Karen, a primary school teacher from Western Australia spent six weeks volunteering at Globalteer’s Peru Community Project - Picaflor House - from January to March 2014, as part of a three month trip to South America. Before going into all the details of her time with us in Cusco, Globalteer, we have rather cheekily borrowed this lovely status update from her Facebook page:
“I'm very sad to say that my biggest adventure yet has come to an end. In the past 3 months I have travelled to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced what I have...trekking up a volcano in Chile, the amazing Iguazu falls, muddy trekking through the Amazon, hiking the Inka trail, diving the Galapagos and, what I enjoyed the most, volunteer teaching at Picaflor House Community Project in Peru.”
Anyway, here is how Karen summed up her volunteer placement and what made it so special.
“As soon as I walked in on my first day I was struck by the bright colours and the inviting ambience of the place. The staff and students made me feel incredibly welcome. As a qualified teacher I was given the responsibility of planning for, and teaching many English and art classes, and also the freedom to choose activities according to my strengths and interests. I really felt like a valued member of the Picaflor team.
“The students have wonderful energy and enthusiasm for learning. It was really encouraging to see the improvements in their English during the short time I was there. The project is very well organised and the staff are respected by the students.
“I thoroughly enjoyed living in Cusco, there is so much to keep you busy. The hostel was well located in a quiet street with friendly, helpful staff. I took Spanish lessons in the mornings and volunteered in the afternoons. On the weekends I was able to take trips out to the Amazon and the Sacred Valley. It's also a great base for hiking the Inka trail and Machu Picchu.
“If you are considering volunteering with children in Peru, you will love Globalteer’s project at Picaflor House. It was a life changing experience for me and helped me develop an understanding and respect for Andean culture and history. I only wish I could have stayed for longer.”
We wish Karen could have stayed longer too! To read more about volunteering at Picaflor House, visit our Volunteer Peru Community Project pages.