"Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs....But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corp ---who works in a foreign land--- will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace." - President John F. Kennedy, March 1, 1961
A hallmark of the Kennedy administration, the Peace Corps sent American citizens to developing countries to volunteer in the struggle against poverty, illiteracy, and disease. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with local citizens in the African bush and the out lands of Latin America and Asia, these volunteers applied their skills and zeal to a wide variety of self-help projects constructing roads, developing water and sewage systems, providing prenatal and medical care, teaching basic literacy, and improving farming methods.