Entrepeneurship: Life changing experience and learning in the YLAI program 2018

Our experience at the fellowship that united 250 young entrepreneurs from Latin American and the Caribbean that changed us “the Young leaders of the Americas Initiative”

What is YLAI ?

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities.” This program is sponsored by the U.S.Department of State´s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. This year 250 young entrepreneurs from all over Latin America and the Caribbean got   in a 5-week program where entrepreneurs  traveled to the United States to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial skills and network through skills-building workshops and opportunities to learn from and exchange with U.S. counterparts.

The application

Facebook post of the Embassy of the United States in Peru about our participation on the YLAI 2018

If you research a little bit about us, you will find out that we work closely with tourism students in Lima, this started while we where studying in 2012, starting to travel to the United States with the Work and Travel Program. Since then we did not stop traveling each year to Park City, Utah which we consider our second home and the place where we learned everything we know about adventure travel and snow sports. In 2016, I did an Internship in Park City and stayed for 10 months, this work experience allowed us to finish buying the equipment we needed and getting the money to start running Desert Expeditions with our own funds.

The expectations

We took this chance very seriously and we tried to imagine what would this experience be like. We are seriously committed to sustainable tourism and of course we wanted to represent Peru very well. So we started preparing to connect with as many entrepreneurs as possible, get to know their experiences, challenges and their successes. As well we knew we had to be open to meet non profits and companies that would add value to our work and possibly partner with.  

A few weeks before traveling, we discovered our City Hubs, which meant the city where we would have been staying for four weeks and work with a company related to the company´s core. It was Albuquerque, and we immediately did our research if this city had any ski resort near, now we know it happens to have more than 2 renowned ski resorts in the States.

Before traveling we visited the  Embassy of the United States in Peru and met with Patricia, Maria Fe and Ricardo, who gave us all the support we needed for the upcoming trip and one of the things I will never forget was the moment when Patricia said “there are a lot of opportunities you can create and take advantage from the embassy and we really want you to be our ambassadors when you come back and help us reach more people”. That was the best news for us,We believe in leadership and synergies to reach common goals.

Did i mention that we had an online institute platform since august?. This really helped many of us seeing entrepreneurship as a process of learning where defining our principles and mission, having an action plan and long term goals, rediscovering new costumers and discovering new ones, where topics discussed so we could make the most of our experience.

If you have that entrepreneur soul  here is the video content of the entrepreneurship institute

Find out more about the YLAI in the site of the Embassy: YLAI Program

Meet the 250 finalist of the YLAI 2018: YLAI 2018 Fellows

This is the first part of this amazing story, we hope you enjoyed and find it useful for your career, goals or up coming entrepreneurship trajectory

Also read: Lima celebrated the world snow day in Huaral, Lima