In response to the third goal of Peace Corps, “Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans,” AARPCV provides a structure for continuing the commitment to positive social action, global education, and community service.
The Peace Corps community is particularly strong at the University of Arizona, which is one of the top 20 Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities, according to a ranking just released by the organization.
While many Peace Corps volunteers begin their service after graduating and leaving the UA, there are many who come to the UA after their service to become graduate students and employees.
The UA has approximately 75 active and retired faculty and staff members who are returned Peace Corps volunteers.
To help mark Peace Corps Week, which runs through Saturday, three UA employees who served in the Peace Corps spoke with Lo Que Pasa about their experiences, and how their service has influenced their lives today.
Zack Guido Program Manager International Research and Application Program, Institute of the Environment Zack Guido is famous – or perhaps infamous – among Peace Corps volunteers.
" I didn't want to embark on a career that felt a little too stuffy to me, but I also didn't want to close the door on a career, so I was looking for something that sort of threaded that needle and that was adventurous." His Peace Corps work was officially in environmental education, though he branched out into agricultural projects.
He provided basic training and capacity building for local teachers and helped farmers grow roses and fruit trees.
With another Peace Corps volunteer, Guido founded a small nonprofit that developed water wells for rural Bolivian communities, continuing that work for three or four years after leaving the Peace Corps.
He also went to graduate school to pursue a master's degree, a move he said "felt wholly unsatisfying." "I was doing research on ancient climates.
It was really cool research, but it felt pretty removed from people, which was the opposite of where I was in the Peace Corps," said Guido, who finished his master's at the University of Colorado and then did his doctoral work at the UA, focusing in part on quantifying changes in glaciers in Bolivia.