Peru

“A once in a lifetime opportunity, so I went for it.”
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Sacred Valley, the lush and fertile hub of Peru

Peru is a living breathing, museum that honors and captures thousands of years of vibrant culture and ancient civilizations that will allow you to reach out and touch life just as it was in ancient times.

 

Peru is a place that can trace human existence back to approximately 9,000B.C. The land of the Incas is also a land that has been home to 39 different civilizations and still is home to 47 different languages and dialects. The Spanish conquest of Peru merely added to the already abundantly rich spectrum of customs and culture that predated the arrival of the Spanish in 1532.

 

The miscegenation that has transpired in Peru over thousands of years has resulted in a cornucopia of aesthetic heritage, traditions, religions, cuisine and languages., that all pervade today; While volunteering in Peru you will become mystified by the disparate nature of  a people, food, culture, and history that will change your

Prices for Volunteering in Peru Start at £1225 for 2 Weeks

Peruvian proverb: “Little by little one walks far.”

Volunteering

 Education

 

In the Sacred Valley of Peru access to quality education varies and still pales in comparison to more affluent parts of Peru such as Lima and Arequipa. Methodology is often is outdated and does lack creativity and diversity in its design. Regular school days are 5 hours and are rigid in that only science, math, and communication are emphasized on a daily basis. Attention and budget for subject matters like History, Health, Social Studies, Physical Education, Computer Science, and geography is negligible and often times not offered until university if at all.

Our Volunteers are vital resources not just for local student population but are also invaluable as conduits for innovation and inspiration for teachers and administrators to develop new pedagogic paradigms that in many cases are revolutionary compared to local standards. Our volunteers can set precedents and examples that help drive change and spark reform within schools and minds.

In Sacred Valley we have teaching programs in 4 public schools; 3 primary-Grades 1-6 as well as one high school. We also teach English at a local University and have developed a partnership with local city government to teach English to local Rickshaw Taxi drivers and adult women who sell produce in local markets.

Our primary focus is English predicated on the fact that our primary school partners and parent-teacher organizations have been vocal about wanting English competency for their children. The Sacred Valley & Cusco region is the capital of Peruvian tourism industry and is seen as a robust source of potential employment for the youth that we serve.

The English skills that we provide for our students are a mechanism for recipients to garner unforeseen social mobility and enter job markets that without English skills would otherwise be impenetrable. We seek to provide our English learners with a path towards conversational ability, which we feel fosters self-confidence, self-actualization and grit.

We seek volunteers who want to inculcate students by building competencies but also by teaching them how to think and provide them with life skills that will help them be better people.

In the Sacred Valley there is a huge lack of awareness for children with special needs; very often children that have handicaps or special needs are not identified and attend school in normal settings where their needs are not met and they are neglected. Ultimately, they quickly fall behind their peers and they become victims of an inadequate system that has no recourse to come to their aid. We are in great need of volunteers who have experience and passion for children who have special needs..

Our volunteers traditionally teach 5 hours a day; 3 Hours in the Morning and 2 hours in the afternoon; this can be divvied up between two different schools or projects depending on need and calendar. Volunteer teachers are provided with a base curriculum in country but are encouraged to develop their own lesson planning and to incorporate myriad of methodologies and instruments into their classrooms. Class size can vary but we make a concerted effort to keep it between 15-30 students.

Over time we have seen our relationships with school partners evolve and thus we have been able to develop teaching opportunities in other areas aside from English such as: Social awareness, computation, physical education, Art, and Peer Mediation. Volunteer teaching in these subject matters requires basic to intermediate Spanish competency.

 Health & Well-Being

 

The state and quality of HealthCare in the Sacred Valley of Peru is in many ways substandard. Census data suggests that for every 10,000 residents there is 1 doctor. Supplies and resources are scarce so much so that doctors and nurses often do not adhere to universal & international medical protocols simply because of a lack of time as well as access to resources or supplies. We work with a population where 70%- 80% of children develop anemia by the age of 3; Lack of access to vaccines and quality obstetric care is rampant and leaves many families with no other option than to travel 90 minutes South to Cusco where they may not even be able to afford care needed for their children.

