Mastering the Peace Corps

The toughest job you’ll ever love.

by LJ Evans

“My first Peace Corps experience was positive, but the second time, with 35 years behind me, my assignment fit me like a glove.”

 

Tony Gasbarro's work with villagers in La Montañona, El Salvador, included helping them develop sustainable forestry practices. Photo by Erin Kelly.
Tony Gasbarro’s work with villagers in La Montañona, El Salvador, included helping them develop sustainable forestry practices. Photo by Erin Kelly.

Tony Gasbarro is a double-dipper. He got so much satisfaction out of being a Peace Corps volunteer, he decided to do it again.

“My first Peace Corps experience was positive, but the second time, with 35 years behind me, my assignment fit me like a glove,” Gasbarro said.

His first stint was in the Dominican Republic as a forestry advisor in 1962 – 1964, right after graduating from college. He went on to a lengthy career and ended up with the Cooperative Extension Service in Fairbanks as associate professor of forestry extension. When he retired in 1996 after 23 years at UAF, he signed up for Peace Corps service again.

His second tour of duty was in La Montañona, a village high in the mountains of El Salvador. Gasbarro worked with villagers to put a forest management plan into action and harvest trees to generate income without destroying the forest. He also assisted in the local school and helped community members encourage tourism in the area.