Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at the World Cocoa Foundation's 24th annual Partnership meeting at the Occidental Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo.
Why was I at that, you ask?
Because my new project is working with a cocoa cooperative. Since I know very little about the cocoa industry, my boss thought it would be helpful for me to get a crash course.
The Minister of Agriculture talking about the cocoa industry in the DR
My boss, Michael, doing his part of a panel presentation about the partnership Peace Corps has with Mondalez (Kraft foods). For more info on that, click here
Michael answering questions on the panel.
So why is Peace Corps so involved in the cocoa industry here? In the link above it mentions that Kraft foods is funding a PC initiative in the Dominican Republic called Construye tus Sueños (Build your Dreams) which is a business plan competition for people between the ages of 15 and 29. Volunteers teach the entrepreneurship class to young people in their communities who then (if they choose) write a plan for a business that they would like to start. At the national competition winning plans are chosen to receive financing to begin the businesses.
Coincidentally, the Construye tus Sueños (CTS) national conference was Thursday through Saturday at the Magna 365 hotel in Santo Domingo.
Group photographers John Serpas and myself
Day 1 group photo
CTS student Francisco excited but a little nervous to present!
Happy Birthday to Sam and Francisco!
Final certifications on the last day
A presentation about entrepreneurs role in the economy.
Then, to celebrate everyones hard work and birthdays the right way, we headed over to Hooters to watch the Clemson vs Florida State game.
Sam and Kate representing their alma maters, the Seminoles and the Tigers.
There was beer and hot wings and plenty of sillyness.
A good time was had by all. Hope you're all keeping warm up there! Kaley