Happy New Year!
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Letter from the President


Happy New Year, SDPCA! As we reflect on 2018, we look ahead to 2019 and seek out new opportunities to help spread peace. SDPCA is here to help you with this goal! Read on for information about our upcoming events, as well as other ways that you can personally get more involved in helping others who so greatly need it.

I hope that you all enjoyed the annual holiday party—thanks for attending!  We hope to see you again soon at an upcoming event: a hike, perhaps, or maybe meal prep at Ronald McDonald House? Come see some old friends and make some new ones!

In Peace,
Celeste Coleman, Ukraine (2005-2007)
SDPCA President

North County Hike – Elfin Forest
Wednesday, January 2 from 9 to 11am (or so)
Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve
8833 Harmony Grove Road, Escondido

Welcome the New Year with a spectacular hike at the beautiful Elfin Forest Reserve! We'll pass over a creek from the Escondido watershed, head uphill to some overlooks with great views of the area. From there, we can continue on any of the 11 miles of hiking trails or head back down the mountain through the botanical trail.
We'll meet at the parking lot trail head. Friends, partners, leashed dogs are all welcome! Wear good walking shoes and bring plenty of water. Snacks and a walking stick encouraged.

Ronald McDonald House Cook and Serve
Thursday, January 24 from 4 to 8:30pm
2929 Children's Way, San Diego, CA 92123


Join us for a rewarding and fun community service event. Prepare and serve dinner to the families staying at Ronald McDonald House while their children are receiving care at Children's Hospital. Meal prep starts at 4pm (arrive at 3:45pm) and dinner is served from 6 to 7:30pm; then we'll clean up. Space is limited to 16 adults (children over age 16 allowed). 

International Dinner – Taste of the Himalayas
Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm
1260 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
$26 Per Person – Click here to pay by January 30
Please note: there will not be an Evite for this event
Join us in Hillcrest for cuisine from Nepal, India and Tibet. We will have appetizers, naan, and entrees served family style; drinks will be sold separately. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions and/or preferences when you purchase your ticket.  There is a parking lot in the same plaza as the restaurant as well as street parking.
Space limited to 16 people.  Questions? Please contact Danielle at
Zoologico Parque del Nino (Children's Zoo) Service Project
Sunday, February 10 - Tentative
Valle de Guadalupe, Baja
Join SDPCA for a day of hard work and fun as we help this small zoo in Baja's Guadalupe Valley with various projects. We could be painting, organizing and cleaning, helping with construction and horticulture work, and/or any other small projects they need help with. We'll be treated to a short tour of the facility and learn all about the work and mission that the animal caretakers are doing for their charges and for conservation. 
More details to come. 
Taste the World - SDPCA’s 3rd Annual Homegrown International Dinner!
Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:30pm
Sherman Heights Community Center

2258 Island Avenue, San Diego, CA 92102

Early Bird Price: $20 per person (ends Friday March 1 at midnight)
At the door: $25 per person - cash or credit cards accepted
Sample delicious foods from all around the world + help us raise money to fund Peace Corps projects all around the world! For $20 you can taste up to 10 different delectable dishes - all donated by area restaurants and RPCVs. You decide which one you like best! This will be a fun event - be sure to bring a friend!
Learn more and buy ticket(s):
Holiday Party Update and Opportunities
We had a wonderful holiday party! Thank you to all who attended and made the day special! Thanks to those who purchased items through the silent auction and a special thank you to those who donated items! 
The Silent Auction raised $3,414 so far – there are still a few opportunities available so, if you missed the party, it's not too late to get in on the fun:
Wine Tasting Pairing Event - featuring wines from around the world, mostly current and former Peace Corps countries. Hosted by Genny, Ashley and Colleen
When: Saturday, January 12th, at 1pm
Where: Colleen’s house in Spring Valley
How much: $35 
Spots available: 4
Interested? Contact Colleen at
Catered dinner, featuring ethnic dishes from Peace Corps countries.
A wonderful evening with delicious food and great company.  
When: a mutually agreeable date and time for the participants
Where: Sarah’s house in North Park.
How much: $35 
Spots available: 2
Interested? Contact Sarah at
Sketching Lesson with local RPCV Artist Alia Kroos.
Try your hand at sketching and enjoy quality time with fellow RPCV artists or artists in the making. 
When: TBD April/ May - when the sun is shining
Where: San Diego
How much? $15
Spots Available: 4
Interested? Contact Alia at

Advocacy Corner

What does the partial government shutdown mean for Peace Corps? Click here to see the NPCA’s blog post.

NPCA’S 15TH Annual National Day of Action! The National Peace Corps Association’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day will be Thursday, February 28th. We will also be participating in activities here in San Diego for Peace Corps Week. We will keep you posted!

Don't forget to renew your membership!

SDPCA membership dues of $20 were due January 1. Membership dues allow SDPCA to host a wide variety of events for our members. If you haven't yet paid your 2019 membership dues, please renew online at you!  

International Support Fund
Lesotho School Latrine Project Funded
At the holiday party, members voted to fund a Peace Corps Partnership Project with $1,000 in memory of SDPCA co-founder and longtime member Hank Davenport.  We selected Latrines for All, a project of PCV Elizabeth Behre in Lesotho.
This school latrine project will give students and teachers a place to go to use the bathroom at their school. Currently the school does not have latrines so students walk to a nearby valley to relieve themselves. Some girls do not feel safe going to the valley and often, they miss school when they are menstruating due to the lack of private facilities and a place to wash their hands. The project will build 11 latrines (2 for teachers, 4 each for the girls and boys, and 1 for the teacher housing).  
Learn more about the SDPCA International Support Fund.
Border Humanitarian Crisis: 5 Ways You Can Help
Several members have asked how they can help with the situation at the border. Here's some places to start:
1. Peace Corps Community for Refugees (PCCR) is a fellow National Peace Corps Association affiliate. As RPCVs concerned about the refugee crisis, PCCR engages the Peace Corps community in supporting refugees. Find out more about their work and how you can support it at
2. The San Diego Rapid Response Network is a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. They are seeking donations to help fund shelters and legal aid for these families. More at
3. Safe Harbors is a network of congregations, individuals and organizations that help provide temporary emergency shelter for refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers. Their priority is keeping mothers, fathers and children safely together. They need hosts for the families, volunteers to help at the shelters, and donations. Learn more at
4. Otay Mesa Detention Resistance is engaged in a number of activities to support migrants and asylum seekers. You can donate goods or money, contribute a skill (legal, medical, etc.), or help to get donated items delivered. Find out more at
5. If you are personally involved in humanitarian work with another organization along the border, let us know so that we can help spread the word about these opportunities to our members. Email

Annual Holiday Party. December 8.  More photos here.
Happy Hour at Station Tavern. December 13.
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