Peace Corps volunteers worldwide share American culture with the communities they serve, and Halloween is no exception. Below read how volunteers teach their communities about Halloween traditions.
Costa Rica: During a four-week English camp, Peace Corps volunteers in Costa Rica taught local secondary school students Halloween vocabulary words and had students tell scary stories to hone their English language skills.
“It was the first time most of these children had heard of or celebrated Halloween,” said Esteli Pacio of New York City, who served in Costa Rica from 2012-2014. “These activities got them excited about English and American culture.”
Recently returned Peace Corps volunteer Rattana Phon of Ann Arbor, Michigan, carved jack-o’-lanterns with her elementary school students in Costa Rica and taught them about trick-or-treating.
“My students might have learned about Halloween from TV or their parents, but they never had an American share their experience and knowledge about Halloween with them,” said Phon, a graduate of Beloit College who served in Costa Rica from 2012-2014. “These activities allowed my students to learn about American culture from someone who actually had experienced it.”
Mongolia: Peace Corps volunteer Veronica Moermond of Cincinnati, Ohio, shared scary stories with her English language club in Mongolia to teach students new vocabulary words and improve their English comprehension skills.
“My students were hanging on to my words, both with suspense and an attempt at close listening to understand a foreign language,” said Moermond, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati who has been living in Mongolia since 2013. “At the story’s climax, my students just about jumped out of their skin before collapsing into fits of nervous giggles for about five minutes—seriously one of the best moments I’ve had while here.”
Morocco: Recently returned Peace Corps volunteer Samantha Ginsburg of Greenwood Village, Colorado, brought Moroccan youth to a Halloween carnival organized by her fellow Peace Corps volunteers and community members. The carnival was held at a youth club in southeastern Morocco and more than 120 children attended.
“The kids participated in classic Halloween activities like bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving and face-painting,” said Ginsburg, a graduate of Muhlenberg University who served in Morocco from 2012-2014. “The event was a huge success!”
This article was originally posted on PeaceCorps.gov on October 30, 2014.