Interview with Mahlon A. Barash, February 22, 2022

Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Mahlon Barash accepted an invitation from Sargeant Shriver for a Peace Corps Peru position as a rural community development volunteer in 1965. Training consisted of a Puerto Rican homestay/field training, Outward Bound-style physical/attitudinal/ psychological evaluation, training by RPCVs, and (least useful) community development theory. Only four volunteers went to Peru where he chose the highlands. Initially sent to an archaeological project at an Inca administrative center- altiplano ruins over 14,000’ above sea level, he was eventually posted to friendly, sociable Llata and was joined by another PCV, Jack Hoffbuhr, a civil engineer. Together they worked for a government community development program, wherein they solicited and responded to various highland communities’ requests to build schools—nine in all. They would organize each community’s labor, and through the program they would supply corrugated metal for roofs, doors, and windows once the locals built “tapial” (rammed earth) or adobe walls and wooden rafters. Always with camera in hand, Mahlon easily took candid B and W photos, which he published in Imágenes del Perú / Images of Peru, available on Amazon. His post-PCV studies enabled him to specialize in international housing microfinance. He is now a citizen and full-time resident of Peru.

Interview Accession

2022oh0275_pcrv0532

Interviewee Name

Mahlon A. Barash

Interviewer Name

John Croes

Interview Date

2022-02-22

Interview Keyword

Peace Corps (U.S.) Peru (country of assignment) 1965-1967 (Years of service) Rural Community Development (PC assignment/program) Senior Year Program (preparation for service) Puerto Rico (language and homestay) Outward Bound (Training) RPCVs (Training) Lima (capital of Peru) Mother (parents’ anxiety) Postcards (PC incident) Diary USAID Culture shock (poverty) John Murra (anthropologist) Huánuco Pampa (archaeological site) Soroche (altitude sickness) Altiplano (ruins) University of Wisconsin (archaeologists) Campesinos (workers) La Unión (Coastal capital) Slit trench (latrine) Acción Popular (political party) Jack Hoffbuhr (co-worker) John Moore (archaeologist) Ingeniero Leyva Llata (post) Fernando Belaunde Terry (president) Dos de Mayo (province) Huamalies (province) Mayor Mañuel Leyva (teacher) Drinking circles Aguardiente (firewater) Gran baile sociál Fortunato Morales (former lieutenant governor of Morca) Pompeyo Caqui (photographer) Gringos (Americans) Jefe (chief) Cooperación Popular Calamina (corrugated metal) Horseback (travel) Survey Marañon River Tapial (rammed earth) Adobe (mud bricks) Cuyi (guinea pigs) Coca (leaves) Halizone (water purification tablets) New teachers Teacher absenteeism School partnership (St. Louis) Morca (community) Monalisa of Humalies (cover photo) Pythagorean theory (triangles form right angle) Transit (for surveying) Reservoir Callejón de Huaylas Cuzco (City in Peru) Machu Pichu (Inca ruin) Treasure of the Incas (movie) Cultural anthropology (graduate school degree) Thunderbird (International management school) Microfinance Housing bank (Savings and Loan) Chattel mortgages Sofoles Cajamarca Citizenship Writers group Photographers group Huancave Tren macho (narrow gauge railroad) PC-Peru administration Termination report Mario Tapia Juypa (Sub-prefect) Sr. Teofilo Berrospi (former lieutenant governor) Theoretical community development Make Them Look Like Us (book)Ciro Algeria (author) El Serpiente de Oro (book) Imágenes del Perú / Images of Peru (book)

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Barash, Mahlon A. Interview by John Croes. 22 Feb. 2022. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Barash, M.A. (2022, February 22). Interview by J. Croes. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Barash, Mahlon A., interview by John Croes. February 22, 2022, Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt71fz7snwpz2