Friday, September 19, 2014

September 5-17

     We've made it to Trujillo, we are all happy and having a great time! If it wasn't for Elena and Cesar, we probably would have been hit by a taxi by now. They are incredibly patient with us all while we figure out how to survive in Trujillo.

     We arrived in Lima a week and half ago on Thursday, stayed the night and then took a long bus ride to Trujillo. We had to learn really quickly to watch out for the taxis and their driving; they are out to kill! Since arriving we've had the chance to learn the ropes with the finances and have a chance to visit many of the loan recipients. 

     It's impressive to see those who have had successful businesses. Bertha, for example, has been able to greatly improve the quality of life for her and her family through her internet cafe. Before starting the business she didn't have much of a roof on their home. Now, because of the money she has earned from the cafe she has been able to get a new roof and improve her home quite a bit. She is well on her way to pay off her loan. 

Carmen, who makes clothing, has also been doing very well. She seemed excited about the contracts that she has for several schools throughout the area. It is great to see that her hard work is really paying off. 

Because there is a lot to harvest right now, we won't be beginning classes with those that are associated with Danper until sometime next month. That gives us a great chance to study and really get to know the material that we will be teaching. Also we will have an opportunity to practice it so we can run a high-quality class and make sure the future students can become prepared to run a successful business.We also have spent a bit of our time crunching numbers on Excel and making sure all the records are correct. 

We have had a lot of great chances to get to know many cool things found here in Trujillo! We did a tour last weekend of some of the most famous ruins here. Chan-Chan and Huaca de la Luna were both awesome. 

Morgan and I (Brad) also discovered that one of our new friends, Patty, is a painter and has an exhibit of her artwork. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 9 - July 27 (Weeks 10 and 11)

We are at the tail end of our internship. As a matter of fact Kory and Annie are already home! I just recently returned to Trujillo from traveling Peru. It was great. Peru is an amazing place; there seems to be a never ending list of cool things to see here. Even though Peru isn’t huge there is a lot of history here and every place is so distinct! Whether you have thought about traveling to Peru or not… should, they seem to have something for everyone; Big City, Jungle, Mountains, Ruins, Catacombs, Floating houses... They got it all! (and if you want advise or tips hit me up!) Once again the photos in this post don't coincide with the vast majority of this post. If it helps, think of them as an addition to the "Travel Peru" plug!

OK, now that I got my Peru plug in here let me move on to business.  I haven’t been here for a week and a half but I will do my best to give the rundown. 

In the past couple week’s several major things have happened for Danper, as a company.  Bad news first. A sky lantern from a nearby party started a fire at the plant that consumed two storehouses. Luckily these storehouses contained nothing too important. One stored packaging materials and the other stored old documents that are no longer of much use (other than say audits). That being said, the week before Elena has been traveling to all Danper’s local production fields participating in a large audit. The audit went well and now we are glad to have her back. As for the exciting news; for the past year and a half Danper has been in the process of securing a 38.5 Million Dollar loan from El Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. This week the loan was granted. This loan will help Danper restructure their debt from short-term to medium-term. It’s a big win for the company.Danper Recibe Prestamo de $38.5 Millones

Needless to say Danper has been dealing with a lot the last little while and it has taken a while to get the final approval on the projects.  The past Week we met with most of participants to give them the news. With two of them (Restaurant Gloria, and Internet Filipe) we have already started the legal work, which means going to the Notary and dealing with SUNAT (like the IRS, but for Peru).  With all government entities, this is not always pleasurable, and can be quite time consuming. We are still trying to get in touch with Eric and Rossi. Rossi has been busy with work, and all Erick’s known phone numbers are no longer in service, but we are working on it.

This coming week the Employments center student will be informed if their plans were approved or not. Patience is going to be important for them.  There is still a lot of questions but the Brother Leyva is planning on finding a full time employee within the next couple months. Hopefully the person they hire will have the experience to make things happen quickly, we want these participants to keep their excitement for their projects.

This Coming Week is Fiestas Patrias; Parties to commemorate the independence of Peru. It’s a BIG DEAL. Most people get Monday and Tuesday off, including us, so I am looking forward to experiencing my First Fiestas Patrias!

