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Love Volunteers participant with two local kids Love Volunteers participant with two local kids

Working with Children with Disabilities in Peru

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was a privilege to be a part of the community

My trip to Cusco to be a part of the Children with Disabilities program was amazing. It was a privilege to be a part of the community and to be able to help support such an important program. Getting to know the children, the teachers and the parents really made me feel like more than a tourist but one of the family for the time that I was there. Every day I was warmly thanked for every little thing I did, it does not take much to make a difference sometimes. Also getting to experience one city for a month allowed me to immerse myself in a great city full of culture and history. After this trip I could not wait to start looking into similar experiences with Love Volunteers. I can only speak for my trip but from my experience I would highly recommend whatever trip someone else may be considering because for me it was a wonderful experience.

  • Love Volunteers responded to this review April 12, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Hi Seth,

    I love hearing your comments about feeling part of the family (rather than simply a tourist) and that even the smallest contribution can make a difference to people's lives.

    Thanks so much for giving of your time and your kind heart to participate on this wonderful program.

    The Team @ Love Volunteers

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Demanding but excellent

I thought the program in Cusco was demanding but excellent. The local team was terrific to work with. I have great memories of the experience and hope we’ll get to do another LV trip in the next couple of years.

  • Love Volunteers responded to this review April 11, 2016 at 6:26 PM

    Hi Jim,

    Volunteering abroad isn't the easy road...but it's probably the most rewarding!

    Thanks for sharing your experience and we too hope that you will join us on another Love Volunteers program in the future!

    All the best,
    The Team @ Love Volunteers

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

One of the best things I've ever done

I had no idea what to expect before I came to Cusco, but it turns out that coming was one of the best things I've ever done.

Working with the kids was eye-opening. A little overwhelming at first, but you quickly adapt. They are so kind and friendly, always greeting me with hugs, which never ceased to fill me with joy.

The homestay was very important to me as I wanted to be culturally immersed and practice my Spanish. I was so lucky to have a brilliant family and will no doubt stay in touch with them in years to come.
I felt part of the volunteering family too, which was great as I also wanted to make long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world. The coordinators were always very helpful and welcoming.

I would 100% recommend Love volunteers to anyone who is thinking of volunteering. Do it!!

  • Love Volunteers responded to this review April 05, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Hi Ariella,

    Thanks for your kind words and endorsement of our work in Cusco, Peru. It has been our pleasure to work with you and be a part of you helping the local children.

    It's always great to hear about how well our fabulous host families care for volunteers and, as you say, this is such a rewarding way to experience the local culture - and cuisine!

    Thanks again and we hope to have you back on the team again in the future!

    The Team @ Love Volunteers

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A wonderful and rewarding experience in a great location

From December 2015 until January 2016 I was lucky enough to be involved with Love Volunteers and their local team in Peru. During my time with them I worked as a volunteer at Chaska Wasi, an orphanage for disabled children. From the first day I was there I was surprised with just how little resources the staff had at their disposal to care for so many children. What this did mean however, was that my contributions were genuinely meaningful and welcomed by both the staff and the children. Some of my duties included preparing and serving food, cleaning up and washing dishes, dealing with the children’s needs, and most importantly finding fun things for them to do. Even the simplest of activities could bring joy to their smiling faces. One of my favourite things to do was take the children to the park. Because of the limited number of staff, getting out of the orphanage was something the children didn’t get to do a lot of and they absolutely loved it! Seeing them run around and play, laughing and having fun was just awesome. It felt good to be able to bring some kind of joy to their challenging lives. It was a very fulfilling placement and I was truly sad to say goodbye for the last time. I will definitely go back one day to visit.
A big part of my stay was my host family, Carlos and Clara, who looked after me and the other volunteers living there like we were their own children. They were warm and welcoming and made me feel comfortable which was important as I passed Christmas in Peru, missing out on my own family Christmas. Instead I had my first Peruvian Christmas, we ate, drank, and laughed with the extended family and were included completely. It was a full on Peruvian experience and I am really thankful to have had that.

