My Peruvian journey started with a cover letter, resume and interview and ended with international culture, friends for life, work experience, fun with mentors and a lifelong memorable learning experience.
Initially, I was really anxious about the journey, due to multiple reasons like food, since I being a vegetarian, whether I would be able to fulfill the work for which I was selected and most importantly travelling and living with people I rarely interacted during my time at Centennial College. My first memorable experience was the visit to Ministry of Education, Peru. I was really touched by the words of one of ministers, “studying in this college would be last chance for students to get over their current situation and become a better educated qualified individual”. Hence, I made sure that I make full use of this opportunity by contributing to this mission during the time in Peru. At IESTP, Peru I got to know some really motivated, excited students with a strong learning desire and willing to contribute in making society better. Likewise, the professors and college staff at IESTP, Peru greeted us warmly and kindly with open hearts while our time in Peru.
However, as the time passed, I experienced a lot many things including the visit to Apiary, Guinea Pig farm, Banana plantation and an industrial visit to Gandules Inc. Apart from this, I experienced the local Peruvian culture by a visit to museums, a jungle safari and visit to rock and sand beach, local handicrafts shops. All this combined with really tasted ethnic Peruvian food and drinks: I still remember the Chicha.
During the entire journey from boarding the departure plane to Peru and back to Toronto, it was a mix and complex amalgamation of feelings which can’t be described in words. I experienced and understood the people around me, carried with me both tangible and non-tangible skills and tried understanding the world from a different view altogether.
My deepest thank to SAGE, FLIP, Centennial College and two most important persons: Steve and Professor Xavier. I thank Centennial College once again for giving me an opportunity to represent centennial college as a college ambassador.
Being given the opportunity to travel thousands of kilometres away with 11 of my classmates and 2 of my instructors to the beautiful Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic was a once in a lifetime experience. It was humbling and eye-opening to the way in which other people live in different places. The first thing I noticed was the people and how friendly and kind they were to us, regardless of what they may be experiencing and that caused me to feel a great appreciation for my life back in Canada. I was flooded with emotions and a renewal of energy for change. I was finally able to look through the community development lens in real life situations while I endured this experience and I was able to relate it back to the community economic development principles.
Some of the community-based tourism excursions that we were able to participate in was a cable car ride, a visit to Fort San Felipe with a monument to General Gregorio LuPeron, Sosua Beach, a hike to Los Charcos, an amber mine, a week stay at Tubagua Eco lodge, and the Pedro Garcia coffee village. These experiences were full of breathtaking views and once in a lifetime experiences, it also highlights many of what Puerto Plata has to offer to tourists. These experiences relate to the principles of community economic development because of the use of locally produced goods such as food products or handmade souvenirs. It also displays the local skill development of the community members by utilizing their skills, knowledge, and social capital to create income. I feel that community-based tourism is essential in getting money back into the economy of Puerto Plata because it does not see as many tourists as other communities, and it also gets tourists off of resorts and into local communities. CBT is a great way to bring back those tourists and for them to see what Puerto Plata has to offer and hopefully with the recent revitalization in tourism, their economy can get the kick-start that it needs
Eight days from snow fall to sunshine, from city life to country-side life, from heated showers to to cold showers, from waking up to noisy cars, bus and trains to waking up to melodic birds, dogs and roosters. Why am I speaking about this transition, what could be so interesting about this blog. Lets continue reading and we will find out. Lets expand on a life changing, career gearing and community economic understanding experience. This was sponsored by Sage and Centennial College for Community Development students who are taking the course Community Economic Development.
Hands On experiences of successful, progressive, and unsuccessful Community-Based Tourism.
Community Economic Development
Identifying Community Economic Development Principles throughout experiences
Journey Just Starting to Puerto Plata
Our arrival was very warm and welcoming. Many of my classmates have never been to a tropical island so their expressions were so assuming and innocent. I really appreciated being back in the tropics being a tropical islander myself #JamaicanForever
Most days I woke up feeling thanking, feeling fit and ready for whatever activity we had planned for that day. Its was exciting learning but my true excitement came from learning with my peers. My classmates are one big drama and I love them, especially my wonderful teachers. I was impressed by the many ways community tourism could flourish and even compete against big multinational corporations tourism. Even incorporating or bonding with cruise ships in order to give tourist a real cultural experience while also re-channeling their spending directly into the communities and the country.
I assumed that local communities had nothing to do with Economic Development and that this was solely Government issues and Foreign Investors. I assumed that a community played no part in Tourism also and that the more an hotel had to offer the better the visitors experience. I was so WRONG.
