This experience has far surpassed my expectations. Each of the girls was special in their own way. I was also placed with the perfect host. She was able to introduce me to additional opportunities where I could give back.
1.- Whats was a daily schedule at the program, hours volunteered?
My scheduled hours were from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm. My daily activities revolved around interaction with the girls and assisting them when needed. Answering occasional questions regarding the English language for their classroom studies. They were very helpful in teaching me the aspects of traditional Inca ceramic painting. Definitely not as easy as it looks.
2.- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
- Host Family: Maria Elena has a big heart when it comes to giving back. This resonated with me
- Program: Instant interaction with the girls went smoothly. My knowledge of the Spanish language was a huge help in that regard. We bonded quickly.
- Country: The caring aspect of the people and their willingness to always be of assistance
3.- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
- Host Family: Nothing challenging here
- Program: My knowledge of the Spanish language was key in avoiding any challenging experiences
- Country: Taxi drivers can be challenging if you are not able to speak the language. I had no problem though
4.- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, money, internet)
I think the next time, I would prefer to wait with my donation until I am personally able to see what is needed. Pack light, if you forget something it can be easily replaced. The purchase of a local SIM card is very helpful
5.- Other things volunteers should know before coming here (besides Spanish):
- Host Family: I hope you love to eat. You are going to be fed well!!
- Program: Good to be a self-starter who is able to work without too much supervision. Be imaginative, and positive
- Country: Read up on the culture before you travel here. That information will prove to be very valuable
6.- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
This experience has far surpassed my expectations. Each of the girls was special in their own way. I was also placed with the perfect host. She was able to introduce me to additional opportunities where I could give back. We put together charity events for the less fortunate that will stay with me forever. As I walked through the Christmas market the other day, I stopped at the stand of a young man selling jewelry he had made. There was a pair of earrings that caught my eye. I was not sure why. The young man explained that the earrings were branches of the tree of life. Instantly, I thought of Maria Elena. She is representative of this tree of life here in Cusco. Always ready to help. I purchased them as a gift and made a special trip to visit her after the Christmas holiday.
7.- How would you describe your accommodation: meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
- Meals: Tasty and plentiful
- Security: Very secure home in a secure neighborhood that is centrally located
- friendliness: Peruvians as a whole are super friendly
- Quality: Accommodations are tip top
7.1.- Score the following from 1 to 10:
- Quality of meals: __10_ if under 5, what was the issue:
- Quantity of each meal: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
- How clean was the house: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
- How safe was the house: _10__ if under 5, what was the issue:
8.- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country: Airport, orientation, introduction to the program, schedule of the program, friendliness, solving problems?
I was already in the country when my program began. Maria Elena provided a great orientation in regards to the project, the country and tips for daily life. She picked me up at my hotel to start my orientation and dropped me off at my hotel when the project was completed
10.- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
- Accommodation: Maria Elena´s home is like a home away from home. And her dog Maximus is my new best buddy in Cusco
- Program: Painting and laughing with the girls
- Country: The Inca ruins left me without words. Machu Picchu is a must see!!
11.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Emails, chat online, calls, volunteer guide: The support was great once I was able to direct my questions and concerns to one person. In the beginning there were so many people that I corresponded with, I got a little confused.
12.- What do you think about the reservation system online?
It was very easy to use
13.- Who did you find Abroaderview website ?
The website had all the necessary information
14.- Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Sure, no problem