Till Next Week,


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June 30- July 7

It just hasn’t been the same since the Go-Global students left. As mentioned in the previous blog post we had a total of 8 projects unofficially approved and have been waiting on the official document to get the legal work started.  The work, which hasn’t been nearly as much, has also been much less glamourous the last little while. When there is work concerning the future projects, it’s usually creating excel templates and/or importing them into folders and laying the OneDrive infrastructure for the new Danper projects.
This past Friday we received the official approval of projects from Wasatch. Tomorrow Elena will meet with the engineers and directors of Danper for the final review and adjustment of terms. We will be giving the participants the good, or bad, news later this week after the final sign-off.  It has surly been a long couple of weeks for them.
We are still having some difficulty as far as payment is concerned on a couple of loans. With both the Carpentaria and the small dairy farm, we may resort to liquidation. The Carpenteria seems to be a perpetual loan nightmare that spans across not just months, but years.  It has great potential however, it has not been managed well; neither the loan, nor the business.  The dairy farm also has potential, but they consistently put their obligation to us on the back burner. They are focused on growing the business, but they don’t understand how to separate their personal finances from the business finances, and completely ignore the financial ramifications of their decisions. With the current situation, they just seem to be overextending, despite our weekly meetings.
There is still quite a bit of mystery surrounding how the Employment Center/ Self Sufficiency Group will receive funding and how it will be managed. At this point no one seems to know what to do. We were able to have a couple meeting between Wasatch and Juan Leyva, but there is still a lot to be done.  We feel in order to move forward we just need to buckle down, and start spending some serious time hashing out the details and getting the ball rolling.  Hopefully this will give us an opportunity to use some of the entrepreneurial skills we have been teaching the students.
On a more light-hearted and less work-related note, Vanessa (Danpers new Social Responsibility intern from Switzerland) Decided to go Check out some of the sites around Trujillo. For anyone coming in the future, Huaca de la Luna and Show Del Caballo Peruano de Paso, are pretty cool. We also learned that we have access to the roof of our apartment and I took a little time to capture some fun night shots with a super wide-angle lens. Because it would be rather boring to look at pictures of us doing excel sheets, the photos this week don't have much to do with work. Hopefully anyone reading can find it in their heart to forgive me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 3 - June 23 (Weeks of Go-Global)

We had a great past 2 weeks putting the final touches on the business plans, helping the Go Global students analyze the plans, and doing some serious due diligence, not to mention we had a little fun mixed in there too.

 Above a Go Global group is doing an evaluation on the location of a possible internet cafe, Jake (far right) whipped out his Yo-yo and the little kids instantly became his best friends. Here on the right we see how the Go Global students spent most of there evenings, trying to get everything in order for their presentations. And below we see the final product, after all their due diligence (and tons of help from Elena and Cesar) they were able to give their recommendations to Blake and Tim.

Out of the 13 projects that were presented, 8 were approved which is one of the highest number of approved projects in SEED's history. We spent most of our time with the Go Global Students helping them understand the business plans and going on visits with them so they could make educated recommendations. Blake and Tim commented on how they really enjoyed how well the presentations flowed. We feel this can be attributed to having a general format for the business plans which makes everything more standardized and understandable.
 Our week with the Go Global Students was fun, and it was good to see it all come together in the presentations where we just got to sit back and observe. Now we're are getting everything set up so these new approved loans can get up and running. Finally it really has been a blessing to have the new addition of Trevor and Vanessa in the office, they make waking up to go to work everyday so much fun. These last 2 pictures are of the Go Global Students on there first day and then on their last day. Well, we're back to work, see you next week.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Week 3, May 26-June 1

We are getting down to the wire for the current cycle. The travel abroad group is set to arrive the 11th of June and we are pushing to get all the business plans finished. This past week we were able to finalize the finances for the Danper participants. Many of them are still missing parts of their business plan.  We will meet with most of them one last time to collect these final portions, make some polishing touches on the plans, and finalizing the English translations. As for the Employment Center group, we are still trying to finish up finances. Luckily, almost everyone from the EC group had at least a rough draft for their entire plan. Kory and I will be spending a considerable amount of time this coming week translating and formatting that information.