We drove around parts of the island where we did some money exchange, engaged in very insightful teaching and sharing of history by our dear friend and tour guide, and of course some sightseeing. We then stopped at the Fortress of San Felipe where we listened to more historical teachings and took some of the most beautiful pictures, thus far at least. We then made our way to Cable Car Puerto Plata. Along with this journey as we waited for the cable car we stop and dance to some sweet cultural Merengue music that was being played in the lobby-like area by four locals. The vibe, the atmosphere, and the love were felt, and as we left, many of us gave financial donations in their donation bucket. After that experience, we encountered a magician at the front of the car stand.
To end our trip we visited the 27 Waterfalls (Los Charcos), due to the low water we only had access to a few falls instead of all of them. This is the most successful community-based tourism that we had the privileged to experience (had fun) and take notes on.
Our trip concluded with a night just as eventful as the day
Tired – NO
Hungry – NO
Bored – NO
Happy – YES
I personally appreciated this trip, and all the experience. My understanding grew, my interest change, my perspective shifted, so much has happened. Sage! You made HUGE impact on this young man’s life. Centennial College! You made a HUGE impact on this young man’s life.
As a tourist I will be more mindful when visiting other countries and try to get the real cultural experience, invest my time and money into community based tourism. As a Community Development Worker I will encourage the true nature of Community Economic Development and apply all I have learn, seen and practiced in both theory and practical.
Being part of FLIP #centennial_sage was a huge honour, a big thanks to #centennialcollege for providing this opportunity. Applied our knowledge and experience to implement #prerequisiteprograms for a pilot plant IESTP, ILLIMO. It was a great experience which helped me to learn technical as well as personal skills as working with a group of 10 students from different countries with different ideas is never easy but this is how you learn #teamwork. Besides this, a warm welcome by our Peruvian partnersmade our willingness for our project more stronger. Also, we visited museums, beach and a number of manufacturing plants which added a lot of fun. Received the certification of recognition for all of our team work and also raised fund from our group for students as a scholarship after going through emotional discussionabout the poverty and passion of Peruvian children for education. The trip was overall mixture of education, fun and a lifelong rememberable global experience.
I think I can finally safely say I am over most of the Jet lag (Ha!). I woke up with a good nights rest and went to prepare some breakfast and green tea for myself and my roommate, Monica. We were out relatively early today, as Monica and I have a meeting at 9am with our program coordinator, to go over our finalized timetables. We were both excited and nervous on our walk to school this morning (Fun Fact: The sun really doesn’t come up here until around 9am). So, we have both learned to do most things in the dark lol! (Which also saves on electricity, thumbs up for sustainability).
As we walked to the university (about a ten-minute walk from our flat), we shared our excitement and nerves regarding our upcoming semester at the University of the West of Scotland. Upon arrival, we met with our coordinator who happens to be from Greece (so he has both a Greek and Scottish accent mushed into an entirely different fraken-accent). He’s great. He was able to work out and give us our identical timetables and… guess what! We only have three classes (due to credit sizing conversion between Canada and the UK). This meaning, we only have classes on Wednesday mornings and Thursday’s. Giving us five extra days for exploring, study and whatever else we can get ourselves into, Woohoo!
After discussing enrolment and some paperwork; Monica and I were free for the rest of the day. I ended up buying a University sweater to show some UWS pride (and it’s a plus because it’s very warm!). We got hungry around 1pm, so we decided to go to “Malatso” (a cafe located near campus, as they carry a vegan menu and have student discounts!).
I had a delicious vegan mini “Scottish breakfast”, it was very tasty! Monica also enjoyed a baked potato, which is a staple food here in Scotland. After eating, we explored the town of Paisley together and finally bought pillows for our flat!! Yay! (no more sleeping on my airplane neck pillow…lol). For the remainder of the afternoon, we took some photos together and explored the old churches in the area. The main attraction here in Paisley (the town we are staying in, near Glasgow), is “The Paisley Abbey”, which is an old church that dates back to the 12th century! It is so beautiful and we are so lucky as it can be seen from our flat window.
After finishing our exploring for the day, we visited Morrison’s (a UK grocery store), to do some food shopping and use their wifi. We are loving all the new and exciting products that are offered here. What an adventure it has been. When we got home, I made us some long-grain rice and vegetables for supper (alongside some trustee convenience store bananas! Which are surprisingly very good).
I finished packing my school bag for tomorrow and prepared myself for bed. I went to bed around 9pm. I know that seems early, but since it gets dark so early, we feel tired much quicker. Also, we did a ton of walking today.
Tomorrow marks the first official day of classes!! We are both so excited!
