Volunteer Name: Neha Jain
Project Location: Cusco, Peru
Program Dates: June/26 to Sep/08/2014
Volunteered at: Orphanage and Kindergarten
1 How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided incountry?
The local coordinator was always helpful and I had all my questions thoroughly answered.
2 What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
All the people here are very caring, open, and friendly even if they don't know you. After just a two minute conversation, locals become genuinely interested with what you have to say and are more than willing to help answer any questions.
3 What was most difficult to experience?
The language barrier made it really hard to communicate with the girls at the orphanage (especially the first few weeks).
4 Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Cusco is really cold from June to September so do not underestimate the amount of warm and thick clothes you will need. Also bring a waterproof jacket as it rains quite frequently. Definitely try to bring protein bars and some snacks to supplement your diet as meals here are about 80% starch.
If you choose to go to the girl’s orphanage, spend meaningful time with orphan girls’ ages (11-17) that need and will greatly appreciate the love and warmth you will bring to them. Help the girls overcome their homework difficulties with patience and kindness. On Thursdays you will play sports with them and be part of other various activities. Overall your presence and talks with the girls will help inspire hope within them and make them feel loved. Don`t expect to make drastic changes right away but know that you are making a difference as small as it may be. In order to make the most of your time it is extremely important to brush up on your Spanish as most of the girls cannot speak a word of English. Doing so you will have a much more rewarding and fulfilling experience.
4.1 Other things volunteers should know:
a. Bring toilet paper.
b. Hair dryers come in handy when you're in a rush.
5 Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I definitely had a rewarding experience and am glad that I had the opportunity to come to Cusco. I'm in love with the city and the overall atmosphere and have made some amazing memories. It was hard adjusting the first week (as it is with all new experiences) but once I got comfortable and settled in the city started to feel like a new home. I truly hope I remember all that I've learned here for the rest of my life.
6 How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, onsite, shared)
My room is very comfortable and I have a bathroom I've only had to share with at most two other
girls. The food is always delicious and made with a lot of love! No security problems as well.
7 What was your favorite memory of this trip?
It's hard to have a single favorite but I really enjoyed playing with the little kids at the kindergarten in
the mornings. Going out for meals or to explore the city with other volunteers was always fun as
8. How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Great. All my questions were always answered within 24 hours.
9.- Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers