Make America a Better Place. Leave the Country.
Zachary H. Swank '08 served as a Peace Corps Ecotourism Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. He worked on the Segou Ecolodge Project, a collaborative effort between the Peace Corps and the Segou Campement Groupement to build ecotourist areas and promote environmental, financial and social sustainability. The project consisted of the construction of four round huts with interior bathrooms and a restaurant complete with a solar refrigerator, kitchen, public bathrooms and a store room. It will provide a source of income to members of a rural African village trying to make a better life for their families and neighbors. Local materials and labar were used in construction, profits were given to the community, and it provides an important source of employment for the village.
Zach says, "I had so many remarkable experiences while serving in the Peace Corps and it has really changed my basic conception of the world."
For Swank, working as a consultant on the ecotourism lodge and focusing on issues of sustainability were among the best parts of his experience. Today, he is working at Natural Capitalism Solutions, a business sustainability consulting group. Future plans also include working for a lobbying organization to represent businesses pushing for sustainability legislation.
For more information about the project, go to Zach's blog at http://zachinrim.blogspot.com or http://sites.google.com/site/segouecolodge.