Peru

Global Crossroad

I went to Cusco, Peru this summer to volunteer in a boys orphanage. I had an amazing time getting to know the kids and playing with them. Considering their situations, they are all very kind, loving children who appreciate each volunteer taking the time to come to the orphanage. I also got to see some other projects such as the girls orphanage and an after-school program for kids whose parents work at a brick making site. Through Global Crossroads, I was able to find my love for volunteer work and helping out. With the help of the coordinators, Angelika and Wildon, I was able to adjust very well, considering this was my first time out of the country alone. I met wonderful volunteers in Peru and had an amazing time sight-seeing while also fulfilling my main goal, helping out at the orphanage. I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in volunteer work in different countries.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Sep 2, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Quest Overseas

Absolutely incredible company to travel with!! I went on the 6 week Andean Expedition through Peru and Bolivia and it couldn't have been better. We travelled so much and saw so much of the countries, from desert, snow capped mountains, rainforest, canyons, volcanoes and beautiful cities.We also got to visit and help out at the Quest volunteering sites in Lima and the Amazon rainforest. Our leaders were experienced and very knowledgeable of the countries and we always felt safe and got to see the non-tourist routes and interesting places to eat. For the price of the trip and having everything included, the value for money was brilliant. I would recommend the company to everyone. They have an amazing itinerary and approachable staff, also supplying great travel insurance in with the price, I strongly recommend them to anyone.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Bolivia, Peru
Posted: Aug 31, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

When I first left for Cusco, I was honestly really nervous. I was traveling alone to a new city, country, and continent. However, when I arrived, my worries went away because I felt safe, welcomed, and at peace with my coordinator, host family. My coordinator here in cusco took me on a tour of the city and showed me where I was going to work for the next couple of weeks. During the morning, I worked in the Unidad de Quemados at the hospital, and during the afternoon I worked in emergency at the Clinic. Working in the hospital was amazing because I was getting hands-on experience treating and working with burned patients. I saw many different kinds of burns with varying intensities, and I think that seeing these harsh realities will help me in my future career as a nurse. In the clinic, I was not able to do much. I mostly spent my time following the nurses and observing them as they gave medications to patients, because Im a prenurse I was not allowed to have so much hands-on in the Clinic. Overall, I had an amazing experience traveling and working here in Cusco.
My host family was spectacular. They gave me everything I needed and more. I had three delicious meals per day, a large room with a comfy bed, and the freedom to do what I wanted. The family was very friendly and welcoming, and theymade me feel safe and calm. The house was a short bus ride away from the hospital and clinic that I worked in, and it was veru easy to find my way around.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Aug 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I was lucky to be placed with a very nice host family. The father is 90 years old and in very good health. His wife too is in very good health. They are both very cheerful and fun to be around. Their two daughters, one of them is our host mother are extremely pleasant. They know amazing English and help us with anything we need.
I wish I had bought a nice gift for the host family. Also if you are planning to teach, bring your material or simple English books as material in English is hard to find here.
The orphanage was well run by teachers, volunteers and administrators. The girls were being taken care very well with all round development. I saw girls begin given music lessons, painting lessons, pottery, stitching, cooking etc.
The local coordinator, Beatrice, was a very nice person with great support for any needs. She took us around the first day and showed us the important landmarks as well as grocery store, laundry, supermarket, money exchange place etc which was very useful.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Aug 15, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I traveled to Lima, Peru with CCS for two weeks. It was the most amazing and eye-opening experience of my life. As a sixteen year old girl, getting onto a plane and traveling eight hours away from home can seem very daunting. Once I arrived in Peru, I felt welcome and safe. The in country staff were so welcoming and responsive. Our group of nine volunteers quickly became good friends and we all got fully immersed into the new culture. The school we volunteered with was for children five years old and younger. It was easy to communicate with the children even with a language barrier. My favorite part of every day was definitely attending the school and working with the children! After we volunteered, we had cultural learning activities. I loved hearing about Peru's history and learning about the devastating Shining Path. Spanish lessons were my favorite activity, but dance lessons were a big hit. Also, we went to a huge Incan market where you could find alpaca blankets, hats, socks, jackets, teddy bears, and everything else alpaca. We toured downtown Lima and visited exciting attractions like the Palacio de Gobierno. I've never learned so much about one country! The two weeks flew by too fast and it was very hard to say goodbye. I would go back in a heart beat and I definitely plan to volunteer with CCS in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Working at the kindergarten and the girls home especially was an experience I won't forget. Laughing and playing with the kids and bonding with the girls was such a special time for all of us. I came here hoping just to do some good, but I am leaving truly touched by the relationships I've formed here. I hope that the 2 weeks of service I've done here will translate to greater success and happiness of the children and the girls in the future.
My favorite memory was at the orphanage during ceramics class one day. We asked the girls what they wanted to be when they grew up, and they all answered that they wanted to go to college and become nurses or lawyers or teachers. Watching them smile when we congratulated them on their goals, seeing how happy they were that someone believed in them, was my favorite moment.
I was most surprised by the willingness of the girls at the orphanage to open up to us and shower us with love, even without really knowing us. It made the time we spent together so special, and those girls will always have a special place in my heart.
Our local coordinator Beatriz was very accommodating and helpful. She checked in with us frequently, was helpful to me with the language barrier, and even went out of her way to give one in our group a gift on her birthday. She was great!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Jun 8, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

