Our taxi stopped abruptly at the intersection of two busy streets in downtown Lima, observing the traffic officer’s signals and allowing pedestrians to pass. Traffic is a little hectic in Lima, especially during rush hour and in part because lanes are not clearly defined like they are in the U.S. Eric is in the front seat and I am in back with Victor, all dressed in suits as we anxiously await the opportunity to present to USAID at the U.S. Embassy. The officer blew her whistle and the taxi turned the corner, bringing a large fortified building into sight where we were dropped off: the U.S. Embassy.

After passing through security and having our passports checked twice, we stepped into a conference room with several members from USAID who work on development projects in Peru. Eric and I began our presentation by introducing ourselves and providing backround on the scope of our project, which was followed with the findings from our research and our recommendations for how to improve and expand the sustainable financing model to farmers and cooperatives in the San Martín and Huanuco regions. USAID was extremely engaged in the conversation, and we discussed several important strategies for ensuring sustainability for the program.

As the project came to a close this week I was able to reflect on some of the great experiences I have had. One of the personal areas of growth I am most proud of from this trip is my ability to speak Spanish. Before EEP, my Spanish was limited to classroom settings and memorizing vocabulary on notecards. After being immersed in the language for over eight weeks, I now feel comfortable speaking and presenting in Spanish and am very grateful for the opportunity I have had to expand my foreign language abilities.

The past two months have been filled with many memories and experiences that will be difficult to leave behind, but the memories and experiences have provided several areas of growth for me professionally and personally. It has been a pleasure working alongside TechnoServe and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have had to take part in the program. Peru is an incedible country, but I am looking forward to coming back to the U.S. and being reacquainted with some of the people and things I love.

The Volunteer

Parker Werline

Associate, Client Facing

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