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


Jeff Fletcher
Washington, DC
1967 Training Biography

John Emmett Fletcher, Jr.
A native of Washington, D.C., John received his A.B. degree with honors from Williams College in Massachusetts. His major was Spanish, which he put to good use in Mexico and Colombia where he visited and studied over the past few years. John's summer work experience includes that of counselor, fiscal clerk, and administrative assistant in a business firm in Cali, Colombia. He has a special interest in music and considers himself a "semiprofessional" drummer. Interested in all sports, John is especially strong in soccer skills. John is 22 years old.

More Recent

click photo to enlarge

(1) Tara & I, Halloween'06 (2) Tara Hamilton & Jeff Fletcher (3) Jeff dons his diablada mascara (4) Jeff with more diablo masks--used in fesitvals during carnivales.

and Work

Animas (southern mines near Atocha), 1967-68
• Taught English, worked in an outpatient medical facility, procured educational supplies for rural schools.

Yapacani (colonization program near Santa Cruz), 1968-69
• General community development work--bridge building, cattle vaccination, rice and fish farming, plus some teaching of English. Worked with Scott Reed.


After a long, by-land trip from Bolivia to the U.S., I enrolled in George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (my home town) and received a Master's in Latin American Studies in 1971. I roomed with fellow volunteer Jim Wright for a while.

In the early-mid 70's I got involved in protest politics, both anti-war and anti-imperialism, joined the Committee of Returned Volunteers, got married, had a baby, and then got divorced. I also managed to get myself arrested at an anti-freeway demonstration.

In 1971 I began what turned out to be a career with the National League of Cities, a D.C.-based nonprofit urban advocacy group, where I ended up working for 32 years in a variety of positions, mostly in member services and communications and marketing. Obviously, I enjoyed working with local elected officials, mayors and city council members, very much.

I retired from NLC in 2003 and have since been working part-time for a D.C. neighborhood historic preservation group. I do some consulting work for a nonprofit that serves city and county public information officers, I serve on a neighborhood zoning committee, and I am on the boards of Amigos de Bolivia y Peru (your organization: join now!) and the Kolmac Clinic Foundation, a group that provides financial support to people seeking substance abuse treatment.

I met Tara Hamilton (another native Washingtonian) at work, and we've now been together for nearly 30 years, including 22 as a married couple. Tara is the Public Affairs/Media Relations manager for the airports authority than runs Dulles and National airports in D.C. My daughter Allison works for a nonprofit worker rights group here in D.C. My father and mother passed away in 1988 and 2000, respectively.

In my "gearing down" phase I have picked up an old hobby--photography--and Tara and I bought a getaway cottage on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Deale, Md., a couple of years ago. I am a voracious reader of spy stories, mysteries, and police procedurals. My politics have changed over time from "smash the state" to liberal democrat to centrist democrat, I contribute a little money and some time to local and national Democratic causes, but I am much more involved in local politics than I am in national party activities.

I have done fairly extensive travel in the U.S, but overseas trips have been limited to date to Mexico, England, continental Europe, Sweden, and Brazil. I have never returned to Bolivia, but follow events there closely

PC In Your Life

I was raised in the Quaker tradition, so PC experience reinforced my belief in the need to seek peaceful solutions to conflict in all aspects of life, gave me a good grounding in the importance of diversity in all cultures, and provided me with a realistic view of how difficult and inter-connected poverty-related problems really are.

Leaving aside emergency aid and medical groups, it seems to me that organizations like Acción, Finca, Heifer Project, Oxfam, and Technoserve are doing valuable international work. I enjoy the reading the perspectives in Upside Down World newsletter.

Best/Worst PC Experience

The PC experience was a good one in many ways and for many reasons.
I especially remember:

  • the extremes of hot
    • rainforest jungle
    • infected mosquito bites
  • the extremes of cold
    • frostbitten toes wading through Altiplano arroyos in winter
    • travelling in a boxcar to Tarija;
  • the fun train trips featuring cacho and lomo montado;
  • the excellent Kauppi-provided meals (and baked bread!) in Atocha;
  • the emotional highs and lows of the Pues newsletter experience;
  • Oruro devil dances;
  • Four Seasons music at the American-style restaurant in Santa Cruz;
  • getting used to "violations of personal space;"
  • fear of the jungle and the yoporopojobo;
  • dynamite "fishing";
  • getting bitten by a rat;
  • tiring of giardia lambia after about 23 months straight;
  • the purple burps;
  • chuño;
  • being mistaken for Regis Debray;
  • being out of the U.S. during a particularly turbulent time in history;
  • learning to use a machete;
  • trying unsuccessfully to get high on coca leaves;
  • striking miners and flying dynamite;
  • deaths of Ché and Barrientos;
  • Big Al and Gino;
  • and many other memories that are not suitable for publication.

RPCV Groups

I’m on the board of Amigos de Bolivia y Peru and a member of NPCA
In the Future
I will continue to work part-time and volunteer for at least the next few years, and (I hope) travel more internationally.
Favorites to Share
Websites: Upside Down World http://upsidedownworld.org/