Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle

By Moritz Thomsen


This would be Moritz’s first and best known book, about his volunteer work in tropical Ecuador, where despite language and cultural barriers and a serious fatalism amongst the local population, he pushed ahead with a series of projects which would impact him and his village in ways he couldn’t imagine.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer he put down roots, which allowed him to immerse himself in the local culture and economy and understand its dynamics like few other ex-pats. This allowed him to enter the skin and psyche of his neighbors and describe their passions and ignorance with immense candor. As fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and author, Paul Theroux, puts it, “Thomsen is one of those rare, gifted, inventive and courageous Americans with a strong stomach and a dark sense of humor, who went away and never came back—just kept going

Book reviewed by Mark D. Walker
United States