Under the leadership of Flor Reaño, of our partner agency Latidos, five food management students undertook the challenge of creating a viable food production microenterprise in Zaña. Heart-Links funding provided the necessary equipment for making a variety of products, including yogurt, chocolates and pastries, while a local community college helped them develop a business plan.

This venture is proving to be a remarkable success. After developing products of excellent quality, the students represented Zaña in a number of regional and national food fairs, established a sales outlet in a weekly food market and expanded their product range.

On Oct. 12, 2015, GUNTAK was successfully registered as a business. It has now moved from a room in the Miraflores Community Centre to a more secure location in Zaña.

In 2016, a follow-up project drew on the entrepreneurial skills and experiences of the five GUNTAK participants. In cooperation with local public schools, Latidos recruited 30 boys and girls to take part, with the GUNTAK founders as mentors, in an extracurricular program that fostered their entrepreneurial interests and capabilities. During weekly classes, participants identified possible part-time revenue-generating ventures, undertook market surveys and developed business plans.

Latidos reports that the regional government has recently made it a priority to support this kind of initiative.