Field Based Training: Cascas, La Libertad

Eight weeks into this Peace Corps journey and I have experienced more than I can count. However, the highlight has to be finding out my site placement for the next two years. But, before that…

Week 5 was spent at Field Based Training, which was an opportunity to teach an entire business plan course in the span of 1 week in a community similar to the one I will be serving in for two years. I was lucky enough to go to Perú’s wine country: Cascas, La Libertad. It’s an absolutely beautiful site with a microclimate that is perfect for the uva, or grape. Therefore, grapes and wine fuel this community’s economy. It is a tranquilo town full of friendly people and stunning sceneries.

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While in Cascas, I co-facilitated a business plan course with a fellow PC aspirante, Michele. We covered every aspect of writing a business plan, from the mission and vision to financing with a group of about 25 viticulture students. No small feat, since this was also our first time teaching an entire course in Spanish! The students formed groups and created entire business plans AND used loans provided by the Peace Corps to start their businesses within a week. The Peace Corps held a competition in which there were two first place prizes: Best Business Plan and Most Profitable Business at the end of the week. I was incredibly proud of this experience, because Michele and I taught and assisted BOTH winning teams! Both of the teams created businesses creating and selling grape ice cream, but they had strategic differentiators. One group sold ice cream in four different locations in Cascas and they added a secret ingredient to their recipe: pisco. The other group hauled a cooler full of fresh helado around the city and used a delivery sales tactic. It was an incredibly exciting experience and both groups sold out of product within hours of sales, gaining more profit than they projected. Also, both groups told me they will continue to operate their businesses for the foreseeable future. Sustainability is the entire purpose of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, so this experience really inspired me to continue on this journey and giving people the tools to fulfill their proprietary dreams!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Maura says:

    So awesome. And you’re taking gorgeous photos.

    Like

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