According to the U.S. Peace Corps, 7 percent of its 6,818 volunteers are over the age of 50, and the international service organization would like to see that double. Retired volunteers, the agency says, bring unique life skills and professional experiences with them that allow them to instantly impact the communities they serve around the world.
Enter John and Rosemary Bottcher from Monticello, Florida, married 47 years. Rosemary, 72, is a retired environmental chemist, and John, 71, was an environmental attorney. They served together from 2011-2013 in Paraguay, where Rosemary taught secondary school and John worked in agricultural economics building sustainable gardens.
“It was just a grand adventure,” Rosemary says. “I just wanted to do something different, because lying about when you’re retired can get pretty boring pretty fast.” John and Rosemary’s decided to join the Peace Corps after visiting their daughter, a volunteer herself, in Guatemala.