Volunteer Trips, I think the ABV USA support staff was as good as it could be. Every email I sent I received a response within minutes & that made me feel like I made the right choice in volunteer organizations. The volunteer guide was great also as it gave me everything I needed to know prior to coming here.
Volunteer Trips Review Peru Cusco
1.- Whats was a daily schedule at the program, hours volunteered?
The daily schedule of the program was 8 am – 1 pm at the kindergarten including a lunch alongside the students. I would teach English for an hour or 2 each day and for the rest of the time, I would assist the kids with their daily assignments.
2.- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Host Family: Definitely the food was the most surprising thing I experienced. Every meal was amazing and I did not expect that was going to be the case.
Program: The most surprising thing about the program was that I was able to get extremely involved with the class I was teaching in. After a few days, I felt as if I was just another teacher in the school.
Country: The most surprising thing about Peru was just how amazingly scenic the country is. There are just so many beautiful historical sites & nature type sites that Peru has to offer. The country is incredible.
3.- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Host Family: a challenging thing I experienced was probably getting a bit homesick while playing with Maximus the dog here. I have a dog of my own at home & definitely missed him a bit.
Program: most challenging thing about the program was definitely leaving the school on the last day. Even though I was only here for 2 weeks I formed a bond with the classes I was teaching in & felt a bit sad that I would likely never see these kids again.
Country: The altitude & air quality was without a doubt the most challenging thing about Peru. I did feel a bit of altitude sickness on the second day I arrived but thankfully it wasn’t something a bit of Tylenol couldn’t erase.
Gap Year Peru
4.- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, money, internet)
I would say to pack as light as possible, like just a week’s worth of clothing as it is very easy to do laundry here. As far as travel I would say it is not completely necessary to book your tours in advance as you can almost always get a better deal booking here in Cusco. As far as personal items, baby wipes or sanitary wipes are I believe a must.
The money will definitely depend on how much the person is willing to spend but I would say a range of $25-40 USD would be sufficient a day.
For internet I would say to go with the best international plan you can afford as it helps with looking for different places to visit, eat etc. If an international plan is out of the budget I would say to download the Google map of Cusco & also Google translate of Spanish to be able to use both offline.
However, there is WIFI readily available almost everywhere and at the host family as well ($).
5.- Other things volunteers should know before coming here (besides Spanish):
Host Family: Maria Elena and her family is amazing so be ready to just be welcomed with open arms & be a part of a new family. Also, know that the food is amazing & healthy so it is not something to be worried about at all.
Program: Just be ready to get attached to the kids & that it will be difficult to leave when the time comes.
Country: There is so much to see & do here in Peru. I would say to do research and pick out the things you want to do most as you will have some free time in the afternoons/weekends. Also, Machu Picchu is a must do.
6.- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial): This experience for me has honestly been the most incredible experience of my entire life. I learned Spanish just throughout my years living in San Diego & was searching for a way to put Espanol to good use. This is how I decided to volunteer abroad & eventually how I found A Broader View.
Peru in general but specifically Cusco is just amazing from the scenery to the people & I think that it is a must visit for every human. Overall I am extremely satisfied with everything that I did & saw here on this trip that I feel like my life has truly been altered for the better.
Not to be cheesy but this experience has truly given me a broader view of the world of just how big and amazing the earth is.
7.- How would you describe your accommodation: meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Meals: absolutely fantastic. Breakfast, lunch & dinner was very healthy & balanced but also delicious at the same time. I did not know this was going to be the case beforehand.
Security: The house & neighborhood is extremely safe. I walked around late night & almost all other times of day & never felt unsafe.
Friendliness: The people of Cusco are extremely friendly people. I do speak a good amount of Spanish so I was able to communicate with everyone I needed to speak with.
7.1.- Score the following from 1 to 10:
Quality of meals: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
Quantity of each meal: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
How clean was the house: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
How safe was the house: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
8.- How were the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country: Airport, orientation, introduction to the program, schedule of the program, friendliness, solving problems?
Maria Elena was beyond amazing throughout my entire stay here in Cusco. The second I walked out of the airport she was waiting there for me with a sign with my name and has been by my side with everything I could ever need here since.
For the orientation of the program, Maria Elena accompanied me to the school on my first day & introduced me to all of the staff as well as to all of the students. This made me feel extremely comfortable right away & from then on everything went as smooth as it possibly could have.
Maria Elena also gave me a tour of the area around the house showing me everywhere I may need to go.
She also gave me a tour of the main tourist areas in Cusco & also was extremely helpful in providing information on transportation to get anywhere I needed to go in the city.
Maria Elena was also extremely crucial in helping to book different tours around the City for my free time & also let me know of all the best places to eat/shop here in Cusco. Pretty much anything I needed Maria Elena was there to help & also at any time of the day/night.
9.- Whats was a daily schedule at the program, hours volunteered, activities you did?
The daily schedule of the program is 8am-1pm. In the morning I would teach English in the class for about an hour & sometimes also go to the other kindergarten class in the school to teach for another hour.
I would eat with the kids from about 1030 to 11am. At 11am I would participate in recess with the kids & play different sports with them. All other time spent at the school I would assist the students with their daily assignments that the teacher provided as well as assist the teacher in preparing assignments for the kids.
10.- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Accommodation: Maria Elena and her family were just so amazing & I feel that I now have another family here in Cusco. I will never forget them & do plan on stopping by again if I ever make it back here to Peru.
Program: Definitely seeing the kids progress in learning a bit of English was the most memorable thing. After a few days of teaching, every morning I arrived at the class I would be greeted with a ¨Hello teacher¨ by each of the kids & it was awesome to see them learn different words over time.
Country: While Peru is amazing & there are so many things to see and do the most memorable thing to me are the people that I have met throughout my time here. I feel that I have built some relationships that will last a lifetime & didn’t really expect that coming in.
11.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? Emails, chat online, calls, volunteer guide:
I think the ABV USA support staff was as good as it could be. Every email I sent I received a response within minutes & that made me feel like I made the right choice in volunteer organizations. The volunteer guide was great also as it gave me everything I needed to know prior to coming here.
I also feel like the video review were essential in why I chose ABV as nowadays videos/Youtube are maybe the number one way of finding out information about anything.
12.- What do you think about the reservation system online?
The online reservation system is extremely easy to use. I can’t think of one issue.
13.- Who did you find Abroaderview website ?
By searching for a volunteer in Peru videos on Youtube.
14.- Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Yes, I am very willing to speak to other potential volunteers & would actually prefer them to reach out to me if need be.