Love and Greeting from Bonnie Scotland!
You can continue to follow Monica and I’s adventures by following us on our Instagrams;
It’s been 5 days already in Peru. We spent 2 nights in Lima and then came to Chiclayo, another city in Peru where we are going to work helping develop premises, GMPs, SOPs for a educational food processing plant. People here are so warm, polite, welcome, and sweet. Undoubtedly, this is a great experience to get to know Peruvian culture and understand that we have more similarities than differences.
The professors of the IESTP Institute are so professional and very warm facilitators.
We did not imagine the scope that Centennial College had in Peru. I feel very proud of being a Centennial College student as I myself witnessed how hard Centennial College have worked and continue to work towards helping building a more focused and efficient education system based on the local community’s needs. Even more inspirational is to know that Centennial College participation in this type of projects had inspired other local and international institutions and organizations to take part on this project. The outcome? Well, more young local people with less resources, and otherwise not able to access superior education, are now on their way to college and building a professional career that will enhance their lives and their community in countless ways, and you can feel it when they look at us with grateful faces for us being here.
At the end of day 1, I thought to share my day with all the readers. First, landing in Lima at midnight didn’t give me an opportunity to explore the city, but when I started my day wearing a professional attire to meet Ministry of Education, Lima, I felt that I might have a big day today. Yes, I did. When we reached at Ministry of Education, the Peruvian officials greeted and welcomed us with smile and love. We (group of 12 people from Centennial College Food Science Technology program) had exchanged the views on developing technical aspects for the partner institution in Chiclayo. After the meeting, we had an opportunity in clicking a picture with the Peruvian officials and ended our afternoon. Second, had an amazing lunch at a local Chinese-Peruvian restaurant and moved ourselves to explore the city and adapt the culture. Finally, at the end of the day, I have learned one thing – People have high values and they are always welcoming. With excitement to start day 2 and tiredness of day 1, the first night at Lima, Peru ends.
Getting ready for Peru has been quite the experience. For me I haven’t travelled since 2016 and when I got the acceptance to participate I realized I had to renew my passport because it was expired 😂. The next thing I had to worry about was medical check. I felt healthy but I haven’tc been to the doctor’s in a while so I wasn’t actually sure how healthy I was. The visit wasn’t too long but the doctor did give me a few shots and some take home vaccines to protect me for when I was travelling and also gave me a clean bill of health to travel. I knew it would be hot in Peru so I decided to wear exclusively white shirts in order to combat the heat. I’m fully packed and ready to take on this global experience!!!
The reason why I have salutated in Spanish is we (group of 10 students from food science technology) are going to a partner institution in Peru! Now as we are leaving from Toronto airport, I see some mixed feelings on all their faces, some with excitement and some with anxiety. But whatever faces we carry, we all had one thing back of our mind – Give our best to the partner institution and get something back what we can give to the Centennial Conmunity!
By: Jane Kim- 3rd year Advertising and Marketing Communication Management Student.
The event I have been waiting for, since the first day as an Advertising student in Centennial College, has finally arrived. It was finally my turn to participate and enjoy the New York Ad Week of 2018.
New York Ad Week 2018 was held on Oct 1st to Oct 4th, normally it would be impossible to attend the event since it is held in the middle of our school year, however, because Ad Week was one of the optional criteria for Advertising students at Centennial College, number of students including myself were able to attend the event. In addition, thanks to Sage Global Experience, we were able to get our trip payment covered!
And so, the wonderful 5 days in the world’s capital for advertising began!
I was headed to New York on September 30th with 3 of my amazing fellow Advertising students in Centennial College. We were all very excited, but even more so myself, it had been more than 10 years since I last visited New York, which made the trip exceptionally exciting. We found an Airbnb in New Jersey, and when we first entered the apartment, we were amazed by how pretty and clean the suites were.
Now that our base camp for trip turned out to be a beautiful place, it was now time to enjoy New York City! Our Airbnb was located in New Jersey, therefore, we had some travelling to do. First step was to ride the PATH train to World trade Center. We definitely had the “tourist” vibe, and we initially had trouble purchasing the PATH train tickets. Thankfully, one of the workers from the station taught us from A to Z on everything we needed to know. (He even gave us a free Path Pass for us to load! Thank you!). From the World trade Center, we rode the New York subway line to get to the famous Time Square. The Time Square that I remember from the memory as a little girl and the Time Square that I saw as a college student was drastically different. The Time Square that I saw in this trip was full of amazing performers and unique charms of individuals. And obviously, the advertisements in billboards were breathtaking. And while I was admiring at all the advertisement, I made a promise to myself, that one day I would have my own advertisement displayed right here.
