Teaching pest control measures to Guatemalan farmers might sound like an odd way to spend two years, but to Ball State University graduate Becky Clouser it sounded like an adventure.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guatemala: Peace Corps Guatemala: Peace Corps in Guatemala: Teaching pest control measures to Guatemalan farmers might sound like an odd way to spend two years, but to Ball State University graduate Becky Clouser it sounded like an adventure.

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 3:26 pm: Edit Post

Teaching pest control measures to Guatemalan farmers might sound like an odd way to spend two years, but to Ball State University graduate Becky Clouser it sounded like an adventure.



Teaching pest control measures to Guatemalan farmers might sound like an odd way to spend two years, but to Ball State University graduate Becky Clouser it sounded like an adventure.

Teaching pest control measures to Guatemalan farmers might sound like an odd way to spend two years, but to Ball State University graduate Becky Clouser it sounded like an adventure.

Peace Corps provide a world of experience for Ball State alumnus (01/12/00)

MUNCIE, Ind. Ė Teaching pest control measures to Guatemalan farmers might sound like an odd way to spend two years, but to Ball State University graduate Becky Clouser it sounded like an adventure.

After receiving a bachelorís degree in telecommunications and a masterís degree in earth science, the Converse, Ind., native decided to spend two years in the Peace Corps. She was stationed in the city of Santa Cruz for most of her stay and returned to the United States in December 1999.

"A lot of the farmers were illiterate and couldnít read chemical bottles, so they ended up harming the environment and themselves," Clouser said.

Before being taught by the Peace Corps, farmers were using chemicals on their crops without knowing what effects they would have on the environment or their health.

"We taught them organic ways to eliminate pests so they wouldnít pollute the soil or water," she said.

Clouser taught formal courses to farmers once every two months and visited the class members individually to see how they had put what they learned into practice. She also taught informal courses in villages to educate local women on the benefits of medicinal plants.

Her desire to become integrated into a new community, along with the promise of helping people in need, prompted Clouser to join the Peace Corps after graduation.

Of the many lessons she has taken from her experience in Guatemala, Clouser emphasized the importance of developing good communication skills.

"I really learned how to find common ground in communicating with a variety of people over these past two years," she said.

While in Guatemala, Clouser was removed from events making news back home.

"When I visited my family for Christmas in 1998 I watched the news and didnít even know who Monica Lewinsky was," she said.

By Kortney Reinitz, Graduate Assistant

(NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information, contact Clouser at rlclouser@hotmail.com.)



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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guatemala; Special Interests - Pest Control

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