I'm joining the Peace Corps in the future, will I get sent to certain countries just because I speak spanish?

I don’t want to get sent to a spanish speaking country just because I kind of speak spanish.
I would rather say I don’t speak it at all, if that’s the case… ?


  1. They do the best they can to place people where they will be happy and do a good job. They don’t always succeed.

    > I’m joining the Peace Corps in the future . . .
    Maybe. In 2008, the last year for which I have figures, they had 11,000 applications. They invited 4,000 people to become trainees. 20% to 40% of all trainees wash out or quit. I don’t want to quibble, and you may well be highly qualified. I answer questions about the Peace Corps here every week, and at least half of them are from people who think you can sign up today and be on a plane next month. You didn’t say what your skills were. I just wanted to caution you.

    If you lie on your application, it can’t be good.

    You can always decline an invitation to a specific country and hope you get another. How many invitations you get before they stop trying depends on your skills. You can also state a preference for a region, but not a country. I suspect, but am not sure, you can state a negative preference – "Anywhere but Latin America", for instance.

    Ted Pack
  2. Peace Corps does send some people with Spanish familiarity to some countries, but I wouldn’t worry about it. "Kind of speak" Spanish isn’t a big deal, I wouldn’t think, and many, many people DO want to go to those countries.

    If anything, perhaps your ability to learn other languages will get you placed somewhere else because you have a proven knack to learn new languages.

  3. Nope.

    Weirdly, it almost doesn’t matter. Three people in my Group all spoke Spanish. One girl fluently (native), another lived in South America for a year doing childcare work, and one guy took it all through college. And yet all of them went to the Balkans along with the rest of us who didn’t speak a lick of Spanish.

    A friend of a friend of mine went from Texas to Mexico for her service. My guess though is the CULTURAL similarities were more important than just the language.

    Don’t sweat it. You can decline the first two invites they send you if you don’t like the countries. The third one is make it or break it though because after you reject that one they wash their hands of you.


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