We are delighted to welcome the new YPARD Peru country representative, Marcelita Ponce de León.
Marcelita is a graduate with a Bachelors degree in Agronomic Engineering from the National Agrarian University La Molina. She began her professional career as an intern in government programs. This allowed her to have contact with different rural communities from cultures that promoted ancestral knowledge for the conservation of native cocoa species.
Upon returning to Lima, Marcelita decided to study Business Administration at the Peruvian Institute of Business Administration to complement her formation as an Agronomist. Later, she had the opportunity to be selected by the United Nations Training Program called "Youth for the SDGs". This experience gave her the opportunity to be part of the Fund for Sustainable Access to Renewable Thermal Energy that the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture was executing in rural areas. Through this, she had the opportunity to research the introduction of floral species and the use of biofertilizers produced through anaerobic processes.
Then she worked as a technical facilitator at the Institute of Development and Environment that executes a program of Canadian cooperation SUCO which seeks to improve the quality of life of young people in rural areas in the region of Lima. The program name is Agrarian training program and support for youth entrepreneurship in Peru.
In 2019, Marcelita was chosen to represent YPARD Peruvian Chapter as a fellow of the Community Solutions professional exchange program from the United States Government. This experience allowed her to be an intern at Rural Action, a non-profit organization, where she could learn and share knowledge related to the production and marketing of fresh food in Ohio. At the same time, she obtained a diploma in Community Leadership with the support of the Community Leadership Institute and George Mason University.
She is currently executing her Community Action Project called III Youth Ruralist School with the support of the YPARD Peruvian Chapter and the financial resources of the United States Embassy in Peru. This virtual course will train 60 young professionals from different careers from the regions of Arequipa, Trujillo, and Lima. This group will learn to design and plan projects focused on rural agrarian development in a different region.
At the account of joining YPARD as a country representative, this is what Marcelita had to say;
My profession has allowed me to get to know some regions of Peru. Each zone presents different realities at an economic, social, and environmental level. Because of this, many colleagues, like me, work on projects that seek to improve the quality of life of communities that, according to statistics, are in poverty or extreme poverty. According to the national census carried out in 2007, we had 1.5 million young people living in rural areas, a figure that currently must have been exceeded. This young population is important for the sustainability of their communities; however, many of them prefer to migrate to large cities in search of a job with a salary higher than their income generated by the production of their agricultural products. Seeing this reality, I decided to get involved in initiatives that contribute to rural agrarian development through technical training programs and discussion platforms. Thus, YPARD Peruvian Chapter allows me to be part of a community of young change-makers whose work intends to lead processes in which young people from rural communities are the protagonists.
We also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing country representative Flor de María Prado for her contribution to the YPARD Peruvian Chapter for the last 2 years.
Welcome on board Marcelita!
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