United States Peace Corps director Gaddi H. Vasquez visited The University of Texas-Pan American Nov. 14 as part of Global Opportunities Day at the University. Vasquez, a native of Carrizo Springs and the first Hispanic director of the Peace Corps, talked to Rio Grande Valley high school students about the requirements to serve and the opportunities available in the organization. Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps is a federal government agency that provides volunteers that live and work in developing countries with a mission of promoting world peace and friendship. More than 7,800 Peace Corps volunteers currently serve in 77 countries throughout the world. Hoping to increase the diversity of Peace Corps volunteers, Vasquez described the benefits of joining and encouraged them to learn more by accessing the Peace Corps Web site at www.peacecorps.gov During Global Opportunities Day, the kickoff to International Week at the University, students also heard about international student exchange opportunities from students who have participated in the program. Students were able to attend a Study Abroad Fair during lunch and also learned about global careers via a videoconference with Chevron-Thailand drilling engineer Michael Wagner. Global Opportunities Day was co-sponsored by the Region One Education Service Center and the Office of Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15). Hinojosa, Region One Executive Director Dr. Sylvia R. Hatton, and UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas also participated in the daylong event.