From the Philippines to the Pacific Northwest – Working with Communities for Environmental Protection: A Return Peace Corps Volunteer’s Story
EPA’s It’s Our Environment, Washington, D.C.
My Peace Corps site assignment was not what I would have conjured in my mind as a kid, dreaming about a future adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer in some isolated corner of the world. San Jose de Buenavista, Antique was a busy, medium-sized provincial capital in the Philippines.
I was assigned to the Provincial Planning Office to work on coastal management. With a very general assignment, and being new to the country and the community, my first challenge was figuring out how a fresh college graduate, new to the language and culture of the Philippines, could help.
A co-worker at the Provincial Planning Office was very excited about piloting a new method of gathering planning data, Participatory Resource Assessment (PCRA). As I learned more about this tool, I became interested in exploring it as a means to connect with communities and better understand coastal issues in the province.
After consulting with provincial colleagues and getting support from local officials, we planned and held a series of assessments with five coastal communities. These assessments brought community members and officials together to map and document issues in their communities.
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