ABOUT THIS WEBPAGE

The main purpose of this webpage is to gather information and make it available to those looking for Peace Corps groups and its projects. This one is especially dedicated the to the first Peace Corps Project to Brazil, organized by the National 4-H Clubs Center in Chevy Chase, MD, from January 1962 to December 1963.

Since 1982 we have celebrated many group reunions around the the United States and Puerto Rico: twice at the National 4-H Clubs Center in Washington, D.C.; Bozeman, Montana, Auburn, Alabama; Valle Crucis, North Carolina, Colorado and New Jersey. Our most recent reunion was held at the National 4-H Clubs Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland to commemorate our fiftieth anniversary along with the Peace Corps Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration in Washington, DC., September 2011.

FRANCIS PRESSLY INDUCTION INTO THE 4-H HALL OF FAME AND THE NORTH CAROLINA 4-H HALL OF FAME

Reunion RPCVs Brazil I - Bozeman-Montana #0005 Francis Pressly (920x916) Reunion RPCVs 2002 Boone-NC #0021 img153
The following information was taken from The National 4-H Hall of Fame website:
http://nae4ha.com/hof/fpressly.html

W. Francis Pressly

Director of Domestic & International Programs, National 4-H Council

clip_image002Hometown: Stony Point, NC

Nominated by: National 4-H Council

Major 4-H Accomplishments:

Iredell Co. 4-H member. National 4-H Congress, Report to the Nation team, and Thomas E. Wilson Citizenship Award scholarship recipient. Led National 4-H Foundation Brazil 4-S Peace Corps Project. Director of 4-H International Programs and later Managing Director of Programs, National 4-H Council.

Honors:

NC 4-H Leadership Award, 1949; 4-H Public Speaking Award, 1949; Southern Region 4-H Dairy Production Winner, 1946. IFYE Fellowship, 1957-58. NC 4-H Hall of Fame, 2009. IFYE Association Meritorious Service Award, 2004. NC 4-H Development Fund Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 1987-89. NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, 1981. Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, 2011.

Biography:

Francis Pressly established his excellence early as an Iredell County 4-H member. He won numerous state project awards, attended National 4-H Congress, served on the Report to the Nation team, and was a Thomas E. Wilson Citizenship Award scholarship recipient. Motivated by his 4-H successes, Pressly extended his skills and development impact to NC 4-H, then Italy, Brazil and the world. Pressly was 4-H Agent in Davidson County and helped transition 4-H Clubs to community based settings. From 1962 to 1984 he devoted his talents to the National 4-H Foundation/Council, where his international interests firmly established him as a recognized authority on youth programming.

Beginning in 1962, Pressly led the National 4-H Foundation Brazil 4-S Peace Corps Project for the expansion of rural youth clubs. Its success motivated Peace Corps to fund similar projects in other countries. In 1965, Pressly became Director of 4-H International Programs overseeing 4-H international exchanges, development and training projects. He helped initiate the Youth Development Project in seven countries and was the prime force behind the Young Agricultural Specialist Exchange Program with the Soviet Union. He was later named Managing Director of Programs, covering both domestic and international programs. After retirement, he and his wife Sibyl restored and operated the Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, NC.

Quote:

For many who grow up in 4-H, the life skills learned influence everything they go on to do. You take those lessons, that personal growth, that broadened perspective and apply it to your career. Any difference I may have made was in some way shaped by my experience in 4-H. 4-H for me, like for so many others, was the beginning of everything. It was the door to the rest of my life.

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Francis Pressly with "4-H Report to the Nation" team presents to President Eisenhower in 1953.

To view another photograph and the information related to this historical event, please click the link shown at the beginning. There are more photographs…at this site: North Carolina State University Historical Archives.

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Francis Pressly at the inauguration of a new 4-S Club in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil in 1963.

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Francis Pressly with Taiwan representatives at National 4-H Center in the 1970’s.

INDUCTION TO THE NATIONAL 4-H HALL OF FAME



Inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame, October 7, 2011 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.
The following is the message read at the induction ceremony in behalf of the 4-H Brazil Peace Corps Project Volunteers who served under his guidance from 1962 to 1964.

