International Business Fellow Links Costa Rican Tourism & NC State University

Partners of the Americas, Organize for Success, and North Carolina State University have the pleasure of welcoming Viviana Castillo to participate in the International Business Fellows Matching Program which facilitates the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and business expertise through fellowships in the U.S. 

Viviana is a leader in the Iroquois community of Costa Rica through her home organization, People-First Tourism, and will be working with Organize for Success, LLC. Organize for Success is an organization that focuses on increasing productivity for small business executives, entrepreneurs, and corporate teams.

Viviana will unite many organizations providing a bridge to her home country of Costa Rica to those she will visit and work within North Carolina. During her fellowship with Organize for Success, Viviana will foster alliances between community partners including The Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service (CSLEPS), People-First Tourism (P1T), North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Sustainability Office, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) in the Crop Science Department, as well as Chiquita Brands International

  • CSLEPS provides opportunities for students to become ethical and effective leaders 
  • P1T offers a marketplace for buying and selling local goods to create sustainable livelihoods through tourism 
  • NCSU Sustainability Office serves as a resource to the community for sustainability 
  • CALS enhances the production, quality, accessibility and profitability of food, plant, animal and bioenergy products 

Before arriving to the U.S., Viviana will work directly with North Carolina State and People First Tourism-Costa Rica to develop the infrastructure and information needed to share with NCSU’s community partners. Once she arrives to North Carolina State Viviana will meet the current Chiquita Brands International intern and will help to organize upcoming meetings between visitors of Honduras and Costa Rica. Viviana will evaluate the quality of the NCSU system for translations and determine the best cultural scenarios for Central American visitors.

“Since I found out about the opportunity of going to Raleigh, I am so excited," said Viviana. "I´m motivated by the idea of meeting new people, new cultural matters, and also exchanging life experiences…I'm very proud to be a community leader with a wonderful task, being the bridge between two beautiful cultures with the aim of meaningfully enhancing the experiences of cultural exchange.

Viviana's goal is to learn best practices and gain new perspectives that can be brought back to Costa Rica to build the capacity of her home organization, People’s First Tourism. Viviana will additionally contribute to a dialogue for other Latin American communities interested in social entrepreneurship that can be incorporated into Costa Rica and other countries as needed.

Upon her return to Costa Rica she will serve as a resource in her community and a contact for future connections with North Carolina State University’s network of community partners. In the words of Viviana, “I really trust in the program offered by Partners of the Americas and I know that this is going to be a remarkable experience that will help me grow as a professional and also as an individual.”