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Team Rwanda: Last 2 days.

Wednesday 2

Josel makes some adjustments to some of his slides.

Wednesday 1

Final data crunching



Kurt and Erin discuss some salient points


A toast! We are heading into halftime with a very clear idea of what we need to do come the 2nd half. It has been a tremendously enriching experience. Business on the Front-Lines impacts you, but Rwanda embraces you and changes you forever. Rwanda is rich in culture a fact that can often get overlooked. We have enjoyed the food, the music, the dances, the laughter and even the tears.  Rwanda is a vibrating country that is fast accelerating.

We spend most of the 2nd last day doing data analysis and prepping our initial presentation in this 15-week journey. When you follow the ‘evidence’ it sometimes will lead to places you did not expect. This is what began to happen as we crunched the research data, we found that several ideas that were coming forth were either ideas that we had not even considered or some that we had discounted.

In between we had two meetings one with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the other with the Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT. The ministry has 3 strategic focuses: finance, information, and markets. We discussed entrepreneurship development, business case competitions, and a special bank lending program for youth that doesn’t require immediate payback, giving the youth an opportunity to develop their ideas. One interesting thing that we learned is that Windows will be launching in the Kinyarwanda language soon. We spent the rest of the night finalizing the presentation.

Thursday 4

Muriel and Angelique, CRS Rwanda employees who doubled up as our translators during the market research.

Thursday 5

Anne makes a point during the presentation.

Thursday 7

An attentive audience.

Thursday 3

Time to say ‘Murakoze’ and ‘Murebeho’ (Kinyarwanda for ‘Thank you’ and, ‘Goodbye’) from us and from CRS Rwanda staff led by Country Director LeAnn Hager.

Thursday 1

Sitting down to dinner after presentation.


A toast!


On our last day we did our presentation, which ran over 2 hrs due to questions asked during the presentation and towards the end.  The CRS Rwanda team is eager to use our feedback on some of the tools they are using for market assessment and have scheduled a conference call for Friday March 22, 2013, to discuss some immediate changes they can make. In the meantime we will spend the next four weeks preparing our final report. We are only halfway done but we deserved a toast.

We were able to make it in time for our flights and off back to school where classes start on Monday 18th March 013

Sierra Leone: Wrapping Up!

We’ve been busy the past few days! Here’s a quick update – with photos, of course!

On Tuesday, we had an extremely busy day with six meetings throughout the entire day! In the morning, we all met with the Project Director with CRS for the Global Fund Malaria Project. Then we took a trip to the U.S. Embassy to meet with some representatives from USAID.

In the afternoon, we split off into two groups to tackle four more meetings CRS had planned for us. One group (Kelly, Mike, and Nancy) visited with two more NGOs (Health Poverty Action and IRC) to talk about their initiatives with TBA integration and healthcare work in SL, while the other group (Lwando, Michelle, and Phil) headed to talk policy with the Ministry of Health Director of Disease Prevention and Control and UNICEF.

One of the coolest things my half of the group saw that afternoon was a method of TBA referral tracking being implemented by Health Poverty Action. They were completely pictorial so even illiterate TBAs could potentially get credit for referring women to health clinics.

Health Poverty Action created pictorial referral cards for TBAs to send with women when referring them to clinics for various needs during pregnancy.

Health Poverty Action created pictorial referral cards for TBAs to send with women when referring them to clinics for various needs during pregnancy.

On Wednesday, we turned a hotel room in a war room for about 12 hours while we compiled all of our information and designed the presentation we’d be giving to CRS at 9am Thursday morning. Being in a room with air conditioning, internet, and lunch delivery — ALL DAY — made it feel very similar to a group meeting in Mendoza!

bedroom = war room

bedroom = war room

That night, Professor Emily Block arrived in the country and her energy was certainly welcomed after ten long days! We ran our ideas by her before bed, and after a few tweaks, we were ready for the morning.

Thursday is a presentation day! (Is everybody happy?!) We had an early-morning run-thru and were able to put the final touches on the “deck” before we presented our findings and next steps to CRS. Of course, we had a couple of slides in there to remind everyone (and ourselves) of the snowy tundra back in northern Indiana.

Our opening slide... as we were all sweating...

Our opening slide… as we were all sweating…

We finished our presentation and, of course, had to take a few group photos to celebrate! Then we were treated to a feast of traditional Sierra Leonean food!

