Saturday, June 02, 2007

The traditional Bolivian barbecue

In the great plains of Bolivia, they raise cattle and celebrate with big barbecues they call churrascos. "Let's have a churrasco" seems to be the perfect way to mark any occasion, big or small. Here Jorge and Grover, two staff members of the weekly business paper Santa Cruz Economico, work the grill with a typical churrasco offering of beef, sausages, chicken and innards.

I've been working with the staff of Santa Cruz Economico once a week since January, coaching them on everything from in-depth reporting to meeting deadlines to advertising sales strategies. They have many of the same challenges that we had at the weekly business journals in the States. It has been great fun to see the impact of these coaching sessions. For months, Jose Miguel Sanchez, the editor (standing, third from left), has been promising to have a churrasco so that we could get together in a social setting, but it has always been delayed. To get things moving I offered my apartment as the site. We had it Saturday. In the photo above, the owners of the paper, Fernando Neumeyer and Elenir Centenaro, are at the right with their toddler, Nicolas.

One of the paper's struggles has been how to maintain editorial integrity when some of their competitors offer to write stories about businesses in exchange for agreements to advertise. Some of our competitors in Baltimore did the same, so I was able to give them some strategies and language to use to counter this.

Bolivians have a talent for making you feel at home. The pace of business is slower. The family comes first. People who arrive late for meetings are always forgiven. Every excuse is acceptable. The person is more important than the work. They work hard, but in a different way.

1 comment:

  1. that's true. When you will come for another churrasco?