Lima is an amazing city !

June 14, 2019 | Brigitte, International Studies and Modern Languages, Uniterra, Peru IPES – Promoción del Desarrollo Sostenible- Sustainable Development and Communication Officer

If one year ago, you had told me I would be spending summer 2019 interning in Peru, I wouldn’t have believed you. I am delighted with my experience so far, as Lima is an amazing city that has so much to offer.

Lima is shockingly MASSIVE and extremely chaotic. This is the thirst biggest city in Latin America, with a population of almost 10 million. It is divided into over 40 districts, all of which are strikingly different. I live, work and socialize in Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco, respectively. These are lovely neighborhoods and I feel very comfortable living here. I have started surfing every Sunday morning and I go salsa dancing every Tuesday night.

Getting accustomed to life here has been easier than I expected it to be, despite having to adjust to working and living in Spanish. Although it is my minor, I still find it very difficult to conjugate certain words and to understand technical concepts. I come home everyday completely exhausted and I often get lost between French, English and Spanish. But, as someone who is determined to master a third language, this is an exceptional opportunity to apply my language skills to the context of a workplace. Since my first week here, I have become more comfortable conversing with Limeños on various topics, whether it be at work or in social settings.

I work as a grant researcher for a local organization called IPES (Promoción del Desarrollo Sostenible). They undertake projects in urban agriculture and environmentalism around the city. I have learnt that since the late 2000s, funding for Latin American NGOS and projects geared towards the betterment of impoverished communities in this part of the world have become scarce. In general, grantors, foundations and government programs tend to prefer allocating foreign aid to organizations in Africa and in Asia. I suppose that generally, the GDP of countries in Latin American are not astonishingly low. However, it is important to acknowledge that the wealth gaps in these societies are incredibly pronounced and need to be addressed. For instance, Limeños living in trendy Miraflores live lavishly, breathing in the salty pacific air and dining in some of the most renowned restaurants in the world. Meanwhile, less than a dozen kilometers away, others must live on less than $4 a day. In rural Peru, the living conditions are disgraceful and access to adequate services is non-existent. Due to the significant lack of funding, many organizations have been forced to close their doors and stop helping communities in need. In fact, IPES, my host organization, has seen their staff subside by 2 dozen people since their establishment.

As I have become more aware of this problem, I thought it could be helpful to create a guide for non-profits in Peru on how to direct more efficient and successful research for financing opportunities. My proposal to begin this project with Uniterra was accepted last week. I am currently following a 5-week online course that will allow me to produce this tool and I look forward to see how it turns out.

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