Juan Pena Salas at Esperanza

Work­ing at Esper­anza as a finan­cial ana­lyst has been an incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence with a lot of engag­ing and fun oppor­tu­ni­ties. My main respon­si­bil­ity involves monthly report­ing and analy­sis for the orga­ni­za­tion. These reports are then used to make deci­sions on the organization’s per­for­mance and meth­ods, and they help Esper­anza to rec­og­nize which branches of the orga­ni­za­tion are under/over performing.

I have been pleas­antly sur­prised by the large amount of expo­sure I have got­ten to the man­age­ment of the orga­ni­za­tion, and I have even had the oppor­tu­nity o par­tic­i­pate in monthly man­age­r­ial meet­ings where all of the branch man­agers par­tic­i­pate. When I’m not work­ing on report­ing, I have a long-term project where I have to assess the dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and ser­vices Esper­anza offers, and ulti­mately present my find­ings at a board meet­ing. Thanks to this project, I have been able to see all the prod­ucts and ser­vices offered by Esper­anza and their work in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent branches.

Thanks to my respon­si­bil­i­ties, I have been able to learn a lot about micro­fi­nance and social entre­pre­neur­ship. I have learned how hard it can be to pro­vide micro­fi­nance ser­vices to the poor­est of the poor. I have seen how many things have to come together to be able to reach peo­ple in need, and not only offer micro­fi­nance, but addi­tional ser­vices such as den­tal clin­ics and cer­vi­cal exams. This has showed me how impor­tant any assis­tance can be for the poor­est of the poor, and how their climb out of poverty is much more likely when micro­fi­nance is cou­pled with addi­tional ser­vices like health and edu­ca­tion. I have also learned how impor­tant sav­ings can be in order to have a sta­ble finan­cial base and the power that this can have in chang­ing someone’s life.

I have also seen how dif­fer­ent broader pro­grams directed towards church min­istries and schools can have a big impact as well. I have got­ten to know social entre­pre­neurs, who, thanks to Esper­anza, have set up a water puri­fy­ing busi­ness or have installed solar pan­els to lower their schools elec­tric­ity bill and even make a profit by putting the power back into the grid.

Over­all, my expe­ri­ence at Esper­anza has been amaz­ing. Esper­anza has given me the oppor­tu­nity to see many parts of the Domini­can Repub­lic and it has allowed me to share my time with some incred­i­ble peo­ple. I have lived in two dif­fer­ent cities (San Pedro de Macoris and Santo Domingo) through­out my time here and I loved both of them. I have got­ten to know some awe­some peo­ple, both Domini­cans and inter­na­tional vis­i­tors, dur­ing my stay in the Domini­can Repub­lic. Most impor­tantly I think my time here has been very pro­duc­tive and I know that what I am learn­ing here will help me with my stud­ies and career path in the future.

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