For Spring Break, the Eccles Ambassadors traveled to Guatemala City, Antigua, and Tikal in Guatemala as a part of their Business and Humanities class.
The first part of the trip consisted of waking up around 3 a.m. to hike ancient Mayan ruins in the jungle of Tikal. After time in the jungle, we travelled to Guatemala City to have a cultural exchange with students at UFM university. A group of students from UFM visit the University of Utah once a year and do a similar kind of cultural exchange trip. At UFM, we heard from the president of UFM, the dean of the business school, and a few other guest professors about their success stories. We were all assigned into groups of three ambassadors and two Guatemalans to work on a case study for a distribution company named Distribuidora me llega. Each team presented their recommendations to the CEO and CFO of the company, and one was chosen as the winner and given a prize from UFM! The cultural exchange allowed for us to build relationships with the students at UFM and experience consulting for a foreign company.
The rest of the week consisted of fun and adventures! The group hiked an active volcano, Pacaya, and roasted marshmallows on the heat of the volcanic rocks. We spent a day on Lake Atitlan visiting different pueblos where we saw how the people in different cities made textiles and ceramics. We also toured Samboro, a supplier of ceramic floors, tiles, and exterior facades, where we saw the manufacturing process of the tiles, as well as Ecofiltro, a non-profit company that manufactures water filter clay pots for people who don’t have access to clean water. All of these experiences opened our eyes to social entrepreneurship and business in a developing country.