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Volunteer with Las Hormiguitas

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  • Published date: February 5, 2023
    • Peru

Volunteering with us is FREE

This is a very new organisation with an enormous scope for growth. We are looking for people who love working with children, and who are interested in building something from nothing to come and share their knowledge, experience and passion.
Help needed

There is a lot to be done! Any help you are willing to give, and any ideas for expanding and improving the project that you have, are more than welcome. Bear in mind that the project is run in Spanish, so if you want to work directly with the children an intermediate level will help you enormously. There are three main areas that we are hoping to improve:

Staff – at the moment, besides occasional help from the children's parents, and volunteers from another organisation, it's just me! I really need someone else to come and share my dream for the future of Las Hormiguitas. There is so much potential for a vibrant, thriving and diverse educational centre here in this beautiful place. Short- or long-term, I'm looking for people who share my passion for education to come and help. Ideally, I'd like to have more educators; at least one volunteer at all times, if not more, to support me in my classes and activities; an administrator and/or coordinator; and eventually builders and handy(wo)men to construct our permanent home if we ever find a suitable bit of land!

Program – the program is limited by what I know, enjoy and feel confident enough to teach. There is infinite possibility to expand in any direction. Which way and by how much will depend on you! What do you love doing, what are you passionate about, what skills or knowledge do you want to share with the children? We are open to hearing any suggestions. In particular we're looking for:

anyone who can compliment or improve the activities already on offer, for example: a sports teacher, artist or educator

a pre-school or kindergarten teacher

a storyteller to foster a love for reading and creative writing

a dance and/or music teacher

a dramatist to teach us how to act and put on plays

But seriously, any suggestions are welcome. Don't feel limited by the few things listed above.

Infrastructure – there is so much to do and we are starting from zero. At the moment, besides a few tables and chairs, and some educational resources, we have nothing. The project is run from a spare room kindly donated by a local family. The good news is there is money available to spend! The priorities are:

to buy some land

to build some classrooms and toilets

to build housing for volunteers, a kitchen, a storeroom, an office

to start a garden

to build a multipurpose sports court

If you have any experience with this, your help is needed! The red tape here in Perú is a nightmare, but with patience, dedication and willpower, we will get it done.

Accommodation and Food

Currently we cannot offer either housing or food. Hopefully that will change soon. For this reason there is no minimum commitment required from volunteers.

There are plenty of cheap rooms for rent around the town on a daily, weekly or monthly basis – expect to pay about $6 a night / $100 a month as a minimum. There are also many restaurants, but the food is heavy on meat and carbs and severely lacking in veggies. A set meal costs $2. Finding a place to stay with cooking facilities should be possible, but will require some investigation. Let me know if you need me to put on my detective's hat :)

Applying to volunteer​

So you've read this far and you're still interested? Great! Before sending in your application, there are some things you really need to consider:

the project is run in Spanish – the kids don't speak any other languages

do not expect Western standards of living – things here are basic and far from luxurious

do not expect paved roads – instead think mud

this is the selva, so there are insects, spiders and snakes

there aren't many westerners here, nor is there a thriving social scene

you will need to be independent, to use your initiative and adapt to your surroundings

if you have not been to Latin America before, expect culture shock

Las Hormiguitas is about growing and learning together in the beautiful surroundings of the Laguna Azul. If you want to come and help see this project grow and thrive, then please write to me. Be sure to include something about yourself, your motivation for working with children, and what you are interested in doing. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

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