Hoop Peru is a registered NGO in Arequipa, Peru. Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty in the Flora Tristan through education. Flora Tristan is a shanty town located 50 minutes outside of Arequipa. The area lacks basic services such as running water and electricity.

We have been in the community since 2008. Our international and local volunteers are enhancing the education of our kids (100) and mothers (30) through daily English classes. HOOP has 6 English classes for kids from the ages of 3 to 20 years old. We also have English, finance and small business classes for our moms. We also have an hour of homework help open to the whole community and play time as well. Moreover we sponsor two students to attend a private secondary school.

Another aspect of our services is a health educational program and medical treatment open to all.



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Yes, I recommend this program

For 2 and a half months I worked as an English teacher for HOOP. From the first moment on, I was welcomed to this incredible family and surrounded by motivated people connected with the same aim: helping to improve the lives of people living in the Flora Tristan Community. Apart from teaching English to kids, I took part in art and sport classes to encourage creativity and team building of the kids. Working with HOOP was definitely the most adventurous experience in my live. I learned a lot about myself during this time as well as about other cultures and traditions. HOOP was the perfect combination of volunteering abroad, getting in close contact to a new culture and travelling around to experience the incredible nature of South America. I would recommend volunteering at HOOP for all of those above mentioned reasons but most of all because of the love you get from your new family here in Arequipa.

What would you improve about this program?
It's hard to say because this organization was overall well-organized, provided subsequent training in advance as well as an welcoming atmosphere to work there. The communication was good, but sometimes a bit distributed on several social media platforms which could be more combined to one. They try to built a new school for HOOP which would be a great improvement because the actual building there the teaching takes place is rented and has limited amount of classrooms. Since many more families in Flora Tristan would like to join HOOP the capacity is too low for that.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I came to Arequipa to work with HOOP as a volunteer English teacher. I am in the middle of my teaching accreditation programme in Austria and needed a break from school and theory in order to actually step into the classroom and also see other educational realities around the world.
What I cared about was for the NGO to be close to where the impact should be made and for the staff and the volunteers to care most about the children and women in the community.

From the application process to the moment I arrived in Arequipa, the inicial teaching training and the ongoing support and supervision opportunities I received throughout my 4 month placement, HOOP has been nothing but professional. The volunteer coordinator is extremely concerned about the volunteers' wellbeing, while the academic coordinator helps out and gives useful advice whenever it is needed, as a lot of the volunteers came here without direct teaching experience. Every week, we have a volunteer meeting where we share our experiences and struggles teaching, get valuable input from the academic coordinator and help each other improve. There are check-in interviews to make sure everything is going well and the organization can respond to suggestions for improvement.

The children are a pleasure to work with and embrace you in their midst from day on, the mothers are just happy and grateful to be able to see their kids thrive. (Another pillar of HOOP are workshops for the moms on topics of health, legal issues etc. They also have an opportunity to finish their middle school/high school diplomas. But all of this is done by social workers so I can't go into detail about it.) One of my highlights was when we performed "The very hungry caterpillar" as a play - during project week we had learned the story, made costumes and rehearsed it. The mothers were very touched to see their little ones and the kids took it very seriously and were proud to show off their learning.

It was honestly one of the greatest things I've ever done, I was very, very happy with HOOP and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to offer their time to make a difference. It's a lovely team, you receive so much support, and the work with the kids is rewarding every single day.

What would you improve about this program?
Expanding it (of course this depends on the financial means) is the only improvement I can think of - HOOP is very effective and conscientous in their work in my experience
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Yes, I recommend this program

I was hesitant to volunteer with any NGO while in South America due to a lack of my Spanish language, however I did, and I found HOOP a great experience that had a real impact in the local community.
The children are encouraged to attend every day (Mon to Fri) and most do. The mothers of the children are engaged by volunteers who run health and other workshops during the kids classes. The smaller children who don't yet attend the English classes still come to the school and play and are involved, it's a great atmosphere with respect going both ways.
I lived separately from the hostel as I had already been in Arequipa some time, but found the volunteers living in the hostel and the HOOP staff were very inclusive of me even though I wasn't around as much outside of the school hours.
The great thing about HOOP is that you have responsibility here, they don't just give you a sheet and tell you to do it, if you notice that the kids are having trouble on a particular area of English, you have the leave to focus on that. You can teach how you want to for the most part, which for myself, who had never taught before, found this was great as I did what I was comfortable with. All the volunteers share ideas and talk about what they're up to, so ideas are plentiful.
Had a great experience here and so glad I did jump in and do it! Even with no teaching experience I found that I had support from the HOOP team to feel confident to command a class of 20+ hyper fantastic kids!
The great thing about Hoop is seeing physical progress, at the end of my time I had kids saying things that I had taught them in only the time I was there!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I've been an intern at Hoop for 4 months, and it was a really great experience.
Hoop has a real impact in the community it is implemented, and you can see that everytime you are going to the school.
As an in inten, you get the chance to learn about how an NGO is working, the staff is really friendly, and will let you work on what you like; I've learn a lot working at HOOP.
Arequipa is also a great city to live in, and live with volunteers from all over the world is an amazing experience ! Hoop is really becoming like a family the all time you are staying.

