For most Venezuelans, the long term has been reduced to one month, the medium term to one week, and the short term is tomorrow.

It’s not the first time that January—a month when we should start applying the strategies planned for the year—was full of events that forced us to change directions and implement contingency plans. We live in a never-ending contingency.

Therefore, for a projection about the future to withstand, it must be well founded on the origin, and it needs to look at the present as an occasion for continuous verification. For a person, this means finding the purpose and meaning in their life. For an organization, it’s related to their mission. And for both of them, it’s about looking at reality as an ally, as a source of constant verification between what they do and what they are.

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” This statement by Albert Camus doesn’t mean we should stop planning, it invites us to live with a dedication that is difficult to explain.

At the beginning of the year, in Trabajo y Persona we had an audio conference with all our collaborators throughout the country (we communicated via audio because having Internet access at the same time across the six regions where we operate is virtually impossible). The testimonials from all team members were revealing, as they showed the value of the past and a clarity, full of optimism, for year 2020, and confirmed the significance of our organization in the context we live in.

When you listen to a group of people that identifies so strongly with our mission and that is deeply committed to it, it becomes clear that we must continue promoting the value of work in Venezuela.

We may be sailing in the “perfect storm,” but when you see a team that is giving their body and soul in the present, with a clear destination port, the complex task of captaining the ship turns into the most fascinating adventure ever.

Alejandro Marius
Participants of the diploma course in Mérida presented their business plan

On February 19, twenty-six participants of Diplomado en Emprendimiento Chocolatero (Diploma Course in Chocolate Making Business) presented their business plans. This course is carried out as part of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao Project, in partnership with Universidad de Los Andes. The presentation was held in the Banco Central de Venezuela room, at the School of Economic and Social Sciences of said university, where the entrepreneurs-to-be showed their outstanding products. Teachers, business owners, project experts, and TyP team members participated in the event

Entrepreneurs were trained by master chocolatier Giovanni Conversi
On February 27, Giovanni Conversi, founder of Mantuano Chocolate, gave a workshop on flavored chocolate bars called Taller de tabletas intervenidas. This theoretical and practical training was held in the kitchen of Fundación Espacio Suizo. Nine entrepreneurs took the class and learned about chocolate tempering, chocolate flavors, and chocolate formulations. 
Carúpano has new Emprendedoras Gastronómicas (Culinary Entrepreneurs)

On February 29, the graduation ceremony for the second cohort of Emprendimiento y Nutrición- Gastronomía360 (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition- Gastronomy360) was held, after which fifteen Carúpano women became Emprendedoras Gastronómicas. The event, which took place in Salón Mediterráneo at Hotel Euro-Caribe Internacional, put an end to a phase of continuous development and marked the beginning of a mentoring process that will help graduates boost their businesses and strengthen their values. This program is possible thanks to the partnership between Ford Motor Venezuela, Fogones y Bandera, Caritas Carúpano, Diócesis de Carúpano, and Trabajo y Persona.

Rum and chocolate tasting in Carúpano

On February 29, as part of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao Project, a rum and chocolate tasting took place in Salón Mediterráneo at Hotel Euro-Caribe Internacional in Carúpano. Thirty-eight people attended, including the Italian ambassador and his diplomatic service, who tasted delicious bonbons made by Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from that city. This activity was possible thanks to the partnership between CAVENIT, Ron Carúpano, Fundación San José, Casa Franceschi, Diócesis de Carúpano, and Hotel Euro-Caribe Internacional

Emprendedoras Gastronómicas from El Tocuyo presented their final dishes

On January 30, the participants of Emprendimiento y Nutrición- Gastronomía360  (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition – Gastronomy360) from El Tocuyo amazed the examining board with the diversity of flavors and colors in their final dishes. Using local products and applying what they learned in the course, the entrepreneurs presented various dishes, including a traditional Tocuyan breakfast, goat cheese ravioli, and delicious fried guabine fish. The dishes were evaluated by chefs Sergio Arango, Nora Muñoz, and Pedro Briceño, from Escuela de Cocina Adelis Sisirucá of Barquisimeto.

