Over the last September, I volunteered for 2 weeks as a teaching assistant in Padre Cocha, a small community located at 20 min by boat from Iquitos, in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon.
The project consisted in a 2-week English course for local people of all ages and aimed at improving their everyday communication with foreigners, in order to promote tourism in the community.
During this period I’ve been hosted by Jorge and Jenny, the organisers of this project, at their b&b, who made me feel welcome since the very beginning and gave me all the support I could need for visiting the area.
Teaching has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, as put me in direct contact with the local people, who really appreciated the time and effort I put into it and who truly believed in the benefits of the program.
In my experience, two weeks have been a sufficient time to forget about my own life and to dive into this new reality, getting to know new people and appreciate their differences and similarities from my cultural background, build friendships, enjoy the jungle and, hopefully, make a difference for this community. This first course, in fact, has set the basis for a longer-term project that will continue with new volunteers and with the same enthusiasm to help the development of this marvellous place.
Overall, I couldn’t be more satisfied of this affordable and rewarding adventure, especially given that I’d never really considered volunteering before, and surely recommend this kind of experience to anybody.
- Marco Fiorito, King’s University, London, UK
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