This was my first volunteer abroad trip, and I didn't know what to expect beyond the presentation and documents that CCS provided. First off, I'd like to acknowledge that these files were spot on accurate and really provided a good sense of expectations. Next, the accommodations were more than comfortable, and exceeded my expectations. The beds linen was clean, the bed made for us each day, the house immaculately clean (albeit a little old and dark, which is expected), and the garden a real treat. The service of the in house staff exceeded expectations, and the simple meals we ate at the house was better than some meals outside! The program director, Kique, is friendly, helpful, funny, and always there to help you start the day off on the right foot. Our drivers were also wonderful, always patient with us Americans who were occasionally fashionably late, and always with a smile.

Now, the program itself is a huge success. Our team worked with seniors, and although we were a little apprehensive going into the program due to our lack of experience in caring for the elderly, we were all amazed by the care and consideration that went into running this community center. The permanent staff are all angels, all of them kind, sweet, patient, efficient, caring, and all seem to really enjoy the work they do there. The seniors themselves were amazing, and they cared for each other as though everyone were family. The fact that they were accepted into this community center indicates that they are in fact in dire need of the services provided here and that their conditions at home could be incredibly poor. But upon meeting these lovely seniors, you soon realize that you couldn't possibly begin to imagine how hard their lives are through their smile, laughter, and positive energy. We were all awed by how kind, loving, and caring, and positive these seniors were, and I think we were all expecting a sadder bunch. The work that CCS is doing here is incredible, and we were given the opportunity to serve these incredible people. Not only is the program here a success, but we came to understand that this program and other programs like this are necessities. The work we were assigned were clear and efficient, also the variety of work allowed us a glimpse into a wide range of daily tasks that the permanent volunteers perform, and we also had a glimpse into the simpler life here in Lima. This is an incredible experience that I think will humble all who have the opportunity to participate.

Program:
Location: Peru
Posted: May 27, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

A broader view volunteer program gave me the opportunity to experience the Peruvian culture from the comfort of a safe, welcoming host family. The clinical sites that I was placed in gave me a great chance to learn more about the culture and observe everyday life unlike most tourists get to experience. Life outside of the clinic proved to be much more fulfilling than I could have imagined. I got involved with a wonderful church and made some great, lasting friendships. We would try new restaurants together and go out exploring the beautiful mountains and trails together.
My host family was awesome, above and beyond just a place to stay. I truly feel like I am now part of the family. We ate every meal together at the table. My host mom would serve the traditional Peruvian lunch with different courses and did a wonderful job of varying the meals so I got to try a little bit of everything. I have a wheat allergy and she did a great job of accommodating that. I got the chance to help her with her bakery work and she let me tag along to the big parties she was catering to experience it all. I watched futbol in the evenings with grandpa and learned cake decorating from grandma. They all did a great job of keeping me informed of what was going on that week as far as special celebrations or events, futbol games, etc, so that I could experience as much as possible. Thee house was always clean and I had my own room and bathroom downstairs so I could spend time with the family when I wanted but could also have my own private space which was great.
Here are some tips for anyone that wants to volunteer in Peru:
a.-They do not flush their toilet paper down the toilets, but throw it away.

