Why you should volunteer in Peru
There are multiple reasons why volunteering in Peru is a very good idea. While helping the local population, you can enjoy the beautiful country and its ancient culture. And you will also develop and learn skills, while meeting new people and having a great time.
Helping people in a developing country
Peru is developing, but your help in this process is more than welcome. Whether you teach English, give sport classes or assist in a kindergarten: your efforts will have impact. In our English project you can help the kids to pronounce the words correctly. For you this might not seem to be a big step. But the correct pronunciation is a vital part in learning a language. The level of English is still very basic. Assisting the teacher in the class, you will help teaching the children and develop an important skill for their future. Also in the kindergarten, you can have a lot of impact on the future development of the children. Take time for the kids and give them the attention they need. With your motivation and creativity, you can spark interest in the kids for learning. From your own school experience, you can probably remember at least one teacher that made you enthusiastic about a subject. Be an inspiration and assist the children in their education.
Develop your own skills
You will develop important skills while living in Peru. A new cultural surrounding will open your eyes and increase your sensitivity for different cultural backgrounds. Learn to respect other values and traditions. Living in a foreign country, with a different culture, will broaden your horizon. And it might possibly even change some of your world views.
For Western people, Peru can be really hectic and chaotic. These different circumstances will teach you to improvise and be flexible. An important skill in the less structured Peruvian society, is to improvise. Being flexible and improvising is something that will make you stronger, balanced and more confident in decision making. You will notice that there are always more options than just “plan A”.
Peruvian society is not as structured and planned as you are used to in your own country. Things might not go as planned, but no panic! You will adapt and learn to stay calm, while finding another solution. Solving an unforeseen situation in another language and culture, will make you resourceful and ready to overcome problems when they arise.
Volunteering is also a great way to learn and improve your Spanish skills. In your volunteer project, no English will be spoken, and you will be forced to speak Spanish. This will really put your Spanish to the test, and give it a boast. Looking for the right words in front of a class can of course be challenging, but you will really make great progress. The best way to learn a language is to be in the country itself. It will be hard at the beginning, but the hassle is worth it.
Traveling on your own and leaving your home country is a big step. But there are so many benefits in going abroad. Coming out of your comfort zone, you may find out skills and talents, that you were not even aware of. To develop and discover your skills and interests, will make you grow as a person. You will develop intercultural skills and will learn what values and traditions are important in the Peruvian culture.
Coming by yourself to Peru will increase and improve your independence. It is a big step to come all alone to an unknown country. But you will have so many new impressions, and will meet new people. You will either share a flat with the other volunteers, or live with a host family. Living together with strangers is fun, but also making compromises and decide certain things together. Functioning in a group and become a team player will be a valuable social skill for your future.
Volunteering in a developing country is a great opportunity to grow personally. Working and living in a less wealthy surrounding than you might be used to, will make you appreciate certain things you were taking for granted. Being happy with running water or a warm shower, will make you more aware of life in general. This awareness can even run so far, that you find out what you want to study, or in which type of job you would like to work. Various former volunteers were helped in their choice what to study, or in which job to work.
Most volunteers come with the feeling of “giving something back”, as most people in the West live relatively luxurious. The feeling of helping people who are less privileged than you, gives you a very positive feeling. The feeling of “doing something good” will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Peru is fun and makes you happy!
For many people, living abroad is one the most exciting times in their lives. In Peru, with so many differences compared to your home country, you will have an unforgettable experience. The beautiful nature, the colorful markets, the busy and happy street life and all the new people you meet, will make your stay in Peru a life-changing trip.
Receiving so many new impressions, will enhance your creativity and might reshape your own values and dreams. As Peru is a developing country, in some occasions you will live with less resources. There are power and water cuts, you can’t drink the tap water and the bus might come to late. You realize how comfortable your life is, and you will appreciate small things back home. Helping other people will make you happy as well. It’s a nice feeling to know, that with your actions and motivation you can have a positive impact on other people’s lives. The change might be a small one, but the people in our projects will appreciate it. You decided to come on your own to Peru, to support a local project: the people will be thankful for this and will remember and appreciate your efforts.
Volunteering in Peru has the great advantage of discovering one of the most beautiful countries on earth. In Cusco you will live high in the Andean mountains, above 3400 meters. Your body will have to adapt to the height. But as a reward you get the see breath-taking landscapes. The beautiful surrounding of Cusco is world famous: you can start your trek to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, an UNESCO Heritage site. But its not only the Andean mountains that will make you speechless in Peru. The green Amazon rainforest, the nice sandy beaches on the long coastline, or the Altiplano around the highest navigable lake in the world: Titikaka.
Discover a new culture
Immerse yourself in a new culture is an unforgettable experience. Life in Peru is really different, and you will have to adapt to the culture and its customs. This can be an intense experience, with some strong emotions involved. Learning the language and really working in a country, will give you a richer and deeper experience than the average tourist. By participating actively in the daily live, and being able to communicate with the locals, you get a good understanding of Peruvian culture.
When you follow a Spanish language course with Peru Volunteer, there is a cultural orientation program included. Develop your Salsa dancing skills, learn how to cook a traditional Peruvian dish and mixing Peru’s most famous cocktail, Pisco Sour, are all on the program. You will also visit markets and a lot of beautiful Inca ruins. During the outside classes, your teacher will be your guide. And you will learn Spanish, and get a real insight in the Peruvian culture.
At the beginning many things can seem strange to you. So many differences to your normal life are waiting for you in Peru. The combination of the new, beautiful and colorful culture and its people will make you feel alive.