Lights, Camera, Action!This week a camera crew came to Tarapoto to film our Emerging Enterprise Program in action.

I put together several drafts of the 3-day shooting schedule, interview questions, and itinerary. We interviewed the founders and toured the businesses of Exotic Chocolate and Nativos Chocolate. We also shot scenes of “life in Tarapoto,” which included a fair in the main plaza and the TechnoServe office.

The most rewarding part of the filming process was being able to showcase the entrepreneurs. I bonded with Elizabeth Gomez from Nativos Chocolate after staffing her booth at the Expoalimentaria fair in Lima the previous week, and was looking forward to finally visiting her production plant. I knew her plant was small, but I didn’t know that it would be the size of a laundry room in the back of her house. The room had no windows, and had an AC unit constantly running to cool the chocolate molds. When she first opened the door, I was overcome by the smell of liquors that she mixes into the ganache interior of her bon-bons.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met Elizabeth during my time in Peru. How do you say thank you to someone who welcomes you to their home? How do you show your gratitude to someone who enthusiastically introduces you to their sister, mother, aunt, husband, and children in the middle of their kitchen? It’s hardly been two months in Tarapoto, and I feel like I’ve been adopted into several Peruvian families.

We’re officially diving into our final week here in Peru, and wrapping up our presentations and deliverables. I’ve made the 11th hour decision to make my presentation a 2-for-1 deal: it will be the “one-stop” shop for financing mechanisms, in addition to sharing my research over the past few weeks with the group. In its current PowerPoint format, TechnoServe can bring print-friendly copies out on their field visits for the cocoa cooperatives to read over. Instead of waiting for months until an online version is available (and hoping that the Internet works), TechnoServe clients can have something readily available to distribute.

The Volunteer

Amy Wang

Account Management Associate London, England

Latest Insights