by Maria Elena (Cusco Coordinator)
Hello mi name is Maria Elena,I am a woman from Peru I was born in Cusco, and all my life I lived here. When I went to the university I decided to study Comunications this is journalism, public realtions and marketing in Peru, my studies helped me a lot in this job because I have to comunicate with all people who work with me. I love my job like coordinator for Abroaderview because I can meet a lot of people from another places so I can travel with them in my mind and know a lot of culture from another places, and at the same time I can be a guide from my country and transmit all my knowledge about my culture, traditions, geography to my volunteers.
I say to you: Welcome to Peru, I know this is going to be a great expierence for you, our country is a very nice land full of amazing things to see and expierence open your mind to have a really nice experience, may be you are going to find a very different country but this is going to be only in the beggining with time you will understand more our culture and you couldn’t avoid to feel involved with our way of life, we wiil make all that we can to make confortable your time in Peru.
The volunteers would visit Cusco because is going to be a unique expierence in their lifes due to the greatfull help that they can give to the people who lives here.
This is a poor country and it has basic needs wich are unsatisfied like feed, health, education,etc. Therefore the volunteers have a lot to do in many fields like medicine, education, health, and another technical things that peruvian people want to know to use them like toels in the future.
Besides Cusco is an historical city with a lot of culture to see and experience. We have a lot of places and traditions because of our history. We are a country with an ancient history and it woud be very nice for the volunteers expierence that. Our country would give to you the opportunity to live with poor people who is very happy with the things that they have and don’t need to much for achieve the happiness. And this is going for the volunteers something unforgetable in their life: A life lesson, Be happy with basic things in a simple way.
We can’t forget that Cusco is one the most important cities in the market of spanish schools, by the way,we have a lot of spanish schools with enough expierence to teach spanish because the schools started to work in the eigthies and now they have professional systems to teach spanish and they have a very good reputation in Latino-america. At the same time that you are learning you can practice the language this is a perfect way to learn, people here are very friendly and helpfull with the volunteers who want to learn.
The weather is not extreme we don’t have a continental time ,the cold is moderate in June and in May we reach the coldest temperature 9 or 6 celsius degrees,this is in Farenheit 27 or 18 more or less.
The highest temperature is in September, October and part of November this is 22 or25 Celsius deegres in Farenheit 66 or 75 aproximatly so you can practice a lot of outdoor activityes in Cusco.There are many options like: hiking,river rafting, treaking, mountain biking, bungy jumping, paragliding, etc.
Another important thing is the security of the city, we have a very organizated police system our goberment has an special system of police named Policia de Turismo and it is charged of the security for tourists if you have some problem they are going to help you inmediatly and allways they are taking care of the tourists,at nigth and during the days,.The violence is not a problem in our city like the medioss say ,this is a very safe city and thats why the nigth life is famous in our city,people can leave at nigth to enjoy our bares,shows ,discos ,restaurantes,etc without problems.
In your free time you can visit a lot of interesting places because of, our city has a very rich history from our ancestors: Spanish and Inca people.
In the city we have a lot of museums: The inca museum,the modern art museum, garcilaso museum, precolombian museum, and more. There you can appreciate the wonders that the incas and spanish people made.
Close to Cusco we have the Sacred Valley is a group of small villages, very colorfull and traditional places with inca ruins and markets to buy typical handcrafts .
Machupicchu is one of the new seven wonders in the world and it is for many tourists the principal reason to visit Peru. Words are not enough to describe it, you have to see it .It is almost in the jungle and the ruins in the top of the mountains.
Choquequirao is another wonder to see, many people say that this is as magnificient as Machu Picchu. It is possible to visit only by foot, you have to make a treaking for five days.
Tipon is an interesting place to visit too, there are many aqueducts from the inca’s time they were very good engineers. Also there you can try the cuy or guinea pig there, it is a tipycal food from the mountains in Peru.
