I returned from Peru yesterday and today marks my first day back in the PIMCO London office. I missed my family and my two daughters, Martina (9) and Sophia (5), but the experience was worth the sacrifice. Both girls were waiting for me at the London Heathrow Airport and so happy to see their daddy back. My younger daughter said that she does not want me to leave ever again.
This Emerging Enterprise Program in Peru will stay forever as one of the most amazing experiences in my life. What a great opportunity to go to another continent to help other people, with the PIMCO Foundation, and make a difference.
The project and financing model is almost finalized. We spent the last few days in Lima working on the final presentation. Drew and Gustavo will finish the presentation over the next two weeks.
On Friday, we went to the US embassy in Lima to meet three representatives from USAID. They were thrilled to learn about our experience working with coffee and cocoa farmers but also about PIMCO. They were really impressed about the financial model that we have developed with fertilizer distributors and cooperatives. They are potentially looking at investing two million dollars for the implementation of the model with TechnoServe, alongside other partners. Apparently something similar was done in Honduras a few years ago and it worked. Though here we will need to work with many fertilizer distributors and it will need to be scalable.
We also spent some good quality time with Andrei Belyi, Regional Director, Latin America & Caribbean, with TechnoServe. He likes our financial model and gave us some good tips on the presentation. He also invited us to Mercado, his favor Ceviche restaurant in Lima. The food cooked by Chef Rafael was amazing.
Mid-week, TechnoServe took us to a Peruvian food fair called Mistura and we tasted all kinds of amazing and food from Peru. TechnoServe also had a stand, showcasing products from coffee and cocoa producers.
It was nice to be back in Lima after a month in the jungle. The climate in Lima is very different from Tarapoto, where the sun is shining every day. Lima has high humidity, clouds, overcast skies and haze recurrence as it is winter. Food is definitely one of the highlights of Lima and something that we didn’t expect.
It is nice to be back at PIMCO, but I will not ever forget those six weeks with TechnoServe in Peru.