My friends and family thought that I'm crazy when I told them I want to do Volunteering in South America without speaking Spanish. That’s why I was looking for a Program that includes a Spanish language course and the organization of a volunteer project. I'm glad that I found the Academia Superior de Idiomas in Pimentel.
Pimentel is a little village on the beach and not far from Chiclayo, one of the biggest cities in Peru. So it was the perfect mix of relaxed Pimentel and Peruvian chaos in Chiclayo.
I did a 4-weeks Spanish language course before I start volunteering in a rural primary school where I taught English. The Spanish course was a perfect start for my South America journey. On the first day we had an orientation tour to get know Pimentel and Chiclayo and the important safety rules. The group class was very small, we were just 3-4 students. The small classes were very good to learn Spanish in a short time. We had Spanish classes in the morning, but not only in a classroom because we also went to the local market, to the beach or stayed in the garden to play games. In the afternoon we had the choice to participate on daily activities like salsa dance, cooking classes or self-defense. I enjoyed also the weekly excursions to other spots or museums.
After my Spanish classes, I finally started to do Volunteering. One of the coordinators from the school accompanied me to my first class. There have been around 30 kids in the class and all were motivated to learn English words. I taught them Basic English, like the ABC, colors, the most important words, how they can introduce their selves etc. Sometimes we played games or were singing songs together. At the beginning I struggled with the size of the class. 30 kids can be very exhausting. The other teachers in the school as well as the staff from the Academia helped me out and gave me useful tips to dominate the crowd. I really enjoyed every day with the kids, they were so curious and asked me everything about my life, my family, my friends etc.
All in all it was a fantastic time in Pimentel and I already miss all of them.
What would you improve about this program?
When I arrived, I was shocked by the crowded traffic. So even when I got an introduction before I arrived, maybe they could go more in detail how is the real life in Peru to be better prepared.