Volunteers work with teachers to help create more interactive and student-centered learning environments.
Building problems, insufficient number of qualified teachers, overcrowded classes, and shortage of educational materials negatively impact the quality of children’s education in Cusco. The projects support resource-poor kindergartens and elementary schools for children from local Quechua communities plagued by chronic poverty. In addition to problems in the local education system, many parents are illiterate and do not focus on their children’s education.
Volunteers work with teachers to help create more interactive and
student-centered learning environments. They bring enthusiasm to class
activities, and engage the children to help them learn and stay
motivated. The volunteers also help broaden the children’s views about
different people and places. Volunteers live in Cusco and work in
schools throughout the area.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work three to five hours a day with local teachers to help plan and lead classes for children 3 to 5 years old. The classes introduce the children to basic concepts in topics like language and math, and stimulate the children’s emotional, personal and social development through discussions and playtime. The classes can be overcrowded, so volunteers are important in maintaining classroom order and providing the children more individualized attention.
There is no typical day :-)
Volunteering abroad is all about finding your role in local communities. Unlike a tourist, volunteers travel to serve instead of to be served.
Also, remember that you’re working in the developing world in very poor contexts—conditions are constantly changing. There is no script to follow and being adaptable is crucial. This is what makes international volunteering challenging and rewarding.
In general though, you’ll be working Monday through Friday. Weekends are off. Every project is different, so you want to read the detailed project descriptions.
Connecting with the locals and other volunteers is also a big part of the experience. You’ll have plenty of time after your work and on the weekends. Volunteers often check out tourist sites together, hang out in the evening, travel on the weekends, etc. It’s up to you, don’t worry you’ll have a lot of fun too :-)
The plazas and streets of Cusco are nearly always bustling with activity as locals in colorful traditional garb go about their daily lives. Countless bars and restaurants cater to all tastes. There are new things to discover on nearly every corner of the city. Cusco is also a jumping point to other destinations, most famous of which is Machu Picchu. Depending on one’s budget and appetite for adventure, Machu Picchu can be visited in a weekend or over many days. Other destinations include small towns like Chinchero and Pisac, which are nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Numerous well-preserved archeological sites can also be reached easily from Cusco, including Saqsaywaman, an impressive Incan fort that was the stage of one of the pivotal battles of the Spanish conquest. For those interested in adventure sports, Cusco offers countless hiking trails, scenic mountain bike rides and whitewater rafting opportunities. Finally, for volunteers who would like to improve their Spanish, we can connect them with affordable and excellent Spanish classes.
A driver will pick up at the airport and drop you off at the volunteer house.
Volunteers live in a wonderful volunteer house that is centrally located near the Plaza de Armas, the heart of Cusco. You usually share a room with one to four other volunteers. Bathrooms are private and cleaned on a regular basis. There are welcoming common areas where volunteers can gather and relax. The house is staffed 24 hours and there is a security guard at night. A laundry service is available for a small fee, and wireless internet is available for free.
The cuisine of the Peruvian Andes is one of the most distinctive and tasty in South America, and you can expect to eat very well during your stay. Every day, you receive breakfast and lunch. Cooks prepare a wide range of Peruvian dishes exclusively for the Volunteers.