Why Durham College is in Peru

Photo courtesy of Danielle Harder

Durham College students (from left to right) Travis Fortnum, Vik Panjwani and Kyle Rist are joined by the Katie Boone, manager of international projects at DC, prior to leaving on an educational excursion to Trujillo, Peru..

After a summer-long selection process, three Durham College students are now furthering their education in Peru as part of a school initiative.

One student from each of the culinary management, digital video production and journalism programs were selected to visit Durham’s international partner, the Centro Experimental de Formación Profesional (CEFOP).

CEFOP, a technical and vocational college in the city of Trujillo, has been the college’s partner for two years, working together to exchange the tips and tricks both schools have picked up through their culinary education programs.

The students made two teams and aim to document and celebrate the successful partnership.

Vik Panjwani, the student selected from the digital video production program, is no stranger to travelling the world.

Panjwani was born in India and lived in British Columbia doing special effects work on Hollywood movies. The videographer came to Durham College with this experience in the film industry on his résumé and will bring his passion to the project.

“I’ve never been to South America,” he says. “I’m working with a lot of different people from different disciplines. Usually I’m working with a film crew. This time I’ll be working with a journalist and Kyle, who’s a culinary student. It’s going to be new.”

Kyle Rist, the culinary student chosen, also has an impressive résumé in his field. With experience as a server and a line cook he now works as a cook in the kitchens of El Caballito, a highly-regarded Mexican restaurant in Toronto.

Rist will be taking a sample of some of Canada’s flavour with him to Trujillo.

“My family and friends seem to think I’m going on vacation,” he says. “I’m going over to assist with Chef Dave Hawey to demonstrate some Canadian dishes, mainly poutine and butter tarts.”

Katie Boone, manager of international projects at Durham College, will accompany the students as well as a handful of faculty.

Boone currently manages four international partnerships at Durham College. In addition to the culinary partnership in Peru, there is one in Guyana focused on automotive and electronics, another in Vietnam focused on food and pharmaceuticals and one in Barbados for leadership and change management.

“We work, live and breathe a very internationalized, globalized world,” Boone says. “Students or graduates that can finish their academic career with international exposure in their field are all the more ready to work in a globalized world.”

The Durham College team flew to Peru on September 26 and returns October 3.

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Travis Fortnum is a second-year journalism student. He has a love for politics and is passionate about covering campus news, community events, and sports. Aside from the Chronicle, his stories have been featured in the Oshawa This Week, Brooklin Town Crier, Whitby Snap'd and on druhamregion.com.