Berkeley students (Brent Mitchell, second from left,
and Doug Brown at right) say goodbye to the boys
recommendations to improve the boys' business, saying good-bye
to IPODERAC and our readers
MEXICO - On
our last day, we got up early to present our recommendations
to the IPODERAC management about improving profitability
of the soap-and-cheese business.
study of cheese production costs identified a few varieties
of cheese that are not profitable at their current sales
volumes. We recommended shifting sales focus to more profitable
cheeses, such as the soft Saint Maure goat cheese, and raising
prices or discontinuing production of the unprofitable varieties.
We also recommended entering the Cancún market by
targeting five-star hotels and distributing cheese by renting
space in refrigerated trucks.
most of our meetings, it was a mix of serious discussion
about IPODERAC's business and the kind of humorous Spanish
lesson you don't get in school. As always, the staff had
endless patience for our sometimes patchy grasp of the language
and demonstrated their appreciation of our insights into
the presentation we began almost two hours of good-byes.
The camera never got so much use as it did this morning.
Even Popo, the ever-reclusive volcano, made an appearance
for a couple of hours from its usual shroud of smoke and
left the IPODERAC staff looking sharp, wearing the Berkeley
hats and t-shirts we brought them. After a hearty send-off,
we got in the Roo for the final trip to Mexico City. We
departed truly impressed by the great work and dedication
of the IPODERAC staff and supporters. We look forward to
following developments at the orphanage and to keeping in
touch with our new friends there.
Berkeley International Business Development (IBD) project
has been a highlight of our first year in business school.
The project offered a rare combination of challenging business
issues and the opportunity to learn about another culture
as well as help a worthy organization.
IPODERAC's line of goat-milk soap products
an IPODERAC volunteer is a unforgettable chance to get to
know Mexico and have a rewarding not-for-profit experience.
you would like to help or just find out more about IPODERAC,
check its Web
site. If you're interested in buying IPODERAC goat's
milk soap in the U.S., here's a list
of locations that sell it. We can personally attest
to the quality of the products.
for following our adventures with the 72 chavos of the IPODERAC
orphanage. We hope you've had a fraction as much fun reading
about our experiences at IPODERAC and throughout Mexico
as we've had living them.