We are done. All packed up and ready to leave Trujillo in a couple of hours. The full report is still under construction but mostly there. Just left the airline office with the boarding passes! A few images from the square which we have traversed a thousand times – literally!
Category Archives: Trujillo, Peru
This was THE BIG day. The final readout to the mayor and all the stake holders. A truly gala moment. We showed up at city hall at 10:30 for the 11 am event. The press and all other dignitaries were there and we were chatting with them. At 11:30 we were summoned to the Mayor’s green room to wait to meet with him. We got the nod to enter his office at about 11:45 am. After a few pleasantries we joined the formal procession to enter the meeting hall and took our seats. A few introductory comments and it was time for us to hit the stage and we did. Follow the pictures…
This is the last weekend in Trujillo. Saturday we worked from 9 am till lunch time and decided to take a break. Had lunch and went shopping in the local stores. Walked around town for several hours and most of us, I think, are done with shopping (for now). Trujillo is famous for Alpaca wool, leather, silver and crafts. We have pretty much run out of streets to explore. The shopping district is like any other in growth markets. Hustle and bustle and thousands of stores.
Sunday we got off to a busy start as we had planned to do an informal survey of people in the main city center. We had prepared a list of 10 questions to ask the people, had them translated and paired up with our translators and hit the streets. We found most people willing to spend a few minutes answering our questions. That afternoon we spent analyzing the survey data and getting started on our detailed document since the power point was mostly there.
The last day of the last full week here in Trujillo. Next week we need to get our power point charts and document prepared for the presentation to the Mayor and the press before we head home. The day started with an 8am call with Stan Litow, IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM’s Foundation, to update him on where we were on the study and get his feedback. Later that morning we had a call with IBM’s country general manager Ricardo Fernandez to take him through our draft charts and get his feedback as well. Both sessions were well received. The rest of the day was spent in going through, in great detail, the recommendations and word smithing the charts. We finally adjourned at about 6 pm and later went out for dinner. We are now starting to repeat restaurants (and there many within walking distance) and running out of options. Most work days have gone till 10 pm with a break or dinner. Collectively we have now put in 600 hours on this project and this not include the time spent by our CDC colleagues, Eric and Lucia, managing the logistics and the group of three translators Oliver, Albert and Gaby.
Turned out to be the most memorable day yet. We rushed to City Hall, dressed in our suits, for an audience with the Mayor at 9 am. We ended up waiting for an hour and then had to leave for our next appointment to volunteer our time at a special school for disadvantaged youth. We changed out of our suits into casual attire and took our van to the school. We were greeted by the staff and toured various workshops and then to a class room filled with about a 100 students studying to get into the local public university. We were asked to give a pep talk to the students to motivate them. After an energizing session with the students we were entertained by them with two traditional dances. The students were eager to get advise on how to beat the odds since they come from very poor families. This school is fully funded by the municipality for students who cannot afford an education. This visit was by far the best part of our trip.
After the school visit we had to rush to the local police crime statistics lab for planting trees. They wanted to be reminded of our visit. They are really hoping that our recommendations will help them deal with the crime problems. When we got there the holes were dug and saplings were ready to be lowered and covered with soil. Each of us planted a few trees for the photo-op. Now we know how dignitaries feel when they drive in and plant trees for the photo-op and drive away.
While were getting done with the planting we were told that the mayor wanted to see us at 1pm. That gave us all of 20 min to get into town and so we would not have time to change into our suits. So we decided to walk into the mayor’s office and apologize. We spent 30 minutes with him and at the end he presented us with typical Trujillo window model.
After the meeting we returned to the hotel and worked all the way through about midnight.
The morning got off to a fast start with Jose Murgia, president of Peru’s La Libertad region paying the SCC team a visit at our hotel. He had been Trujllo’s mayor for 20 years before he moved up the political ladder to the regional president’s position. He had set aside 30 min to talk to us but ended up staying for 90. A graying man in his late sixties or early seventies very passionate about Peru. Hidden agenda or not he made a case about why our report should be totally neutral and how we should not let our recommendations be used for political purposes. He gave us a lesson on Peruvian constitution and how our recommendations should be in line with the constitution. Thus far we had only seen the local municipality’s perspective but the president gave us a new perspective. The meeting certainly got us thinking about how we should make our recommendations and keep all parties happy – probably not going to happen! It is clear we have to be very objective and not be swayed by local politics.
From l to right: Security Guard 1, Security Guard 2, Narayan, President Murgai, Cook, President’s staff, Durani, Russo
Right after the meeting with the president we met with Juntas Vecinales Chief- Javier Urbano. He gave us a bottoms up perspective about local vounteer efforts that help deal with crime. More useful data to work into our report.
The rest of the afternoon was spent discussing the report contents and what else we would need to fill the gaps. Later that night we went to a local Italian restaurant for dinner and ran into President Murgai there. To the surprise of the waiters and patrons (and us) the president strolled over to our table to chat with us.
Another busy day which started with a meeting with the Budget and Planning Head of the Trujillo District Mr. Pedro Chalan. An insightful gentleman who patiently walked us through some the intricacies of the budget process and answered all our questions without rushing us. Many subtleties with local and budget processes that we will have to pay attention to in our recommendations so as to ensure that they can be executed.
After that we learnt that the deputy mayor wanted to see us again. So we told her about the people and organizations we had met and where we were headed and that we were looking for guidance – AND we got it. She took great pains to explain the connections between local and national agencies. It became clear that she wanted to make sure that we knew that it was OK to suggest changes at the national level also since our recommendations will be widely broadcast and perhaps leveraged more than we thought. The bar just got higher.
We had been trying to reach the national police for an interview but told the mayor we had not gotten a response yet. She picked up the phone and 30 minutes later the commander of the national police ( Commander Marco Quezada) was in out hotel for a discussion. We saw first hand what a mayoral power flexing can accomplish. Very interesting discussion which yielded a different perspective since we had only talked to the local forces so far.
We then adjourned for a very late lunch.
We then drove around town to see the poor and crime ridden districts first hand. It was an eye opener. We also ended the tour by driving through the affluent neighborhoods where people lived behind electrified fences – yes electrified fences. After that sobering experience we left for dinner to bid farewell to Eric who has been our guide and helper from the company IBM has contracted to mange the process.
Tomorrow morning we meet with the regional President who presides over the 11 mayors of which the Trujillo mayor is one. We were told he will come to hotel with his body guards. Odd that we were not summoned to his offices!!
From l to r: Chris Cook, Vickram Nagi, Vineeta Durani, Pedro Chalan, Spike Narayan and Steve Russo