Zach Feris

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Mr. Feris entered Pre service training on September 23, 1998 at ENTRENA, Santa Lucía, F.M., Honduras. The intensive fourteen week training program was divided into two facets: a Pre service training and a more experiential Field Based Training given in the surrounding area of Zamorano Agricultural School in Central Honduras. The content of the program included:

Technical Training: (200 hours) Community analysis and organization, impact and feasibility diagnosis, topographical studies, water gravity and pump delivery design, excreta and waste disposal system design, construction and maintenance of rural gravity-flow water systems and latrines, formation and training of community water boards, watershed delineation and protection, watershed management and reforestation practices, health and hygiene education, waterborne disease and vector control, environmental education, youth development, and project planning and grant writing. Field experience in all technical topics.

Language Instruction: (250 hours) Formal conversation and written Spanish language using a technique of total immersion in Honduran families and culture, competent development of abstract themes and hypotheses, and small class size (3-4 students). Upon completion of training, Mr. Feris was tested by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ETS/ACTFL) and received a Superior level in Spanish.

Community Development and Cross Cultural Orientation: (77 hours) Discussion of development theories, community assessment and participation, appropriate technology, women in development, cross-cultural relations, social adaptation and environmental awareness, personal safety and health, and the study of the history, geography, anthropology, politics, religion, art and social context of Honduras. A two-month live-in experience with Honduran families.

Peace Corps Medical/Administrative: (27 hours) Preventative medicine, health, safety and security issues, the administrative processes.

Independent Study: (50 hours) Organize community and youth activities along with other advanced language trainees.

Zachery Feris was sworn in as a volunteer on January 4, 1999. He was assigned to coordinate work efforts with SANAA (The National Autonomous Water and Sewage Service) in the municipality of Manto, department of Olancho.

During the two years of service, Mr. Feris covered a radius of approximately 80 kilometers around Manto, including the municipalities of Juticalpa, Catacamas, Guarizama, Santa María del Real, San Francisco de Becerra, Dulce Nombre de Culmí, El Rosario, Concordia and Campamento. His area of work focused on providing technical support and water/sanitation education to rural communities ranging in size from 60 to 690 inhabitants. Mr. Feris' service can be summarized as follows:

• Topographic studies of 14 rural water systems, including, community analysis, demographic census, feasibility study, hydraulic calculations, materials list and grant proposal, benefiting 2,146 families/13,415 inhabitants, and simultaneously training 12 Honduran SANAA technicians and four newly sworn-in Peace Corps volunteers in the practice of self-sufficient topography.

• Provided technical support to the Catholic Church and Cáritas-Suiza for a latrine project benefiting 266 families/2,005 inhabitants in 9 communities of Manto, and prepared, presented and transferred technical skills and water and sanitation education in a series of 3 one-hour courses in each of these communities.

• Facilitated a four-day Operation and Maintenance of Rural Water System Workshop to strengthen the technical skills of 12 plumbers and 7 Honduran SANAA technicians representing 7 different municipalities.

• Co-facilitated a two-day Topography Workshop to train 12 Honduran SANAA technicians in the theory and practice of self-sufficient topography and water system design.

• Promoted and co-facilitated a Honduran Scout group in Manto with two adult leaders and 10 youths. After continued interest within the group, promoted and encouraged a more ecological focus.

• Co-facilitated a two-day Water Board Workshop with 4 Honduran SANAA technicians and a local NGO to strengthen the technical and programming skills of 14 local Water Boards.

• Promoted the delineation and sustainable management of micro-watersheds through community education efforts in four projects benefiting 833 families/4,933 inhabitants in 16 communities of Manto.

• Prepared, presented and coordinated activities with Peace Corps Training Personnel of ENTRENA and CHP Int'l to instruct Peace Corps Trainees in the areas of Counterpart Relations, Workshop Planning and Project Planning.

Mr. Feris completed all of the above tasks, including all business conversations in Spanish. Upon completion of two years of Peace Corps service, Mr. Feris was tested once again by the ETS/ACTFL and received a rating of Superior in Spanish.