Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection
Stanley "Stan" Laser served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador from 1962 to 1965 as an engineer. He joined because he wanted to travel, have adventures, and serve others. He had eight weeks of training at Washington State University and three months of training in Puerto Rico. Besides intensive language training and cultural training, he had a good deal of physical training. He was based in Cuenca, a provincial town. When he arrived, he had to find a place to live and also figure out what he was going to do. After a few months, the director of the Centro, the department in charge of building infrastructure, came and asked if he wanted to help with surveying for a project. After completing that, Laser went to survey for a irrigation ditch from a mountain high in the Andes to the town of Cochapata. Living in very primitive conditions, he first determined the project could be done, surveyed the route, and extended his service for another year so he could help get it started. Laser returned to Ecuador 40 years later to find the irrigation canal was still in use. He has continued to have contact with some of the people in the town. After returning to the U.S., Laser worked for a few years as an engineer and then switched to teaching in New York City so he could continue a life of service. Interviewed and recorded by Candice Wiggum, December 10, 2018. 1 digital audio file.