Francis Pressly

National 4-H Hall of Fame Presentation

On behalf of the Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Brazil under the leadership of the National 4-H organization, we take pride in adding our congratulations to Mr. Francis Pressly as he is inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Although we were inspired, passionate, and eager volunteers, we are all too aware of the critical role that Francis, as Director of the 4-H Club Peace Corps Project, played in our success and in our contribution to Brazil. He and the National 4-H Foundation provided us a model, a vision, and a structure to engage in youth development education, while honoring the need for freedom and latitude for each volunteer team to implement a program geared to the needs of the local communities. What a success!

Francis represents the best of true leaders. He was courageous when necessary, humble and modest to a fault, gracious and understanding in his approach, and steadfast in his commitment to our goal and to our wellbeing. He was our mentor, our hero, and our friend. It is an understatement to say that our lives were changed forever by this kind, caring, and inspiring leader. By mirroring his model, we were able to change our own lives and the lives of others, both in Brazil and throughout the world, wherever we lived. What a legacy!

His influence over us and interest in us has not waned over the years, as he has been instrumental in bringing us together time and time again for reunions — making arrangements, communicating, and handling logistics. What a gift!

We also commend him on his choice of his wife Sibyl to stand by his side. She has added immeasurable support and wisdom to him and to us. What a prize!

We are so proud of Francis, and we are delighted to offer our gratitude and thanks to him in celebration of his selection into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Thank you, Francis, and congratulations! Well done, sir, well done.

Hall of Fame Francis2Hall of Fame Francis1
INDUCTION INTO THE NORTH CAROLINA 4-H HALL OF FAME – CLASS OF 2009
 

Francis Pressly 

Francis Pressly was an outstanding Iredell County 4-H Club Member. He won numerous State Projects, attended National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, and served as NC 4-H Vice President. Pressly worked as Assistant County Agent in Davidson County from 1958-1962 and helped transition 4-H Clubs to community based settings. From 1962-1984, Pressly worked for National 4-H Foundation (National 4-H Council). He helped establish the Southern Region Leaders’ Forum and coordinated the IFYE program, National 4-H Congress, and Citizenship Short Course (Citizenship – Washington Focus). Pressly also served on the Board and Executive Committee of the NC 4-H Development Fund.

This information is was taken from the North Carolina 4-H website:
http://www.nc4halumni.com/halloffame/laureates/1-2009/64-pressly-francis

DAVID FLEISCHER: MEMORIES OF PEACE CORPS IN BRAZIL


David-Fleischer-size-598 DSC_0061 (800x531) DSC_0125 (800x531)

Dr. David Fleischer, Professor Emeritus University of Brasilia

Brazil I Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion, Washington, DC

Brazil I Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion, Washington, DC

The following article was originally posted in waisworld.org, permission was granted by our fellow RPCV David Fleischer to have it posted here.

David Fleischer writes:
 
Memories of Peace Corps in Brazil
 
As a comparison to Richard Hancock’s memories of Peace Corps in El Salvador (6 July), I would like to describe my experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil at about the same time (1962-1964).
 
Our Brazil I group began training at the National 4-H Club Center in Washington in early January 1962. Most of our group had been 4-H Club members or local 4-H county agents in several states before joining the Peace Corps. Some were college graduates, some had only a high school education, and the rest (like me) had dropped out of college to join this project. A few were 18 years old and some were older. I turned 21 shortly after we arrived in Brazil.

Some had been "IFYEs"–had participated in the International Farm Youth Exchange program and spent six months living on a farm in a foreign country. I had been a 4-H club member in Columbia County in upstate New York and worked on several projects–dairy calf, chickens, sheep, gardening, and reforestation. I was recruited by my county 4-H club agent in mid-1961 and dropped out of Antioch College in December 1961 to join the training group.
 
Our training in Washington permitted the participation of many area and technical experts regarding Brazil, Latin America, foreign relations and economic development. My only "foreign travel" before then was a family summer camping vacation trip to Canada in 1956.

The National 4-H Club Foundation had been contracted to administer our group in Brazil. The Foundation had a very good relationship with the Brazilian national rural extension service (ABCAR) and that was the "foot in the [Brazilian] door" to get Peace Corps into Brazil. This happened in some other countries. For example, in Senegal, the UAW (United Auto Workers) had a very good relationship with labor unions there and so was hired as the contractor for the first Peace Corps project in that country–to train local auto mechanics.
 
