Tell us a little about Volunteering-Peru and your role at the company.
Agnes: Volunteering-Peru is a small volunteer organisation with the goal to help local projects with the extra help volunteers can offer. We receive volunteers from all over the world.
My role in the organisation is answering the emails from people who are interested in volunteering.
I also email the volunteers who have signed up and help them with all the questions they have before travelling to Peru. While in Peru, I am the coordinator for the volunteers and the person who they can go to with questions, problems, etc. We pick up the volunteers from the airport, take them to their accommodations, explain things about the city, and take them to Spanish Classes and their project.
How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?
Agnes: I have volunteered myself for 6 months in Cusco, Peru in 2007. After this I worked as a volunteer coordinator in La Paz, Bolivia. Carlos (also coordinator at Volunteering-Peru) asked me to set up a volunteer organisation with him, and that is when we started this organization about 4 years ago.
What makes Volunteering-Peru unique?
Agnes: Volunteering-Peru is a small organisation and we always have direct contact with the volunteers. We always try to see the volunteers several times a week and visit the projects at least once a week.
Our work is personalized; the volunteers choose where to work. As coordinators we can be reached 24/7 in case of emergency. The projects Volunteering-Peru works with are projects that really need help. Our list of projects is changing all the time, depending on the need of the projects.
In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer?
Agnes: A good volunteer is a person that is interested in the culture he is surrounded with as well as the people he is working with. The volunteer has small goals for the period he is working during. We think it is not necessary to have huge goals, but if you think small, a volunteer can mean a lot for a project and the children.
What does the future hold for Volunteering-Peru?
Agnes: Volunteering-Peru hopes to grow still a bit more. We don't have the ambition to become a very big organisation, but we do hope to receive more people in the coming years. When we receive more volunteers we will be able to offer more consistent assistance to the projects and might be able to open our social projects one day!