Albert in Lamay: "I have learned to live in community, to share everything I have and I have gained a family".
My collaboration during the first two months consisted of playing the role of volunteer at the Lamay school. My idea was to stay in Cuzco, but the project needed people in Lamay and the coordinator Isabel, without knowing me, proposed it to me and I went along with it. Now I am grateful that she did it because I have discovered where I am happy.
The moment I arrived I knew I was going to stay. It is a amazing placeIt cannot be described in words, it has to be experienced in person. Surrounded by the Apus (sacred mountains) of the Sacred Valley and accompanied by the sound of the running water of the river 24 hours a day has been a gift.
|Views of the Sacred Valley from Lamay
I learned that life is simpleI have a bed to sleep in, food, clothes and some money in my pocket and I don't need anything else. I have learned to feel and live every moment.
|Fruit salad workshop
It has awakened a potential in me that I didn't know about, I have done cooking workshops and I have seen that I want to dedicate myself to education through cooking because I believe that it is a very powerful weapon with which to change the world.
Not only does it teach cooking, but it also involves an education of values and is a tool that can be used for transform.
|Learning to make biscuits
It is amazing how much children love cooking. Seeing their happy faces when you teach them how to make biscuits or a simple fruit salad is incomparable and increases their passion for your craft and the desire to continue sharing your knowledge.
At the end of my first stage I also collaborated with the school in Cusco for a week, seeing a totally different reality to that of Lamay.
Lamay is a rural area where there is one small village and the rest is made up of eleven communities all the way to the Peruvian jungle. The children receive a lousy education in traditional and public schools but they are unpolished diamonds in the rough that can become seeds of change, ambassadors to change the world and continue to evolve.
In Cusco they also have a very bad education but they have internalised many values and it is not so difficult to work with them.
In the second stage I continued as a volunteer at the school but I got more into the business side of self-financing the schools. And now I am the chef in the restaurant of the hostel where I live.
What is a day in Lamay like?
The river says good morning to me when I wake up and with the first breath out of my room I am already charged with energy.I have breakfast and when I finish I go for a walk to my sacred stone, there I do a meditation and I am grateful for everything that is happening to me and I get inspired with new ideas, goals and dreams.
|Views of the Eco-village in Lamay
I always have the company and unconditional love of two dogs who decide to come with me.I return to the Village with a lot of inner peace and quiet and very motivated to live a new day. I read, draw, listen to music, think and visualise new projects for the future. Basically it is the idyllic place to reconnect with oneself.
At lunchtime Augusta, the cook of the Eco-Village prepares an exquisite meal. She and her family; Juan, her husband and the person in charge of directing the construction of the village and the school; her children Elvis the eldest and Juan Carlos and Valentina the youngest, are a great example of change and transformation and of a prosperous evolution. It is your deeds that others receive and not your words.
I have learned to live in community, to share everything I have and I have gained a family. made up of people who, for a few moments are strangers but you quickly fit in and connect, the hard part is watching them leave to go their own way but they have already taught you what you need to know.
After lunch, there is some time to rest or if I have the chance, I chat with Aide, Yuri's mother, a great sage, who tells me her stories and tells me about life in Peru with its culture and traditions.
|With several children going to the Lamay centre
At 15h the children start arriving, some of them arrive late because they leave school and have a 40 minute walk home. One of the rules is that they have to hug you when they arrive and with their smile you know you are in for a great afternoon.. No matter who you are and where you come from, their magic makes them embrace you and give you love just the same.
First we help them with homework or if they don't have it, we practise the more difficult subjects. They have time to play, we give them workshops like for example building a boat with objects from nature and doing a river trip. We end with a circle of love, talking about their worries, their dreams or their day-to-day life.. At the same time they take the snack that for many is their dinner. At 19h school is over and they go home. It's time to take off the "teacher's" coat.
When you've been around for a while you realise that you are something more important than the figure wearing the coloured dressing gown, because suddenly you have entered their lives and you are responsible for everything you teach, for everything you say, and for all your actions and movements..The absorption capacity of their brains is so subtle that from the first embrace they have already grasped you, they already know who you are.
How has this experience changed you?
It is amazing how much I have changed as a person in different ways. There are days when I feel strange because I find it hard to understand the evolution that I have undergone in a short time and that I am still going through.
On a professional level I feel more competent than ever, when the coordinator of the Cusco school comes to you one day and says: This week I've made you the coordinator of the cooking workshop, prepare something for tomorrow. My first cooking workshop with children, out of the blue you get inspired and it turns out great, then they ask you for more.
|In the midst of his work as a cook
You wake up one day and think: I have to finish the recipe book. Because now you are going to run and organise a small restaurant in Peru, where you have the luxury and the great opportunity to make the menu and you have the freedom to put your first dishes.
I see and live life differentlyI flow so that everything comes in its form and I accept it as it comes, I enjoy it and I am happy.What was indispensable before is no longer indispensable. Because what I have now is transformed, you discover that nothing and nobody is permanent and as a consequence you give everything.
I am 24 years old and I know that this project will be with me all my life. I have felt that the project is for me and that I am for the project.Finding your mission is not easy, but when you have it, peace of mind and happiness are in the air every day.
I don't care if I get up at 8 in the morning and don't stop until 12 at night because I do what I like and I enjoy it, there are difficult moments that are still opportunities to change habits, ways and attitudes. There are moments when you can't take it anymore and you want to give up but something inside you reminds you why you are doing it and you get up again.
|With a group of volunteers
I encourage everyone reading this to dare to change their life if they are not doing what their heart and instinct desires.. It's really worth it. If you never leave your area, even to travel, you won't know, if you really want your life to be what it is.
I've met lots of interesting people, I've learned to see life in a different way and I want to continue like this, I do what I like and what I want. Every day and every hour.
Albert, experience in Lamay and Cusco
If you want to know more about this project, write to us: email@example.com