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About Oral History
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James V. ("Jim") Zurer served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand (Group 12) from January 1966 to December 1967. Jim recounts his experience as a community organizer in the Nikhom Self-Help Land Settlement in Sugneigolok, Amphor Waeng district, in the province of Narathiwat. Jim and his wife, Diana, and another volunteer worked with a small team of Thai government workers to help resettle poor ethnic Thai families, who were given free land and loans to become agriculturists and bolster the Thai ethnic presence in this largely Muslim Malay highland jungle region right near the border with Malaysia. Although his experience was transformational for him, he does not think he contributed much to the betterment of the lives of the communities with which he worked. In subsequent years, many of the ethnic Thais who resettled in this region sold their land to the Muslim/Malay population and used the profit of their sales to move back to the regions from which they came. Both he and his wife talk about the training they got to prepare for the unstructured nature of their jobs in Thailand. 1 digital audio file. Interviewed and recorded by Evelyn Ganzglass on November 14, 2015.
Date(s) of Materials: 14 November 2015
Public Domain (Donated to the United States Government)
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