On Tuesday, Victor flew out to meet up with Parker and me, and travel with us on our journey to Tarapoto. We said goodbye to our friends in Tingo María and started the long drive.

While it would normally take eight hours, we broke up the journey and stopped at Tocache for the night so we could meet with a number of farmers and other people on the way. Some of the farmers we met were truly inspirational, with large amounts of work. With the help of TechnoServe, they’d turned small plots of land into extremely productive farms.

Additionally we met with some Agrobanco loan originators, and we learned more about the origination process, the largest risks that they see, and potential solutions. We are excited to incorporate this knowledge into our presentation on the financing model.

While we were only in Tochache for a night, it made a lasting impression, as it was one of the centers of the coca industry that plagued this area. Victor made sure to point out that the hotel that we stayed in had its roots in the industry and was previously used to house drug dealers as they traveled around the area. Regardless of the history, the drive was beautiful as we made our way through windy rainforest roads.

Parker and I arrived in Tarapoto the following day, and are beginning to get to know our officemates and the area. We’re excited to get started on this final leg of our project ahead of our presentation in Lima. As next week we will be in the field extensively, Parker and I spent the remainder of the week working on our presentation, building out slides, and discussing the areas where we still need to acquire data.

The Volunteer

Eric Gross

Associate, Client Facing

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