Volunteer Peru: I think this was a great experience/opportunity for me. I worked at the dental hospital and it was great to see how different they treat their patients and the different accommodations they have to make. Living at Maria Elena´s was very nice, everything thing here was amazing.
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
It was really good, Maria Elena was a great host mom, she was there at the airport as soon as I arrived and she helped me with anything I needed. She took me to my work the first day and to Spanish class and showed me around the town and the places to go. She was extremely helpful.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Program: I was the only volunteer at the dental hospital, I was expecting there to be a few of us there.
Host Family: How good the food was and how welcoming and helpful everybody was towards me.
Country: The weather! During the day it gets pretty warm and at night it gets pretty cold.
ABV: volunteers choose from many program and many locations, so you may be the only one in one dental program as we have to send other volunteers to other dental programs, we can’t place them all in one program as it will not be conducive for a good experience.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Program: I was the only volunteer at the hospital so it was very hard for me to talk to the doctors, since my Spanish was not the best.
Host Family: I did not have any challenges with the host family. Maria Elena was great!
Country: The language barrier! My Spanish “was not as good as I thought” so it was very hard for me to communicate/understand others. Practice before volunteering and pay for Spanish lessons.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
- If you are going during the summer, bring short sleeve t-shirts for the day because it gets warm!
- When bringing American money, make sure there are no tears in it because they will not accept it when trying to convert it to soles. This is explained in the volunteer guide.
5.1- Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
- The orientation guide covered everything, I don’t think there is anything else that needs to be added.
Volunteering in Peru
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
I think this was a great experience/opportunity for me. I worked at the dental hospital and it was great to see how different they treat their patients and the different accommodations they have to make. Living at Maria Elena´s was very nice, everything thing here was amazing. She had hot water, wifi and the meals were great! I think if you have the chance you should defiantly volunteer abroad, it’s an experience you’ll never forget!
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Maria Elena’s house was a great place! She had hot water in the showers, wifi, and you could watch tv (Netflix) in the living room. The meals were great, I was not expecting them to be as good as they were. The house/neighborhood felt very secure and everybody I met was extremely nice.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Program: Getting to go to the children’s daycare and put fluoride in their mouth, it was great to be able to interact with the kids and help them with their hygiene.
Host Family: Maria Elena had a dance teacher come to her house one night and we all got to learn how to dance!
Country: Machu Picchu, it was by far the prettiest thing Ive ever seen. Once we got to the top it was breath taking.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
The help with the ABV support was great, whenever I had questions I asked them online (chat) and they were always able to help me right away with my questions.
9.1- Who did you find Abroaderview website
My friend went through ABV the summer (2016) before me and also worked at the dental clinic and said he enjoyed it so he was my reference.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Yes, I would be willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers .