All About Us

Kat, Anni, and Tim are graduate students getting their MSBA in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise at Colorado State University. They will be constructing aquaponic systems in Lima, Peru to test the feasibility of such systems to feed malnourished communities in arid cities. They plan to show that aquaponics can provide fresh, organic vegetables to an area where they are otherwise untenable, while at the same time introducing a sustainable supply of fish. Please subscribe to this blog to find out more about them and their work!


Progress, Padre Jose, and PRISMA

Now that we have a system in place, we are eager to show it off! So, on Saturday, we jumped on a city bus and took it to the end of the line, to the community of la Portada de Manchay, high up in the sand dunes above Lima. We presented aquaponics to the priest, and will bring members of his community to visit our system at the school. Not only will we get great market research from their feedback, we will hopefully inspire them to buy their own system!

On top of that, we just returned from a very positive meeting with PRISMA, where we began to develop a partnership with them. We hope to bring aquaponic systems to recovering tuberculosis patients, and create a strawberry business in the sandy slums surrounding Lima! Here are Wade and Anni with Dr. Claudio Roncha Calderon, the Coordinator of the Project, and the Director of MicroFinanzas PRISMA, Dr. Diego Fernandez Concha Murazzi, showing off the future product.


Seeing is believing!

We had more help than we needed, and both creativity and water flowed! All in all, a fabulous day! The pictures will tell the story:




Building the System

Yesterday we began building the system! We purchased all the parts and brought them over to the school, and explained them to the 7th grade science class as well as the gardeners who will be helping maintain the system. After getting over their initial skepticism, and agreeing to move the system out of their prized lawn, they quickly began sharing ideas and excitement. Everyone we have met is intrigued by the idea, and eager to see it in action. Today we will connect the tubes and get the water running!


Moving forward

We have had a productive week here in cloudy Lima. We have met twice now with a PhD student writing his dissertation on aquaponics, and he has been a tremendous help on the technical side of our system. Tomorrow, we begin purchasing the parts for the system and will install it this weekend at the school! We also have begun conducting some surveys with local corner store owners - such as Fran, in the photo with Kat and Anni. We asked if he wanted to take a picture with Wade, but he said he preferred the girls! :)


A partnership formed!

One of the wonderful things about our team is the variety of strengths we bring to the table. Anni's, for example, is as a magnetic sponge for contacts. On a jog with a running group here in Lima, she met the Director of Facilities and Development of the American School of Lima (Colegio Roosevelt). Yesterday, we visited the campus, presented our idea, and collectively agreed on a site for our pilot system! Middle school science teachers will be incorporating the system into their curriculums next year, and help us gather data to record the progress! Now we will get to work designing the system based on materials available here in Lima.


Hydoponics in Lima!

Today we ventured out onto the public buses and found our way to the National Agrarian University of La Molina. They are home to the Hydroponic Research Center, run by our host, Alfredo Rodriguez Delfin. They sell what they produce, and students have the opportunity to conduct research on plant types, fertilizers, and soil/substrate options for hydroponic production. Pretty impressive, and a fabulous contact for us!


Mi Casa es Tu Casa

Team Organic Oasis - together at last! Tim arrived safely to Lima, and we moved into our downtown apartment! After getting the lay of the land, making a trip to the grocery store, signing the lease, and unpacking - we finally feel settled in Lima. Right on time, too, because tomorrow we start presenting our idea to potential project partners, and we hope to begin building a system soon.


From Rags to Riches

Yesterday, we had a fabulous visit to one of the women's groups that loans money from PRISMA - some of which is financed by This is a picture of the neighborhood where they lived - wonderful loving people who fed us cakes and cookies and had sprinkled their sandy floor for us so it wouldn't be so dusty. They have been lending money and paying it off on time consistently for years.

Today however - was quite the opposite. From the Kola Real soda and beer plants to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then on to the ESAN Business University. We have met so many contacts and had so many offers for help in our research, that we are very optimistic. Tomorrow we move into our new home!


The Real Lima

Today was a great introduction to our target market! We went out to the outskirts of Lima to visit some business owners and learn about the informal economies that have developed in the last 20 years, and have been legalized with the help of policy changes instigated by Hernando de Soto's organization ILD. Below are pictures of the neighborhood we visited - Villa El Salvador, and Anni and Kat with ILD's VP of International Operations.


Day 1 in Lima

Anni and Kat arrived safely to Lima, and spent today exploring this historical city. We had lunch at a spectacular seafood restaurant and ate more kinds of ceviche than we knew existed! After that, we went on a city tour and saw all the major sites in Lima, including the Plaza Mayor, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, and San Fransisco's Monastery complete with terrifying catacombs!

Ended the day with the sun setting over the Pacific.

Tomorrow we will begin to find an apartment!


Lima here we come!

And we are off! Anni and Kat leave tomorrow morning, and will meet up in Lima at 10:50pm! The CSU Executive MBA group graciously invited us to join them on their visits to local businesses and organizations in Lima. In between dinners at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and tours of the urban slums surrounding Lima with ILD, Anni and Kat will be finding a suitable apartment for the next 2 months!

We are leaving our blossoming aquaponics system in the capable hands of Kat's fiance, Sam, who will send us occasional photos documenting the growth.