Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Latin America

Volunteer Work-Cusco Peru March 8-April 8,2010

This volunteer work has allowed us to experience the universal magic of childhood in a culture very different from our own. Thank you for the opportunity to work with Rossana, Elizabeth, Marina, Raul, and Marlene, and of course the very junior citizens of Cusco.

Volunteer Work – Cusco Peru March 8 - April 8, 2010

We have been made to feel very welcome at the centre. The staff has been patient with our emerging Spanish abilities and have even offered us introductory Quechua! The hours are well suited to morning people and leave a good portion of the day available for more Spanish classes, exploring, or shopping. The volunteers’ Spanish classes were very helpful in arming us with the necessary “imperativo” form of communication – “!No hagas eso!”, “!No grites!” etc.

Volunteer Work in Pisco – Travels in Peru

When I first came to South America I was consumed with thoughts of Argentina. Thus when my housemate decided to take a trip up to Peru a month into our stay I was caught a little bit off guard. My initial reaction: why would anyone want to leave a place this great so soon? With time, however, the thought of accompanying her became more and more appealing and a month after my friend first breached the subject, we were on the road headed to Pisco, Peru.

Why Pisco? (For those of you who are unfamiliar with South American geography: Pisco is a tiny city on the South West Coast of Peru; let´s just say it didn´t exactly make the cut for top ten places to visit in Peru, it claims two pages in SA’s Lonely Planet’s guide). Given our intents to volunteer, however, the lack of tourist attractions in Pisco was not exactly an issue . Indeed, our time was kept busy with the construction of houses for local families. Not only did this experience add some real substance to my travels in SA, but it was incredibly fun as well. If you have the time to do some volunteer work during your stay I highly recommend it.

Volunteer Work in Pisco – Travels in Peru

So You’re Thinking About Volunteering Abroad?

Volunteer Project in Peru

Volunteers at a local after school program in Cusco, Peru

You want to volunteer abroad but are uncertain of where to begin.  There are so many thoughts and questions.  Where to go?  What type of volunteering? What do I need to bring?  What are some of the challenges? Well, never fear.  You are not alone.  There is a world of information out there for you and volunteerworklatinamerica.org is happy to help you out along this fantastic journey you are about to embark upon.

It is important to think first about your personality, what your goals are and what type of work you want to do while abroad.  Do you speak the local language?  If not, best to start thinking about it as it will only deepen your experience when you can communicate more clearly with the people you will be serving.

I made the decision to volunteer in Peru after I was left with the large impression on my heart that there was more to life than just corporate America.  Not speaking any Spanish, I decided it was best to take some classes first and was so glad that I did.  If you are thinking of volunteering in Cusco, Peru or Buenos Aires, check out www.amautaspanish.com. AMAUTA was a great spot to get me started on what would be the journey of a lifetime.

In deciding what type of volunteer work I wanted to do, it was a great time to really think more thoroughly about who I am.  What skills do I have that I can share?  Do I like to work in larger groups or smaller groups?  Do I have the necessary patience to work with small children or would I work better with adults?  Perhaps, you are interested more in cultural or ecological volunteering.  With so much going on in the world today regarding global warming along with all of us needing to open ourselves up to cultural diversity, there are many projects that offer work in these fields.  Whatever your interest, goals or talents, there is something out there for you.

It is important to think through this as you determine how to make the most out of your volunteer work for both yourself and with those that you will be working with.

Working with volunteer placement organizations helps ensure that everything is in order, all questions are answered and you are never alone should challenges arise.  There can be no regrets if you learn to embrace the world and the people in it all.  I heard a quote once that I think sums all of it up.  “It’s not what the world brings to you, but what you bring to it.”