I spent two months in Tomepampa with Volunteers Peru last year and two weeks at their other project in Arequipa. Those two months in Tomepampa were amazing. Not only was working with children in primary and secondary schools a fun and rewarding experience but being able to live in the Cotahuasi Canyon without internet surrounded by another culture and a beautiful landscape (and lots of hiking) was an unforgettable experience. I helped teach ESL to students in primary school, assisted primary school teachers in the classroom as well as the English teacher in secondary school. One of the things I enjoyed most about my time in Tomepampa was how welcoming the local community was… The teachers and other school staff, the local store owners, Carmela and her children (who live in the Primavera hotel volunteers stay at) and other local townspeople were always trying to keep volunteers in the loop about what was going on in and around Tomepampa. The towns all have their own traditions and festivals and if you volunteer in Tomepampa you’re bound to get to see at least one festival. The Cotahuasi Canyon doesn’t have as much tourism as some of the other canyons in Peru like the Colca Canyon and that makes volunteering in Tomepampa a very cultural and unique experience.
When it comes to working in Colegio Honofre Benavides the English teacher most volunteers work with in the secondary school is very nice and having a volunteer at the school to help her with her lessons helps improve the quality of the English teaching these students receive. Being 11 hours outside of Arequipa, Tomepampa is a rural town in Peru and does not see as many resources as other schools that aren’t so isolated may see. As a volunteer you can work alongside Roxanna, the English teacher,and in primary school teaching English/assisting in the classroom. I have also heard of other volunteers helping out in science and math classes in secondary school so your options are endless with this volunteer project. You get what you put into it. If you want to experience another culture, practice your Spanish, help others, see incredible views on your hikes throughout the Andes on your days off, work in a school in rural Peru, this project is for you.
If you are interested in the project and would like to speak with me feel free to ask Volunteers Peru for my email.