Team Sierra Leone is DONE! After a swag exchange, we grabbed a quick photo at the CRS-SL HQ.

Team Sierra Leone is DONE! After a swag exchange, we grabbed a quick photo at the CRS-SL HQ.

After our morning at CRS, we were able to finally have some free time in Freetown! We spent the afternoon at Big Market where we all bought some clothes, cloth, and jewelry. Then we were able to make one final visit to St. Mary’s Supermarket — “The Mother of All Supermarkets” — for some celebratory items.

We have a day and a half off in Freetown now, so we are going to spend Friday at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, then head down to Laca Beach and stay Friday night. I’m not sure if we’ll have internet there, but hopefully I can get one more post in of us enjoying some time off before we head back to the states on Saturday afternoon.

Team Rwanda: Day 10

Farmer 1

Francois who graciously allowed us into his day explains several points

Farmer 3

further explanations..

Farmer 2

Making sure that he gets his points across.


Working farmer

Ben tries his hand at tilling, albeit for a very short time.

In seeking to understand the youth’s customer more, the team sought a different approach to gaining insights. What are the customer’s points of pain? Are they even aware of this pain or have they become too accustomed to it. How do we find this out? What opportunities can the youth then exploit in trying to ease the pain and fill a latent need? One of the team members set off to spend a day with a farmer to accomplish this. It was an interesting and different experience for him even though he had grown up on a rural farm. Out of this we discovered several points that the youth could help ease the effort energy,, capital, and time that the farmer expends trying to compensate for the shortfalls in value addition and delivery.. Amongst the points was the amount of milk that is wasted due to the farmer not being able to sell it all on a day to day basis.

Tuesday 6

Hercules! Hercules!

Tuesday 5

One of the workers at the brick and tile-making cooperative

Tuesday 4

Busy at work.

Tuesday 3

The team gets to observe the process at a close range.

Tuesday 2

Gathering more insights.

The rest of the team visited a banana cooperative, a brick and tile-making cooperative, and did a youth focus group session.  They were taken through the process of beer making, where they observed the brick making from clay to the final brick. They also saw first hand the hazards of the venture when a heavy storm washed away the previous day’s clay bricks output worth over 5 days of earnings. The team also conducted a youth focus group trying to understand how they (youth) started a business; qualified for a loan or other capital I sources.


It doesn’t look like Anne will be leaving Rwanda anytime soon.

So here we are, quickly approaching the end of our stay in Kigali Rwanda but having already fallen in love with the place.

Team Philippines: Finishing up interviews and honing in on recommendations

After being separated for most of last week, Team Philippines reunited in Manila after visiting cooperatives, lending institutions, and farmers in two different locations: northern Luzon (far north of the Philippines) and Mindanao (far south of the Philippines). In our last post, we mentioned our rejuvenating day off in Tagaytay. The beginning of this week has involved more site visits, including interviews with Filipino coffeeshops, institutional buyers of vegetables, government-owned financial institutions, microfinance NGOs, and government programs that secure agricultural loans for lenders and borrowers.

Here’s a sampling of some of our visits:

Mauri Miller (law student) helping to unload onions from Kalasag cooperative.

Mauri Miller (law student) helping to unload onions from Kalasag cooperative.

Meeting with Mapita farmers, who produce tomatoes and bell peppers.

Meeting with Mapita farmers, who produce tomatoes and bell peppers.

The drying facilities for Cafe de Lipa, a Filipino coffeeshop that sources most of its beans from local farmers.

The drying facilities for Cafe de Lipa, a Filipino coffeeshop that sources most of its beans from local farmers.

Team Philippines and CRS staff grabbing lunch between interviews.

Team Philippines and CRS staff grabbing lunch between interviews.

The meetings and interviews that we have had over the past 10 days have been incredibly relevant to our task of evaluating the financial needs of small farmers in the Philippines. Tomorrow (Thursday) is our final day of meetings and Friday we will present our observations, findings, and recommendations to CRS. The past few nights we’ve been working late after full days of meetings, trying to categorize everything we’ve heard and identifying where there is room to introduce new loan products (or expand the reach of existing financing) to farmers to address current gaps in financing. Our thoughts will hopefully come together into something coherent and productive in the coming couple of days, we’ll keep you posted.


