Bolivia: The Class of 2011

The end of 2011, brings with it the end of another school year and the graduation of five of CEAA’s students. Ernesto, Fabian, Carlos, José and Zenón have spent the last three years learning how to look after cows, when to harvest honey, what diseases a citrus tree may develop and most importantly, that everything starts with a business plan. With these skills, and many more, they have the knowledge and qualification to start their own business, seek employment elsewhere or continue their studies at university level and we hope they are successful in any endeavour the choose to undertake. I talked to our five graduates to find out some of their favourite memories of the school and explore their plans for the future.


Ernesto Ferrufino Vargas, 18.

Ernesto is currently the oldest student at CEAA. In his final year he has developed a business in organic fertiliser production. This process began in the classroom, where he developed his business   plan outlining his objectives, predicted expenditure and expected income. He has subsequently built a composter in his back garden   in the community of Camatindi, where he has begun the production   of his own organic fertiliser. He hopes to start selling this soon. He   tells me:‘the teachers [are my favourite thing about the school] because they are the ones who have given us knowledge’. Next   year he will continue studying at the local high school, where he has one more year, as well as developing his organic fertiliser business.


José Ignacio Vallejos, 16

José is the school’s resident joker. At 16 he is the youngest graduate and also one of the most ambitious. He has already planted a nursery of citrus trees in his community that he hopes, in three years time, will begin producing abundant quantities of oranges and mandarins. He told me he hopes to return to CEAA from time to time next year to help with classes while he finishes his last year of studies at the local high school. Like a true South American he says: ‘my favourite memory has to be the very first football tournament that was held at the school when I was in my first year’, although he adds, ‘the teachers have also been great and I’m going to miss them’.


Carlos Cardenas, 17

Carlos is the first of two students who are graduating from both  CEAA and  the local high school, Colegio  Zeballos, this year. He  hopes to continue his studies in Agriculture, although as of yet, he is  undecided where these studies will take place. In his final year,  Carlos developed a business plan in the production of chickens and  says:‘as well as the time spent with my peers, learning how to  care for and manage chickens, has been my favourite part of  my time at CEAA and a skill I hope to use in the future’.


Fabian Ferrufino Vargas, 17

Fabian, 17, is the younger brother of Ernesto. Over his three years he tells me,‘I have developed many skills here, but the most important, and interesting, for me are beekeeping and honey production’. He has dedicated his final year to developing these skills, including the production of a beekeeping business plans that he hopes to implement in his community of Camatindi at some point. Until then, he will continue his studies at Colegio Zeballos for a further year. 


Zenón Espinoza Guzman, 17

Zenón is the second of our final year students to also be graduating from Colegio Zeballos this year. He is also the only gradate to be leaving with a job lined up - at a soya processing factory in Villa Montes, called Itika. After an initial three month training period he will join the factory in a team manager position, thanks to his qualification with CEAA. Looking back at his time at the school, he tells me, 'my favourite memories are of the various market days and school fetes that we have visited and hosted’. He adds that he is going to miss his friends and is grateful to the teachers that have helped him gain so many skills. 


Good Luck Class of 2011!

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