Today, we speak with Scholar, Frank Sarria (Cohort 12, Nicaragua), who joins Atlas Corps as part of the Atlas Corps: Nicaragua Professional Development Initiative. This special initiative aims to equip Nicaraguan social impact professionals with leadership skills, and to strengthen ties between the United States and Nicaragua toward economic development and inclusive prosperity in Nicaragua.

Frank is the Country General Manager at Buy Food with Plastic, where he is responsible for cementing the operational foundations of the organization for Nicaragua and providing support to the global management team in the elaboration of its development plans for India and Ghana towards 2025.

Buy Food with Plastic is a Swiss organization that aims towards creating a self-sustaining circular economy in Nicaragua by creating safe jobs and making useful products from recycled plastic.

Name: Frank I. Sarria Palacios

Home Country: Nicaragua

Current Organization: Buy Food with Plastic

Role at current organization: Country General Manager

Social Issues: No poverty; Responsible consumption and production

Please tell us a little bit about the type of work that you do at your organization and the impact it has made in your local community.

My primary task is to lead community teams in the process of transforming plastic handling habits through plastic for hot meals exchange events, as well as to establish alliances with individuals, organizations and companies willing to make a lasting impact on the environment and the natural resources of our country. Through this work we have created new solid waste management infrastructure for communities and established a manufacturing facility that provides formal employment to community members who help us transform plastic into everyday items.

What inspires you the most as a leader?

Creating bonds with other human beings. I firmly believe that the greatest impact we can achieve as a leader is to transform the world one life at a time.

What has been your favorite part about the Virtual Leadership Institute so far?

The interaction with so many people from regions of the world so distant and yet so similar in their challenges, desires and commitment to be agents of change.

What is your best quick tip that you can share with us about how to succeed in the Virtual Leadership Institute?

Don’t be afraid to ask; the Atlas Corps team has gone to great lengths to make the VLI a safe space and if you have the courage to ask you may learn much more than you can imagine.

What is your Leadership Project about and what impact will it have on the community you serve?

My Leadership Project is the creation of a recycling academy for development, which will be oriented directly to high school graduates. We will develop a solid curriculum in solid waste management as well as adding value to these, coupled with a process of assimilation as direct suppliers for our production processes in manufacturing, creating inclusive wealth in the surrounding communities.

What are your plans after the Virtual Leadership Institute and how will this experience help you achieve these plans?

Strengthen the execution of our operations in Ghana, India, and Nicaragua by implementing the technical tools learned in order to make a greater impact in the region. Also, extend our operations to the rest of Central America in the medium term, creating more solid waste management infrastructure and generating formal and secure jobs.

What message would you like to send to individuals (Volunteer, Donors, Board of Directors) who support Atlas Corps?

Thank you for making it possible for opportunities to reach the places where they are really decisive. Let’s continue our work together to make this world a better place than we found it.

Thank you, Frank, for sharing your leadership journey with us. We are excited to see you continue to inspire positive change in the future!

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Photos from Frank’s personal archive.