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.

We believe the project would be better described as a municipal daycare. The hours are more accurately 9:15 – 12:30. We saw very little organized activity and feel that the best type of volunteer for this project would be an early childhood educator with intermediate/ advanced Spanish skills. Otherwise, volunteers “babysit” the groups while staff are engaged elsewhere.

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

To make the experience easier for volunteers, we suggest:

1. name tags for the children – it is hard to get someone’s attention to redirect them if you don’t know their name.

2. an outline of the day’s activities. For example:

      9:00 children arrive, breakfast, and vitamin

      9:15 – 10:15 volunteers arrive, playtime (large bags of toys, toy room upstairs, balls, puppet wall,radio music for dancing)

      10:15 – 10:30 snacktime

      10:30 – 11:30 playtime

      11:30 – 11:45 put toys away and wash hands in a bucket of warm soap y water and dry with a clean towel. Bibs on smaller children.

      11:45 – 12:30 assist children with their lunch as directed by staff. help wash up hands and faces after lunch, brush teeth (an earlier project?). Help tuck into bed.

      12:30 – volunteers are finished for the day.

To make the experience easier for the children and their families, we suggest our donation money be used on an ongoing basis for:

1. prepackaged damp face wipes post meals and snacks.

2. plastic bibs of all sizes to cover clothes that families wash by hand(!) – plastic could be easily wiped and doesn’t require laundering.

3. toothbrushes and toothpaste … there is a lovely wooden toothbrush holder but we didn’t see the toothbrushes in use.

All in all we have enjoyed playing with the children and we hope we have made their days brighter.


Maureen and Larry Green

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