Monday, April 29, 2013

Diana Juarez, TAMU Horticulture writes about her internship in Nicaragua

Diana Juarez, Texas A&M

Students: You can apply for this internship, too! 

 Hello, my name is Diana Juarez; I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Horticulture, and came to PAC to do an internship in the area of ​​quality management of the coffee chain. To come to PAC, I applied to the program in October 2012 and by the end of November of the same year I was arriving in Managua, where my three month internship began.
During the first two weeks I was in the office of PAC-Managua getting to know PAC’s work, its intervention model and participating in the definition of the activities that would take place during my time in PAC.
Then I moved to PAC’s office in Matagalpa, where I supported the development of the internal control system of the coffee chain. These activities allowed me to interact with PAC’s team. I worked at the office and also visited the fields, talked to coffee producers, learning firsthand about their efforts and improvements of the coffee crop.
In addition, I accompanied the field visits for the external audit of Fair Trade Certification of coffee producers affiliated with PAC. Overall, this experience helped me grow personally and to explore possible areas in the development of agriculture.

In Matagalpa, the weather is cool, I felt safe walking on the streets. Nicaraguans are very joyful and most of the people I met grew up during the war, and told me their personal stories which are very interesting.

The family where I stayed in Matagalpa, made me feel at home. They were always attentive to me, and if I am given the opportunity to return to Nicaragua, I know I can count on this family in anything I need.
Some places I visited in Nicaragua were: Diriomo, the Diriá viewpoint, the Catarina viewpoint, Masaya Market, Mombacho Volcano, Granada and its islets. Also I was in festive activities as "gritería" (celebration of the Virgin Mary that is on December 7th), and the anniversary of the city of Matagalpa (February 14th). Nicaraguan food is very good, some of the dishes I ate were: gallo pinto, nacatamal, fried plantains, indio viejo, among others.

My stay in Nicaragua was fun, and the experience with PAC has been a personal and academic challenge to acquire new knowledge in different areas. Be encouraged to participate in this internship program, I'm sure it will help in your formation to become a leader.

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