SLU-Madrid Student Sierra Zima Communicates Economic Development Through Mangoes

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A long time ago in Crystal Lake, Illinois, a young Sierra Zima had developed a passion for helping others. She got involved with her local food pantry and eventually became an intern for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.  Today, that young girl is now a senior at Saint Louis University – Madrid and is taking up international business. Fortunately, Blue Mangoes, an innovative, student-led non-governmental organization chose her as their director of communications.

About Blue Mangoes

Blue Mangoes is a non-governmental organization that partners with rural farmers in Central America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The common problem fruit farmers are having in impoverished communities is that post-harvest overabundance often spoils. This is because farmers have a hard time preserving them properly. 

Blue Mangoes helps by providing a pathway to proper preservation and shipping to the United States. These fruits are then sold in natural food stores and co-ops, creating a feasible economic trade!

Representatives from Blue Mangoes are able to find farmers by traveling to farming communities. They then help build and teach the locals about the dehydrator which helps farmers preserve the fruits correctly. They also provide construction manuals so the communities can build additional units if they find the need for it. 

Since Blue Mangoes was founded in 2017, the organization has partnered with six rural farming communities in four countries, namely: Panama, Haiti, Uganda, and Kenya.

Adding Experience from Saint Louis University – Madrid

Zima is responsible for generating web content for Blue Mangoes and maintaining the corporate image as director of communications. Not only does she impart her business and marketing know-how into Blue Mangoes but she also works with like-minded peers to work toward meaningful development.

“Personally, I see this position as a chance for me to collaborate with other students who are passionate about economic development and creating relationships with and solutions for these rural communities,” 

Zima initially got involved with Blue Mangoes before she transferred to Saint Louis University – Madrid, which she found out about through a friend who had studied abroad in Madrid.  

“It seemed like a great opportunity to keep studying Spanish and add the international flavor to my international business degree,” Zima said. “I love the diversity of the campus, as well as the small class sizes where you can really get to know your peers and professors.”

Focusing on the Future

After graduation, Zima said she aspires to work in the fields of marketing and business while finding creative ways to impact the lives of others.

From across the pond, she continues to collaborate with Blue Mangoes and sees a bright future for the organization.

Do you see yourself leading a non-profit organization while being an international student in a foreign country? Learn about Saint Louis University Madrid and take the first step to study in Spain!

Learn more about Saint Louis University Madrid!


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Tags: international businesssaint louis unversity madridslu madridstudy in madridstudy in spain

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Michael Candongo

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