Team Rwanda: Day 9

After a weekend of amazing scenery and sights we went right back to work and started the  2nd and last week of our visit to Rwanda. This week we focus on identifying any information gaps identified after the 1st week. In the process we will confirm and test new assumptions developed over the last few days. We are also expanding our understanding of the farmer’s ecosystem by talking to cooperatives as we seek to identify opportunities for the youth in the agriculture value chain.

So once again we headed off to the rural area for more information and insights. The visits planned were to district cooperative officials and several cooperatives’ management teams. The Cooperative officer of Kamonyi distict, explained to us the priorities in his region and the challenges they were facing in trying to strengthen existing cooperatives through membership growth and education.

The manager of one of the maize cooperatives mentioned maize storage capacity as being one of their major challenges. The tin cooperative mentioned modern equipment as a critical factor to enable better safety and faster extraction of mineral.  All these present potential business opportunities for the youth whether it’s providing storage services or buying and selling basic mining equipment that can be easily sourced globally.

It was a fruitful day and we feel we are getting closer to a few ideas for further analysis and recommendation.


Erin and Shubi talk to bicycle coop members.

Monday 2

The teams talks to bicycle coop members.

Monday 3

Shubi gets down to work.

MOnday 4

Erin and Angelique gather insights from the youth.

Monday 5

Josel and Ben pose for a pic with members of the Tin Cooperative

Monday 6

A tin mining site on the side of a hill.

TIn miner

A tin miner shows us some of his harvest after 3 days.

Ben football

Team Rwanda on the way to its 4th consecutive ‘world cup’ title.


Sierra Leone: Adventures in Bo & Freetown

Sadly, Team Sierra Leone was split in half for most of the day today. The “Trio in Bo,” as they were dubbed in the previous, lengthy blog post, visited Mercy Hospital and the Bo District Council Chairman. The “Freetown Four” met with three NGOs: Save the Children; BRAC; and Concern Worldwide.

Bo is the second largest city in Sierra Leone and is between Kenema and Freetown. Michelle, Mike, and Nancy started the day with a surprise breakfast at their hotel with the CRS Country Director for Sierra Leone! Then they headed out to Mercy Hospital for a meeting with several staff members and a tour of the healthcare facility along with the child rescue center. At Mercy, the Trio chatted with several people about the integration of TBAs into the hospital. Mercy is a privately funded hospital with little to no ties with the Sierra Leone government, so this was an amazing opportunity to understand the challenges and successes of integration from a different perspective. The hospital was a testament to the service that can come with a little money and the right personnel doing good work.

Michelle, Mike, and Nancy stopped in Bo for a day to talk with staff at Mercy Hospital.

Michelle, Mike, and Nancy stopped in Bo for a day to talk with staff at Mercy Hospital.

The Trio visited with the Bo District Chairman later in the day and talked numbers — a lot of numbers! The group examined the tax system’s history and present condition including where revenue is spent and how extra funding is obtained. Overall, the team was able to collect a great deal of information about the progress of the tax collection system in Bo and how that might be implemented in other districts around Sierra Leone.

Meanwhile, back in Freetown, Lwando, Kelly, Phil, and Susan had a busy day learning about how other major NGOs in Sierra Leone are working with the healthcare issues the entire country is facing. Each NGO had something unique to offer. Save the Children gave us some information about the healthcare in Freetown (a very populous, urban area) that made us think quite a bit about the research from our field work in rural areas. BRAC gave us a good look at their microfinancing programs in the country as well as some upcoming initiatives. Finally, in our second meeting with Concern Worldwide, we learned about their current and future plans for integrating TBAs into the formal healthcare system.

Team Sierra Leone visited Save the Children, BRAC, and Concern Worldwide.

Team Sierra Leone visited Save the Children, BRAC, and Concern Worldwide.

At the end of the day, we were all able to join up and go out to dinner on the beach at a great restaurant called “Roy After 12 Bar.” The food was delicious, and they deliver! It was mostly just great for us to all be together again. Even though we were only apart for a little over 24 hours, we actually missed each other quite a bit!

Thanks for reading! ‘Til tomorrow!

Team Rwanda: Day 7, 8.

Jumping Giraffes smallest

Jumping with Giraffes!

