Renée Ramirez
Renée Ramirez
Panama, 2022-2023
My name is Renée and I’m spending a year in Panamá working with Fundación Calicanto. Calicanto is a Panamanian organization combatting gender-based violence through social and economic empowerment programs. I’m a Nashville girl and graduated from Belmont in 2021 with a double major in Entrepreneurship and Economics. This is such a privilege, thanks for following along! Read More About Renée →

Quick Trip Home

I flew back to Panama from Nashville last Thursday and have been getting settled again. Believe it or not, I was able to bring back my sewing machine, longboard, and full-size blender from home. Had to leave my cast iron behind because I am a mere mortal at the end of the day. Apart from being freaked out by how spread out and generally well-off Nashville is, being back home felt really normal. I only went to 9 out of the 22 restaurants I wanted to visit but went to  Portland Brew almost every day so no real complaints over here.

Highlights
– Seeing family and my best friends!!!!
– Listening to the Mujeres Que Suenan podcast about Latina artists.
– Weekend trip to visit my grandma and aunt on Cape Cod <3
– Finding a great work environment at Ciudad del Saber

Work Projects
I am currently working to launch our initial course demo for Escuela Calicanto! This week, that looks like sharing the demo with our team internally, working through notes on the Spanish copy and course flow, and restraining myself from making thousands of tiny unimportant changes to the design. I’ll be spending the next couple of days creating a strategy for who and how we will be sharing it, drafting copy to share it with our first participants, and building out a basic framework on Airtable to easily sort and understand the data we’ll receive from it.

This demo isn’t just a mockup of a final product. It is primarily a customer discovery tool, allowing us to understand what our target market wants and needs through surveys about various aspects of the client experience. I decided to format our customer discovery efforts into a course on the same platform we will be using for the final product. Essentially, this is a shareable tool that allows us to build awareness of the product before it’s officially launched while collecting data about what our target market wants and needs.

Instead of emailing multiple surveys to a handful of partners who are helping us out of the goodness of their hearts, this is a complete mini-course that includes an introduction to the foundation and product, real learning modules, and the surveys that support our research efforts. As a tool, it is hopefully more engaging and definitely a more strategic use of our time and resources. While I am always growing, I feel content working on this project. It combines business development with the nonprofit sector which has become my professional niche in a very natural way over the last couple of years.

Something New
I’ve been reading a couple of fiction books recently which is very new for me! I’m more of a biography, history, and hundred-page report on “Women Run *SMEs in Central America” person. I bought this YA mystery book called el ‘Misterio de la Isla Tokland‘ from an older man in the park last month and have really been enjoying it. I think the fact that it is in Spanish is acting as a buffer for my brain. I am too focused on trying to understand the Spanish and then solve the mystery so I can’t even think about the fact that it’s not real.

I am also listening to the book ‘Shantaram’ which is really lovely. It is about an Australian convict who escapes prison and flees to India in the 80s. The author makes some observations about human dignity and resilience in the midst of difficulty and poverty that I really connect with.

*Small and medium enterprises
**After a quick Google search while writing this, I discovered that there is a tv show about Shantaram launching 10/14 on Apple tv and it is strongly autobiographical (guess my taste hasn’t changed much after all 🙂

Something I’m Grateful for
I am grateful for safe friendships. Getting to spend time with some of my dearest friends in Nashville the last few weeks really filled me up. I am so grateful to have steady, mature, and present friendships – people to grow with, lean on, and love. It is such a gift and one that I am even more aware of now that I live in a different country.

I hope you’re doing well!
Cuidense,
Renée

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