Dear PoP – Does Columbia Heights Have The Highest Concentration of Peace Corps Volunteer Alumni?

Peace Corps. Poster, originally uploaded by Jrish85.

“Dear PoP,

Columbia Heights and/or the zip code 20010 has the highest concentration of former Peace Corp Volunteers than any other part of the US/World.

I can’t remember where I heard it, but now a friend of mine is asking if there is a source other than myself as to the validity of this claim. Would you or any of your readers be able to help point to some source that could confirm/deny this?”

I’m sure there are some former peace corps folks out there. Can anyone confirm this?

35 Comment

  • How about contacting Peace Corps directly, i’m sure they’d know.

    Btw, that poster looks like a cover of a book about the final rupture or end of days…

  • I live in 20010 and I’m an RPCV. NICA 30, yeah!

  • I was a peace corps volunteer and then a peace corps recruiter when I returned home. Call the Rosslyn recruiting office for an answer. We always broke numbers down by home state and college attended, but it can definitely be filtered by zip code as well. I’m interested to know the answer!

  • I’d always heard it was Mt. Pleasant years ago, but I think most of the group houses full of RPCVs sold…I def believe it’s Columbia Heights now. In fact 2 of my RPCV colleagues live there. I also think there are a fair number of RPCV homeowners in Petworth – a lot of people buying houses here work for non profits.

  • …and RPCV = Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

  • When I worked with Peace Corps, I’d heard (more than once) that the highest concentration of returned Peace Corps Volunteers was within the 20010 zip code which includes just about all of Mt Pleasant and Columbia Heights.

    I’d second the suggestion to contact Peace Corps’ Rosslyn Recruiting Office, you might also ask the DC returned Peace Corps group (

  • I live in a house with another guy from my Mongolia group and there are a few nearby. Between Mt. P and Columbia Heights. This has to be the highest concentration.

  • Why does this matter? I love self absorbed people who want everyone to know how “selfless” they are. Really, what’s the point in volunteering if everyone around you doesn’t know that you did, right?

  • Hey Formstone, it’s never too late:

  • An ex-peace corp friend of mine told me it was Mt. P. Neither area surprises me.

  • I always heard it was Takoma Park, MD because of the concentration of old timers and recently returned.

    That said, my wife and I are both RPCV’s (me,Thailand 93-95 and her, Benin 94-96 and live in 20001.

  • Uh, make that 20010

  • Sorry to be a Latin grammar nazi here, but it’s “alumni”. The masculine is alumnus, the feminine is alumna, and the plural is alumni.

    Ok. As you were.

  • There should be an RPCV “Hall” in Columbia Heights like a lot of places have for the VFW. You could rent out the basement for sports banquets.

  • Smoove T, you are correct, unless the person posing the question was only asking about those of the female sex. Alumnae (pronounced “alum-nee”) is the plural of alumna.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Fixed Alumni in the title. Thanks.

  • Yup, can’t swing a cat in this neighborhood without hitting an RPCV. My household has another two (both Benin ’05 – ’07), although technically we’re in 20009, not 20010.

    Also, that Peace Corps graphic is sinfully ugly. Hope they’re not using that too widely.

  • Formstone Bar must have hit on an RPCV at Wonderland and got shot down.

  • I had thought very seriously about joining the Peace Corps. But unfortunately, some family connections disqualified me. Wah-wah (sad bassoon sound)

  • My friend and I are both RPCVs and own homes in Petworth (20011)…and another RPCV friend owns in Mt. Rainier. It amazes me how many RPCVs end up settling in the DC area! Andy, an RPCV Hall would be so awesome. The decor possibilities boggle the mind.

  • That poster rocks because of the bottom right hand corner: FREE FOOD! haha- targets the audience perfectly. Nobody got rich doing Peace Corps!

  • Speaking of that crappy poster, couldn’t they have at least rotated the globe around? Recruiting materials ought to be focusing on someplace other than North America.

  • My husband and are are RPCVs and used to live in 20010, but now we are in 20001— we were in Mali, West Africa!

  • Sorry, my wife and I were Peace Corps, but we’re in 20001, just across the street from 20010.

  • And my wife beat me to posting our info. Hi Michele!

  • RPCV Panama- Ive lived in Mt Pleasant AND Columbia Hts! 🙂

  • I know this doesn’t count, but I am the daugher of two RPCV (Afghanistan 70-72) and I live in 20011. They visit all the time, so they kind of live here part time!

  • So I’m an RPCV also and I live in 20010, I once put a guitar up for sale on Craigslist and when I met the girl who was going to buy it, who also lived in CH, she turned out to be an RPCV also from Ukraine, the same country I was in, she was just there a few years earlier. Thought it was a small world thing, but maybe it’s just a Columbia Heights thing…

  • JohnnyReb, you are also correct!

    It’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only one that wasted my time in high school on a dead language.

    Let’s go look for people misusing i.e. and e.g.!

  • Torn – sorry to hear your wife beat you.

  • Okay, 30 comments in…has anyone gotten an answer on this yet?

  • Matt G: Perhaps it would be easiest just to map the average earnestness of each zipcode for an answer.

  • Just go to a bunch of yard sales – whichever neighborhood has more cheap mexican blankets, thick itchy hand-knit sweaters, crappy beaded indiginous jewelry and really heavy hardcover books on social justice wins.

    And I LOVE THE PEACE CORPS. This is just the yardsale truth.

  • Torn – you’re not alone. My girlfriend beat me, too. Had me wondering who else in our zipcode was in Benin the same time we were.

    Though based on the timestamp, she must have been slacking off at work!

  • So here’s (as close as one is going to get to) your definitive answer:

    I emailed the nice folks at the National Peace Corps Association, and they did a quick search of their database.

    Based on that, they estimated the winning zip code at 20009. But the next two were 20008 and 20010 so clearly there’s a pretty high PCV population all around us.

Comments are closed.