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Kyrgyzstan|environment|January 26, 2024 / 04:39 PM
Peace Corps Response Eco-tourism Volunteers sworn-in to serve in Kyrgyzstan

AKIPRESS.COM - Seven newly sworn-in Peace Corps Response Volunteers will begin one-year assignments as Eco-tourism marketing specialists in Naryn, Issyk-Kul, Jalal-Abad, Osh, and Chui. They will work with Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association partners to develop nature-based tours, assist in creating effective marketing strategies to attract domestic and international tourists, establish guidelines and best practices to minimize the impact of tourism on local ecosystems of the Kyrgyz Republic, and help local partners improve their English language skills. The Response Volunteers completed a two-week orientation training program prior to being sworn in, concentrating on Kyrgyz language and culture.

Peace Corps Kyrgyz Republic began its partnership with the Kyrgyz Association of Community-Based Tourism (KCBTA) in April 2023 as part of Peace Corps’ new emphasis on climate- and environment-related programs.

In attendance at the ceremony were U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Lesslie Viguerie, Deputy Minister of Tourism Department Kiyal Kenzhematova, and representatives of local tour operating companies.

“For 30 years, Volunteers and their communities have collaborated to transfer knowledge and skills and to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the people of the Kyrgyz Republic and the United States […] Through this program, Peace Corps Response Volunteers will work with Community Based Tourism associations to promote tourism that conserves the environment, fosters local economic development, and strengthens the green economy,” said Ambassador Viguerie.

The Response Volunteers will complement the 35 English language education Volunteers currently serving in Kyrgyzstan, bringing the total number of Volunteers to 42. Peace Corps Kyrgyz Republic’s Eco-tourism Response program is the first in the Peace Corps’ Europe, Asia, and Mediterranean Region and reflects Peace Corps’ increased focus on climate action.

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