Alejandro Rivera is one of the few that knows Buenaventura since the beginning. He is responsible for maintenance and administration of the PH and has spent the last 18 years making sure that the complex looks neat and radiant.
“I started working in Buenaventura in October of 2003. First I was in charge of common areas and gardens. As the project grew I started gaining more responsibilities and currently I work in managing the PH with a team of over 74 workers,” explains Alejandro Rivera, Administrator for PH Buenaventura.
He is one of the few that knows Buenaventura in and out and has witnessed its evolution first hand. Starting with the bridge, the lighthouse and the putting green to what it is now, it can be said that there is a world of difference. Learning to coexist with the natural environment and becoming a completely self-manageable project.
“It has been a constant learning experience that always demands something new. I remember when the lots were empty and we began to clean them. We had to learn about nature to be able to ‘control’ it. Nighttime was a good time to observe how it would behave,” Rivera recalls.
Today Buenaventura is a consolidated project that is self-manageable. The administration team understands that everything must be in the best possible condition and they also understand that it is a bittersweet job. It does not matter how well a job is completed because the faults are what determine the residents’ final judgement.
“We have grown accustomed to working from an owner’s point of view. If we notice that something is not the way it should be, we immediately work on it, we do not wait for the problem to happen. However, you always have unforeseen events,” expresses the manager.
BV: What does the PH administration team do?
AR. In theory we are in charge of the administration and maintenance of common areas. However in the field we understand that Buenaventura is a project that has other needs so we coordinate and provide other types of services for residents to live a carefree life when they stay here.
BV: How do you process the residents’ comments?
AR. Generally speaking we are available both directly and indirectly with the best disposition to solve any of their concerns. You learn to live from their point of view. When you walk around and see something that is not right, you have to fix it. If it is out of the scope of the program, you still attend to it and find a solution.
BV: What does a day in the field look like?
AR. Nobody gets bored here. You start at 7:30 in the morning and finish at 5:00 in the afternoon and whatever happens afterwards. For example, last night there was damage and residents were left without water. We had to move personnel around at 7:00 at night to work on it and fix it overnight. It is our responsibility to be on call 24/7.
BV: And security?
AR. Depends 100% on us. The administration team both hires and manages them. We value each and every person that works in security for Buenaventura. The resident can feel at ease and trust that our selection of personnel fulfills the highest standards.
The new entry app
The topic of expedited access for guests was always complex. Residents wanted it to be quick but also maintain a level of security. For this reason the validation process is thorough. In an area where residents and guests coexist it is important to respect the process.
While searching for an alternative that provided both security and speed for the resident and the visitor, the administration found MUNILY as the perfect solution. “It is a Panamanian endeavor that is highly ambitious and continues to grow constantly,” Rivera commented.
The resident simply needs to download the app, register and then send the information to the system who will send a Whatsapp message to the visitor with a QR code to access the installations when they arrive at the entrance. Simple.
The team is analyzing the functionality of the software to incorporate other services through the app. Currently hundreds of residents already use it. In the meantime the team will continue to work in keeping Buenaventura looking clean, feeling safe and anticipating any critical areas that might affect the people living within the complex. One of these topics is education on road safety.
“This is the current challenge of the Security Department, the Law on Road Safety. Why? Because it not only has evolved but now more people are living in the complex and the dynamics have also evolved. Equipment is improving and we need to be more responsible. We want the community to understand that we need to be aware about the risks of using a vehicle – any vehicle – and that an accident affects not only the individual but others as well,” he concluded.