Allentown Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Costa Rica

By Peace Corps
Allentown Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Costa Rica
Eric J. Smith, 23, of Allentown, N.J., has been accepted into the Peace Corps.
Smith will be departing for Costa Rica on March 1 to begin pre-service training as a community economic development Peace Corps volunteer. Upon graduation from volunteer training in June, Smith will be working with micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs to increase business planning and management skills among the community.
Smith is the son of Scott and Susan Smith, and a graduate of Allentown High School in Allentown, N.J. He then attended University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance, graduating in 2009.  Smith previously worked with many small businesses, including a music venue and a rock climbing and mountaineer center, developing the skill set necessary to carry out his volunteer work.
“The sense of the unknown and a desire for adventure motivated me to join the Peace Corps,” Smith said of his decision to become a volunteer.
During the first three months of his service, Smith will live with a host family in Costa Rica to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist his community, Smith will serve for two years in Costa Rica, living in a manner similar to people in his host country.
Smith joins the 201 New Jersey residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 4,606 New Jersey residents have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.
Over 3,202 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Costa Rica since the program was established in 1963. Volunteers in this Central American nation work in the areas of youth, family and community development, as well as economic expansion. Currently, 94 volunteers are serving in Costa Rica.
As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with over 7,600 volunteers serving in 75 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit our website: