Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.00
  • Save: $2.28 (8%)
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Living Poor: A Peace Corp... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used book in good condition, light but obvious signs of use.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle Paperback – May, 1990

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$26.72
$20.12 $6.48
Textbook Binding
"Please retry"
$16.95

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$26.72 FREE Shipping. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle
  • +
  • The Insider's Guide to the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go
  • +
  • One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo: 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories: Volume One: Africa (Peace Corps at 50)
Total price: $58.41
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Moritz Thomsen's Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle was one of the first published accounts by a Peace Corps volunteer; it remains one of the best. And if you're going to just read one book on the topic, make it this one. It's realistic, painful, and somehow ennobling in its descriptions of Peace Corps life in Ecuador."―Nancy Pearl, Book Lust to Go

"Hilariously funny at times, grimly sad at others and elavened with perceptive insights into the ways of the people and with breathtaking descriptions of the Ecuadorian landscape."―St. Louis Post―Dispatch

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press; Reprint edition (May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295969288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295969282
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Before going to Peace Corps, I read every Peace Corps related book I could find. Although this book is the oldest of all that I read, it gave me the clearest, most realistic picture of Peace Corps life. Beyond that, it was a story that touched me deeply. Too many Peace Corps stories drown in sentimentalism or self-admiration or cutesy life lessons learned. Living Poor avoids these traps and is a great story, whether or not you are contemplating Peace Corps.
Comment 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to grow up in Ecuador and was the daughter of a good friend of his. This book, like his others, brings out the curmudgeonly appeal he had for me as a young girl playing in his courtyard. His straightforward dark humor, playing on the subtleties of his life, is present throughout this book. I found this book to reflect the nature of South American Ex-Pats, new and old, bringing that fervent desire to belong and not belong to the adopted culture. To me this is also about trying to make an impact learning and teaching, creating and destroying.
I highly prize this book, and am so saddened that I will never again read another book from this man.
If you are interested in South America, the nature of Ex-patriotism, and living in a culture outside your own, this is one book to have in your library.
Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In 1988, my wife and I decided to join the Peace Corps. We were both in our early 40s at the time. When we found we were being sent to Ecuador we madly scoured the library trying to find something about the Peace Corps in Ecuador. We we lucky enough to find Moritz Thomsen's book, "Living Poor." As we devoured the book we both laughed and cried, looked at each other and wondered what we were getting ourselves into. Although every Peace Corps volunteer's experience is different (and our's was totally different from the authors) after our two years in Ecuador this book still rings true This book is brutally honost. Moritz makes no effort to glorify himself or what he accomplished or the Peace Corps. This is part of the charm of the book. We regret that we never met the author but we will always treasure his books.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Thomsen teaches you a great deal about what living in a poor, rural, South American town is like. You can actually feel his sadness, elation and frustration gripping hold of you from the pages. I would recomend this to anyone, even if you are not interested in the Peace Corps. It was an extremely enjoyable read.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Down to Earth and very detailed account of this man's experience in Ecuador in the 1960s as a Peace Corps Volunteer. There are many things a person in the Corps can relate to regarding Moritz Thomsen's inner thoughts about his role and responsibilities, environment, and people he dealt with. He gave a lot of honesty in himself and his personal perceptions. I would recommend this book to those considering applying or serving in the Peace Corps. One note, is that the training today is much different than it was in the 1960s. There are numerous books about the Peace Corps experience from RPCVs who served and they also are worth looking into.
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Although I was a Peace Corps volunteer I did not read this in preparation of my service (although I wish I had). I was drawn to this book after reading a friend's copy of Moritz's "Farm on the River of Emeralds" which was such an excellent book I wanted to read more of Moritz's writing. I was not disappointed by "Living Poor". As referred to in the subtitle this is a chronicle of Moritz's experience joining the Peace Corps and traveling to Ecuador where he spends most of the next four years working with the people of Rio Verde, a village on the Pacific Coast near Esmeraldas.

I think "Farm on the River of Emeralds" is a better literary work and reflects the development of Moritz as a writer as well as his enriched experience over time in Ecuador. This did not reduce my enjoyment and appreciation of "Living Poor". This is a book that reveals poverty as deeply and as powerfully as Rohinton Mistry's novel on India, "A Fine Balance".

Moritz is an excellent observer of people and writes of their appearance, mannerism, and background with portrait accuracy but also with humor and sensitivity. I remember a description of a woman in the village that was feared by all the families. She was a bruja, a witch that could cast spells and control people with her "brews of secret leaves". Moritz meets and describes her..."She had great square teeth, strong and yellow, and her smile was like some aristocratic but fading French countess right out of Proust. She was in her sixties but her hair was still dark and tied in two teenaged pigtails; they stuck out wildly from out beneath a limp and incredibly well used straw hat, the top of which was broken and hinged.
Read more ›
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My Peace Corps experience was quite different from Mr. Thomson's on the surface. I went to an Arabic country in Africa as opposed to a South American Country. I was in my 20s as opposed to late 40s. My training was in country and quite different. I was a teacher instead of a farmer and lived in a large metropolitan city.

However, having said all that there were several times I thought"Whoa!" this is exactly what happened to me! And this is something that no non-PCV would ever understand.

For example, he described the emotional feeling he had from living in Equador similar to the feeling of first falling in love except that this feeling was constant. I had that feeling about Morocco and I STILL have it to this day 30 years later.

He doesn't sugar coat the experience either and describes the hardships of which there were many. Underlying these descriptions were a message that they made him a better person. Ah, how I can relate.

Excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle