EARTH University student Lucía Descarpontriez (’19, Bolivia) is in the final stretch of her four-month internship at Kalsec, a family-owned business that supplies spices, natural food colorings and hops to food and beverage manufacturers across the globe. For a quarter century, EARTH students have traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan (USA), for this engaging internship, an unrivaled experience to learn the ropes of production and management firsthand.
“The Kalsec intern program provides an exceptional learning environment for our EARTH University students and is one of the most coveted among our third-years. The experience also includes immersion in U.S. culture through the wonderful hospitality of Kalsec host families,” said Arturo Condo, University president. “Kalsec has been a cherished EARTH partner.”
In total, 25 EARTH students from various Latin American nations – including Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia – have learned valuable professional skills and life lessons from the experience.
“My internship at Kalsec was a critical time. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all I have. It allowed me to get closer to Michigan State University to secure financial support for my master’s degree and to perfect my English,” said EARTH grad Daniel Ortega Pacheco (’03, Ecuador). He considers his host family and the company’s leaders “role models” as well as “sources of joy, hope and optimism.”
To commemorate this partnership and to discuss ways to further enrich the internship program, Kalsec hosted a heartwarming reunion between several former EARTH interns and their U.S. host families.
“EARTH University is a most unique and special place. I first visited in 1992 and immediately fell in love with the students, faculty, administration and campus. It embodies the best that humanity has to offer in terms of fundamental values and our connection to each other and the planet,” said George Todd, Kalsec’s executive board chairman. “Over 40 countries are represented in the student body at EARTH with many coming from countries where our spices are grown and sourced. This is one way we can give back to the communities that have given so much to us.”