“Many people believe that there are things that cannot be made, such as becoming an astronaut or being part of something related to cutting-edge technology. I tell them that they must set a goal, study and break from Peruvian society’s parameters, because everything is possible”
You did not travel empty-handed. You went with a couple of invention prototypes: an ergonomic backpack and a bicycle-stretcher.
I made the prototypes here. The backpack had to be made of steel to support different equipment, so I took it to the Cayetano Heredia Hospital, where I was suggested to make some modifications. In the USA, we made the ventilation system, the ducts to the helmet, the compensation that prevents the sight to become cloudy. Then we used and tested it in the field, and it worked.
Because of that, when you completed the mission, you were invited to be part of a new crew.
Yes, because fourteen days were not enough to finish the bicycle-stretcher project. They had interest in it, so we tested it.
Today you share your experience in different forums in Lima and provinces. How do young people respond?
Many people believe that there are things that cannot be made, such as becoming an astronaut or being part of something related to cutting-edge technology. I tell them that they must set a goal, study and break from Peruvian society’s parameters, because everything is possible. Some young people get excited, some others contact me; they continue growing and get closer to what they want to be.
What is your biggest satisfaction?
The friends, who participate along with me in this space to promote science and technology, and I often say ⸺after a conference at the UNI, in Lima or other provinces⸺ that it only takes one person touched by us to make it all worth it. We may not know them now, but fifteen years from now we might hear from them…
Are you aware that you have become a role model?
I think I have made no significant contribution yet.
You come from a humble family, your parents being a teacher and a nurse, but you have been part of a scientific experience that only a few privileged people in the world have had access to, and you made it on your own merit.
Yes, there is merit. I am always doing research, publishing, spreading, and every time there are interesting calls, I sign up. Sometimes I am selected. If you work hard, you get the opportunity of travelling and being trained so you can return with more knowledge and share it.
So being a nerd is worth it.
There is also time for fun. We can be very, very lazy and we take a break every now and then (laughs)...