After six weeks of training in Washington we had four weeks of "Outward Bound" training at the same Camp Cozier in the mountains near Arecibo, PR. Our group had 006six volunteers from Puerto Rico. We were grouped into several "boy-girl" teams and did one week of "internship" with the Puerto Rican extension service teams to observe their 4-H club activities. Then in late March 1962 we landed at the international airport in Rio de Janeiro. The Portuguese language teachers at the US Embassy were horrified to find that our level in that language had regressed since we left Washington, because of our four weeks interaction in Spanish Peace Corps 1962-1963 Puerto Rico #02in Puerto Rico. So it was decided that we would have eight weeks of intensive (eight hours a day) language training at the rural agricultural university outside of Rio, living in the dorms with Brazilian students. Several times, the latter invited some of us to go into Rio with them to participate in student demonstrations and protests–a good learning experience.
 
When we arrived in Brazil, Tancredo Neves was still Brazil’s Prime Minister during the short-lived parliamentary government period. The US Ambassador who received us was Lincoln Gordon, a Harvard professor who JFK had recruited into the foreign service.
 
Then, we came back into the city of Rio for three weeks of training regarding Brazilian rural extension activities by ABCAR specialists and more language training–plus family home stays. I was placed with a family in the city of Niteroi, across the bay from Rio de Janeiro–so I got to ride the ferry boat every day. Our group of 54 volunteers was then distributed to several Brazilian states–from Rio Grande do Sul (in the South) to the Northeastern state of Ceará. I was sent to the central state of Minas Gerais. There, we received an additional two weeks of training in how rural extension was done in that state–where these activities first began in 1949. So by the time we finally got out to our work sites in mid-June 1962–we had had 5.5 months of training–probably the longest training program ever in Peace Corps history.
 
Our country Peace Corps Representative George Coleman had previously worked with the OAS and his wife Peggy (and four children) were part of our Brazil I family. Francis Pressly had been recruited as a volunteer but because he had been a county 4-H club agent in North Carolina, he was hired by the National 4-H Club Foundation to be its contractor’s representative. He and his wife Sybil and two children also became part of our family.
 
Because our group arrived in Brazil with 11 more men than women, the Brazil II project that worked with community development in the San Francisco River basin in central Brazil as of November 1962 also trained 11 women to compliment our project–they were nicknamed the MOBs (mail order brides).
 
We were in Brazil during two difficult periods for the US–first, the Cuban missile img129crisis, and then the assassination of JFK. Most of our group returned to the US in December 1963, but I extended for seven months through July 1964 to finish some of my 4-H (called 4-S in Brazil) projects. Thus, I was in Brazil during the 31 March 1964 military coup that toppled the João Goulart government. My wife, Edyr, and I were married in Lavras, MG in August 1964, just before our return to the US.
 
Our Brazil I group has had several reunions, beginning with our 20-year encounter at the same National 4-H Club Center in August 1981. My wife and our then 7-year old daughter also participated. Our last reunion was during the 50th anniversary celebration of Peace Corps in September 2011–also at the National 4-H Club Center.
 
My Peace Corps service "changed my life." When I returned to Antioch College in Fall 1964, I switched majors from chemistry to political science and eventually ended up at the University of Brasília in January 1972.

JE comments: Outstanding reminisces from David Fleischer. I had often wondered what circumstances led David to choose a career in Brazil. David, together with Richard Hancock, were Peace Corps pioneers–truly one of the brightest spots in International Relations during the tension-filled 1960s.
Perhaps David Fleischer or Richard Hancock could answer this question:  how long and how intense is the training for new volunteers presently?
Who else in WAISdom served in the Peace (Pax…et Lux) Corps? We’d love to hear your story.

