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 partners made 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 discussion about the poverty and passion of Peruvian children for education. The trip was overall mixture of education, fun and a lifelong rememberable global experience.
The visit to Peru ( Illimo, Chiclayo) was much more than work and cultural experience. This was planned during the reading of the semester, I personally felt it was one of the useful ways to spend the week. Before the trip even started, we had to do a lot of per – work so that we had an idea of what to expect when we visit the institute. The institute where we worked is called Instituto de Educaciόn Superior Technolόgico Publico (IESTP) and this is located in Illimo which is an hour distance from Chiclayo.
At first, we made a quick one day stop at the capital – Lima to do some little sightseeing and have some cultural experience. We walked down the streets and saw the beautiful south Pacific ocean, spend some time there and then we commute back to the hotel and to the airport for our next flight to Chiclayo.
Unlike Lima, Chiclayo had a completely different setup. The “City of Friendship” as the locals lovingly call Chiclayo was more on the rural side with narrow and busy streets. We were amused to see the city being lively even in the late hours. Our work in Illimo, Chiclayo was scheduled in such a way that we had industrial and field visits in the morning and the work-related to the institute was in the afternoon. After our first field visit to the Guinea pig facility, we were actually excited to see the institute as we were informed that the person who developed this institute put their heart and soul to this project. We were amused by the work they have done to this institute. We started off the work by auditing the premises which were our initial task. I initially thought the work which was assigned to us was to apply the knowledge which we gained in the lecture, but that perspective entirely changed when the partners started to value our opinions. This motivated us to further work hard and give them the most of the information we could give in a short period. The people there are really ambitious are using every single opportunity to obtain even the tiniest bit of information that they receive and this gave us furthermore enthusiasm to work even though the hot sun drained most of our energy down. The Peruvian partners were such lovely people even though the language was a huge barrier they took every single chance to in tract with us and made us feel that we were one among them.
The industries which we visited was quite unique. We had an opportunity to visit a guinea pig facility, bee apiary, a small goat facility, INIA – Instituto Nacional de Innovacion Agraria, Grandules international and one of their fields where they cultivate peppers. Each facility had its own significance. From the Guinea pig facility, we learned about the breeding conditions and types of the breed that are in the facility. In the Bee Apiary, we got to know about the importance of the Queen bee and its cultivation. In INIA we saw how the biopesticides were developed and its usefulness in the society. We also learned about the soil in that area and its apt condition for cultivation. Grandules is an international company that exports peppers, sweet peppers, and mangoes to various parts of the world including Canada. Following this visit, we had a chance to visit one of their pepper cultivation fields and we got to know about the parameters and the methods that they practice to obtain maximum production of the produce.
We ended the trip with cultural activity and sightseeing. The activity started with a wonderful Peruvian home-style dinner and the following day we had an opportunity to see a few museums like Museo de Sitio Huaca Rajada – Sipan and Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum. The guide who came with us gave us a detailed input of the civilization present in that region and made us understand the importance of the culture. Finally, we ended this trip with the visit to the beach and we headed back to the airport for our way back to Toronto.
As a whole, this experience made me realize the importance of knowledge and technology. The trips had it’s up and down and we weren’t able to quickly adapt to the change in the climate and food in a few of the places were excellent and few places did not serve the best. Apart from the cons, this was a very good learning experience. I thank my professor and the college for giving me this amazing opportunity.
I am thankful to Centennial college for organizing the Faculty-Led International Program. It was an honour to be a part of the FLIP -Peru program. Along with my ten other classmates and two faculty members (Prof. Xavier Aguirre and Prof. Marco). Our journey began on Feb 22, 2020. We had a daily visit to IESTP – Illimo to work on the pilot plant. Along with IESTP, we visited few other places such as Guinea pig farm, apiary, National Institute of Agricultural Research and Gandules internationals.
On day one we visited Guinea pig farm where we learned about the rearing of the pigs. Later we headed to see the IESTP pilot plant. On day two, we visited the apiary where we saw honey bees, artificial honeycombs and equipment to obtain honey. Day three, we visited the international institute of agricultural research where we learned about the natural media of pest control (Using insects and larva). Day four we visited one of the biggest facilities in Peru “Gandules Internationals”. Day five was scheduled to visit farms and fields of Gandules Internationals. Day six, we utilized for cultural activities where we visited three amazing museums.
