Volunteers Receive More Than They Give in Lima, Peru
I have visited many countries as a tourist and although I have enjoyed the experiences, I always felt there was something missing in that I never got the chance to experience the “real” country.
I felt myself always wanting to move away from the holiday resort to visit the towns and cities where people live. I wanted to visit a local neighborhood and be able to stop and chat to the local people. Generally we only get to see
the “nicer” side of holiday destinations with organized trips and excursions.
It was only when I stumbled across Cross-Cultural Solutions while surfing
the Internet that I realized that my dream was possible: Here was an organization that could offer me exactly what I needed to be able to travel abroad for short periods of time to help others, and all that is needed is a kind heart
and an open mind.
Being 50 years old and having never traveled alone, this was going to be a challenge for me, but once I had made my decision I never looked back. I contacted CCS and from
that day until the day I finished my voluntary work placement I felt totally supported.
I spent two weeks with CCS in Lima, Peru and one week traveling around Peru and the Sacred Valley. Not only did I get to meet other like-minded and willing volunteers from other parts of
the world and make great friendships, I was also able to offer my help and support to some of the most disadvantaged people of Peru. I worked for two weeks in Los Martincitos with the elderly abused citizens of Villa El Salvador and
Mother Theresa’s home for the destitute and dying, where I helped with daily chores and supporting severely disabled children and male adults. I also accompanied CCS staff on visits to the elderly sick in Villa El Salvador. Speakers
lectured on different subjects such as the history and culture of Peru, and we were taken to places of interest in Lima. We had Spanish lessons to enable us to communicate during our placement, and we were well supported by our hosts.
For More Info
Cross-Cultural Solutions offers
three types of programs: Volunteer Abroad, Intern Abroad,
and Insight Abroad. Volunteer Abroad and Intern Abroad programs
operate year-round, and range from 3-12 weeks. Insight
Abroad is a one-week program and is available in
Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. CCS
is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations
and in partnership with CARE,
one of the world’s largest international humanitarian
organizations. Volunteer placements are with CCS Partner
Programs, local NGOs or community organizations within each
country, and are based on an individual’s skills
and interests. Contact: Cross-Cultural Solutions Headquarters,
2 Clinton Pl., New Rochelle, NY 10801; Tel. 800-380-4777; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.crossculturalsolutions.org .
Margaret Carleton is one of 10 children, a mother of 3, and a grandmother of 4. She leads a busy and varied life working as a full time Patient Advice and Liaison Officer for the National
Health Service. In her spare time she is a cancer care and bereavement support volunteer. To raise funds for her voluntary work in Peru, Margaret did a tandem skydive, free-falling from 12,000 feet.