We wrapped up our last week in Tarapoto with a two great interviews. The first one was with a regional cooperative looking to expand their services to both increase the volume of exported goods and also capture new members. The second interview was with two consultants doing a project for a large financial institution that is looking to aggressively expand banking in rural areas by finding new channels. Our project will hopefully result in opportunities for both parties to generate loans to diligent, hardworking farmers so they can acquire fertilizer, increase their productivity and ultimately their standard of living.

All of the different pieces of our project are aligning quite well. We have a working outline for the executive summary and now face the challenge of keeping things concise and straightforward, and resisting the urge to explore new options.

We had a nice send-off in Tarapoto, where we got to see many of the great, genuine people from the city. Even though we only spent three weeks there, we feel a great attachment to it.

 

We met in Chiclayo with one of Peru's largest coffee exporters to talk about our project, and gain their point of view, and we confirmed many of our findings are correct. We’ve seen a drastic difference in weather and scenery compared to Tarapoto - a jungle town that is wet, humid and very green. The green areas we have seen were mostly alongside the river, as it won’t rain until January. We will head out to meet local coffee farmers tomorrow, and will then be off to Kallpa, a city that pre-dates the Incas and a tourist destination for archeology and anthropology.

In reflecting back on this journey so far, I am finding that this program is pushing my personal development in many dimensions including communication skills, ability to influence others, and working with uncertainty. These are all great skills I will bring back to PIMCO in two weeks’ time.

The Volunteer

Gustavo Guevara

Project Manager, Technology

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