The IESTP pilot plant is designed for the production of jam, yogurt, pickles, cheese and honey. They have a few modern types of equipment which is enough to start production for small scale businesses. The professors and employees of the institute are very hardworking and trying their best to start the plant as soon as possible. I am very glad that I also contributed something to help them. The task was given to us was to develop a process flow chart and diagram for jam, pickles and yogurt production. We all tried our best to develop those. For their better understanding, we translated those charts in Spanish. We also got a chance to do premises inspection which was a great learning experience. The visit to Gandules International was amazing. I learned a lot about pickle facility and GMPs. I saw practically what I learned so far during the course of three semesters. We also visited their farms and fields to see how and what technology they use to grow their vegetables especially bell peppers and jalapeno.
The Peruvian people are very humble, kind and warm. They respect their visitors and try to provide the best hospitality. Our cultural activities began with a dinner party at the guinea pig farm owner’s house. The next day we visited three museums where we learned about the Peruvian ancestors and their culture. We returned home safely on March 2, 2020.
Overall the experience of the FLIP Peru program was amazing and memorable. I would like to thank #SaGE for organizing such a wonderful study trip. Our instructors, prof. Xavier and Prof. Marco took care of all of us and made sure of our safety. It was a safe and pleasant journey. I will never forget the FLIP Peru trip.
#FLIP-Peru (Food Science Technology)
I spent my reading week travelling with ten students and two faculty members to and from Peru as part of Centennial College’s Faculty Lead International Program (FLIP). In summary, we spent 1.5 days in the capital – Lima, and 7 days in their fourth-largest city – Chiclayo (located in the Lambayeque region of Peru). During the week (Monday-Friday), we would commute an hour from Chiclayo to Illimo where we worked at the Instituto de Educaciόn Superior Technolόgico Publico (IESTP), providing our recommendations for their pilot plant. Our week was very busy, with an industrial site visit each morning, followed by working on the pilot plant in the afternoon up until and sometimes after dinner as well. We wanted to ensure that we provided our Peruvian partners with the best quality recommendations we could to strengthen their path to success.
Ministry of Education & Impact of Centennial College
On our first day in Lima, we visited the Ministry of Education and shared our views on the importance of education and hands-on experience. This meeting was an eyeopener, hearing from the ministry representatives how important education is for the students to give them hope for a better life. We also heard about the impact of Centennial College’s involvement with CiCAN (Colleges and Institutes of Canada). The goal of the partnership is to help strengthen technical skills and training in the food industry for students in Illinois, Lambayeque, to help prepare the students for employment.
In Lambayeque, we also had the opportunity to meet with the regional government. We acted as a support to our Peruvian partners to gain funding and prioritize education for the students in Illimo. A press release of the meeting can be found here: https://www.regionlambayeque.gob.pe/web/noticia/detalle/26831?pass=Mg==
Peruvian Culture & Food
Anytime we had the opportunity to interact with someone in Peru, they always asked if we enjoyed their food. The answer was an obvious yes! In preparation for the trip, I had a list of foods I wanted to try with anticucho (beef heart) and ceviche (cured raw fish) being at the top. Lima, Chiclayo, and Illimo did not disappoint. I especially loved the home-cooked feel of the dishes from Chiclayo and Illimo, with almost all dishes in some form of saltado (stir fry), like lomo saltado or polo saltado. The second thing the Peruvians are very proud of is Chiclayo known as the City of Friendship. This was very evident with all the Peruvians we interacted with. Even with a significant language barrier, everyone was very welcoming to us during our stay. Our Peruvian partners spent every moment with us from our very first day in Chiclayo up until we passed security at the airport to leave Chiclayo. They stayed with us during dinners and took us to industrial visits, museums, and as much site seeing as we could squeeze into our busy schedules. They made sure that our trip was not only filled with lots of work but enjoyable and culturally enriching.