 

Once more our volunteers have the platform to not only help combat the lack of manpower that exists in the medical community in the Sacred Valley but they also have the ability to be catalysts for innovation and help our local health partners improve their methods and quality of care that they are able to employ. Reform is needed in many instances and our volunteers can help bring about change and at the very least exposure to new ideas and thinking in medicine. Our volunteers can be instrumental in getting our local partners and demographics to change the way they think about how they interact with one another and thinking differently how they approach medical treatment in general.

 

In the Sacred Valley we currently have programming with clinic that operates in unison with federal social-security programme. We also have partnership with local MINSA Hospital. In both instances are volunteers are able to help alleviate strain caused due to lack of personnel and immense demand created by shortage of doctor to patient ratio. Our volunteers are provided with first-hand experience to treat and consult patients in the following disciplines & environments: OBGYN, psychology, radiology, Social Work, obstetrics, pediatrics, and in-patient care.

 

A major construct of our operations within health care in Peru is execution of health-promotion campaigns in indigenous and Andean (Mountainous) communities. This demographic represents the population that we serve who are the most in need, and who suffer chronic from acute and chronic ailments most often simply from lack of access to health care and education. Our goal with this population is to promote and implement preventive medicine ideology while inculcate population based on a multifaceted approach, where we will combat or educate on the following subject matters Nutrition, diet, exercise, personal hygiene, alcohol abuse, child rearing, gestational health, etc. We also replicate this initiative through running health promotion workshops and health camps at local schools with focus being on reaching younger children at primary schools. Depending on experience and education level Health promotion campaigns provide volunteers with opportunity to perform consultations, checkups, exams, and offer medical advice in 1-1 setting.

 

A typical day for a volunteer in Health would consist of two shifts totaling approx. 5-6 hours with potential for additional time needed for travel to outlying communities. One three hour shift would be done at Huayllabamba clinic or at MINSA Hospital the other shift would involve doing health promotion in local primary schools or in outlying communities.

 

We also see a typical day as leading health promotional activities at one of the local health clinics or hospitals. This could include doing: body fat index testing, STD testing and awareness building, vaccine drives, glucose screening, lipids testing, mental health awareness, etc.

Peruvian proverb: “Little by little one walks far.”

 Women’s Empowerment

 

As with many countries in Latin America, Peru in 2016 very much resembles a male-dominated society; while progress has been made invariably women are still treated as second-class citizens especially in smaller, rural communities. In the Sacred Valley this social norm is played out on a daily basis in all facets of society. Culture in outlying communities of the Sacred Valley dictates that women must be subservient; Women are often denied access to education, employment, and are abused with alarming frequency. The destructive cycle of domestic violence, discrimination, and misogyny perpetuates an oppression that is paralytic; women are not able to develop ambition or independence, this denial of social mobility is not just prevalent in outlying, rural communities but also permeates in more developed areas as well. Women often lack support systems and are not supported when and if they chose to leave unhealthy domestic situations; we seek to provide them constructive support that will help them become self-sufficient and offer them a platform for empowerment and self-actualization.

Peru Future Sense team has designed a paradigm to provide Sacred Valley women with an alternative to the aforementioned cycle that renders them helpless and leaves them no viable option to leave abusive and oppressive relationships. Our Women’s empowerment group is about providing them with skills, competencies, confidence, and most importantly a path to independence via vocation and developing job skills. An underlying construct of our women’s group is to provide a comfortable, safe environment where we can begin to help women address the mental and emotional damage that has been done to their psyches over time as a result of being oppressed and abused.