b.-Try everything that you can from fresh fruits from the markets (make sure you take them home and wash them first) to cooked street foods, to neighborhood celebrations to live music, salsa classes, museums, futbol games, whatever comes up. It really helps you learn and experience the culture.

c.-Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way on the streets. Make sure to move quickly because the cars will not stop for you.

d.- Do as much as possible with your host family, join them when they go to the market, or church, or help prepare a meal. Ask them about what you see and what is going on when you are there. They are your best source of information and your personal direct tie to the community and the culture.
e.- Take a Cusco and Machu Picchu Tour

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: May 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

The most surprising thing would be the culture change. I didn't know what to expect. I haven't traveled anywhere outside the US before so it was very different for me and I had to adjust. It was nice to see what else is out there in the world.
A difficult thing I experienced was seeing the lives some children have to live. I've been pretty sheltered living in Utah. It was sad and sometimes hard to see but it made me so grateful for what I have and made me realize how minimal my trials are.
I would definitely recommend if you're going to a country that speaks a different language to get a basic knowledge of it. The hardest thing for me was the language barrier. It would have been a lot easier to communicate effectively had I learned some Spanish before coming. I would also pack light. I didn't bring much for 3 months and I don't regret it. You don't need a lot to live.
Beatriz (my local coordinator) was so great! She showed me many places around the city and took me out frequently. I know if I ever needed anything I could call her and she would make sure it happened.
My host family was awesome! They treated me like I was part of the family from the beginning. They always made sure I was fed and comfortable. They showed concern and wanted me to be safe and I really like that.
Overall it was been a wonderful experience. I got to witness a different culture, meet some amazing people, and have so nice memories I'll keep with me for the rest of my life. It was eye opening to see a little part of the world away from home.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Apr 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I participated in this program as a part of my gap year and it turned out to be one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life--my greatest regret now is that I didn't stay for more time. For anyone considering a gap year specifically, a big part of the program that was really special to me as a gap year student was the time allotted to explore Lima independently, particularly given my age and that "between high school and college" feeling. Since I was there for a while, this was an aspect that allowed me to experience a city in a way which was not entirely tourist-y and to feel as though I could learn more about Peru in an organic and self-guided manner.

This is not to say that there was not an incredible amount of support and guidance from the staff that worked there. They take special care to ensure that everyone is comfortable and generally happy and are particularly concerned with securing the safety of all those who participate in the program. They have guards at the house at all times and are always on hand to dispense tips for being careful when going around the city. This is not necessarily because Lima is a particularly violent or dangerous place to be in, but rather, as the volunteers are foreigners in a very large city, thoughtful and pragmatic considerations.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of the program was the volunteering. I worked at a government daycare for children from families at the poverty line, and it was an extraordinary experience. I was able to form relationships with the teachers/staff, children, and abuelos there that I still continue to have. CCS ensured that I had access to materials for the classroom and other things I requested--they did an excellent job with placement for me. That having been said, for those seeking a volunteering experience that deals more with physical labor such as house-building or well-digging, this may not be what you expect. That's not to say that corralling twenty to thirty children under the hot sun is not exhausting, but my volunteer experience was one which demanded a slightly different skill set yet nonetheless was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and I think for that reason ought to be given the same consideration for anybody looking to volunteer abroad.

Consequently, I highly recommend a stint with CCS Peru because of the excellent balance it strikes between structure and freedom, the care and attentiveness of the staff, the attention paid to the safety of its volunteers, and the unbelievably rewarding volunteer work available. I can't wait to go back!

Program:
Location: Peru
Posted: Apr 11, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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