19 April 2017

An Interview with the newest APP Technician, Bayron Zuniga

During our trip, we were gracious enough to meet some pretty amazing people. One of which is Bayron, a 20 year old newly appointed APP technician. In the short time we were able to spend with him, we learned so much about his past. Here is his story of schooling, working, family and his love for AguaClara.
*all answers are roughly translated from Spanish*
  • Why water treatment?
    • "I saw the opportunity to attend the operators school and thought it was interesting and decided to stick with it."

  • How’d you get started with AguaClara/APP
    • "When the learning opportunity presented itself, I submitted a resume and was accepted to the first round of training along with 20 other students. This training consisted of learning the theory of water treatment: water law, volume measurement, flow rate, plant controls, chemical dosing, etc. and continued for a month. We met 3 times a week for 7.5 hours. At the end of the month, all students took an exam and the top 10 highest scores were chosen to remain in the program and move into the training phase. I finished 2nd in my class. During this time, for one month we learned how to assemble hydraulic components of a plant before testing again. After this practical, only 6 were selected to continue. I was first in my class, scoring 92% with the second scoring 85%. The 6 selected were then put to work in a real plant. We were split into two teams of three students and worked every other week operating the plant, day and night for two months. At the end of this training period, the top three students were selected to work for APP. I finished 1st in the class."

  •  What do you like best?
    • "I like to learn from other operators and Antonio, an APP plant technician. I am continually fascinated by AguaClara technology and strives to better understand the technology coming out of Cornell. I also love getting to help people with something they need, water. Moving forward, I wants to get to know all the plants better, have a deeper understanding of the technology and possibly visit Cornell and see the engineers in action. I also loves the people and friendships I create working in such a diverse environment."

  • Tell me about your life/past.
    • "I live in rented houses close to plants with other APP workers when visiting and working on plants. I doesn't mind traveling so much as I realizes that staying with APP will provide me the opportunity to continue to learn and to see more of my country. When working as an operator in San Matis, I was the youngest operator hired. I also was working alongside the only female operator hired. As of now, I am the only person to transition from operator to technician."
  • What is the most challenging part of the transition of jobs?
    • "I am younger than most operators and other APP workers. This can sometimes cause me to feel as if I'm not getting the respect I deserves because I am so young. It is especially worse when working with well educated plant operators because they treat me as if I'm not smarter or as smart as them."
  • What does your family think about your work?
    • "I grew up with divorced parents, both supporting my career path. Though I don't live with either my mother or father, I still check in periodically. However, initially they were concerned. During my senior year of high school, I joined the air force as a 17 year old. I stayed only for a month before I had to leave because I couldn't get authorization from my parents to be in the military so young. My parents feared I lacked direction so the opportunity to work with APP was one they encouraged me to pursue."

  • How does your past impact you work?
    • "My past has made me a stronger person and a motivated worker. I set goals and high standards for myself because I knows I am fully capable of doing amazing things. Outside of work, I believe my past has showed how I wants to raise a family. I wants a family that I can provide for and give them everything they deserve. My independance has shown me that I can take care of myself and assured me that I can and will care for my future family."
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
    • "Play soccer, sleep, watch TV, see friends, normal 20 year old stuff. Every 20 days I get 3 days off so I take as much time possible to rest before starting up work again.

  • Why is the work important to you?"
    • “Simply because i like to help people and its excellent work. I love to help people with their health”