Deciding to volunteer at Globalteer’s Picaflor House near Cusco in Peru was not a snap decision for English woman Christine. She first came across the Globalteer website in 2010, at a time when she was searching for meaning and direction in her life following the loss of her husband. She made a mental note of the work Globalteer was doing with the children at Picaflor House and later that year took a 16 day tour to Peru.
Visiting Cusco made her realise that it would be a safe place to visit on her own if she should decide to come back as a volunteer. In 2011 she made contact with the then Project Manager for South America, and later the volunteer co-ordinator which finally made her feel confident enough to take the plunge.
Whilst Christine had a lot of volunteering experience under her belt already and had worked quite extensively with children, she is convinced that anyone who likes being around children and is willing to do whatever is needed to help Picaflor House will be well suited to volunteering with Globalteer’s project. What’s more, she doesn’t think that having no knowledge of Spanish should hold anyone back either. Here is what else she had to say about her volunteering experience.
The Picaflor House Games
“The week of the Olympics, which sadly was also my last week – we spent the whole week making flags, medals and hats in preparation for Picaflor’s own Olympic-style event on the Friday. It was a great day with three teams made up of the children and volunteers – Peru, England and Canada competing in various events during the course of the afternoon. The Peruvian team won, followed by England and then the Canada team. This was followed by the distribution of medals to all the children and the hats they made and a celebration with cake and soft drinks – a great afternoon was had by all!
“Another good day was when we shared our photos of our families and of where we lived with the children. We then asked them to draw pictures of their own families; this was a great exercise, learning about them and their families.
A personal recommendation
“I would recommend volunteering with Globalteer at Picaflor House, especially if it is the first time of taking part in a voluntary experience on your own – you are well supported by Picaflor staff – with written information about Cusco plus a tour on your arrival which includes a bus journey to Oropesa where the project is based.
The hostel meets all your basic needs, the staff there are very helpful and supportive it is only a 15 minute walk to the town centre. You can also arrange Spanish Lessons from the hostel if you so wish. I am not Spanish speaking but this did not interfere with my experience at the project, you soon pick up words and small phrases and the children are keen to help you if necessary.
“I liked what was being done for the children of Oropesa and the plans that Globalteer had for the project. I follow Picaflor House on Facebook, it is great to see what the other volunteers are doing with the children and to see the children themselves.
“Through my experience with Globalteer I gained a lot of confidence, I am now living in Cusco for three months and immersing myself in the Spanish Language for a month before I experience working with another project, I plan to visit Picaflor House on several occasions while I am here.”