Volunteering

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions by prospective and former volunteers. However, should you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact us or drop an email at alexandra@andinokids.com

Can I support or participate in any of the projects that you are undertaking?
Of course, we will guide you through the process and you will hopefully see the results. Most of our work involves teaching, but we also have a good amount of community engagement, construction and development projects.

Do I have to be a professional or a specialist in a particular area?
No, however if you are a professional it could be beneficial to help teach the children new skills as we want them to learn new things which they can use in the future. It is most important for them to gain self-esteem, feel loved, and have smiles on their faces.

When I start working, is somebody going to give me guidance?
Yes, of course. As soon as you arrive we are going to allocate a member of staff to you, who will show you around the volunteer places. We will also give you maps to help you get around.

Do I need to be able to speak Spanish?
No. It is not a problem to us if you don’t speak any Spanish (you will pick up the words for 'pencil', 'sit down' and 'very good' quickly enough ;-). Knowing at least the basics will make your stay easier and more rewarding, as you will be able to interact more easily with the local people and Spanish-speaking volunteers. We also recommend that you pick up other basic phrases or buy a Spanish textbook – anything so that you can begin to learn Spanish while you are here. A little bit of Spanish goes a long way here.

Depending on your level of Spanish you may wish to take classes as it will help you to learn a bit more about our culture and make it easier to share your ideas with the children you are going to work with. In addition, your payment for the classes will support the teachers and also help to sustain our organisation.

What can I bring for the kids?
It is up to the volunteers to decide whether they want to bring any materials, working tools or donations that would assist their work with the children and adolescents. Every donation is gratefully received, please have a look at our wishlist.

Can we come as a couple?
Yes, we accept couples and can arrange to provide rooms with double beds. We want you to feel comfortable.

What can I do in my free time?
You can enjoy your free time by taking in the culture that the region offers. You could also read, go to the internet café, take walks or eat out in one of the restaurants in the city centre. There are also optional tours for your enjoyment. When you arrive we will give you an introduction about the region and discuss the different things you can do to enjoy your stay.

What are the requirements?
We have set one week as a minimum stay in order to do effective work. However a longer period of time is more ideal to achieve the set aims, and will enable you to contribute and get more out of your Peru Luz de Esperanza experience.
What will the weather be like?
The weather is the same temperature year round, fluctuating based on rainy or dry season.

The rainy season is December to April, and temperatures are generally 15°-25°C (59°-77°F), but there is less sun, and the city is very muddy.

During the dry season, May to November, temperatures are 5°-20°C (41°-68°F) with very sunny days and the city is dry and dusty.

How safe is it?
Huancayo is a highland city of about 450,000 people. In 1999 an extensive Peruvian Army operation captured the leader of Sendero Luminoso (The Shining Path), which had terrorised the central Andes in the 1980´s and early 1990`s. This essentially removed terrorist activities from the area, and since that time Huancayo has been a very safe place.

Much like any city, you must take precautions with your possessions and money when walking about, and it is not advisable to walk at night alone.

You should exercise more caution in Lima, as there is more petty crime. It is best to arrange to stay at a hostel which will arrange for airport pickup. It is also best to stick to the more touristy areas of the city, such as the Centre, Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco.

How do I call home or send an email in Chupaca?
Public Telefónica payphones can be operated with phone cards (widely available) or coins and are readily available on the street. There are several Internet cafés with Skype close to our house and “locutorios” from where you can make international (and local) phone calls.

Are there banks or ATMs?
Yes, in the city centre there are banks where you can take money from the cash machine. You can also exchange travellers cheques.