In a few days we will start the first-ever Chazen Study Tour to Guatemala. To be selected as a destination for over 30 CBS students means that the country has something unique to offer. So, what exactly should we expect?
At this point, I got the best insights from our tour leaders. Here is an extract of what they wrote:
“Although economic opportunities are sparse and government programming provides few opportunities for growth and advancement, a group of socially conscious entrepreneurs have been successful in empowering Guatemalans. Social entrepreneurial organizations offer innovative ways to create social and economic changes when programs offered by the government do not necessarily meet the needs of the people. These groups often work independently, but sometimes work in collaboration with governments, big corporations and more traditional charity organizations. […]
We believe in the role of Social Enterprise in today’s (not only) developing economies. We are passionate about social change and making a difference in the world. We have grown up with principles that have instilled in us a deep sense of community and made us understand the importance of believing in others and of providing opportunities. We want to demonstrate firsthand to our peers how Social Enterprise is a sustainable way of bringing developing economies forward. We would like to share this unique perspective with our CBS peers interested in learning end expanding their horizons.
Also, Guatemala is an excellent country in which to showcase Social Enterprise in all its forms. With more than half of the country’s population being poor and a little over 40% of it being indigenous, the large majority of businesses in the country have some form of Social Enterprise that make a direct impact in Guatemalan society. Companies are used to creating economic value while considering the less fortunate and preserving the culture of the communities that surround them. From the largest multinational corporations to the smallest entrepreneurs, most of the businesses in Guatemala have incorporated in their daily operations multiple programs to help their employees and their neighboring communities thrive.”
Adapted from Paulina Dougherty, Luis Héctor Rubio, Alberto Garrido, Kyle Van Decker (CBS´18).
Personally, I strongly believe the nature of the tour is important as it relates to the business environment in several other countries. Now the agenda is ready and I can’t wait to get to Guatemala. Some of our amazing hosts include:
- Mayor of Guatemala City – Alvaro Arzu
- Pomona Impact Investing – Rich Ambrose, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
- Cerveceria Centroamericana – Guillermo Castillo, CEO
- Cementos Progreso – Jose Raul Gonzalez, CEO
- Kingo Energy – Juan Rodriguez, CEO
- Pintando Santa Catarina – Harris Whitbeck
- Helps International – Steve Miller, Founder and President
- Liwy Grazioso, Archaeologist
Obviously, we will also see the incredible natural landscapes and touristic attractions. Wait for the next posts to check it out!
– Pedro Barata ‘18