Citizen Diplomacy in Bolivia

The interesting aspect to this Josh Paltrow piece in the WaPo isn’t the “dog bites man” angle of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers discovering that the Peace Corps is actually an instrument of American foreign policy (in this case, in Bolivia). What struck me was the citizen diplomacy angle of some of the volunteers who were withdrawn from the country by the Peace Corps choosing to go back independently to continue their projects. Individuals really can make a difference, both within the official context of the Peace Corps or outside of it. Sometimes I think we lose sight of the fact that the greatest selling point of our country is as much Americans as it is America. And given some of the imagery that’s been coming out of the presidential campaign, which is troubling to say the least, this sort of thing really helps us abroad.

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