Dan Klingenberg

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Dan A Klingenberg
Flag of Venezuela.svg
Country Venezuela
Years: 1962-1964
Site(s) Bariquisimeto
Program(s) Agriculture
Assignment(s) Youth Developmentwarning.png"Youth Development" is not in the list of possible values (Agroforestry, Sustainable Agricultural Science, Farm Management and Agribusiness, Animal Husbandry, Municipal Development, Small Business Development, NGO Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Primary Teacher/Training, Secondary Teacher/Training, Math/Science Teacher/Training, Special Education/Training, Deaf/Education, Vocational Teacher/Training, University Teacher/Training, English Teacher/Training (TEFL), Environmental Education, National Park Management, Dry Land Natural Resource Conservation, Fisheries Fresh, Ecotourism Development, Coastal /Fisheries Resource Management, Public Health Education, AIDS Awareness, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Water and Sanitation Resources Engineering, Housing Construction Development, Youth, Other) for this property.
Dan Klingenberg started in Venezuela 1962
Dan Klingenberg
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Dan Klingenberg
Other Volunteers who served in Venezuela
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Dan Klingenberg, Gary Stith, Sandi Stith, Marianne Thomas
Projects in Venezuela
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[edit] Description of Service

Reflections on My Peace Corps Service

Dan Klingenberg, RPVC, Venezuela

You might say I was one of the first Peace Corps volunteers, even though I just missed being counted among the first 1000. I served in Venezuela as part of an agricultural extension project, during the period 1962-64. As a Volunteer Leader, I supervised 19 Volunteers at 13 sites throughout six states. The project’s main purpose was to develop 4-H Clubs (called 5-V in Venezuela), and provide the youth with techniques in agriculture and home economics.

Prior to our departure from Washington, D.C., where some of our training took place, President Kennedy and Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver spoke to our group. I have a great photo of the two of them coming down the aisle. This was, of course, a special occasion, as both men provided the inspiration and leadership to get the Peace Corps off to a good start. (I believe Hubert Humphrey had the idea, initially, however).

My most emotional moment in Venezuela was the day President Kennedy was shot. We were at a goat barbecue in a remote village. This was a celebration of some sort, attended by a large gathering of 100 Venezuelans, and just a few Volunteers. There was a lot of dancing, with the music provided by a short-wave radio. Had we not had that radio, we would not have heard the announcement about the shooting in Dallas. As soon as that came over the air, the party stopped, tears flowed, and everyone went home. There was no question that the Venezuelans felt the same sorrow we did. It’s amazing how in-tune very rural people are to world events.

While I was deferred from the military during my Peace Corps service, I don’t like to think I joined for that reason -- being the service-oriented person I am. Ha! The draft did catch up with me a few years later when I was getting started in my banking career. I was prepared to do my time, but President Johnson decided to take the younger draftees, so I continued my career path in agribusiness and banking.

Over the years, since my days in the Peace Corps, I’ve be privileged work in both the United States and abroad. My travels have taken me to more than 85 countries, primarily in the developing areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. My work, coupled with occasional volunteer assignments (Russia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe), have given me the chance to help others, mainly on matters pertaining to agricultural production, marketing, management and finance.

The Peace Corps “Spirit of Service” has prevailed in my life and my career. Happily, that spirit never seems to go away. I’m glad I was one of the first to sign up for a Peace Corps assignment and to have the feeling of being one of its first pioneers. It’s hard to believe that more than 47 years have passed since my two years of memorable service in Venezuela.

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