Six hours from Cusco is located Titicaca Lake in the city of Puno this is a very interesting place and if you are in Cusco you can’t miss this expierence Titicaca Lake is the highest lake in the world and it has many islands to see. There you can appreciatte the Aymara culture and if you want, you can have an unique expierence:to spend a nigth with the local people and share with them the food and another activities.
The Colca Canyon is another place that you have to visit if you are in Cusco, it is located in Arequipa the second city in Peru this city is colonial and it has a vulcano it is ten hours from cusco by bus you can take a modern bus at nigth and spend there for two or three days. In this Canyon you can make river rafting and see the condors flying.
And if you are in Cusco of course you have to visit the nearby ruins: Sacsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Kenko, this is a group of ruins very near to Cusco and if you want you can visit them by foot or make a tour with a guide in a bus. The ruins are awsome and you will have a very nice sigthseen from this ruins to the city.
There are many airlines which are operating in Peru, the principals are: Lan Peru, Taca, Peruvian Airlines and Star Peru. Lan Peru and Taca have international fligths, the rest have local fligths only, but they are very proficient and give to the passengers all services and the schedules are very organizated and secure.
When the volunteer arrive to Peru, he has to chek his lugagge in the control named Aduana, the process is not very long or difficult, usually the volunteers don’t have any problem.
Then you can make your checking by yourself to fligth to Cusco, it is very simple and you will have allways the help of someone from the Airline company, people in Peru is allways helpfull with the tourists.
In cusco our coordinator is going to wait for you at the airport, she will have a small board with your name to identify you, then she will take you to your home stay and will give a small breafing to explain you the most important topics that you need to know about the city.
Then she will talk with the family to confirm that everything will be in order about your acomodation and requirements.
Later she will take you to make a small tour for the city to know the main places that you need to know: banks, automatic cashiers, drugs stores, restaurants, laundry and transportation.
And since this moment she will help you with any problem or requirement that you will have, so you will never feel alone or lost in the city, this is the special service that Abroaderview give to you.
If you have some doubt or problem during your time in Cusco don’t doubt to call her. She is going to help you with everything.
After you are going to visit your volunteering place, the coordinator is going to introduce you to the people who is going to work with you and she will show you the place and will explain to you the way how to take the transportation to go over there.
Don’t forget she will help you with everything about your volunteering also. So if you have some problem or doubt she will assist to you.
The coordinator recieves to the volunteer at the airport and firstable she is going to take him to go with his family where he will live all the time taht he is going to stay in Cusco.She will introduce him to his family.
The family will know in advance all basic information about the volunteer: name, nationality, age, possible alergies and food habits.
The coordinator wiil help him to comunicate with his family in USA and then she is going to leave the volunteer to have lunch and rest, because afte a long trip and on attending the altitud this is necessary.
Later the coordinator will come to the house to make a small tour to recognize the most important places of the city very usefull for his time in Cusco: banks, automatic cashiers, pharmacies, super markets, bus stations, etc.
When they return to the house, the coordinator will provide basic information about the volunteering and spanish lessons (if he/she decide to study Spanish) also about the city and another topics about daily life.
The next day the coordinator will go to the volunteer house to take him to his spanish school and she will introduce him to his teacher, then she will come back to pick him up to show him how to return to his house and at the same time she will show the volunteer the principal streets of the city.
After lunch the coordinator will take the volunteer from his house to the volunteering place to introduce him to the people who is going to work with him and she will recognize with him the place where the volunteering is and will let him to work. Then the coordinator is going to come back and take him to his house.
When the volunteer knows his schedule and the city, the coordinator will call him at least once a week, to know everything about his activities and family, but the volunteer could call her whenever he wants to solve his doubts or problems.
During the first week, they will have a welcome dinner or lunch to exchange their ideas and to meet each other a little more.
The coordinator can help the volunteer with the touristic tours suggesting some travel agency or some places that they have to visit.
They will be always be in touch to program many activities about his volunteering or spend time together in free time, but this is not mandatory for volunteers.
The most important thing for coordinators is the volunters feel comfortable .
- Wonderful City of Cusco (Cuzco) Peru – Part 2
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