For our first week in Rwanda we met with government officials, co-operative management and rural youth. Overall we have gained a new appreciation for some of the more intangible challenges that accompany international development work. We have found that many of our basic assumptions are irrelevant given cultural context, logistical challenges or the regulatory environment, and we are working hard to anticipate what other unexpected challenges might await us this week. So when the weekend we were eager for some rest and recreation

Gorilla 4

Who’s Kurt looking at?

Gorilla Kurt

Oh..oh! him?


Easy now Kurt!

Big Gorilla

He doesn’t look too happy!

Gorilla Group 4

Let’s hide! he won’t see us!

Traditional dance

Beautiful traditional Rwandese dance and music!

Mountain Gorilla

The Gorilla Trek..an epic experience!

We set out to appreciate the country from one side to the other! On Friday Emily, Erin, Kurt and Anne left for Volcano National Park, which borders Uganda, for a trek to see the silver backed gorillas. The gorillas can only be seen in the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda and only about 60 visitor permits are issued per day in Rwanda. There are nine families of gorillas in Rwanda and after a trek into the mountainous rainforest, visitors are allowed to spend one hour with a designated family in their natural habitat. Our family did not disappoint! We found them during playtime, and we frequently had to jump out of the way as they came swinging or scampering towards us. Kurt didn’t move fast enough, so much to his surprise, he got a gentle nudge from the gorilla barreling through our group! Overall, it was an excellent experience and not to be missed for anyone visiting Rwanda.

Ben 2

All set for Akagera National Park.

Ben 1

Arrived in the evening to a warm dinner.

Ben 5

Nice tented lodge.

Ben 4

Inside the tented lodge.

Erin 4

An early morning breakfast before the game drive.

Truck shot Kurt


Hippos 2

Oops somebody is not happy!

Hippos 3

Somebody is really not happy!


Antelopes and Waterbucks enjoying the life.

Akagera 2

Zebras taking a stroll.

Akagera 3

Giraffes going to quench their thirst at a nearby watering hole.

Akagera 4

Scenic Akagera


Erin 3

Kurt tracking our every movement.


Truck shot

What a weekend!


On Saturday the whole team drove to the other side of the country to visit Akagera National Park. Akagera borders Tanzania and the landscape is a stark contrast to the rest of Rwanda. Where Rwanda is lush rolling hills, Akagera is savannah grass and plains.

We stayed in a tented lodge and had a great time chatting around the fire at night before rising early for a game drive. Our finds included hippos, zebras, and baboons, but the highlights were the giraffes!

Richard, the (wonderful!) owner/operator of the tour company we used for the weekend shared with us his experience in Rwanda, including the genocide and how it had impacted him. He is now educated as a lawyer, owns a successful tour company with his wife, and is raising his two young sons in Rwanda!

We are looking forward to another week of hard work in the field. Highlights will include Ben spending a day with a farmer and the team speaking with Rwandan youth developing agriculture applications at an entrepreneurial incubator in Kigali. More updates coming soon! Thank you everyone for the encouragement!

Team Philippines: Day off at Lake Taal

After hard work the past six days, Team Philippines took a day trip from Manila and explored Lake Taal, a large freshwater lake which fills a volcanic caldera which was created by volcanic eruptions hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Lake Taal from above

Lake Taal from above

We headed out from our hotel in Tagaytay to a volcanic crater lake within Lake Taal — if that wasn’t clear, we are talking about a volcanic lake within a volcanic lake, think of those Russian dolls, but just with volcanic lakes. The smooth, straight boat ride was lovely, and was just what we needed after rough roads, aggressive drivers, and bouts of motion sickness.


Some of us took horses up the mountain to the volcanic lake (inside the other volcanic lake) and others hiked. But we captured a shot of Team Philippines’ Four Horsemen.

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen (Robbie, Mike, Prof. Alford, and Mauri), that might weight more than their horses…

Once we got to the top, the lake within a lake didn’t fail to disappoint.

Sierra Leone: We’re Back on the Grid!

Well, as expected, we didn’t have the Internet while were in Kailahun (pronounced Ky-lown). While we were all suffering withdrawals for the first 24 hours, we settled into our splendid accommodations and embraced the opportunity to really (really) be “off the grid.” I hope we created some kind of anticipation about our next post though… despite being long, it’s a good one! I promise! Bear with me! 🙂

The last time we touched base was on Tuesday night, when we travelled to Kenema (in the east) from Freetown (capital city on the west coast). I’ll start recapping with Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, March 6th – Kenema to Kailahun

We started our day in Kenema bright and early. The electricity (air conditioning included) at our hotel was only running (by generator) from 7pm to 7am, so waking up early is quite easy when the a/c goes out in the muggy conditions (it’s consistently been 85 degrees (F) at about 80% humidity).

