Some years ago we “discovered” a special type of traveler: The volunteer traveler.
Maybe it was the opposite way, because they came to us to participate in trips, to exchange some books, to look for some information, to stay at La Casa de la Abuela or to take some of our courses.
We learned that some of them were doing volunteer work for some big organizations, that they had paid large sums of money to participate in a volunteer program and that they were not given any organized work to do, except to play with children or do whatever they could come up with themselves to help the local institutions, without knowing if they were making a needed, sustainable contribution or not.
It was quite sad to learn that some of them were people with excellent skills but they were not able to apply their training and skills to some real work to really help our people. Unfortunately, some decided to leave the places they were living early as they discovered that the families were not paid much, or even that some were volunteer families providing food and shelter for free in the belief that they were helping the volunteers to help our people! Other organizations seem to keep all of the money that volunteers donate for themselves and close family members, without providing the accommodations and meals promised, or providing any funding for the volunteer programs.
So it was then that we started to provide lodging and food with a small discount to volunteers at Casa de la Abuela and at our family homestays.
We have provided lodging to travelers since 1995. Since then, many travelers have enjoyed themselves and learned good Spanish from our courses, and we believed that there was a real potential to develop in other fields.
We took one place as a challenge to test the possibilities.
The Orphanage El Rosario was and still is a place to learn about both sides:
the volunteers and the people in need of help. Now we have options
in some other fields as well.
As it happens a lot in Peru some people just copy whatever seems to make money,
especially in our survival economy, so it is not surprising that Huancayo
is now full of “organizations” that also offer courses and whatever
Incas has been offering for years, only cheaper and just “organized” however
they can with their lack of experience and resources.
During the last two years, as others undercut our prices and
we did not change ours, we basically lost the volunteer travelers as customers for our courses and also for our good organized volunteer work.
The main reason was that although the quality of our lodging, food and courses were higher than those from the new “organizations” our costs were also higher and our differences were hard to perceive from afar comparing websites alone, as the other organizations actually copied and pasted parts of our website and systems! They did this with the help of some travelers who probably believed they were helping these new organizations.
This resulted in many of their volunteers complaining and feeling cheated in Huancayo. We knew that the money they paid could have been put toward a much better experience and ultimately help, not hurt, the reputation of the Central Andes.
The whole volunteer system was becoming chaotic in the Central Andes and we felt that we needed to take action somehow. We recognized that the volunteers are humans with good intentions who are part of the traveler group visiting our country, putting themselves in hands of local people who have no idea about basically anything in tourism or community service.
So, we decided to make special BIG discounts for Volunteers at Incas del Peru, only under some special conditions.
They would have to be long term volunteers (minimum two weeks,) as a volunteer for less time would not make much in terms of a real project.
They would have to have a basic knowledge of Spanish. (To help with this, some courses would be provided, also with a BIG – 20% - discount)
A volunteer for us needs to be a person that wants to help make a difference, a person who is freely sharing their time, skills, and knowledge, who is willing and able to make clear goals and objectives with a sense of commitment, and who is not just out for nice pictures to show family and friends.
We hope that all of you people out there who want to be part of this special group of volunteer travelers understand that if we make a discount, it is for three reasons:
a.-We want to provide quality, economical services to those of you who want to help our people for real.
b.-We want you to enjoy our country and the Central Andes safely and with a guarantee that you are dealing with a reliable company.
c.-Last but not least important: We are not a kind of those pseudo “non profit” organizations offering nice wordings and websites to sell poverty and hope, we are business people with development experience who know how to really help those who want to make a difference in a real way, not just to help the economy traveler to have a cheap holiday.
Our most successful projects are those that we are able to eventually turn over completely to the local people to run themselves. Once we have a program set up, we do not want to rely on foreign volunteers to continually support them financially or personally. Ask some of the other organizations how quickly they have to close their programs if volunteers’ money or availability slows down for a couple of weeks. If a program has not included local involvement and relies on travelers continually donating time and resources, then it is not promoting sustainable development.
At Incas del Peru, a minimum of 10% of your lodging and food costs is allocated for your projects’ budget. In some remote projects, you will determine your own lodging, food, and program costs to administrate yourself… so basically we do not even touch your money, we simply serve as your liaison to the local community. Later you can report and see your results for REAL.
So, we welcome you to a new way of volunteering, where you will help for real.
Two volunteers share a meal after work on a farm
Positions are Available in :
This is an example of the type of work we do in these kinds of institution
Please take a look to the following documents.
