You have probably heard of the word Enactus around campus, yet you may only have a vague idea of what they do. Let me explain what we do as Enactus JBU. We are students with an entrepreneurial mindset who tackle economic, social and environmental issues through different projects. To give you an idea of the dimension of our club, we are part of Enactus Worldwide which has presence in more than 35 countries, in more than 1,700 college campuses around the world. I have been involved in Enactus JBU since freshman year. Looking back at all I have learned throughout my involvement, I feel so privileged and grateful. Currently, our team has eight projects: four of them are local projects, and four of them are international projects.
Anyhow, I want to share with you a recent experience I had with our team. During my junior year, I worked on an international project called the Guatemala Water Project. In a nutshell, we partnered with Compassion International to find a community that had struggled with access to clean drinking water. We identified three communities, even though our original plan was to select one of the three; God worked out the details so that we could work on two communities instead, Champollap and San Bartolo. The project was to install a water purification system so that these communities have access to clean drinking water at an affordable price. We worked with the community leaders to write a business plan for the new business. Through Skype interviews and emails, we facilitated the process of writing a business plan and helped them plan the facility for this project. We partnered with the engineering department to help us with the installations of water systems.
This past summer, along with nine other JBU students and two faculty members, we traveled down to Guatemala to finalize the project. We were there for a week, and it was so encouraging to see how the community leaders took ownership of the project. We facilitated the installation and provided training on various areas—from health and hygiene to business and marketing.
One time, I talked to one of the members of the community that I was working with and she told me, “You have no idea how much this will help the community, the local water distribution charges so much per five gallons of water. With this new business, we are going to get clean drinking water for a really cheap price.” It was so great to hear those words and realize that we are making an impact, that we are changing lives and that we are capable.
This year, we are continuing our work in Campur, Guatemala, with a project that will build a school to teach kids English and other skills. A Walton scholar from Guatemala is leading this project. We also have projects going on in Chile, Ethiopia and Nicaragua, along with local projects that include helping small businesses grow or help alleviate hunger in Northwest Arkansas. Enactus means a lot to me, and I would encourage you to check it out if you’re passionate about small businesses, community development, sustainability, helping others and so many other things. Reach out to me or any of our officer team members (Jake Knight, Meaghan Ranz and Ryan Hackett) with questions about our team and what we do. We meet on Tuesdays at 4:10 pm in SBC 110.
Lopez is a senoir majoring in international business. He can be reached at LopezCa@jbu.edu