Industrial Site Visits
In total, we visited five industrial sites in Lambayeque: Guinea Pig Farm, Animal Feed Production Facility, Banana Plantation, Bee Apiary, and Gandules International. I learned about:
- the challenges of breeding guinea pig in hot climates and the different characteristics of different breeds
- the variety of animal feeds one small scale facility can produce
- Peruvians wanting to expand the banana market in Peru to have a sustainable business both internationally and nationally
- the value of the Queen Bee (in monetary value and its role in the colony)
- the functionality of a larger scale production facility for international exports of peppers and mangos
IESTP Work & Students
Prior to our departure, our group had been working very hard to research and compile documents to be applied to a dairy production facility in Illimo. Our goal was to work on the Pre-Requisite Plans, specifically, the Premises, Receiving & Storage, Equipment, Personnel, Sanitation & Pest Control, and Recall System. This is something we study extensively in our Food Safety Management class in our final semester of the Food Science Technology Program. We were divided into groups to further become expertise on butter, yogurt, and cheese, something we studied in our Food Processing and Technology classes taken in Semester 4 and 5.
Once we arrived at the IESTP, we got to see the beginning stages of the pilot plant and the equipment to be used for the production of butter, yogurt, cheese, and the addition of jam. The structure of the building is there, but there is much more construction to be done before it is ready for production. Over the course of four days, we worked as a group to provide our recommendations and technical background on the production facility, procedures and training to be done, and the processing of each product to ensure food safety and quality. We did not have access to the internet at the facility and had a very poor connection back at the hotel, so we heavily relied on our knowledge and each other as a team to provide quality content for our Peruvian partners. We wrote SOPs and SSOPs, designed product flow charts and diagrams, developed a traceability program, and provided general recommendations on-premises, sanitation, pest control, and GMPs training. The pilot plant will not only be able to produce a product for local sales but to also serve as a teaching facility for the students enrolled at the IESTP to further prepare them for the workforce.
The highlight of my trip was interacting with the students there, and learning about the impact of our visit and the values and hard work of each student. We had the opportunity to speak with the students who took off a day of work to welcome us at the institute. Most of the students are young, but they hold much more experience in the agricultural field than I do as a Food Scientist working in the industry at present. They’ve spent their entire lives working in the field, and their passion can be seen through their commitment to education and the industry. Although there was a language barrier, I could feel the appreciation and the excitement the students had for us being there – something that we hopefully conveyed on our end as well. We were hearing about the impact Centennial College has and will continue to make for our Peruvian partners, but it wasn’t until this point that I truly felt humbled because the students and the professors at the IESTP made an impact on me, bringing value to this trip. I feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity to share and to learn, realizing that the language barrier is nothing compared to our shared passion in the food industry which crosses cultures and countries.
By Cindy Tieu (Peru: February 21, 2019 – March 3, 2019)
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 the Ministry of Education, Peru. I was really touched by the words of one of the 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 to 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 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 a visit to rock and sand beaches, local handicraft 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 that 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 to understand the world from a different view altogether.
My deepest thanks to SAGE, FLIP, Centennial College and the two most important persons: Steve and Professor Xavier. I thank Centennial College once again for giving me an opportunity to represent the Centennial college as a college ambassador.
Bhupesh Chandra Tiwari
It was a great honour to be a part of the Faculty-Led International Program #FLIPPERU organized by #centennialcollege. Group of 10 students from the Food Science Technology department along with a professor and chairperson started the trip. The program involved setting up a pilot plant at IESTP, ILLIMO by applying our technical knowledge in real-time and helping them in designing the process flow for dairy and Jam products, developing #SSOPs, #GMPs and providing recommendations for all the #prerequisite programs. We also got the opportunity to meet the Ministry of Education, Lima and Regional Governor of Lambayeque. Apart from this, field tour to Banana plantation, Guinea Pig farm, Apicola Apiculture, Agro farms were the highlight which gave us practical knowledge about the food industries.
Through this great opportunity, I gained technical knowledge and most importantly learnt to work with a team of 10 students from different parts of the country and achieve a common goal.
Apart from all the technical experience, it was a fun-filled trip visiting museums and understanding their civilization, enjoyed with the group at Lima and Chiclayo beaches, buying souvenirs from local markets and most importantly exploring the local Peruvian food.
Thank you @centennial_sage #SaGEJourneys for providing such a wonderful opportunity. Many thanks to #Professor Xavier Aguirre and #Chair Steve Boloudakis for organizing and helping us, without their support this trip wouldn’t be possible. Special mention to the Illimo, Peruvian partners for their hospitality and kindness. #GlobalExperience
Thank you – Kalaiselvi Vasudevan
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 partners made our willingness for our project stronger. Also, we visited museums, beaches and a number of manufacturing plants which added a lot of fun. Received the certification of recognition for all of our teamwork and also raised funds from our group for students as a scholarship after going through an emotional discussion about the poverty and passion of Peruvian children for education. The trip was an overall mixture of education, fun and a lifelong rememberable global experience.