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This message has been published on WAISWorld.org forums. To rate, comment or reply to this or any other message in the hierarchy, please follow the corresponding link below:

Forum: Nations
Topic: El Salvador (John Eipper, USA)
Posts:
  Memories of Peace Corps in El Salvador (Richard Hancock, USA)
  Memories of Peace Corps in Brazil (David Fleischer, Brazil)
 
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For information about the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, please visit waisworld.org

 

ABOUT BRAZIL I 4-H PEACE CORPS PROJECT

This was the first Peace Corps Project serving in Brazil from January 2, 1962 to December 31, 1963 including the training phases in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Brazil. The information in this site is provided as a historical record of the activities and reunions of this group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs).

Here are highlighted our two reunions held in Puerto Rico, the first in Camp Crozier, Arecibo, Puerto Rico in 1987 to commemorate our 25th anniversary and the other one in Aguadilla (at the former Ramey Air Force Base), Puerto Rico in 2007 to commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary.

We also including other activities held by the Peace Corps.

BrPC10thRe (2)
This photograph was taken at our twentieth anniversary reunion held at the National 4-H Center, Bethesda, Maryland in 1982. Many members of the group were not present at the reunion.

PEACE CORPS BRAZIL I PROJECT – JANUARY 1962-DECEMBER 1963

Welcome to this mean of communication that will allow us to be informed about our activities. You will have the opportunity to comment to every post of this blog. We hope you can participate and let us know your views, concerns and opinions.

These two pictures represent the volunteers during their initial training phase at the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C. The second group was known as the Mail Order Brides (MOBs), there were needed to complete the original group.

Brazil I Peace Corps Volunteers worked in teams of one man and one woman.

“These volunteers were requested by the Brazil Agricultural Extension Service (ABCAR), to provide needed manpower in this field. Basically an agricultural country, Brazil does not suffer for a lack of potential 4-S Club members. The main problem is finding adequately trained agricultural and home economics personnel to work with the agricultural extension service which supervises 4-S work.” W. Francis Pressly, Project Director, 1964.

THE PROJECT


Frances Weddell and a 4-S Club Member Juan E. Rosario and a 4-S Club Member Gerald Rutland and a 4-S Club Member

A Peace Corps experience is something to be remembered. The volunteers in the original Brazil 4-S project felt this was particularly true of their experience. They were the pioneer group in Brazil, blazing a trail for others to follow, and setting standards of performance for others to emulate.

They reached out into the interior of Brazil, exposing many rural people to the first Americans they had ever seen. They helped to introduce a significant education program, 4-S Club work into many rural communities. They have shared the fun and laughter, the sweat and toil, the hopes and dreams, and the sorrows and fears of many new found friends across this infinite country. Brazil will always be their second home!

They have had their share of problems and satisfactions. The joy of success and the struggle of adversity has drawn them together, fostering a spirit of friendship, loyalty and esprit de corps.

These things are are worth remembering. The Brazil I 4-S Peace Corps project provided the first opportunity for the U. S. 4-H Club Movement to actively assist with the development of a counterpart rural youth movement abroad. The National 4-H Foundation has been pleased to share in this effort with the volunteers and the Peace Corps. It has been a source of great satisfaction to follow the successful efforts of this group.

We commend the work of the Brazil I volunteers.

Warren Schmidt, Coordinator

4-H Peace Corps Projects

National 4-H Club Foundation

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Source: Brazil I: Picture Book, printed by Associação Brasileira de Crédito e Assistência Rural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 1964

THE PROJECT: A BRIEF DESCRIPTION

We are getting close to our 50th Anniversary even thou we are about four years away, but the time passes very fast and we should be prepare to plan our reunion activities. The Peace Corps 50th Anniversary is in 2011 and our in 2012.

Brazil I-Washington, D.C.There is a chance our group – Brazil I and MOBs will meet at the 4-H Club Center in Washington, DC, some time in 2011 o 2012. Let make it happen.

The training began on January 2, 1962 at the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C. It took from four to six weeks to provide the first phase of the training which included many subjects: leadership, agriculture and home economics, history and culture of Brazil, Portuguese language and others. The had the opportunity to visit the Capitol Building invited by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The second phase took place at the Peace Corps Training Center in the mountains of Puerto Rico. There the group continue with their training in Portuguese language, physical conditioning, survival skills and emotional control. Also an internship at the local Agriculture Extension Service offices was provided to get a feel of the type of service the volunteers will encounter in Brazil.

The last phase took place mostly at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro from April to June.