What would you improve about this program?
The NGO is still really young, there is a need of more organisation, but it is going to only improve in the future, and become more efficient. In 4 months, I already seen differences !
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Yes, I recommend this program

The aim of HOOP is to break the cycle of poverty through education in Flora Tristan community: a shantytown located on the outskirts of Arequipa-Peru.
Flora Tristan is a place where almost 250 families live below the poverty line and children attend a public school that doesn’t offer adequate education. English is a requirement to enter many universities and children going to public school don’t start studying it until 10/11 years old.
Education is a way out of poverty and HOOP has six classes to teach English at children aged between 3 and 21 years old and offering after school homework to those in need.

Education is not the only activity that HOOP provides at this community. In the last few years HOOP developed kindergarten, health, English and business programs for the mothers of the children. In the next year the NGO is on the way to build a new fully furnished school and as well implementing a number of new activities. For example HOOP want to starts running maths and cultural classes. A lot of the families have socio-psychological issues, such as domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse. HOOP want to start a psychological session next year to assist the children and the mothers.
I volunteered with HOOP from October to December 2014. My duty was to assist the Director of Communication and Development on the fundraising strategy. As HOOP is a small NGO I was the first intern to work in the office together with 4 more interns. Day by day I got familiar with fundraising as I wrote two grant proposals and helped to organize few fundraising events and set up a contact list of potential partners. I learned the very difficult job to work independently.
I also reached some personal achievement: I made a partnership with a restaurants chain and I managed to organise my own fundraising event: a one day football tournament (it was not the Champions League organizationally speaking but at least a good start for my career), followed by a BBQ.
My supervisor was always present, very polite and patient with me. She was answering all the questions I had and, finally, in my opinion we developed a very good working relationship.
A very significant aspect of the experience was going out with the other volunteers. I made good friends and enjoyed my free time with them.

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Marlene Egelseder

Why did you choose this program?

I chose HOOP because I already knew a lot of people working here as volunteers and I got talked to them in person about their experience. I knew that the work this organization does is meaningful and has a huge impact on the community of Flora Tristan in Arequipa. I strongly believe that education is the key to help those people breaking the cycle of poverty.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

At the beginning, we got a thorough training about how to teach english and adress problems in classroom or to do the lesson plannings. The latter I had to organize on my own which was great because I had a lot of flexibility in how to plan the class and get creative with that.

Further the organization helped me find an accommodation in advance which was great, I stayed at a nice and welcoming Peruvian host family.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Bring a lot of motivation and patience with the kids and you will in return get a lot of love, gratefulness and the best experience of your life. The kids will grow on you so fast and you will have a hard time leaving them for sure. Going abroad means stepping out of your comfort zone, which is frightening at first, but the amount of things you learn and the experience you gain in that time is incredible.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day starts with going to the office early afternoon meeting with all the volunteers and staff members. Afterwards, go to school wearing the teachers vest and preparing your classroom for the English lesson. Then the kids arrive, you welcome them, and start your 1 hour English teaching.

After that, there is either one hour sport class (every day) or two times a week art class and once a week carpentry. The kids can choose where they want to go in the second hour.

After the second hour, everyone is leaving together and most of the days we enjoy our evening in the center having dinner together. Apart from work, the volunteers often do some activities together as taking free dance classes in town, playing football or just hang out.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was travelling into a complete new country, not knowing anybody or anyone. It was the first time for me to visit another continent, including encountering a different culture. I think all of the fears I had were quite normal and, as soon as I started my work at HOOP, I was welcomed to my new family here in Arequipa. It was so easy to make new friends and get in contact with the life and culture of Peru.

What was the best thing about working for HOOP?

The best thing for me was working with kids, getting to know the culture and traditions of Peru and meeting a lot of great people. My last week at HOOP was filled with so much love I would have never expect to get back from this experience. Especially the kids and mums were so thankful for my stay here. It was hard to leave them but I left with the feeling I will definitely come back one day to visit my second family and home.