MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field

Stefanie V. Santana was born in Peru and then moved to Montréal, where she currently lives. She graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration from HEC Montreal in Finance and International Business. In addition, Stefanie has had the opportunity to live in 3 different continents and has visited more than 15 countries. She is quite excited and grateful for this new international experience which will be an interesting journey of hard work, accomplishments and fun.

Winds of change

b2ap3_thumbnail_Banana-crop-improved.gif
b2ap3_thumbnail_Fertilizers-provided-by-CAC-Divisoria.gif
b2ap3_thumbnail_Coffee-toaster.gif
b2ap3_thumbnail_Jungle-Food.gif
b2ap3_thumbnail_Members-of-CIED-in-Puno-at-3800-meter-above-the-sea-level.gif
A month ago, I started the most demanding, harder and amazing part of my internship. I was assigned to conduct final interviews to Techno-Links farmer clients' in Peru, visiting almost 10 different cities all over the country. Today, the visits have come to an end. I believe it is the right time to look back at this great experience.I consider myself very lucky as I got to see that our work in Techno-Links is actually bringing a REAL positive change into farmer clients' lives. Gaining access to agricultural technology and training has been a great step towards modernity and profitability. For example, farmers which are members of CAC Divisoria in Tingo Maria are able to prevent plagues and improve their coffee crops by using ecological fertilizers. In Piura, farmers working with Hualtaco have improved their revenue as their banana crops improved in quality thanks to agricultural techniques never used before in their communities. In Moyobamaba, members of Aproeco are able to add value to their coffee thanks to an industrial toaster machine. These facilities have created a feeling of empowerment in farmers, their aspirations have grown, and they want to become the best in their regions, to export their products, to compete with the biggest of the market. It was the effect Techno-Links aimed to create, to give that little push for them to reach new and greater markets.In a personal aspect, it was very rewarding to meet each farmer. I might forget their names eventually, but I will never forget the determination I saw in their eyes, their happiness and hospitality. They treated me with all kinds of gifts. Many said: "I am sorry to be offering you this small present" while giving me 10 kilos of fresh bananas or two liters of extra virgin olive oil! My heart was deeply touched by their genuine actions. This has also been a journey of food. I have tried the best food of my entire life, no exaggerating. Peru is the first gourmet destination in the world for a reason, and I was not going to waste this opportunity to prove it!I want to thank Techno-Links for this life experience and God for have giving me the strength to take the plane 14 times in a single month and not to count the dozens of hours spent in buses getting to my destinations. I passed from the deepest jungle to the desert and then to highlands at 3800 meters above the sea all this in only 30 days! No wonder why I feel a little dizzy right now, but I wouldn't want in any other way!
Continue reading
4951 Hits

Field Visits - Techno-Links

It is my second week in the field, visiting Techno-Links' farmer clients from our 10 different partners in Peru. My mandate is to conduct final surveys in order to measure impact of new agricultural technologies. This is definitely the best part of my internship, as I get to meet these amazing people and acquire great knowledge. Everyone has an impressive story to tell. They have so little, yet so much. Their houses might not be the most elegant and stylish, but their back yards are the wide fields, filled with fruits trees and beautiful flowers. They might not afford to eat gourmet meals, but they are always ready to share food from their plates, their generosity has no boundaries.This week, I got to visit coffee producers from 3 partners: BioCafe, CAC Perene and CAC La Florida. Last year was particularly difficult for coffee producers in Peru as pests damaged their crops, leaving them with minimal profit. However, they are hard workers and optimistic about the future. As one member of CAC Perene said, "As long I have strength in my muscles, my family will never starve". Thanks to Techno-Links, they will be able to improve their situation by using the different technologies implemented for them.I feel proud and satisfied to be working to allow them to improve their efficiency and their earnings. I want to thank them for teaching me so much about values, hard work and life.
Continue reading
4201 Hits

A short buy very sweet (and packed) trip

b2ap3_thumbnail_Meda--Stefanie.jpg

I got to spend two of the busiest days of my post graduated life during my training at MEDA’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario; getting ready for my value chain development internship in Peru.  I have to confess that I am feeling a little dizzy after having over 10 meetings in only 2 days. However, it is a little price to pay for all the knowledge I’ve acquired in such a short time, I truly went from zero to hero!I was able to learn much more about MEDA. I honestly feel privileged to be part of such a noble organization. What a pleasure to be able to work in a place where I deeply identify myself with their mission and their faith.I also got the opportunity to personally meet the passionate team members of MEDA.  I was impressed to see their impeccable work and discipline. You are all fabulous and generous of you time! I specially want to thank Sheila Mei for organizing this trip for me.My heart beats faster and louder every second that gets me closer to the day of my departure to Peru (Time left: 5 days, 3 hours, 25 seconds) I can’t imagine a better place to start my career than my beloved country.Let the internship begin!

Continue reading
5366 Hits