PCV GLBT Interest Group Forming in Ecuador

-Claudia Calhoon, PCV

On December 15, 2006, a group of volunteers met in Quito to re-organize a GLBT Interest Group to serve volunteers in Ecuador. Efrain Soria from Equidad, a human rights and HIV organization that works with gay men in Quito, spoke to the group about issues facing gay and lesbian populations and described the work of the organization. The majority of the volunteers are from the Rural Public Health and Youth and Families programs. We hope to identify training and resources materials for providing education on homophobia, particularly with the aim of improving HIV prevention for GLBT populations and men who have sex with men. We are planning to have a presence at Orgullo Gay (Gay Pride) in Quito in June and want to network with the other GLBT organizations working in Guayaquil and Machala. Our new group will not be all work. We plan so social events, including a rafting trip we have in mind for sometime in 2007.

The Ecuador Group’s Mission Statement:

The GLBT Interest group is a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight Peace Corps Volunteers working in Ecuador to support programming in education on sexuality, homophobia, HIV, and discrimination. Our objectives are:

  • To provide a supportive network for volunteers who are GLBT in which they can discuss the challenges of living and serving in Ecuador.
  • To provide an outlet and resource to all volunteers who are interested in addressing homophobia and raising the visibility of GLBT communities in Ecuador. Supporting the creation of safe and secure environments for youth who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is a key part of encouraging health behaviours and is fundamental to combating the spread of HIV.
  • To serve as a resource to Peace Corps Ecuador staff and volunteers in training with sensitivity to GLBT issues.

You can reach Claudia Calhoon to offer support or find out more about the LGBT Group atclaudiacalhoon@yahoo.com

About LGBT RPCV Association
We are an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and others who are Peace Corps volunteer alumni, current volunteers, former and current staff members and friends. Founded in Washington D.C. in 1991, we have several hundred members throughout the country and around the world who have served in Peace Corps since its beginning in 1961. We are an active affiliate member of the National Peace Corps Association.

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