad or in the United States. This network of returned volunteers always look back with fondness, respect and understanding for the people with whom they have worked. They dedicated themselves to changing the world for the better one person at a time. All of this would not be possible without a very hard-working and talented Peace Corps Guyana staff, and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize these critical members of our Embassy team for their excellence and dedication to our Peace Corps program. Thank you, team Peace Corps.,

I have always felt such pride for the extraordinary commitment and compassion that Peace Corps Volunteers bring to strengthening nations one community at a time. I think that the very best part—the essence of why Volunteers are here—are the friendships that they develop with Community Coaches and host families, local counterparts, supervisors, and community leaders.

The accomplishments of which Volunteers are an essential part are based on the foundation of these relationships.

GUY33, I hope that you understand that you are community ambassadors for our nation. I know you will represent the United States with distinction and earn the respect and goodwill of the people you meet.

As I get ready to swear you in, I am reminded of my own Peace Corps experience many years ago. In fact, I often credit the Peace Corps for why I am in my current role today. I was 22 when I headed to Morocco to teach English in a desert town known as Taroudant. Before I had served as a Volunteer, I had not lived outside the U.S. and had barely travelled outside the U.S. But, after spending just a few weeks at my site in Morocco, there was no turning back. I was hooked: hooked on increasing my understanding of other cultures, helping those less fortunate, and serving my country. I faced a lot of challenges (most of you will), but meeting those challenges is what inspired me to ultimately seek a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. And, although it has been a few years since my Peace Corps service, I still reflect -often- on what a life-changing experience that was for me. It is doubtful that you will ALL want careers in the U.S. Foreign Service, but it is certain that this experience will also be life changing for you, as it was for me.

And, when you return home, I trust that you will spread the word about the beauty of this country and its people. I encourage you to promote the spirit of understanding that President Kennedy knew such exchanges would create among Americans and our friends elsewhere in the world.

Therefore, I salute you for continuing this finest of American traditions and I thank you for your willingness to serve and to represent our country here in Guyana. You are going to love Guyana!