Volunteer Name: Hadley Parker
Project Location: Cusco, Peru
Volunteered at: Children program
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
Maria Elena was very knowledgeable about Cusco. She knew every restaurant, store, person, and place. She could always provide insight about any topic related to life in Cusco.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
The difference between the American and Peruvian discipline systems in education. When working at the kindergarten, I found that the teachers were significantly more strict than my experience in American schools. I was also surprised by the difference eating customs here. While I came to Peru aware of the fact that the main meal was lunch, I did not realize how large lunch is and how small breakfast and dinner are.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
I had a difficult time adjusting to the eating customs in Peru. Because breakfast was only a piece of bread and some cheese, I found that I was extremely hungry again only an hour later, but lunch was not for another five hours. Similarly, dinner was usually a piece of cake or ice cream, which left me unsatisfied and going to bed hungry.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Bring snacks, particularly things that are easy to carry around and can be eaten on the go. Research the weather around the time you will be in Peru, in order to pack for efficiently and effectively.
5 Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
Make sure to pack clothing that you are not particularly attached to because they will most likely get extremely dirty and possibly ripped or torn.
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
I found my experience in Peru to be very eye opening. I was completely immersed in a totally different culture, with no way of escaping. However, I felt unprepared for the amount of work the experience would be.
7-How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Our accommodation was very nice, but we did not have hot water which was a little difficult to adjust to. The meals were all very good, but very different from what I was accustomed to eating. I felt very safe in my house, but the public transportation is a little scary and overwhelming, as it is very chaotic and crowded.
ABV: We talked to the ABV coordinator and you didn't told her about this until later in the program, and she said you didn't know how to turn on the hot water, you just needed to ask the host family or the coordinator.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
My experience with the children in the kindergarten, they were so loving and openminded. It was also fascinating to see the differences between the american and peruvian education systems.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
It was all fine.
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?
It was good.
9.2- Who did you find Abroaderview website?
Word of mouth
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?