An amazing experience with a great organization…
Over a year had already passed since I left Intiwawa. The second half of 2011, I traveled down to the south of Peru in the beautiful city of Arequipa to technically work on communication projects but instead taught English for about 6 months. At that time I was a little hesitant to accept it because I had no teaching experience and I felt uncomfortable around children. I was scared. I had an idea of what I want to do and teaching wasn’t in the cards. Also just planned on staying for four months but extended through the end of the year. As it turned out, it was the best decision.
Nervous as I was to teach, I felt confident and ready due in part to the other volunteers who came before me and the others who worked with me. I taught English throughout my time there and became an integral part of the Corazon de Jesus staff. I participated in a lot of school activities and bonded well with both the local teachers and the children. I enjoyed my time and deeply appreciative of the schools hospitality. Not only did I teach, I also got to help other children in the area with homework and other things. As the unofficial photographer I documented a wide ranging activities for the organization in San Isidro. Some performed skits, some organized art painting, some played sports and some invented any fun activities the children would enjoy. Being a part of Congeso, an annual weekend conference for the children, proved to be a daunting experience in terms of organizing almost a hundred Intiwawa children at a beach. The planning and execution required every volunteers’ cooperation. It was a quite a success nonetheless. Later in that year, Christmas holiday rolled in. Everyone wanted to give the children an unforgettable experience and we didn’t disappoint. At the end of each day what mattered the most was seeing each of the children smile and enjoy everyone’s company.
Volunteers came from different parts of the world and virtually from all walks of life who shared the same mentality. I still remembered how often I would look at the white board and count how many new volunteers were coming and where they’re from. The two-story apartment building located an hour away from the projects created an oasis for all of us that we called our home away from home. I was one of the few volunteers who stayed longer and witnessed the influx of volunteers coming and leaving. It was difficult at times. But the bond and camaraderie that developed between the volunteers were evident in how much we enjoyed each other on Christmas 2011. The celebration was the symbol of respect for each other and how well everyone worked together. When one leaves, someone else takes the spot. Each person that I met had an influence in my professional growth. Maybe even one person made a lasting impact on me. Thumbs up! But of course, we were all “for the children.”
Looking back, I accomplished a lot of things in the half year. I got to teach to a bunch of amazing Peruvian children, met some of the amazing people from all over the world, participated in variety of events and activities, dealt with a few ups and downs, assisted in organizing a few projects, visited beautiful landscapes and historical buildings, and immersed myself in a different cultural setting. All of these quenched my thirst for traveling.
As I prepare myself in another exciting volunteer work in the Dominican Republic, I will take away the amazing experiences and lasting memories that I gained at Intiwawa. For those of you who are still wondering if Intiwawa is a great organization, there are no questions about it. Please support them as the most recent flooding that devastated the city ofArequipa and surrounding villages caused significant problems for the local people.
By Ronald Tipan
The fundraising-party ´fiesta de anitifaces´ was a great success. We had about 350 people at the fiesta! Thanks to the collaboration of the party-people and the helping hands of the volunteers we are now able to improve our work and projects with the kids.
Fiesta de Antifaces
Fundraising - Party im Deja vu in Arequipa, 29 August 2012
New furniture arrived !
Since today the new tables and chairs are in use. The kids already enjoyed it in the afternoon tareas!
Vacaciones and Actividades
The Casa of Intiwawa is now up and working in full swing! After a long wait our patience has been rewarded by electricity and running water now in place in the house.
Every Monday - Thursday Intiwawa runs ‘Tareas’ - an opportunity for the local children to come along to the house, receive help with their homework in a warm and friendly environment, read books and have a hot homemade meal. Our volunteers are able to spend quality time with the children, teaching them valuable life lessons such as teeth cleaning and recycling of waste.
The past two weeks have seen the children on their school holidays, ‘Vacaciones’, so we altered our usual routine and arranged a variety of activities for the children. Workshops such as painting, theatre, treasure hunts and a mini Olympic Games encouraged the Intiwawa children to work together and to develop existing bonds between themselves and the staff.
Last week was the official opening of the Intiwawa house in san isidro, Arequipa, Peru. There was a beautiful celebracion on Sunday with people of San Isidro, Salinas and Coporaque. Our current Intiwawa president, Susana Ramos Guillen, officially opened the house.
Tie dye shirts
Two weeks ago, during friday activities, the volunteers made tie-dye shirts with the children. It was a new activity for them and they really enjoyed it. From start to finish it was a good day. A little funny point was when some of the kids didn’t want to dye their white shirts, they preferred the white over the multi-colours. In conclusion a good day was had by volunteers and children alike. —posted by ZOLA
During the weekends there is the intercultural project in 2 mountain villages, Salinas and Coporaque.
This week we put Salinas in the picture. Erika, one of the long term volunteers, tells a bit about the project: “A few weeks ago the project started again. It all went really well, there were about 18 kids participating. We started of with activities, a name game to get to know eachother. And a game with chocolate, just a little treat. Then the real intercultural project started with role playing. I ended up being the one who did a lot of bad things, so the kids all yelled ‘mala Erika’. Then we did a little hike, the nature in Salinas is beautiful. Edwin, longterm peruvian volunteer, leaded a game. After that we thaught English to the kids, we did simple things. It had been a long time since the kids have been thaught English. We used a playful method, pretended we were in restaurant and the kids learned the different dishes in English. Then it was time for lunch, which we have in the local ‘comedor’ or dining room.
Before going back to the bus, we stopped by the salt flats… well at the moment this is a laguna, a lake with birds, flamingos etc. The kids and volunteers had a great time!”
Salinas, just like Coporaque, is a weekly project.