10 days is neither short nor long for a school trip to Peru but it is long enough for us to get to know each other. Thanks, Centennial College for giving us a chance to apply what we have learnt from Food Science Technology program to support in building a pilot plant for IESTP, ILLIMO. Teamwork and friendship connected us to be one to help our college’s partner in Illimo and also learnt from them who are full of hospitality and will. Not only that it was such an honour for us to introduce ourselves and share our work and experience with the Ministry of Education in Lima, Peru.
10 students with 10 different characteristics from 5 countries Canada, India, Venezuela, Jamaica and Vietnam have gathered and been led by our stunning professor- Xavier and Steve. We have worked together to build a safety program for the pilot plant in the partner institute with constructive recommendations. No matter how hard we worked, we are happy to be welcomed warmly by Ms. Maria, Lidia and Peruvian students. The extreme heat of this tropical country cannot stop our willing contributions to the success of the final project. Besides, we had a great opportunity to discover Lima – the capital of Peru and Chiclayo – a beach city which is known as a city of friendship. In Lima, we had a meeting with the authorities of Ministry of Education to present our projects along with our college’s introduction. Only 2 days in Lima, we made time to visit some local markets to buy souvenirs for family and friends and also did not forget to taste some local foods. 10 strangers became friends from that moment.
After an 8-hour-and-a-half flight, we arrived in Chiclayo city where we had cultural activities by visiting Sican museums and the dry forest in Pomac before having another meeting with the regional government of Lambayeque. Then we started working on our project at IESTP. It took us about 1 hour to commute every single day by van. On the first working day, our hearts were melted by a small banner in Spanish “Bienvenidos Amigos Canadienses” (Welcome Canadian friends) right at the main office of the institute. Getting to know about this institute, the profs, staffs and students was a pleasure. The students are very young but they have a huge passion for the subjects they are following at school. Without modern facilities, they have been studying very hard for a better life after graduation. We were surprised to know many students out there can not afford to study even though the tuition fee for one year is about 250 soles (around 100 CAD). We decided to raise a fund from our group for 5 scholarship awards named “FLIP Peru 2019” for the freshmen after our very emotional discussion.
Saying goodbye is never easy but this happens sometimes in life. We were very proud, not because of receiving the certificate of recognition from IESTP, but eventually we found ourselves and learnt some lessons which we have not got from school. What is more, we meet each other for one mission and become friends. We would like to use an old African proverb, which Steve reminded us, to put an end for this post “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
Thanh Sang Huynh – FLIP Peru 2019
It is now the last day in Peru. Last night during dinner, we each shared our thoughts on the program and our experience with each other. Among the things said were how much of an impact we felt we made, the amount of knowledge we were able to apply from Centennial, and the bond we now share with each other. What amazed me was the amount of work and cultural activities we were able to squeeze in ten days and the appreciation I felt for our two faculty members and the rest of the team. As of right now, we are all waiting in the airport both excited to get home, but also sad to leave Peru.
Cindy (FLIP PERU, 2019)
We have spent the last four days in Illimo working on the prerequisite plans for the pilot plant located within the Institute. They intend on producing jam, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It will also function as a teaching facility for the students. Part of our responsibilities included developing SOPs for receiving and storage, SSOPs for the equipment and common areas, processing flow charts and diagrams, and recommendations for the premises, pest control, and traceability.
We spent half of each day preparing thse documents. On the first day, we spent the other
half socializing with the students and alumini at the Institute. We learned abour their history, culture, and passion for the industry. It was humbling to meet the students, because even though they work so hard, each of them took a day off to welcome us to the Institute.
For the other days, we had site visits to industrial partners including a banana plantation, guinea pig farm, animal feed production facility, and bee apiary. Each location began as a family run business and has developed into profitable establishments in Peru. It was an honour to speak to the representatives and owners, and to see their dedication and pride with their respective companies.
We have spent many hours at the Institute and back at the hotel completing all the documents for the Institute. Tomorrow we will spend our last day presenting these documents to our Peruvian partners.
Cindy (FLIP PERU, 2019)