My Favorite Memory: Teaching this kid named Edison to multiply numbers was a really challenging task, but it was quite fun too. I remember how we would start early in the morning and spend hours yelling 3 times 1, 3 times 2… and the other kids in the house would come and start laughing.
I was surprised that the boys at the orphanage were so eager to learn English, they really were very excited to learn words that they had heard in the movies or in music that, helped a lot. Also a lot of them were enthusiastic about learning English so that they could start to communicate with the other volunteers.
The most difficult thing I experienced was the lack of materials to teach some of the boys. Although most as I said were very eager to learn some were more disinterested. So sometimes I felt hard pressed to find other unconventional materials (like games, songs).
My best received lesson was to never underestimate people by the way they look or speak. Even though some of the kids spoke with very vulgar language full of slangs they were very smart. There was one kid for instance who was very rebellious and stood on bad terms with the orphanage board. Yet when I talked to him I realized that despite that he was extremely smart and had a very good grasp of almost anything I would mention to him.
Tip for future volunteers although you should be prepared for a lot of cold in the winter in Cuzco and bring warm clothes, don`t forget to bring sunblock, because the sun can also be very strong at that time.
Volunteering in Cuzco was great. Getting to know the local touristic sites was amazing as they are rich both in view and history to explore. The orphanage where I worked was also great, there were so many kids who were interested in learning and getting to know volunteers from other parts of the world. The orphans were very responsive and had great stories of their own. Overall I felt that helping out the orphans while exploring Cuzco was a unforgettable experience.
How would you rate your experience working with the ABV staff, both in the USA, and in-country? Everyone was great, the USA staff were very helpful and practical always answering when I needed. My country coordinator was also outstanding, she helped me a lot with touring, setting up times, volunteering, she really ended up guiding me in some ways so that could develop from there.
How would you describe your accommodation ( ie: host family, on-site, shared housing etc) They were all very great, very warm and affectionate. The accommodation was also very good, near the center and all the restaurants and it was very clean and organized.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Yes, sure.
Jose Volunteer Abroad in Cusco, Peru