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This year, the ACE in Place Peru team will be working with CDS (Centro de Capacitación en Conservación y Desarrollo Sostenible) to support their efforts in environmental conservation. CDS operates within the Amazon rainforest in Oxapampa, Peru and facilitates education, research, and sustainable development activities. In these three weeks, we will be creating a marketing campaign in order to increase awareness of CDS’s two fundraisers among college students at universities in the United States.

This week, we met with Flor Trama, the director of CDS, to better understand the goals of the program. In addition, our location expert, Ricardo Rivera, led us through a comprehensive introduction of Peru, ending the week by showing us an indigenous tribal ritual. With respect to our project, we have begun to research strategies to best engage with our target audience of university students and will apply that research in creating social media posts in the following weeks.


Rick Mihm

I am a rising junior at Stanford University, majoring in Economics. I also compete in the individual medleys on the Stanford Men’s Swimming and Diving team. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA, but will be participating in the program virtually from Stanford’s campus. I am excited to participate in the ACE in Place Peru program to learn more about forest conservation in the Amazon and contribute towards CDS’s efforts to spread their impactful research to students throughout the US. In these next two weeks, I’m looking forward to getting to know my Duke and Stanford counterparts more and to learn about Peruvian and Incan culture.


Gisele Tapia

I am a senior at Duke majoring in Biology with a minor in Evolutionary Anthropology. I’m on the Duke Softball team and originally from Southern California. Coming from a Latin heritage,I am excited to participate in ACE inPlace Peru to learn more about conservation efforts and the Peruvian culture. I am looking forward to working alongside CDS and my Stanford teammates to help spread their research in conservation and sustainability.

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Katya Sander

As a rising sophomore on the Women’s Gymnastics team at Stanford, I couldn’t be more excited about all that ACE has to offer. I have always loved how volunteering can bring people of such different backgrounds together for a good cause, so being able to work with and learn from other students here on the Farm and at Duke, as well as our members of the team from Peru and South Africa, has been amazing! I am planning on majoring in Human Biology, but what I have not studied very much is the environment, so learning more about conservation and sustainability is a huge goal of mine that ACE is also helping me to accomplish.Even in just this first week, I have found so much to love about this program, but I think hearing the passion with which the director of CDS spoke with regarding their mission was especially inspirational. I can’t wait to see how much we can do.

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