From the day I arrived in Lima I've had an overall great experience. The work is exciting and rewarding, the culture unlike any other I’ve experienced, and TechnoServe is such a fantastic organization to work with.

On day two in Lima, Marissa introduced us to Claudio, a friend of her uncle’s, and he immediately treated us like his own. He took us to a local Cevicheria (a place that is only open from roughly 12-5pm because they only serve fish that is caught fresh that morning). Claudio is a chef, food critic, and incredibly knowledgeable of all things Peruvian (we also connected because his mother is from the same town in Italy that my grandmother's family is from). He speaks English fluently but most of the conversation was in Spanish and I quickly learned I have a lot of catching up to do.

Marissa, Victor and I spent our first full week strategizing on the best way to approach the analysis of coffee markets in the San Martin region, meeting with experts in the industry, and building a list of potential contacts and desired people to interview. We also explored el Centro (the center of the city) where we went to a catacomb museum, San Franciscan church and saw a parade for one of the patron saints. This past weekend, Claudio had us over for lunch and gave us recommendations for people to reach out to in the coffee industry. Although this is an informal relationship, I have a strong feeling it's going to bode well for our project. I've also started taking Spanish classes for two hours a day (I'm going every day after work); I'm becoming more and more confident in my language skills!

The Volunteer

Gino Gabbianelli

Internal Advisor Consultant, GWM – Internal Sales New York, New York

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