Each year, our cohort embarks on two study abroad trips. In February, we traveled to Germany. In May, we traveled to Costa Rica and Guatemala. The learning from the trips are evident in this video.
During our visit to Guatemala we had the opportunity to visit Ecofiltro. Philip Wilson, CEO, realized that the lack of pure water in the rural households of many Guatemalans could not effectively be dealt with from the earlier donation dependent operation. He decided to convert Ecofiltro to a social business and followed a hybrid approach where urban sales of filters would serve to finance the distribution of rural filters at an affordable price. Ecofiltro’s factory is capable of producing 8,000-10,000 filters per month . To date, Ecofiltro has distributed over 175,000 filters throughout Guatemala; however, they plan to reach 1 million rural guatemalans with clean water by 2020.
Since our cohort began the MBA Sustainability program in August, we have been chomping at the bit to find out where we would be going on our summer study trip. Last week, Diane Ramos announced to the cohort that we would be traveling to Central America. Specifically, we will be heading to Costa Rica and Guatemala.
Our schedule is jam-packed with a variety of learning experiences in both locations; however, in Costa Rica we will be focusing on the following projects:
- Promed who facilitated Costa Rica’s emergence as a major global destination for medical tourism.
- Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency who attracted multinational companies; including P&G, Baxter, Intel, and Western Union.
- Britt Coffee live case study regarding emerging business opportunities.
- National Children’s Hospital live service project in collaboration with Association of Dream Factory.
In Guatemala we will be taking part in field-work on the potable water challenge in Guatemala with EcoFiltro & USAID. Of course, our trips involve a variety of other learning experiences, with time to engage in the cultures of the countries. Our cohort is extremely excited to tackle the live learning in Central America!