Day 1: The Project in San Jose Obrero
On the first day of the project we arrived at the elementary school that we are helping. We went into each classroom to greet these adorable children and their teachers. In the old and rough classrooms, the children were excited about the coming of new visitors and tried their best to say welcome to us in English. At the end of the greeting, they sang a song in Spanish and played a game with us, what a treat!
In order to give the children a better place to study, we began our first work that was building the new classroom. Although the work was pretty hard for us at first, we still enjoyed the feeling of helping others. For the children’s safety and to make room for a new addition, we moved the rocks away from the nearby of the classroom. These rocks were very heavy to move, but we still tried our best to help each other to move the rocks. At the end, we understood the importance of team work.
At the end of our first day, many children came to us and we sang a song, took pictures and danced together. Also, they asked for our signatures to keep the memories, and we promised that we are going to meet them again on Monday. They were really friendly and cheerful even though we could not understand their language.
Life in Lima and Peru
On our third day, we had a break from construction work. In the morning, we visited a local fruit market where we met people from Ato Colibri, an organization that helps teenagers like ourselves to have better working conditions for their jobs in the market. We bought various fruits including mangoes, watermelons, pineapples and oranges, which were very cheap and fresh.
After lunch, we took a 2 hour tour in downtown Lima. We visited two of the main churches in the city. We discovered that religion is a very important aspect of the culture in Peru. The churches also had cemeteries underneath called the “catacombs”. Some found it exciting while others found it scary.
After a day of relaxation, we went back to days of construction work which lasted roughly the whole day. After we finished building a particular wall, we signed it with our names and country, as seen on the photo to the left of Naho.
Once the work was completed, we were warmly welcomed by one of the founders of the school on which we were working. She helped us to understand more about the causes of our work and the lifestyle of the general community.
Final Day in the Project - Posts by Rex, Naho & George
This was the last day of our volunteer work at the elementary school, San Jose Obrero. The children gave posters to everyone to show the significance of anti-violence, especially towards young children and adolescence. After the event, we continued to build the classroom for the children. We knew that this was our final day to work here, but we actually did not want to leave because the children and people who lived there were so friendly and nice.
This was the final picture that we took to celebrate the work that we had done in the past week. The organization, IFEJANT, made some questions and let us answer them. We wrote our answers on three big posters and answered the questions, “What did you learn? What could we do better? How did you feel about this job?” The maestro (far left) was very appreciative for us putting all of our energy into this important project. Before we left the work site, we took this meaningful photo in order to remember this special volunteer trip.
The children and school put together a farewell ceremony for all of the Bodwell volunteers. The kids prepared a dance for us, and we exchanged gifts. They knew that we were going to Cuzco, so they gave us authentic Peruvian toques and blankets. Obviously, you could see in the picture that we wore them. We were so appreciative that they gave us such a memorable experience and we will miss them all so much! Before leaving Lima, we stopped in at a centre for troubled youth to have a tour of their facility, learn about the various workshops that they gain skills in and purchased many of their handmade crafts of textiles, metal work, jewellery and wood. This was also a great experience to give these teenagers a chance to interact with other teenagers such as ourselves from the outside world. Goodbye Lima, hello Cuzco!