This week was relatively calm yet rewarding at the same time. We hit a few important landmarks: 1) Everyone is done traveling to farms, so we have all of the data we need to put together our presentation; 2) We've started aggregating our data and now have a VERY clear idea of the opportunities and challenges in this market; and 3) This is our last week in Tarapoto, which is very bittersweet. Well, honestly a little more bitter than sweet.

When we left Lima to travel here for a month I was genuinely dreading it (more because I had grown to like Lima than anything else). It would have been impossible for me to be more wrong. These past few weeks have opened my eyes to a world I have never known, could not have appreciated as much without my background, and have grown almost completely accustomed to.

My Spanish has developed greatly here, we've met some incredible people, and it has truly been unlike any prior experience of mine. Over the past month I've trained myself to understand the difference between what is economically ideal and what is socially/economically feasible. It has truly shed a light on how lucky we are, how much opportunity we have, and how much we take for granted in the United States. It's an odd sense of guilty (American) pride; happy that my parents and grandparents worked hard to give me as much opportunity as possible yet guilty that so many people not only live without those opportunities but are even unaware they exist.

We spent most of the day Friday visiting one last coffee farm and taking pictures. When we returned to the office they set up a going away party for us which was a great way to say goodbye to everyone and wrap up a great month! Over the weekend we visited Laguna Azul which was absolutely gorgeous – if you're ever in Tarapoto this is a must. Saturday evening we had a small going away party at one of the local establishments with the friends we made over the last month. If I haven't emphasized this point enough, I LOVED TARAPOTO and this has truly been an amazing experience and will forever be on my recommended list for anyone visiting Peru!

The Volunteer

Gino Gabbianelli

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

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