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Noelia's solidarity trip to Peru: enjoying an adventure....sola

Noelia's solidarity trip to Peru: enjoying an adventure....sola

One of the children from the NGO in Cusco
One of the children of the Cuzco NGO.

“Experience new sensations. Develop affections. Understand other realities. Adapt to a way of living that is not mine. Solve unforeseen events”. That and much more was Noelia's solidarity trip to the educational project with Quechua-speaking minors in Cusco: “I was able to discover the Peru that I wanted to discover”.

What was an ordinary day like as a volunteer in the project?

At 3:00 p.m. the children arrived, and they played until 3:30 p.m. From 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. we helped them with their homework and, if they didn't have any, we gave them other tasks adapted to their level or need. Around 5:15 p.m. they played for a while while the snack was prepared. They had a snack at 5:30 p.m., washed their utensils, brushed their teeth and we put a little moisturizing cream on their face and hands. They played until marching around 6:15 p.m.

How was your relationship with the coordinator, Jennifer?

Very good! He is a humble person, with a vocation to help children. He is very excited about the project! From my professional career in a company that works according to time, objectives and pressure, I missed a little more rhythm and proactivity on his part, but I think it is due to the fact that we live in very different realities. And of course… I have also learned many things with her.

From minute one, I have tried to make contributions that could be of value to the NGO. Not only did he listen very carefully to all my impressions, but he increasingly asked me for opinions and accepted criticism. Also, yesHe knew that I am a feminist activist in my city (Sant Feliu) and he asked me for information about the movement to apply there empowerment tools with girls and mothers. I have offered to collaborate from Spain in this regard.

Noelia with Jennifer and other people from the Cusco project.
Noelia with Jennifer and other people from Cusco project.

What do you think of the NGO?

It has a good chance of "prospering": it needs a bit of a boost or at least "rethinking" strategies. Boys and girls don't spend a lot of time in it and the time they do spend could be a bit more structured. Need more volunteers, and also boys and girls have very different ages, levels and needs.

Do you think volunteers are necessary in the project?

Absolutely. At the time I was there, there were 6 volunteers and on occasion it becomes expensive to control the 30 boys and girls. In addition, the quality of the support is also important: that is why it is good that the people who arrive know very clearly what their mission is, when and how they should carry it out.

Every day, about 20-30 boys and girls participate in the activities of the NGO.
Every day, some 20-30 boys and girls participate in the activities of the NGO.

Do you remember any anecdote from your volunteering?

Yeah! I met several volunteers from other countries. One of them, who had been a volunteer for 4 months, asked me what I taught in Spain. He assumed she was a teacher! I'm not. He asked me if I had children. Neither. I took it as a compliment: he wanted to tell me that I was very good with children…something that I myself had a lot of doubts about!

What did you like the most about the experience?

Experience new sensations, since in my day to day I do not interact with children! Develop affections, understand other realities (inside and outside the project), adapt to a way of life that is not mine, solve unforeseen events and enjoy an adventure….alone. I think it is a way of traveling that can change the perspective of life a lot.

Homework, activities, games and snack are part of the project in Cusco.
Homework, activities, games and snacks are all part of Cusco.

And the least?

The experience is short. ANDn only two weeks is not enough to strengthen the bond of affection and trust with children. It's hard to see a "result" of your help. Also, separating from them is very difficult because they are very affectionate and grateful.

How do you rate Tumaini's attention?

Of Tumaini I received the confidence I needed to dare a trip like this, which I don't usually do.

The coexistence between volunteers is part of the trip.
The coexistence between volunteers is part of the trip.

Was it easy for you to move from the accommodation to the city center?

Yeah! Very easy. It is true that it is a bit far: it never took me less than 40 minutes to get there. But the experience of the collective (bus) must be lived yes or yes! For me it is essential to "live" in a quiet environment without the hustle and bustle of the city and Jeni's house meets that requirement. I think it was also important to get away from the tourist center of Cusco a bit to understand the reality of the children of the NGO.

The volunteers immediately gain the trust of the little ones.
The volunteers immediately gain the trust of the little ones.

What would you say to a person who hesitates to participate in this project?

I would wholeheartedly recommend you go. This NGO meets the requirements to do a beautiful volunteering. Since the project only worked in the afternoon, I was able to travel and do a lot of sightseeing and combine both activities in an incredible way: I had both purposes. I was able to know the Peru that I wanted to discover.

Would you like to go on a solidarity trip again?

Of course I do, but I would change my destination! Now it's time to save and think about the next one.

Noelia traveled to educational project with Quechua-speaking minors in Cusco from May 25 to June 9, 2018.  

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