Even before I arrived in Peru, the staff at Volunteers Peru were sure to make me feel welcome. They picked me up at the airport and bought the bus ticket to Cotahuasi. Furthermore, they provided me with a cellphone so I could communicate with my family while I was in Tomepampa.
I taught English in Tomepampa for 5 months. It is a beautiful, quiet little town surrounded by mountains and the people are very friendly. I taught in both elementary and high school level. In high school, I would assist the teachers with their class. Usually, this meant reading a text, helping with the pronunciation, writing at the board or helping the students complete their homework. At times, I was asked to take a more active part in the class, but those times were rare. There are two teachers: Maribel and Julissa. Both were very kind to me and made sure I felt part of the community.
Since there are no official English class in elementary school, I made my own classes. This was particularly insightful because I got to learn how to make my own lessons, how to improve my teaching and how to interact with the students. While there were days when the children would make my life difficult, they were still eager to learn. They were adorable and I am glad I got to teach them.
What is great about this experience is that it is very flexible. You do not have to teach in elementary if you do not want to. On the other hand, if you wish to take a more active part, you can teach your own lessons in English. I heard that a previous volunteer taught in science as well.
The hostel is very well equipped. The bedroom is spacious with its own bathroom and shower. The kitchen has a refrigerator, an oven and a microwave oven, and recently they added a television. Dominga prepares lunch (and dinner as well if you want). Her food taste great and she usually gives large portions. So large in fact that usually, I would only eat a snack for dinner. Dominga has four children, two of which interact a lot with volunteers: Mayli and Moises. Without them, my stay would have been very boring. They would show me around town and we watched movies together. Watching the Dragon Ball series with them was very fun.
If you are going to stay in Tomepampa for a long period of time like I did, I recommend bringing something to keep yourself occupied. It can get rather dull after school hours. Also, bring some pictures or some souvenirs from your home country. The children at school are always curious about where you come from.