I can fully recommend Cusco as a place to visit; as a tourist I found it fascinating. It’s a wonderful mixture of the old and the new, full of friendly people. The historic centre of Cusco is beautiful, with ancient architecture and impressive structures. A great place to get a real good view of the historic city is from the mirador in San Blas, which overlooks the city centre. There are also a lot of markets, cafes and bars to do your shopping, relax with friends, or go out and learn to salsa. Cusco is also really close to many other interesting places like the Sacsayhuaman and Cristo Blanco which are really enjoyable day trips out of the city, completely reachable by walking. A little further away you can reach Pisac in the sacred valley and visit their famous markets with all kinds of crafts and foods for sale, and plenty of locals going about their business.

Of course Cusco is also the gateway city to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu truly is one of the most spectacular sights you will see and it’s very easy to get to from Cusco with just about every travel agent ready and willing to sell you a passage. There’s a trip for everyone, from jungle adventure, to the traditional Inca trail, or you can simply take the train if you don’t want to walk but you should most definitely go, you won’t regret it! With a large bus terminal and comfortable overnight busses you can maximise weekends away, reaching new cities while you sleep. Personally I recommend going to Arequipa and visiting Colca Canyon. If you’re lucky you will get to see the condors fly!

In short this was a wonderful and rewarding experience in a great location surrounded by amazing people. I don’t know why you hadn’t gone sooner, it really is that good.

  • Love Volunteers responded to this review April 04, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    Wow! What a stunning account of your time volunteering in Cusco! I love that you have mentioned, with unbridled enthusiasm, the children (how wonderful to hear that they were able to enjoy the outdoors thanks to volunteers!), the host family (you are not alone in finding this an amazing experience), the sightseeing (including tips for future volunteers) and the ease of getting to new and culturally diverse places. This information is so helpful to future volunteers to Cusco.

    Thanks so much for giving up Christmas with your own family to become a part of your Peruvian family. We're so pleased you had a wonderful time and a rewarding volunteer experience.

    The Team @ Love Volunteers

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I feel very privileged to have been able to do this

Volunteering in Peru has been one of the most important choices I have ever made in my life. It changed my life forever! People often ask, "Why work for free? You don't get anything". I respond with, "Try it yourself and you will realize that you actually get a LOT in return!”.

I worked in a school designed for children with physical and mental disabilities,
The kids I worked with had a major impact on my outlook on life. Despite the fact that they were living in poor conditions with disabilities that prevented them in many ways, most of them had such positive attitudes. Happiness is in no way dependent on money, but rather on the little things in life that we take for granted far too often. I only hope that the kids continue to be happy and optimistic as they go through life.

This was an amazing opportunity and great experience, and I feel very privileged to have been able to do this. Living with a Peruvian family for 4 weeks, as a local, rather than as a tourist was an eye-opening experience. My host family were very welcoming and made me feel like I was at home. It has made me re-evaluate my priorities and also made me extremely grateful that I live in an amazing country that has lots of education advantages, job opportunities and healthcare.

I can honestly say the more you submerge yourself in the project you are supporting and the local lifestyle, the more rewarding you will find the whole experience.

I'm grateful for the people I've met, the experiences I’ve encountered, and challenges I’ve overcame; but most importantly I am grateful that I have the heavenly father who is there to forgive me, to help me ease through pain, but yet allows me to live the greatest life ever.

Regarding my project manager; Carlos, he was very helpful. He made me feel very welcoming and like I was a part of the group, he was very helpful from answering every kind of questions before my trip to the very last day I left.

Overall, I'm really glad that I decided to go to Peru with Love Volunteers. Cusco was such a cool city with great people, food, and culture. I'll always remember my trip as one that was not only extremely insightful, but also just really fun and exciting! I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking to go to South America, I know I'll definitely be returning there one day

  • Love Volunteers responded to this review April 04, 2016 at 6:07 PM

    Hi Mark,

    I really can't say anything that will compare to the wonderful account you give of volunteering and giving your time to those in need and the wonderful learning this experience can be.

    Thanks so much for being a great volunteer and for this review to share with others how rewarding volunteering can be.

    The Team @ Love Volunteers