Our last week in Lima was a great conclusion to the trip. We spent the early part of the week polishing our presentations, and reviewing them TechnoServe. It was great getting their input, as well as getting the opportunity to get to know Andrei, TechnoServe’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, better.

On Wednesday we gave a presentation to Agrobanco on their financing model. It was entirely in Spanish, a final test as Parker and I have both dramatically improved our Spanish language abilities throughout the trip. Everyone seemed to understand our key points and the group was very engaged - promising signs that our recommendations will be accepted.

The following day we gave our presentation to USAID, at the U.S. Embassy. It was fascinating walking into the building, as it was my first time in a foreign embassy. Similar to Agrobanco, we were excited by how engaged our audience was throughout the presentation. After the conclusion of our presentation, our project wasn’t quite done, as we were invited to join Expoalimentaria, a large convention for the Latin American food and drink industry. In the cacao section we were able to catch up with many of the people that we’d met throughout the trip - a nice way to provide closure.

Afterwards, Parker and I went our separate ways, him to hike to Machu Picchu, me to go surfing at San Bartolo. While there I stayed in the Peruvian equivalent of an Airbnb. The host family was amazing, showing me around and even teaching me how to make ceviche, a dish we’d enjoyed throughout the trip. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot when I catch up with my friends at home!

After landing at LAX late on Sunday, it certainly felt a bit weird putting on a suit and heading to the office the following morning. I’m still processing all of the things I’ll take away from the project, but more than anything, I’ve been amazed by the people that I’ve met on the way. Everyone has been incredibly friendly, welcoming myself and Parker into their lives and giving us a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live here.

The Volunteer

Eric Gross

Associate, Client Facing

Latest Insights