AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco recently received a small group of 10 volunteers in Peru between the ages of 18 and 29 from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. They have been travelling throughout South America and they came to do a week of volunteer work in Peru. The volunteers helped out at two of our after-school programs in Cusco that needed help with both physical labor and activities for the kids. They also helped build a wall out of recycled tires and to paint a water reservoir.
All volunteers had to take a bus for about thirty minutes and then walk twenty minutes or more to get to their volunteer project. Every day they worked from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at their designated project. For lunch the students travelled back to their Peruvian host families in Cusco then went back to one of the projects in the afternoon to work with the kids from the projects.
Monday and Tuesday they worked with the community of Tankarpata, a community on top of a hill with houses mainly made out of adobe. They did different activities with the kids, including: face painting, a scavenger hunt outside and theatre classes. This project focuses on teaching the kids values, manners, and important aspects of life. The volunteers must have lots of patience as most of the kids are sometimes aggressive because they come from broken and abused families.
Once the students finished their activities with the kids, the director of the project began the lesson. They taught about themes such as: friendship, discrimination, and lying. At the very end of the night the kids and volunteers danced to music and the kids kept on saying “Otra, otra” for another song. After dancing 5 or 6 songs, everyone gathered together and did a big group hug together.
On Wednesday through Friday the group spent their time in the afternoons at the other after-school project. Here they also did similar activities as in the first project. However, on Friday they created various fun games both for the older kids from 12 to 17 and the younger kids from 2 to 11. Everyone had lots of fun and the volunteers did an amazing job at loving on the kids and letting them have a great time.
After the group´s time with us here at AMAUTA Spanish School, we had a certificate ceremony for them on Friday night to celebrate their hard work. There were snacks and we shared about their last week of work. The students were very tired from doing volunteer work 7 hours a day and shared that one of the biggest challenges with volunteer work was travelling back and forth from their families to the project sites four times a day. However, they said being with the kids of the projects made it all worth the hard work. They also shared that one of their favorite things was working with the children. They loved playing with them and loving on them. The group with their extra money bought a book that includes a CD-ROM with educational games and puzzles for the kids.
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