(Training pics are full size; some more recent pictures -- with a bluish outline -- can be clicked to enlarge)


Gerald "Gino" Baumann
Coyal de Alajuela, Costa Rica


click photo to enlarge

(1) Gino at center, during PC years in Peru or Bolivia?
(2) Lou Stelzner, Wadman Daly, Gino, Fred Caploe at 80th birthday gathering.
(3) ?, Fred Caploe, Sara, Gino, Lou Stelzner at 80th birthday gathering.
(4) Gino in a picture with article telling of his bio in 2006.

(5) Gino, Sara, ?? 2006.

PC Location
and Work
La Paz (1967-1971 )
Director of Peace Corps/Bolivia. Supervised all programs and activities of Peace Corps in Bolivia
Before/After PC

Gino sent us a packet of information about him, including vitae, letters, articles, notes. Some initial sections that seem to give a sense of Gino that worked with us follows and may be added to in the coming weeks.
---Don Beck

Most of an article in 1993 would form only a small part of a most fitting biography. Translated from Spanish.

........Gino Baumann - Ciudadano del mundo
.............by Peter Gaupp from Boletín de la Asociación Suiza de Costa Rica 01/93

Gino is young in manner and aspect despite his [then] age of 67. That his home is a place open and welcoming and always having friends and visitors present. That Gino without a doubt likes human beings--their variety, their peculiarities. That Gino is curious and communicative.

He came to Costa Rica in 1990 because after four decades in the "New World," living again in Switzerland was not a viable option for him.

Gino was born in 1926 in Aarau, Switzerland, to a family of deep social-democratic conviction. His father, a lawyer and judge, was one of those who initiated and authored legislation about social security. In their house they gave refuge to those persecuted by the German Nazis.

When he finished el Colegio Agricola de Lenzburg, Gino left Switzerland. With only his own resourcefulness he went to New York. In Indianapolis he earned a Masters in History of Labor Movement in the United States. He became a US Citizen and married Eunice, a Penobscot Native American from Maine. They have a daughter 34 [1993] and son 37 [1993]. Gino worked for 12 years as supervisor of a project building self-managed housing for an Afro-American organization.

In 1964 Gino came to Latin America. Seven years in Peace Corps--first in Peru to 1967 then in Bolivia. In 1971 he began participation as an assessor for Corporación Téchnica Suiza. Gino directed projects in Peru, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In El Salvador, he was part of a diplomatic incident: the military accused him of sympathizing with the guerilla of the FMLN and the government declared him persona non grata.

Now [1993] living in "tierra tica" [Costa Rican home soil] Gino and his compañera salvadoreña Sara and her children whose family was sadly affected by the civil war in her country are happily observing the peace process happening in El Salvador.

Gino's house is also a museum. It houses a library about the Spanish Civil War that has enormous scientific value. Gino has studied the history of the Latin American participants in this war and published a book about the theme. The library collection has been exhibited in San José in collaboration with the Centro Cultural Español in 1992.

Another collection of Gino's is called "Homenaje a la Mujer". It is a group of reproductions of works of art and photography that celebrate the beauty, the intelligence, the passion, the secret of the feminine sex and fill the walls of a whole room of his house. For all men fascinated with women, there are few who have the talent to express their delight in such a convincing and pleasant manner.

An article about him at the time of his 80th birthday has the following title and summary description:

........ A Swiss Occupational Rebel in South America

Gino Baumann has looked after Development Projects in half a world, has fallen out with governments and provided brainwork in Bern. Now he becomes 80 and is tired not in the least.

There is much more to tell of his years in Indianapolis, in Mexico in many other countries on his work in civil right issues, union rights, housing, human rights and more. He is passionate about studying and writing about the Spanish Civil war and Latin American involvment in it.

His yearly December letters from 2005 and 2006 to his friends tell of how active he is in travel and seeing friends and people and events, of his 80th birthday when120+ persons of great diversity from all over gathered to see him in Switzerland. It is obvious how much he has touched and still touches persons all over the world. Some extracts below:

"My wife Eunice died on Oct 27 2004. She was 88 years old. A fine human being. A fine woman. A memorial service was held on her Penobscot Indian Reservation in upstate Maine, She was well beloved, respected, admire by tribal members and University friends. One young Indian girl came to me and said: 'I worked for Eunice as a maid for several years. Now, thanks to to her I have a PhD.' The Eunice Baumann Nelson Hall at the University of Maine in Orono is a fitting tribute to her public life. She had also been declared the Woman of the Year in the state of Maine.

"The last 18 years we were separated. I wanted Latin America and she wanted academia and AmerIndian welfare. We visited almost annually. I have fond memories of our life together.

"I married my partner of 16 years, Sara [from El Salvador]. At home Sara manages everything. She vaccinates and checks the cows and sheep, buys hay (the latest acquisition--a Normando bull was a joint venture), she gathers eggs, makes tamales, rents pool and tennis court, feeds all the clan, reads Latin American novels, fusses over the grandchildren.

"I play tennis every day, swim ten laps, do calisthenics, read a lot, eat less but more balanced, write letters. (don't do e-mail, cannot control the mouse) watch international soccer on TV. Hate bad news, enjoy good news (for example that Spain gave Citizenship to those who fought for them in the thirties, and also they give citizenship to Sefardis, expelled centuries ago. It seems that sometimes the good will prevails.

"Abrazos to all

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In the Future
Favorites to Share
Books: Jorge Semprun (one of my favorite authors); La Niña Mala by Vargas Llosa