We met the CRS staff at the CRS office in Kenema to touch base, then kicked off our research. Fortunately for us, there happened to be a monthly meeting that day with a CRS team that have been working in the field on a program in conjunction with Concern Worldwide (Gates Foundation) called Quality Circles. In short, this program has been working on the integration of TBAs (Traditional Birth Attendants) with the formal healthcare system taking into consideration the training of facilitators and phasing out dependence on NGOs. We interviewed eight field workers (CRS staff that have been overseeing meetings and training facilitators), the QC manager, a representative from Statistics Sierra Leone, and a representative from Concern Worldwide. They were so kind, open and honest, giving us a lot to reflect on as we loaded up to take a bumpy three-hour ride to Kailahun, the main city in the district of Kailahun and the location of the district government and secondary healthcare (hospitals, training facilities, etc).

Team Sierra Leone with Quality Circles staff in Kenema.

Team Sierra Leone with Quality Circles staff in Kenema.

Okay, bumpy may have not been the correct term… jarring may be better… especially for the final 20 miles on the washed out dirt roads. It made us realize, first hand, the struggles the infrastructure gives to people from remote villages seeking advanced medical attention in Kailahun.

When we got to our hotel, we had a meeting with the coordinator for a nutrition program called Mothers to Mothers named Yousef. He talked to us about his experiences with the integration of TBAs in the formal health system based on his first-hand experiences and interactions with women in the program. One of the most interesting insights from Yousef was his stress on involving fathers in maternal and child healthcare; men serve a major decision-making role when women decide to seek formal healthcare in Sierra Leone.

Team Sierra Leone meeting with Yousef at our hotel.

Team Sierra Leone meeting with Yousef at our hotel.

It wasn’t all work though! We were able to go to dinner together, share some stories, have a few laughs, and have a great debrief that night.

Thursday, March 7th – Kailahun

After we had a good night’s sleep, we were off to the Kailahun District government offices to meet with a group of district-level government health care representatives. We had introductions, then we split into two groups to discuss specific healthcare issues with the venerable District Health Officer, Dr. Bome (he was amazing!), along with health committee members from various villages, and financial officers.

That afternoon, we had am impromptu trip to the Kailahun district hospital. There, we met with more than twenty staff members including the (only) doctor, head nurse, financial officers, and attendants from the different hospital wards.The highlight of this trip was getting to meet a retired (but not tired!) midwife that came back to work at the hospital. When asked about some bookkeeping information at the hospital, she pulled out a worn notebook with all of the birth records from the month. We were floored.

This woman has been a midwife since 1985. Despite being retired, she still delivers babies at the Kailahun hospital.

This woman has been a midwife since 1985. Despite being retired, she still delivers babies at the Kailahun hospital. In the photo, she is showing us her birth ledger for the month of February.

Friday, March 8th – Villages Near Kailahun

Happy International Women’s Day!

This was an incredibly memorable day for much of the team. We split into three groups, each going to a different health center in and around Kailahun. One group (Mike, Susan, and Kelly) went to a village called Gbalahun where they caught an International Women’s Day parade and interviewed a group of TBAs, community members, and the health center staff.

Team Gbalahun interviewing healthcare staff (foreground) and TBAs (background).

Team Gbalahun interviewing healthcare staff (foreground) and TBAs (background).

The second group (Lwando and Michelle) went to Mofindor and talked to the TBAs working with that clinic along with some other community stakeholders. On top of going on a nature walk to the nearest drinking water source – a 17 minute walk – with some community members, they were also able to get a photo at the Guinea-Sierra Leone border!

Lwando and Michelle checking out the border between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Lwando and Michelle checking out the border between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Finally, the third group (Nancy and Phil) stayed in Kailahun to talk with health center staff there and follow-up on some financial information with the Financial Officer for the district.