Oct 1st- First day of New York Ad Week!
It was here! Our first day of Ad week. We all got ready early in the morning, and headed off to Lincoln Square Center on 66th street!
As we got in, there were tons of different brand vendors that provided opportunities to not only observe their ideas but also to taste, play, learn about their ideas.
Top 4 Seminars from Ad week
Day 1: Marvel and the power of podcast in storytelling for brands
This seminar was one of the most memorable seminars that I have been to. As marvel’s big fan myself, and also a big fan of podcasts and audio books, it was very interesting. The few key takeaways were that Marvel defines themselves as a storytelling community, and podcasting has been on the rise as a new form of storytelling in the last 10-20 years. Although my main concern regarding this idea was the fact that audios cant deliver Marvel’s famous graphics that illustrate character’s actions, it was very interesting for the team to utilize silence as one of the powerful tools in creating suspense and excitement. For example, in their Wolverine podcast, when the protagonist Logan is in the middle of an intense suspenseful scene, they will use nothing but silence to provide the tension that would normally be expressed through drawings in a comic book. According to the team, silence can provide audiences with different types of intensity and imagination. Also, it was also fascinating that there are about 12 layers of sound files to create a sniffing sound. This shows how much extreme details are put together for a creation of every Podcasts. For advertising, they tend to produce motion graphics for social media. Also, have incorporate about 2 pre-roll advertisement and 2 mid-roll advertisement during one episode of their podcasts.
Day 2: Memeology- The New Digital Language
I enjoy watching memes around the internet, and would relate to some of them and often have a good laugh. The work behind creation of all these memes were very fascinating. They started the presentation with the origin of the word “Meme”. It came from Richard Dawkins’ book called “The Selfish Gene” and the book states that, “A meme is a basic unit of idea and gene is the basic unit of DNA”. Just simple white background with black bold words on a picture or screenshot of a scene from a movie can express many human expressions, which further more results in expressing human reactions, or the entire situation and ideas. Meme looks very simple at a glance, however, there are so many psychology and details involved that bring people’s emotions together.
Day 3: The Jump with Will Smith: One Iconic Storytellers Journey of Reinvention & Connection
Will Smith was an absolutely inspiring person, who showed his passion and love towards his life and his job. He believed that creativity is always evolving at that even if you are a successful movie star, moving towards with the trend is always very important. He believes that people have to be in tune with current trends and ideas. For example, just few years ago, good trailer for a movie used to be very important, however nowadays, people’s reactions on social media tweeting about the movie became more important in promoting a film. He also talked about methods of storytelling, and he claims that high quality storytelling automatically leads to receiving large attention. Life lesson can simply come from storytelling. During the seminar, he told many inspiring stories, and three of my favorite was, “Nothing is valuable than your gut”, “Be a better you for everything”, and “Don’t run from the pain, that is the greatest story”. I can easily say that I learn the most in his presentation.
Day 4: The Value of Activating Brave
Lack of clarity in brand activation has always been a problem, and that was the one thing that consumers have always wanted fixed. To do that, the process of solving problems inside the company needed to change significantly. Aligning operation and marketing was the key. Also, the company had to go from marketers to company collaborator. To build a good brand, changing how the company works is most important step to take. That is the new way to activate the brand. This seminar had more real life information, that made us as a future advertisers to really get ready for what is expected in the industry today. The things that they said were not all magical, but rather very real. And I believe that this seminar was what I really needed to hear before getting myself into the real world work environment.
NEW YORK CITY
The streets of New York was beautiful and also very busy. Everywhere I look, I wanted to take a photo, and cherish the moment. The landscapes and buildings were very interesting. The two memorable places that I went was, The METS, and Central Park. I am never usually interested in museums but The Metropolitan Museum changed my perspective. It was beautiful, and fascinating. I absolutely want to go back, and look at all the items displayed thoroughly. The night walk at the Central Park was absolutely amazing as well. I was bitten by a lot of Mosquito, but still, the feeling of walking in a forest in the middle of one of the greatest cities on earth made it all worthwhile. It was like an Oasis inside a busy city. It was relaxing and it gave me time to rest my mind, and just take in the nature.
Thanks to SAGE Centennial and Advertising Community of Centennial College, I was able to experience so much from New York, and learn many inspiring lessons that have changed my thoughts about work and life. If it was not for this opportunity, I would have been missing out on so much aspects of my career. This was my first trip as a grown up, and I was able to appreciate its every moment. If I could recommend this trip to others, it would take me days to explain why an opportunity like this would be one of the greatest decisions for anyone to make.