September 29th to October 4th
Another week has passed and all is well in Peru! We are having a great time here enjoying a mix of a new work experience and environment as well as a new culture.
As part of DanPer's social responsibility mission, Elena (our boss) has been extremely busy this week helping to coordinate a repair project in a local town where the water canal/bridge broke. We weren't able to attend any of the meetings, but it's interesting to hear about the whole process through Elena. There are several companies (some of them well known, which won't be mentioned) that have some factories on the other side of this bridge where the repair needs to be done. Because of each companies' schedule, including night shifts and frequent truck loading and unloading, it's been difficult to find a time that each will agree to stop traffic in and out of the factories to repair the bridge. Considering how this issue is affecting a local community, it was quite a surprise to learn that most of these companies didn't appear to make a speedier effort to cooperate. Of course we recognize that logistics are difficult, and no one wants to loose money. It's nice to know though that we are partnered with such a great company, DanPer, that looks out for the community and tries to make a positive impact in their lives. After a great deal of work, each company came to an agreement and all will be fixed on sunday night.
Our visits to businesses this week were short but sweet. All is going well with them. With Erik and Ruth, for example, we got to see some of their finished products right before they went out on the market for sale. We are quite impressed with their work! They are very skilled at what they do. Here are some samples:
A shirt Ruth sowed for a customer
A sample of Erik's shoes: These one's look like Mini Mouse's shoes
The highlight of the week was attending Rossi's grand opening of her beauty salon. We all had a good time there, and enjoyed seeing a look of excitement in Rossi and her now co-workers. As with any project, this was a long awaited day. Opening the business was delayed about a month due to a large inventory purchase and minor construction needs to the building. So as you can imagine, it was a great moment to finally have things up and running.
Attending Rossi's grand opening was a great experience for us, because we got to see a major part of what this program is all about. For a year now, Rossi has been working hard to make this dream come true. Even though we're only here for a third of that process, it's gratifying to see how the program really does make a difference in the lives of those that participate. In Rossi's case we came for the tail end of her business preparation, so now we get to enjoy the transition to an operating business. We look forward to working with her as she does everything to make her business a success!
Christina and Rossi
The local Mayor came to show his support
One of the best parts about being an intern in the fall is that, after a year of preparation, we don't just get to see the businesses start (from the last cycle), but we also get to start a new cycle of students. We're excited to start the classes with a new set of students/program members in two weeks. It's extremely important that they get off to the right start so that they have plenty of time to explore business ideas, research, and prepare. We want all of our participants to have success like those we've talked about in this post!
Last weekend Matt and Molly were fortunate enough to see the annual spring parade. The best part was the unique costumes and dancing.