Last week we met with coffee farmers near Jaen, who were mentioning they are in need of lower interest rate loans. However, they are getting into agreements for cash advances that implicitly charge double the interest a bank charges. This gap in financial management is a new key finding that needs to be explicitly addressed. If a farmer is making sub-optimal financial decisions, s/he may end up being worse off than s/he they started.

We concluded our visit in the northwest of Peru by having a wrap-up meeting with our host - a large coffee exporter. They challenged us to come up with a viewpoint for global outlook on commodities such as coffee and asked whether market prices are sustainable at their current level, considering the average age of farmers in Peru is rising fast.


From a tourism side, we visited Kuelap, a historic architectural site that dates back to 500 A.D. The “City of the Cloud People” was a fortified city at the top of the mountain 1,000 meters high founded by the Chachapoya civilization and was home to 3,000 of the elite people of this civilization. This city was conquered twice, once by the Incas and second by the Spanish, and wasn’t re-discovered until 1843. This is one of the largest archeological sites after Macchu Picchu.

Preparation for the USAID presentation is in full swing – all of the work that we’ve done collectively in the past eight weeks is to be condensed into an hour-long meeting. We are confident that the proposed model and framework both offer a simple process of how the mechanism works, and also a good way of thinking about any financing mechanism for fertilizers, all the roles involved and the responsibilities of each of those roles. There are many last-minute changes to take care of to make the story more well-rounded, but we are confident that it will go well!

The Volunteer

Gustavo Guevara

Project Manager, Technology

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