Service Learning in Peru
Globalteer was happy to host a group of Chinese students at our projects in Cusco, Peru. The group, who live and study in Canada, participated in volunteering and cultural exchange activities at two of our programmes. The students ranging from 11-17 volunteered at the Peru Dog Shelter and the Community Project. While in Cusco, the students learned some Spanish, tried Peruvian food and made a positive difference at the projects. These young leaders worked hard to make an impact at each project and experience the benefits of group volunteering.
Volunteering at the Dog Shelter
At the Dog Rescue Shelter the volunteers got to work quickly, they put on gloves and helped to clean the dog pens, washing and filling the food and water bowls, shaking out the beds as well as putting in new bedding so the dogs had a comfortable place to rest. The group played with the dogs who were so excited to meet new people! The volunteers also groomed the dogs, making sure their fur was nice and clean. They even made named bandannas for the dogs to wear.
Being the rainy season, everyone got a bit muddy. But everyone had lots of fun making sure these dogs had a clean home and lots of love and attention. Some dogs were shy at first, but by the end of the week everyone had made a new friend. The group learned the history of most of the dogs who come from the streets or abusive homes. This was a great opportunity for the students to learn more about life in Cusco. It gave them great insight into the issues that other cities and countries have, and how a responsible solution can greatly help.
Cultural Learning at the Village Community Project
Students also visited Picaflor House, Globalteer’s Community Project, which provides education to a rural community. Students come in the afternoon to have a filling lunch before going to various classes like English, mathematics, sports, kindergarten and dance. Our volunteers were excited to engage in the classrooms and interact with the students. It was a great way for them to learn about each other's cultures, try some traditional Peruvian lunches like lomo saltado and learn that the game of soccer is a universal pastime.
This also gave the volunteers an opportunity to learn about education in Peru. Also the benefit that after school programmes like Picaflor provide to a rural community. They could see stark differences from their own education and were interested in learning why Picaflor was important for the children. It not only provides them with a place to learn but also a safe environment to play and grow.
One day, some of the volunteers went on a hike with the Picaflor students. At this altitude hiking can be a bit tough in the Andes. These volunteers embraced the challenge and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the mountainous region.
On the last day of their volunteer experience, we had a day of sports and cultural exchange. The students got to really see how their service learning experience made a positive impact. Everyone got involved in the sack race and had a great time laughing and hopping to the finish line. After, everyone sat together in a circle to watch some Peruvian dancing performed by the Picaflor students. Students from Canada performed a dance routine and sang Chinese songs to the students. For the finale the volunteers sang a childhood favourite Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in English, Chinese and even Spanish. The Picaflor students were very surprised and excited to hear the volunteer students sing in Spanish.
Find out more about Group Volunteering and Service Learning
It was great having the students volunteer with us in Cusco. They learned leadership skills, organized themselves for specific duties at each of the projects and worked as a team to make the experience positive and impactful. They have let us know that they will be back next year!
If you are an educator, a student leader or have a group that would like to volunteer overseas, make a difference in a community and experience cultural immersion visit our Group Volunteering Page or our Under 18 Group Page, to sign up for an adventure. We also have corporate groups and families that come and volunteer with us. We also encourage everyone to become one of our Charity Champions! A list of tasks that help you become the ultimate volunteer while learning valuable skills with each level.