Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Latin America



Examples of volunteer activities with children!

Every volunteer has different talents and comes from a different cultural and professional background. Before starting your volunteer work in South America it is good to know what your strengths (and weaknesses) are. Talking to the project leaders about the possible activities you can do can be helpful, but often it is expected and appreciated that you come up with your own ideas and take initiative.

For this it’s important to take into consideration the age group of the kids, whether the volunteer project is set-up for girls or boys only and their social situation. For example, if you choose to work at an orphanage, you can encounter children that have problems with trusting others, and sometimes don’t want to talk or just walk away. At a social rehabilitation home, most children have problems with their families and at an afterschool project it’s difficult to coordinate group activities due to many different schedules.

Examples of volunteer activities with children!

Still it is possible that they do not like your prepared activity. Therefore it’s important to always have a plan B and know how to improvise a little. There are literally hundreds of activities you can do with children, and here we share some of the more popular ones:

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Time spent at project: 1 month

Home Country: Belgium

This volunteer project is all about coffee! You will meet the families of small scale coffee farmers and will actively get to know the coffee farming process. Actively because you will hike over spectacular Inca trails towards the coffee farms passing coffee fields where they have cultivated coffee for generations. The villages are all situated close to Machu Picchu so you could combine your volunteer work with a visit to the spectacular lost and sacred city of the Incas. Read the following testimonial of a former volunteer at this exciting ecological project!

This project was better than I could even imagine! I met some amazing families and learned a huge amount about coffee, fruits and most of all the style of life of a Peruvian family! The moment I arrived in my first family (that lives in Huayopata – about 1 hour away from Quillabamba), I was greeted with a huge hug and offered jugo de platano y papaya (banana and papaya juice) fresh from their garden! That basically describes the whole stay! You will help the family with the work on the farm, anything from watering the plants to cutting a banana tree down! The food you will eat here is all fresh, whether it comes from their farm or the local market. The coffee is amazing! Everything is organic. The family was very warm, in fact I became part of their family and I hope I will be able to go back. They will make you love the Peruvian culture.

 


Ecological Project PQ-SE01 in Peru

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Having recently completed our Masters in Social Work, Sofie and I decided to leave Belgium to spend four months travelling in South America. After starting in Quito, Ecuador, we travelled down to the beautiful city of Cusco to begin a month of volunteer work. The project we worked on provides care to people living in neglect, suffering from psychological and psychiatric diseases including the treatment of addiction.

During our time here we worked with people with mental disabilities. Our day started at 8.30am and we worked for roughly four hours per day doing a range of activities. We spent a lot of time decorating communal areas such as the dining room and outdoor walls, along with private rooms too. We spent a lot of time drawing things that the residents could then color in themselves, as this was an activity that most of them were able to participate in and really enjoyed doing.

Getting Creative in Cusco – Volunteering in a Psychiatric Home
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The project where I worked, is a great project for anyone, even if you only have a day to volunteer. It´s a clinic for mentally and phsycially disabled children and it comes “ready-made” with things to do.

If you volunteer in the mornings, you will be expected to help finish getting the children dressed for the day, feed them lunch, play with them and help clean them up or put them to bed for a nap. The clinic really needs volunteers on weekends as well, especially during the evenings as there are fewer nurses available and very few or no volunteers. With less people around, the kids sit around doing very little when they could really use some stimulation.

Testimonial about a clinic for mentally and phsycially disabled

I love this project: the kids are happy, engaging, and generally excited to see you. As a therapist with a background with special-needs kids, I have been allowed access to the therapy room and can choose which children I want to work with. It is up to me to use what kind of therapy or skills I want to provide for that child (not all children here receive therapy). Not only is there a lot of freedom in this aspect, the clinic is also flexible in regards to your schedule. When I can’t make it during the week, I was allowed to make up my time on the weekends. The children love spending time in their large playground, playing with toys in their rooms, going for walks (or wheelchair races) around the clinic.
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