Latin American Foundation for the Future

LAFF Career’s Fair 2017


Two weeks ago, LAFF held its third annual “Feria de Carreras” (Careers Fair). More than 30 young people from our five Cusco-based partner organisations were in attendance. The young people travelled from the towns of Ollantaytambo, Calca and Oropesa as well as the urban areas of San Sebastian, Larapa and San Jeronimo, into the city centre along with project leaders in order to learn about the exciting career paths that may lie ahead of them. They had the opportunity to learn about a range of careers, or for those who already had a career path in mind, the chance to talk in more detail to professionals in this sector and gain contacts, network and the possibility to gain work experience in their desired sector.

Eleven speakers were in attendance from the following career sectors: Accounting, IT, Education, Engineering, Tourism, Restaurant and Bakery Management, Cooking, Hotel Management. A representative of PRONABEC was also present, giving the young people information on how to access government scholarships. These representatives gave up their Friday evening to come along to our event and speak to the students, with the hope of informing them about their career options and inspiring them to achieve their career goals.

As the young people arrived, they were handed an information pack which contained an exercise book, pen, pencil, LAFF t-shirt, as well as several leaflets from local institutions, a CV writing guide, interview preparation guide and a guide of questions to ask the speakers. They were then invited to take part in our “photo booth” where we had a range of fun photo props for them to enjoy and get their pictures taken. After the event, we printed and gave the photos to each project, and hope that this will remind them of the fun they had!

Once everyone had arrived the evening was in full swing. LAFF’s programme manager, Melissa Wong welcomed everyone and introduced each project. This was followed by a motivational speech from local self-employed accountant, Wilmet Sonco. He gave a very inspiring speech and really knew how to keep all of the young people engaged. Then it was time for the fun to begin! Our Vocational Training Coordinators Lucas and Yolanda led with an ice-breaker which saw everyone, young people and adults alike, all on their feet, interacting and having fun. We hoped to get everyone energised before the main event, and it’s safe to say that it was a success! During the next hour, the young people had free time to talk with the representatives and get as much information out of them. We had anticipated having to encourage many young people to partake, but were very pleasantly surprised to see all of them engaging and chatting for the full hour! The whole LAFF team were very proud to see the event going to plan and to see the young people making the most of the opportunity.

Finally, it was time to wrap up the evening. We thanked and applauded each representative individually, giving them a keyring made at Taller Mantay, our partner organisation’s (Casa Mantay) social enterprise. Everyone was invited to enjoy refreshments and delicious empanadas made at T’anta Wasi, the Sacred Valley Project’s social enterprise in Ollantaytambo. This was a great chance to have an informal chat with everyone and build rapport for future events.  

The Careers Fair took place the day before the BECA 18 entry exam, offered by PRONABEC. Javier, the PRONABEC representative, did a brilliant job of informing our students about this exam, and we have since heard that at least three students took the exam. If they pass the exam, the students will receive grants for financial aid with their study at a university or institution, something that they would not otherwise be able to access because of their low socio-economic background. This is a brilliant outcome of the careers fair, and we wish these students all the success in their studies. 

The LAFF team would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped us and contributed to the great success of the event. We would like to thank Globalteer for their kind donation of the bags used for the information packs for the young people. The bags gave the participants something to take home with them and a way of keeping all of their information together. We would like to thank Gary, the owner of Café Bagdad here in Cusco, who kindly donated exercise books and stationary. This equipment was helpful to the young people not only during the Careers Fair, but will continue to support them in their academic work. We would also like to thank Vinay, the owner of the local business Faces of Cusco, who lent us the photo props. The young people and adults alike thoroughly enjoyed taking silly photos with new friends! We would like to thank our partner organisations’ social enterprises; “Tanta Wasi” and “Taller Mantay” for supplying us with key resources for the event, and we were pleased to be able to support them. Finally, we would like to give a massive thank you to all of the representatives including Laggart Café, Pachatusantrek Tourist Agency and Fuego. The event could not have gone ahead without them, and we hope they realise the impact they had on the lives of the participants.

The LAFF team are thrilled with the success of the event, and we hope we can continue developing and improving this event and supporting these bright young minds as they find their way into adulthood. Until 2018!