Sabrina Volunteer Abroad in Cusco, Peru Volunteers Abroad Reviews and Feedbacks http://feedback.abroaderview.org
My Favorite Memory: My first day at the elementary school. The minute I walked through the door I was greeted by a crowd of kids who welcomed me like I was a celebrity. Immediately I felt appreciated and loved, despite the fact many of the children didn’t know my name and only called me “La Chinita” for the first few days. At the end of the day, all of the children in the class hugged and kissed me goodbye and eagerly asked when I would come back again.
I was surprised that…. all of the kids in both programs were so friendly and loving. From the first day I felt accepted and appreciated in both of my volunteer sites.
The most difficult thing I experienced was…. seeing the lack of resources and volunteers in the clinic. Many times the children were left alone in the room without any volunteers or adults supervising them to make sure they don’t eat anything bad or fall out of their chair. The majority of the children’s teeth were also rotting, and there never seemed to be ample supplies in the school for the children to work with.
My best received lesson… Really appreciate what you have or what you take for granted at home.
Tip for future volunteers… (Clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc)
Try to pack light, but also bring clothes for all different types of weather. During my stay, it would go from 70 degree weather down to 40 degree weather in only a matter of hours, so it’s good to have t-shirts but also a warm jacket around. Donations are easier to spend in Cusco because many items are cheaper here and you will have a better idea of what the volunteer sites need. Bring enough money if you want to travel because there are so many beautiful sites to see in Peru and you will have the weekends off. I also recommend brushing up on Spanish before arriving because many people in Cusco do not speak English.
Personal Paragraph (Testimonial):
My time with A Broader View was definitely an experience I will never forget. Before arriving in Cusco, I had no idea how I would be able to volunteer for five weeks in such a foreign and different country but by my fifth week, I didn’t want to leave. The other volunteers that I met through ABV and my host mother and grandfather have become like family to me, and the kids hold a special place in my heart. Working with the kids in the clinic taught me to really appreciate the little things I take for granted, like being able to walk or color. All of the children in the school showed me how easily they could accept a complete stranger so warmly into their life and how much they would appreciate just a simple hug or kiss on the cheek. All in all, my volunteer experience definitely changed me for the better, and I hope I can volunteer with A Broader View again.
How would you rate your experience working with the ABV staff, both in the USA, and in-country?
10 out of 10 for both in the USA and in-country staff. Before I arrived in Cusco, the ABV staff in the USA was so helpful and supportive. Sarah and Oliver both made sure I was well prepared before my volunteering and provided me with all the information I needed before leaving the country. When I finally arrived in Cusco, Maria Elena could not have been more supportive and helpful. I went to her if I had any problems and she always provided answers. She would plan all my trips as well, so I never had to worry about traveling out of Cusco. I would definitely volunteer with ABV again.
How would you describe your accommodation (ie: host family, on-site, shared housing etc) By the end of my stay, I felt like my host family had become my real family. I lived with my host mother and her father, and I shared a room with another volunteer who I now think of as my sister. We had a woman come in every day to cook lunch for us, and the food was absolutely delicious. I had hot showers every day, and there was a TV in the living room where I could pick from a huge selection of DVDS (both in Spanish or English) whenever I wanted to watch a movie or hang out with the other volunteers. I felt very comfortable and safe in my house and the surrounding neighborhood.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Definitely.
from Volunteers Abroad Reviews and Feedbacks http://feedback.abroaderview.org/2012/07/24/sabrina-volunteer-abroad-in-cusco-peru/