Inspire volunteers inundate our participants with workshops, training, and engagement that liberate their minds from the chains of oppression and indoctrination that have defined their lives; our volunteers provide access to hope and opportunity for hands-on experience so participants learn that they can achieve and succeed.

On top of our weekly meetings, our women’s group attends a minimum of two monthly events in which they are empowered in some capacity. Our women’s group offers volunteer opportunities in the following areas: Psychology, Education, Social Work, Life coaching, mentoring, counseling, and civil rights.

A typical day could include leading a workshop, teaching computation, life skills and literacy, or providing 1 on 1 talk therapy. Volunteers can also be assigned as individual mentors to one of our program participants where they get to shadow our participants for extended periods of time; inviting them to a meal, going for a light hike, or collaborating together on a simple but intimate activity like cooking, baking, or playing a game. Women who have been abused need companionship and love, and our Inspire Volunteers are conduits to ensure that the women who we help get the support they need.

We seek to provide women in the Sacred Valley with a path to success; our inspire volunteers are an integral part of this process and we hope you choose to be a part of it!

Peruvian proverb: “Little by little one walks far.”

 Specialist

 

College Mentor
One of our newest programming options in Peru is a Mentorship programme that deals specifically with college students. The progamme is about inculcating college students with hard & soft skills as well as social & emotional intelligence so that they can build healthy relationships and make good decisions throughout the rest of their life. Being a college mentor is about bringing positivity into a young person’s life, and helping them create a positive outlook for their professional and personal futures.

Inspire volunteers are ideal for the college mentor role because they have demonstrated professional experience and life experience that young people can learn from! Inspire volunteers are role models our young people can emulate as they grow and develop as people and citizens!

The college students that we serve come from unstable backgrounds and often times lack resources so much so that their academic performance suffers. We seek volunteers that can offer insight and perspective that can act as encouragement and positive reinforcement for our volunteers. Often times our college students do not have a support system or someone that they can talk to about their lives and needs.

College Academic –At large
Through our college partner, we have created a platform where advanced degree students or academics across a myriad of disciplines and fields of study can come to Peru and spend 2-34months as a resident academic/instructor. This is an opportunity for a volunteer to make a huge impact in an academic environment by creating awareness and exposure to new content and theory.

This is a platform for volunteers to conduct or perform studies, classes, seminars, lectures, and hands-on tutorials for college students in their field of expertise. Subject matters that are ideal for this volunteer role are: Gastronomy, Accounting, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Social Science, Technology, music, fine arts, agronomy and Education.

This is an opportunity for a volunteer to reach and engage young people on subject matter that is something they are passionate about or have expertise on.

Things to do

When it comes to travel Peru is like a painters’ palette that has an endless amount of colors to choose from.. As you meander through Andean ravines, Lake Titicaca, Amazon rain forest, and the famous Nazca desert region you can visit more than 90 archeological sites and bare witness to ubiquitous biodiversity that consistently rates within top 15 in the world.

 

Peru has over 90 archeological sites that offer visitors a glimpse into thousands of years of pre and post-Incan ways of life. When visiting Machu Picchu or Sacsayhuaman ruins you will feel the spirit of the Incan Empire reverberate inside you.

 

The capital of the Incan empire and birthplace of the world, Cusco is home assortment of nightlife, museums, ruins, markets, shopping districts, and is also a great starting point if you are thinking about making weekend jaunts to Puno or Arequipa. Cusco region is also a world destination for extreme sports:  white-water rafting, bungee-jumping, off-road biking, and rock climbing!

Local staff

From local office in Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas,  Inspire Team Peru will provide project support as you immerse yourself  in making a difference in a plethora of Andean Communities.

 

Managing the team is Laura who is currently studying a master in NGO Management. Laura loves to get in contact with different cultures and people but also take an active role in managing our programmes, and seeing directly how Inspire volunteers are changing the lives of people in the Sacred Valley

Prices for Volunteering in Peru Start at £1225 for 2 Weeks

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