Team Peru’s Contribution to Community Development
Team Peru is composed of MIIS students conducting community development projects in coordination with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, another organization founded by MIIS students. This summer, eight students traveled to the Sacred Valley of Peru to work on projects centered on social enterprise, agriculture and network development.
In choosing to travel back to Peru for a second time and continue her work with AASD, Katie Holmberg (IPS) was looking to have a deeper impact on the projects she joined in January and to further develop professional skills such as project development/management, facilitation techniques and needs assessment. Team Peru has provided her with the opportunity to immerse herself in a professional environment and to really take ownership over her work.
“One of the main reasons I have felt particularly drawn to Team Peru,” explains Holmberg, “is the special emphasis placed on language within participatory development. For a while now, I’ve had a growing desire to use my Spanish language skills professionally to satisfy some need for an organization, group of people or individual.”
Recently, Holmberg met a huge professional milestone with regard to this. In making her first summer venture to Choquecancha in the highlands of Peru, Katie had her first opportunity to translate professionally while serving as the Women’s Social Enterprise Team’s spokesperson and translator. Together with one of the community members who translated from Quechua into Spanish, she communicated between a group of indigenous women from the highlands of Peru and a group of graduate students from Monterey, CA.
Holmberg states that it was incredibly empowering for her, professionally, to be at the center of this communication stream and to have facilitated this important meeting. Experiences such as this serve as confidence builders for practicing skills, theories and techniques in a professional environment. It has been truly exciting for her to have had opportunities with Team Peru and AASD to utilize skills such as language professionally.
To learn more about Katie Holmberg’s experiences and those of other Team Peru members, visit their blog.