DESCRIPTION OF PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER SERVICE

 

Nathan T. Wight                                                  Dominican Republic

 

Training:  Nathan T. Wight entered training on July 27th, 1999 at the Peace Corps training center, ENTRENA, S.A. in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where he completed a twelve-week (560 hour) intensive training program covering the following areas of study:

 

 

Assignment:  Mr. Wight was sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer on October 15th, 1999 and was assigned to serve as a Community Agricultural Extensionist in the rural community of Los Tramojos in the province of San José de Ocoa.

 

The primary objectives of his assignment were:

 

Needs Analysis:  Through direct interaction with the community, Mr. Wight assessed the needs and problems of its residents.  Problems identified were:  low crop yields, reliance on toxic agricultural products, high rates of soil erosion on farms, limited access to farmers markets and affective regional assistance agencies, inadequate knowledge of the economical value of alternative crops, insufficient household nutrition due to a lack of crop diversity, deforestation and poor land stability, lack of assistance and educational materials in the public school, and a deficiency of healthy recreational activities for the youth.  In coordination with community members and local groups, Mr. Wight developed a work plan to address these issues and others identified by the people of Los Tramojos.

 

Organic Horticulture Project:  Mr. Wight developed an organic demonstration test plot, which was used as a base for instruction in the methods of home gardening. (e.g., composting, proper plant spacing, seed germination, seed saving, seed bed preparation, and organic pesticide management.)  The objectives of this project were to train households using the demonstration test plot, in an effort to diversify existing farm plots, while introducing new crops to the family’s diet (thus, increasing nutritional standards) and creating new markets.  With Mr. Wight’s help and instruction, nine families set up home gardens of their own, or improved existing ones with the demonstrated methods.

 

Passion Fruit Project:  Mr. Wight solicited funds through the Holland-Price Foundation (awarded $US 5,000), selected 12 motivated farmers from Los Tramojos and surrounding communities, and provided each with an adequate amount of money to build demonstration plots of passion fruit.  The money was awarded to farmers on a rotating trust fund agreement (e.g., farmers pay back small amounts bi-annually after each harvest session).  The project was designed to give farmers and their families a more economically beneficial crop, thus improving the well-being and general health of the community.

Reforestation Project:  Mr. Wight assessed the damage on the hills surrounding the community of Los Tramojos after a forest fire destroyed the natural balance of the ecosystem.  In an effort to restore land stability and prevent further soil erosion, Mr. Wight educated 60 youths (11-15 years old) on the importance of reforestation, solicited 2,000 pine trees, 3,000 cedar trees and 5,000 mahogany trees, and supervised the planting and rebuilding of the forest coverage.

 

Rural Aqueduct/Soil Conservation Project:  Mr. Wight, with funding provided by the local Non Government Agency Hermandad, Inc., helped supervise the construction of a rural community aqueduct.  The aqueduct provided irrigation water to 10 farmers.  Mr. Wight worked with the beneficiaries to improve their land by building live and dead barriers in an effort to prevent soil erosion.

 

 

Secondary Projects:  In addition to his work as a Community Agriculture Extensionist, Mr. Wight was involved in a variety of secondary projects.

 

 

ACTFL Score:  Mr. Wight completed his service with an advanced level of Spanish proficiency.  Verification of the rating and the description of the criteria may be obtained from the Peace Corps Language Proficiency Program of Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6155.

 

Pursuant to Section (f) of the Peace Corps Act 22 U.S.C. 2504(f), any former Peace Corps Volunteer employed by the United States Government following his Peace Corps service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps Volunteer service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave, and other privileges based on length of Government service.

 

This is to clarify, in accordance with Executive Order No. 11103 of April 10,1963, that Nathan T. Wight served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  His service ended on October 15, 2001.  His benefits under this order extend for the period of one year after the termination of service, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who entered military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning, or engages in other activities which, in the view of the employing agency, warrant extension of the period.

 

 

 

 

Signed:                                                              Signed:                                                  Date:_____________                                  

 

Nathan T. Wight                                              

Peace Corps Volunteer                                      Country Director

Dominican Republic                                           Peace Corps Dominican Republic