Experiences about my Professional Fellows Program on Economic Empowerment
By Carlo Carranza, Guatemala
Hi everyone! My name is Carlos Carranza, I am an Agricultural Engineer and I live in Olopa, Chiquimula, a small town in the east of Guatemala. I really love working with small producers; currently I am working with CIAT, an organization that works with corn and beans in Chiquimula.
I was, and still am excited for this Professional Fellows Program in Economic Empowerment. I remember when I received my email saying that I was accepted- it was a special moment in my life. I am in my fellowship right now at UMass doing my best to learn a lot and give the best of me.
These two photos represent specials day in my PFP program, the first one with my name and my country is really amazing, because it was the first day at the ITD office where I learned a lot about the United States government system and economic relations with Mexico and Guatemala, and met all the ITD staff. Also on that day we went to UMass, which is really big with a lot of people. The other photo was taken the next day at Franklin County Community Development Corporation. I was so excited to know a corporation that helps small producers with the agro-industrial process, and also learn that they lend money to help them develop personal projects and be more profitable. The lesson I learned was that we can do a lot of things if we organize as a community and work for the same goals, given time to think, develop and build a structure in which all of us can fit in.
One of the best feelings of the day was when we were in the cold room, everyone was shivering and in need of a sweater. That room is used to keep vegetables fresh. Afterwards, we warmed up in the presentation room where we talked about community and how the company works while enjoying kombucha and donuts.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.