It’s fun to get a feel for how these projects run and what a solid financial analysis is like.  Kory and I make a pretty good team.  After doing a few of them for the EC group by ourselves, it feels like we are catching on, even though we haven’t seen as many projects as Elena or Cesar.  It feels good to be able to look over a plan and automatically know something amiss, even if it’s something small.  We can look over a plan or finances and say “that’s too high” or “that’s too low”, “we better go into some more details on that.”  We may not be professionals quite yet, but it’s a valuable learning experience!

Not only have we been busy with preparing business plans, but we’ve also been working with a couple of delinquent loans.    It is difficult when you know someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, unfortunately it’s still something that we have had to deal with at times. Equally as frustrating is knowing that these businesses are profitable; it's not that these businesses can't pay, its that they don't want to.  What some of our debtors fail to realize is that we have a secret weapon: Elena.  Since we’ve arrived in Trujillo Kory and I have defiantly seen, and appreciated, how much value Elena adds to Danper’s Social Responsibility operations.  Her People skills and patience are even more obvious an asset when we deal in these turbulent, delicate situations.  We rely on her not only for these stressful issues but for everyday items as well. Any future interns or study abroad students reading this would be wise to remember that.

Tomorrow is Monday, I can’t believe we have already been here 3 weeks.  It’s going by way too quick! Let’s see what week 4 has in store for us; hopefully some good business plans and some awesome papas rellenas!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer 2014 - Week 2

(Warning: this post will likely be random and scattered, we took few photos and I'm sleepy)

This week has been an adventure! Annie and I (Kory) ate something that didn't agree with us at all, and spent a nice week sick. Poor Annie got the worse end of it, but she's a champ and had a great attitude.

With just two weeks left until the summer Study Abroad group comes to analyze and present the projects, we've been hard at work to finalize and perfect the plans in every way possible. Unfortunately there have been a few people we haven't been able to get a hold of, and if we can't finalize things with them soon they may miss their chance to have their plan presented.

Currently, our most pressing challenge is that of working with the Employment Center group, who is further behind than the Danper group, and need a lot of work done to finalize their plans. On Tuesday we held a meeting with the group to get to know them individually and see how far along they are. There are a few plans that look very promising, and we're excited to be able to help these great people follow their dreams and own their own businesses.

One of the plans that we're excited about with that group is a man named Abel, who currently owns a small business selling fish at the wholesale level. His business is successful, but he currently has to rent a truck and pay someone to ship his fish for him. He's seeking a loan to be able to buy a refrigerated truck. The amount of money he could save would be amazing, and would allow his business to grow an incredible amount.

We're excited for this next week, and can't wait to watch these plans progress!

Here's some random photos of our tourist adventures:

Church in the Plaza de Armas 
Random lady on random road

Chan Chan Artifacts

Statue in the center of the Plaza de Armas

Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer 2014 - We're Just Getting Started

After our first week here Annie, Kory, and I are already loving Peru!  It’s been a busy week getting to know Elena and Cesar, (who are both awesome) and we are excited about the coming weeks! 

Getting to know every one, along with their business plans, has been challenging; to a small degree our heads are still spinning. We have met with almost all of the Danper individuals on a one-on-one basis and had the opportunity to work through the finances as well as finalize different parts of their business plans. Tuesday morning we are meeting with the Employment center group (previously The Church Group) and hopefully discern which plans are advanced enough to prepare for the coming presentation cycle in June.  Working with so many plans with such a short deadline is sure to keep us on our toes.

Sitting down with people, we have already seen a spectrum of emotion. Some joyful and excited, others discouraged and circumspect. Diving into the details, working business plans several times over, and doing sensitivity analyses have helped us turn every plan thus far into a feasible business proposal.  While they understand that not all business plans will be funded, being able to work through their financial statements and watch them change from being in the red every month to making a profit, makes a difference and encourages them to continue.

We know it’s going to be an eventful 3 months and are looking forward to an awesome summer.