The 7-week ICP takes teams around the world. This team goes from the Alpes to the Andes, where community, culture and business come together.

Each Marasal team member took a different learning from our trip to Peru. We’d like to thank our coach, Professor Vanina Farber, for connecting us with amazing people and opportunities.

Rodrigo: Team building over food and salt

Coming home after 10 months has been an amazing experience thanks to our ICP project: Marasal. This project aims to enable the Maras community to improve their value chain and capture a fair value for their high-quality product – salt. It also gave me the chance to show my friends Frances, Alicia, and Laura different parts of my country. We went from the cute neighbourhood of Barranco to the world wonder, Machu Picchu.

The highlight was the visit to Maras where we had the chance to bond with the community. This helped us to understand the amazing work they have done throughout the past years. It also confirmed the potential that together the community members and the product have.

Another highlight was the worldwide recognised Peruvian food. Each time someone tried a new dish, I could hear them saying “This is amazing”.

Alicia: Preserving the bonds of culture

As guests of Inkaterra and Villa Barranco , we have seen some of the most beautiful structures transformed into hotels while keeping cultural patrimony. This is the tradition that has given society its identity over time. Although closed to tourists, we also had the opportunity to walk across the Marasal salt mines. These mines have been the life blood handed down from pre-Inca times. And a few days later we walked through Chorillos to see the Sarhua artwork with UNESCO representative, Ernesto Fernandez Plocuch

Although we have spent the year studying business, we are now learning how to preserve the bonds of culture with business which is truly an art.

Laura: Returning to Peru

Visiting Peru again has been extraordinary for me. I have experienced the country from a genuine perspective, thanks to the Maras Community, to our local colleague, Rodrigo and to different stakeholders.

The power of humanity is clearly a representation of the Peruvian Community of Maras. The mix of cultures and “Ayni” meaning, “today for you, tomorrow for me”, the concept of reciprocity the communities practice to help each other, make Peru a special country. This is well represented in their respectful way of living, their gastronomy and their bright and beautiful colours. Working in teams to achieve their goals is a core value for everyone.

Frances: The power of community-led business

Peru has very quickly become one of my favourite countries in the world. Perhaps it reminds me of home. The bustle of Lima – crazy driving, amazing restaurants, and vibrant people – makes me feel like I am back in Johannesburg. And throughout the country, we have experienced kind and nurturing people who care deeply about each other, about the value that women bring to the community, and about their environment.

Spending a day with the community of Maras was a life-changing experience that showed me that, against all odds, communities who are able to find a common purpose know no bounds to achieving greatness.

Alicia, Frances, Laura and Rodrigo

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