– Silvana Rondón, alumna of the first cohort of Emprendimiento y Nutrición- Gastronomía360 (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition – Gastronomy360), did an internship on February 19-27 at the soup kitchen Comedor San Rafael, managed by Caritas Carúpano, in Urbanización La Michelena, where she applied what she learned throughout the course.

– María Duarte, alumna of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate from Valencia, within the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao Project, did an internship, from February 26 to March 3, at Chocolates Valle Canoabo, where she brushed up on her skills and was introduced to an assembly line production process and dynamics.

– David Torrealba, alumnus of the fifth cohort of Conduciendo Tu Futuro (Leading Your Future), participated in the workshop Importancia de la ley de impuesto sobre la renta (Importance of the Income Tax Law), given by KPMG Valencia on February 7.

– Darling Rendón, alumna of the eighth cohort of Emprendedoras de la Belleza – Belleza por un Futuro (Beauty Entrepreneurs-Beauty for A Future), and Lizmar Oscarina González, alumna of Diplomado en el Cuidado al Adulto Mayor (Diploma Course in Senior Care), participated in the workshop Contabilidad básica (Accounting Basics), conducted by KPMG Caracas on February 12.

– Maura Moreno, alumna of the second cohort of Emprendimiento y Nutrición–Gastronomía360 (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition – Gastronomy360) from El Tocuyo, started her business Fresas con Crema ROMO. The products have been widely accepted by the public, and their appearance and quality are outstanding.

– Génesis Pereira, alumna of the second cohort of Emprendimiento y Nutrición-Gastronomía360 (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition – Gastronomy360) from El Tocuyo, continues with her family business Teque Wow, offering customers a high-quality product: extra cheese tequeños in different presentations.

– Mercedes Escalona, alumna of the second cohort of Emprendimiento y Nutrición–Gastronomía360 (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition – Gastronomy360), from El Tocuyo, started a family business called Caprilacteos R&M, which offers goat’s milk-based products that are manufactured by the owners themselves.

– Emma TorrealbaMarlene Briceño, and Verónica Prieto, alumnae of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) and founders of Chocolates Las Heroicas, opened Las Heroicas store on February 12, in Centro Comercial Daymar, city of Guatire, Miranda. Their products will be manufactured, displayed, and sold in the store.

– Elizabeth Caraballo and Norienagel Rodríguez, alumnae of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from Valencia, within the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao Project, partnered to meet the demand for chocolate due to the Day of Love and Friendship in Venezuela, thus boosting their bonbon making businesses.

– Geraldine Melo, alumna of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from Petare, within the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao Project, did an internship on February 3-28 at Talokohc Chocolate, in Caracas.

– Zuleima Velásquez, alumna of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from Guarenas, did an internship at Mantuano Chocolate’s lab in Caracas, on February 10-14.

– Gladys Licón, alumna of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from Invecapi, El Rosal, did an internship at Mantuano Chocolate’s lab in Caracas, on February 17-20. 

– In February, Escuela de Gastronomía Adelis Sisirucá, in the city of Barquisimeto, Lara, celebrated its anniversary with different activities, such as Amazonian food workshops, cinema forums, and seminars about the history of gastronomy. The seminars involved prominent figures, including chef Nelson Méndez and anthropologist and historian Emanuele Amodio. The latter facilitated the seminar Como cilantro en sancocho cruzado (Like Celery in Sancocho Cruzado), in which he described Venezuelan gastronomy in the 18th century. Two alumnae of the first cohort of Bombonería Artesanal (Chocolate Bonbon Making) and the local coordinator of Venezuela Tierra de Cacao Project attended the event thanks to the invitation made to Trabajo y Persona. 

– In February, Trabajo y Persona formed a partnership with Talokohc Chocolate, which will allow alumnae of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) to continue developing professionally with the support of industry experts.