Saturday, March 9th – Kailahun to Kenema

We woke up earlier, and hotter, than we preferred. Despite our air conditioners going out in the middle of the night, we were able to get a good start making the trip back to what we now consider “the big city of Kenema.” We thought it would just be a driving day, but we happened to drive near a BEMOC (Basic Emergency Medical & Obstetric Care) Center and meet the CHO (Community Health Officer, the guy that runs the center). On top of being extremely impressed with his knowledge on running the clinic, we were really impacted by his personal commitment to sustaining the clinic, many times out of his own pocket.

Community Health Officer at a BEMOC Center between Kailahun and Kenema.

Community Health Officer at a BEMOC Center between Kailahun and Kenema.

When we asked him why he uses his own money to finance the clinic he responded, “Because these are my people. I care about my people and my country.” This commitment to social responsibility seems to be a theme among Sierra Leoneans. It’s humbling and inspiring.

Sunday, March 10th – Kenema to Bo & Freetown

Today, we left Kenema but not before heading out to 8am mass where a few members of the team were able to meet with the bishop and enjoy some great music!

Half of the team (Mike, Michelle, and Nancy) is making a stop in Bo to visit with some stakeholders there – government and NGO – while the remainder of the team (Lwando, Phil, Kelly, and Susan) kept going to Freetown. While it was a low-key travel day for the “Freetown Four,” the “Trio in Bo” had a busy day of meetings. We’ll all meet up again Monday evening to plan out the remainder of the week!

Shout Outs

Since this is practically a novel anyway, I might as well add a couple of quick acknowledgements here.

We’d like to thank Modern Africa, a true Kailahun experience, for feeding and putting up with us night after night. Despite having very limited dining choices in the town, we really did like the place!

Modern Africa: our favorite restaurant in Kailahun! (Okay, one of the only restaurants in Kailahun!)

Modern Africa: our favorite restaurant in Kailahun! (Okay, one of the only restaurants in Kailahun!)

Also, a huge thanks to our unofficially official photographer (and driver), Shangbe. He’s always shown up at the right place at the right time with his camera snapping photos of the group and our surroundings. We love you, man!

Shangbe. One of the amazing drivers, and super sneaky photographer, with CRS.

Shangbe. One of the amazing drivers, and super sneaky photographer, with CRS.

Team Nicaragua travels to Siuna y Matagalpa!

Half of Team Nicaragua was heading to Siuna to meet with COOPSIUNA, while half was heading to Mataglapa to meet with Sebaco. Both teams have had an amazing experience thus far and are constantly learning about the farming process for different crops, as well as the ins and outs of these two cooperatives. We’d like to share a little about both experiences…

Team Siuna

Tuesday Morning: Time to head north to Siuna! Brendan, Maurice, and Nicole headed off to the Managua national airport (right next to the international airport) to take an hour flight up north  to Siuna. We were excited to see parts of the Nicaraguan countryside from our window seats, and even more excited to land in Siuna and meet our CRS liaison!


Our plane landed safely on the Siuna runway!

We made it to Siuna and dropped our bags off before heading to the CRS/COOPSIUNA offices a few blocks down from the Siuna airport. We were able to meet with the cooperative President, Treasurer, Financial Advisor, Operations Director, and a few members of the Board of Directors. They were very helpful with their explanation of the cooperative’s origin, its’ current state of operations, and the goals for the future. After our day of meetings, our CRS liaison, Jairo Wong, took us on a tour of Siuna and explained a little of the town’s history before we went to grab some dinner.

Wednesday: We had planned to meet with three different farmers on Wednesday, as well as see the cooperative’s processing plant for cacao and pepper oil. Our first farm visit took us to Justino Armas’ farm. We had a little bit of a hike to get to his farm, including a short boat ride to get across the river. You can see the boat ride first-hand as Brendan took a short video on his journey across the river. Justino spent time explaining his farm, the cacao planting, care, and harvesting process, and his ideas for the future of his farm.

Justino explains the cacao harvesting process

Justino explains the cacao harvesting process

Thursday: We were able to meet with more farmers on Thursday who explained the pepper oil harvesting process, as well as more cacao farmers, including a farmer who currently is working with agriculture studies students who splice cacao plants to ensure good genetic qualities continue.

Maurice listens to a pepper oil farmer explain the harvest process

Maurice listens to a farmer explain the pepper tree growth process

Friday: We fly back to Managua and then drive south to Granada to meet up with our teammates who were in Matagalpa for the week! We can’t wait to hear about their experience and share that with you shortly!