SCHOOLS and ORPHANAGES
“El Rosario” gives refuge to children in total abandonment, children orphaned by terrorism, and children with special needs.
On the 14th February 1986 existed the idea of Infantil “El Rosario”. There were so many abandoned children living on the streets of Peru that they had to look for a place to provide them a home.
There are 68 children in “El Rosario” at this moment. They are between the age of 2 and 18.They are children who were found in total abandonment, children orphaned by terrorism, children who come out of an extremely poor environment and children with special needs (mentally disabled children or children with psychological problems). The children will have to leave the orphanage when they have reached the age of 18. Only the mentally disabled children will continue their living in “El Rosario”.
The government helps the children by providing them with clothes, food and studies. But this is just the basic help. “El Rosario” is divided in ten little houses, called módulos. In every modulo there is a mother that takes care of 5 to 8 children. This mother takes care of them every day. She will give them love, helps them becoming independent and makes the children ready for a living outside “El Rosario”.
The main goals within the orphanage are:
- To help the children in a physical, psychological, emotional and intellectual way and to prepare them for a living in society.
- Providing the children with education, mental support, medical needs and to help them cope with the difficulties of life by giving them the love of a family.
- To give them the chance to have a name, nationality, health, education, a family and to be treated as an equivalent person.
A TEACHER ON THE ORPHANAGE
To offer a home, and to make the children feel loved and part of a family.
To find and provide a politically educative way, to develop and improve the quality of life for the children and adolescents that live in “El Rosario”.
The help that needs to be covered by volunteers is as follows:
The children will have to leave the orphanage after the age of 18. Psychological training can be done by volunteers. Tutors can help the children prepare themselves for their life after leaving the orphanage at the age of 18.
One of the aims of a volunteer is to make the children able to take care of themselves in basic life as well as other, different situations. Educational programs could be put up by the volunteer to teach the children the importance of hygiene, social skills, to be taught how to play with other children, to be sure of oneself and to accept and respect others as and hereby teach them how to take care of themselves.
There are eleven children at “El Rosario” who are mentally disabled. These children go to a special school; el Centro Educacion Polivalente. When they reach the age of 18 they continue living in “El Rosario”. Some special needs can be provided with the help of pedagogical guidence.
Bakery and baker (training in shop management)
In “El Rosario” there is a bakery. The volunteer can teach the children how to make their own bread and how to provide themselves a daily meal.
Volunteers with an agricultural background are most welcome. Around the orphanage there is a big piece of land. More agricultural information can be provided to the children, about how to provide temselves with food in an agricultural way and how they can even make a business out of it.
Craftworks and Drama
Another importance for children is to learn how to express themselves. This could be developed in different ways. They could learn this by doing drama, to learn handicrafts, etc. Through methods such as these mentioned, to stimulate the child’s creativity, the child is given methods of ways to express and/ or handle their emotions. According to the child’s interests, the child also will be stimulated to develop oneself by doing what the child likes to do.
Wanted help from volunteers is providing the children with English classes. When the first volunteer came to “El Rosario”, the children didn’t know a word of English, but after the volunteers worked with them they were really making progress. The children are really enthousiastic about learning the language and there is a book which will tell the next volunteer where the children ended and were they can continue the classes.
Dentistry and teaching of personal hygiene within the orphanage.
The volunteer can give training and guidence in health communication. Personal hygiene and the importancy of dentistry. The information can be given by a workshop. With the help of pictures, stories and paintings it will be a visual lecture. Gain the awareness of health importancy.
Any volunteer can be a great value for the orphanage. There are 68 children in the orphanage and every mother has to take care of 5 to 8 children. As a volunteer you are an extra person to give special attention to the children.
You can teach them in any subject your specialized at, Agriculture, Pedagogic, English and many more.
Ayude en el orfanato las dos ultimas semanas de julio. He regresado a los estado unidos el 11 de septiembre, despues de visitaba a Huancayo, Cusco, Chachapoyas, Chiclayo y Trujillo. Ojala que haga mas calor en Miami que en el Peru!
Espero que vaya a disfrutar mis fotos; mis experiencias con los ninos son memorias especiales para mi. Los ayude con matematicas y tambien compre unos libros (como Harry Potter y otros para adolecentes) por ellos. Empezaron a leerlos inmediatemente! Gracias por la oportunidad, por favor comparte las fotos con Lucho. Voy a hacer copias y enviarlos por correo al orfenato tambien.