Expand Peru-After School Program

Hola Amigos! Jason is a step ahead of me in posting but he has given me the honor of writing about our volunteering thus far.

 

We are volunteering with an non-profit called Expand Peru. They have several locations throughout Peru but they are most active in Huancayo with different schools and orphanages. We arrived in Peru on last tuesday and by wed. we were at our first program.

 

Expand Peru´s after school program has about 30 students from one of the poorest areas in Huancayo. They come to a public building that has three small cement classrooms to get help with homework and to have some positive role models. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted like celebrities from the kids. It´s customary for all the kids to greet the professors with a kiss on the cheek. We were mauled by kisses and demands for our sunglasses. The kids energy is amazing, they are all so happy. It was very hard to learn that áll of them live in shacks with little to no food, many having 9 or more siblings. Their smiles are contagious but you can´t help but notice their rotting baby teeth.

 

Nevertheless, they are happy to be at the program and to sit, swing or climb on the vounteers! After about an hour and a half of work, we get to play games in the small courtyard outside the classrooms before walking home with them. The games are played with no toys, just their imaginations and our cameras. The gringo volunteers bring the best thing ever, cameras! All the kids want their pictures taken again and again. They love acting like models with our sunglasses and getting pictures by themselves. After you take their picture, they want to see it, mostly because they don´t ever get to see their own reflections as many of them don´t own mirrors.  The best part is all the Spanish they speak to us while we help them. They all talk so fast and soft you are forced to keep up with them and learn quickly. I have especially enjoyed all the different hairstyles the girls have come up with for me each day. We are getting much better at spanish and able to help them with their grammer and other complicated subjects, or at least we think we are helping! Math is still the best subject to tutor thus far.

 

We volunteer everyday after school and each day brings new challenges and new spanish slang to learn. Currently, another volunteer and I are brainstorming crafts for the kids to make since their schools do not have any art programs at all. -Ash

2 Responses to “Expand Peru-After School Program”

  1. DoriDoriDori says:

    I wish i gave you BIG white sunglasses to take with you!

  2. stubbemand says:

    It was soooooooo good to hear your voice. Thanks for the b-day greeting. I miss you. I really want to see some of the hair-dos the kids create for Ashley. Ha.
    Love you.
    Deb

Leave a Reply