A Lesson in Reeducation 

Anna Zuccolotto F14 builds an international community in Mexico through tourism and ice swimming
Anna Zuccolotto competes in an open water swimming race.

One of the most important things Anna Zuccolotto F14 learned during her MIB at The Fletcher School was how to pivot. While that lesson applied to good business practices, it also took her somewhere she did not expect: into the Atlantic Ocean for an ice swim.  

Zuccolotto came to Fletcher from Mexico. After studying finance and business as an undergraduate, she assisted Singaporean companies with their entry and expansion efforts in Mexico. The overlap of her academic interests and professional experience led her to look for the best international affairs programs in the United States, and she was drawn to Fletcher’s MIB. She was inspired by all that the Boston area offered. After receiving a Fulbright fellowship, she moved to Medford and began studying at Fletcher.  

While she studied international business, economics, and policy, some of her most memorable lessons were philosophical.  

“Fletcher taught me that I can reinvent myself anytime I want,” she said. “I can re-educate myself. If you want to be an AI expert, you can study, build yourself up, and do it. That makes me feel very calm about the future. No matter how things change, if I'm willing to educate myself, I will find a way.”  

A Deeper Dive  

As a Fletcher student, Zuccolotto competed in the Boston Triathlon. She’d been surprised to see the other triathletes dunk into Boston Harbor in wetsuits to stave off the cold. She was drawn to the thrill.  

“I was interested in cold water. Every time I got myself into cold immersions, I enjoyed it,” she said. “I wanted to learn the skills. What do I need to do to get acclimatized to the cold sea and to this new venture?” 

She earned her ice mile certification, which she uses to spread enthusiasm about the sport among her community. 

Aficionados of the sport have lobbied to make ice swimming an Olympic sport. Zuccolotto feels a wonderful energy in being part of this international athletic community, and she draws encouragement from lessons in entrepreneurship she learned at Fletcher.  

“I have this feeling that this sport is growing,” she said. “It's very exciting.” 

A Sustainable Model for Hospitality   

After graduating from Fletcher, Zuccolotto moved to La Paz, along Mexico’s coast. While living there, she developed a passion for the city’s tourism industry.  

Zuccolotto and her husband found their La Paz property to be open and accommodating, so they began hosting travelers from around the world. They called their home ‘Peace Center.’ 

They experienced a slow period when COVID-19 dealt a blow to the tourism industry. Zuccolotto took advantage of the pause to reflect on both her goals and her time at Fletcher. She remembered an entrepreneurship class she had taken, in which she had learned about sustainability and business. She also realized how profoundly energized she was by making deep connections with people of shared interest, whether that was through tourism or ice swimming. In thinking about these two passions, Zuccolotto developed a plan to incorporate sustainability practices into Peace Center, which she calls a traveler's center, a mix of a campground and an Airbnb guesthouse.  

Zuccolotto is proud that Peace Center has become a model in La Paz for building community and sustainability. For Zuccolotto, blending the social and environmental components of sustainability in her business is crucial.  

“You get involved in your community members’ lives,” she said. “It’s how I sleep at night.” 

Read more about Fletcher’s international business field of study.