The agricultural cooperative "El Paraiso" from Sapecho/Alto Beni was founded in 2005 and has 11 members who are all farmers in Sapecho.
In 2010, the cooperative installed a production plant for natural fruit juice, focusing on citrus fruits, particularly oranges.
The idea of the cooperative is to add value to its agricultural goods compared to just selling the raw fruits. Besides natural juices, other fruit products might be created that should be competitive on the market in terms of quality, price and packaging, and thus increasing the cooperative's profits to ensure an increase of the life standard of the farmers and their families.
The plant is technically on a good level. The machines include a pulp remover for carambola, pineapple, mango, papaya, copuazu and other fruits, a water filter system, pasteurisation boiler, tetra pak filling machine, compressor, UHT heater, three phase electric unit and water tanks.
The plant can process 800-1000 liters or pure fruit juice per day during the months of June to November when there are enough fruits.
While the cooperative has perfect skills in the production of fruit juices and produces a high quality fruit juice, the members lack business, distribution and marketing skills.
At the moment the cooperative is selling the juice in small tetra paks to nearby schools at a price of 12-15 Bs. per liter, while the production costs per liter are 12-13 Bs. This means, no real profit is being made.
The cooperative contacted with large juice producers that buy large quantities of blocks of frozen fruit juice at their plants in cities such as La Paz and Cochabamba. However, in this case the cooperative would have to do further investment into deep-freezing technology and a vehicle. Also the prices paid by these large companies per liter of juice are not attractive enough to justify the investment and effort. The members of the cooperative are not experienced in how to negotiate their position in front of such large companies.
The cooperative has never worked on a market study about the Bolivian fruit juice market, which seems to be highly competitive with high quality fruit juices being sold at very low prices. The question is, whether it makes even sense for a small producer such as the fruit juice cooperative "El Paraiso" to compete on the market with a mainstream product such as orange juice, or whether it isn’t better to focus on niche products that might be sold with higher margins. These might be other exotic variety of juices, or products such as smoothies, ice lollies/popsicles etc.
A volunteer or capable intern could contribute to this very interesting project in a leading role, while at the same time learn a lot, and help the cooperative. The Bolivian fruit juice market needs to be understood to be able to make informed decisions. Should the cooperative sell juice to large companies or better directly to end consumers, or aren’t niche products more profitable? A business model must be developed. Volunteers/Interns in Sapecho should be able to communicate in Spanish, as nobody of the cooperative knows English or any other foreign languages.
In the tab "More Info", you can find a detailed internship report.
Location: Sapecho/Beni Alto, Bolivia
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Months
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: Average Spanish
With Host Family in the village of Sapecho
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Farmers
Minimum Qualification Of a Intern: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant skills
Further Contribution To Project: None
Motivation, Do you have the "right" attitude?
Report by Raul
At the time of my arrival, there was a defect in the juice extractor that could not be corrected for monetary reasons. For this reason, the business was limited only to the sale of treated water. This was done exclusively at the wholesale AR.BOL., a road construction company with several camps along the road to La Paz.
I have heartfelt gratitude; both Don Felix and the president of the cooperative were very friendly to me and my work was very appreciated. In addition to the operational activities, I was not left alone during free time. So I had the opportunity to get to know the country and people and to spend many fun and energising hours. The other members of the cooperative are not too understanding, interns could find it a difficulty. Since the president also understands this problem, I have written, at his request, a document in which I gave my opinion of the work attitude of the other members.
Most popular! - This is the choice of most of our participants. You live in an apartment with other participants.
Adventurer - For simplest and cheapest deals: Accommodation of simple standard.
Accommodation in Jupapina
I. World Unite! Service Package
|up to 31 Days||32-60 Days||61-90 Days||91-120 Days||5 Months or longer|
|450 EUR||600 EUR||700 EUR||750 EUR||850 EUR|
(Rate per Person)
|400 EUR||500 EUR||600 EUR||650 EUR||700 EUR|
The World Unite! Service Package includes:
- Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
- Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
- Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
- Assistance with visa extension in Bolivia or arrangement of visa (depending on duration of stay) and other official permits (if required), but not the official government fees for it/them (see costs below)
- In case of Jupapina: Transfers from/to La Paz/El Alto (LPB) on arrival and departure. In case of Sapecho: Pick up from airport La Paz/El Alto (LPB) on arrival, one night of accommodation in La Paz for orientation, then the next day proceeding by public bus to Sapecho (ticket fare included for arrival trip). In case of Achacolla: You can join the sisters every Thursday by car from La Paz to the farm. One night in La Paz is included if you arrive on a Wednesday. If you need additional nights in La Paz, they are 15 USD/night on full board.
- Assistance with the booking of domestic connection flights within Bolivia if you arrive in Cochabamba or ViruViru
- Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
- Orientation and Introduction in La Paz
- Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
- 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
- 50 USD Contribution to your project
- Local SIM Card with 60 Bs. air time
- Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
The Rates do NOT include:
- Accommodation and Meals (see below)
- Travel to/from Bolivia (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
- Official fees for Visa (see below)
- Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
- Personal Expenses
- Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
- Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.
II. Accommodation Costs
Overview of other costs:
- For most citizens except US Citizens, no Visa fee for a stay of a maximum of 90 days per calendar year. Any time you stay in excess of 90 days within a calendar year, 20 Bs. fee per day. US Citizens pay currentyl 135 USD Visa fee.
- If meals are not included: around 70-150 EUR /100-180 USD)/month
- Small local expenses (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
- Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month