by Maria Elena (Cusco Coordinator)

  • Wonderful City of Cusco (Cuzco) Peru – Part 1

The programs that I have for the voluntering are the followings:

Orphanages: here the volunteers make diferent things to help, according the rules that the orphanage has. Therefore we need to make a previous organization with the coordinator.

The volunteer has to have en “Open minding”· to understand that he has to be able to help in many things, that they need, like in a normal house: help with homework’s, teaching english, making workshops with the children to tech them many things: drawing, cooking, handcrafts, or practicing sports. Any idea that you have is welcome. Instead of bringing presents for the children is better to buy things here for the workshops and work together.

The most important thing is the volunteers make a good job and this will be in benefit for children and of course spending time together.

Kindergarten: here the volunteers can work according the teacher’s plan like assisting to them in different disciplines: English, music, arts, games, etc

Hospitals: Usually the medicine students work here, and they are involved with the professionals who work at the hospitals such us:doctors and nurses, the volunteers can work in all areas depending of their specialty.

The volunteers come to learn and they have to work under the direction of a volunteering work at the hospital, during the time that the volunteering lasts to work at the hospital the volunteers have to wear a uniform, the schedule is according to the hospital organization and the extra activityes that the volunteers have like spanish lessons or another one. This is going to be arranged between the coordinator of our institution and the hospital.

Schools: the woek at schools is mainly english teaching sometimes working with the school english teacheror in some cases by themselves.

Sometimes the volunteers can teach another subjects: art, sports, theater or they can assist to the formal teachers in regular classes. All depends of the school needs and the activityes that the teachers allow to do the volunteers.

Orphaneges for handicap children: here the volunteers can help a lot to the children because they can’t do many things by themselves and thats why they need a lot of help in basic things like: eating, cleaning, medical therapy; almost everybody are in a wheelchair. For this kind of job you need a true wish to service the people and some expierenceworking with children. The children come from very poor families.

Peru is a very interesting country with a mix of cultures. We were conquered by the spanish people when the incas had a huge empire here.The Inca empire was the biggest one in South America and now you can see the buildings and ruins that the incas built. Thats why Peru is considered the first touristic country in South America and Cusco the center of the empire, therefore our country is a cultural and historical country that you deserve to visit.

Peru is the result of this mix so our culture is very rich and our country has a lot of options to experience. We have three regions very different, everyone with own traditions, food, culture, etc.

We have: The mountains, is the andean region where Cusco is located,this region has very big mountains named Los Andes, the weather here is colder than in another regions, the incas choosed this area to found the inca empire, so the principal monuments of the incas are here. There is a lot of interesting places to visit here like the Titicaca lake, the Colca canyon, Huaras is a very interesting city to practice snow board or outdoor sports, the food here is based on potatoes and meat.

The coast, there are many beaches here and the best are at the north of Peru near to Ecuador they are very famous for surfers we have many surf international contests there. The weather is more hot than at the mountains there are many historical places to visit from the pre incas time like; Señor de Sipan Musem considered the mos important mummy found in our country, las Lineas de Nasca they are drawings in the desert and it is an enigma for everybody, la Ciudad de Chan Chan is a very ancient city from pre incas time and Caral is the third ancient city in the world. The food here is based on vegetables, fish, rice, and sea food.

The jungle ,is considered with the Amazony in Brasil the lungs of the world, if you like the nature this is a perfect place to have an expierence with animals and plants uniques in the planet there you can see monkeys, butterflies, bugs, spiders, alligators, sneaks and a lot of species of plants.

Finally I can say that you will never bored to visit peru every time can be diferent for you, because you can see my country in many ways and one time will be more wonderfull than the other one.

In our area there is a lot of delicious food that you have to try, in some cases it would be for you very rare, but every country has exotic dishes that you have to expierence to have an own idea, like our typical guinea pig named cuy. In Peru we understand that for you is a pet and the idea to eat it is not possible, but since the inca empire it was a delicatessen.

Another typical foods are based on pig like chicharrones is fried pork with corn and potatoes and lechon is pork in the oven. In Peru we have a lot of soups and at the mountains this is esential in our feed habits. In the mountains the soups are more heavy than at the coast because of the weather. They have a lot of potatoes and vegetables.

We don’t eat a lot of fish but it is possible to find our typical dish of fish: ceviche it is raw fish cooked only with lemmon, onions and garlic, it is served with sweet potatoes and corn. Also you can try the trucha it is a kynd of salmon it comes from the river. Chicken is very popular and we prepare a lot of dishes based on it. We have: aji de gallina very aprecciated for foreigners, escabeche wich is healthy and it has a lot of vegetables only marinated with vinager and oil, salpicon de pollo is another option very delicious to eat chicken in Peru. Potatoes are from Peru and therefore we have a lot of ways to cook them, you can try: causa is a delicious dish with potatoes, avocado, tuna fish, onions and chili. Another dish is papa rellena is very popular in Peru and you can find it in everywhere, pastel de papa is potatoes in the oven with milk, eggs, and cheese.

Our national drink is pisco sour ,you have to try it in a good bar or restaurant to have a nice expierence because in another way it can be dangerous …it contains egg and it can be bad for your health if it is not clean ,pisco sour is a very good drink it contains lemmon, pisco (our national drink it commes from grapes), egg and cinnamon.

Chicha was the beer in incas time it is make from corn, but because of the proccess to make is a litlle dangerous to try it can be bad for your stomach. You have to try chicha morada this is not an alcoholic beverage is made from purple corn with lemon ,sugar and cinnamon. Chicha blanca is another option too is made from quinua a cereal from the incas very god for children and women who has babys because it has a lot of proteins and vitamins it doesn’t has alcohol too.

You have to try some fruits too, like: granadilla ,chirimoya,pepino,lucuma,pacae,these are typical from Peru, but we recommend to you try all fruits they are fresh and delicious here.

Our country has many of festivities, because of religion and tradition.thhe principal festivities in cusco are the followings:

  • In February we have el Carnaval is an special festivity for everybody ther are many ways to celebrate carnaval in private parties, public parties mainly in small villages with special traditions like la yunsa it is a tree with presents and you have to cut it and dance around the tree, then the people play with water.
  • Betwen March and April we have Eastern this a very important festivity in Cusco the cusquenians organice the thursday an special lunch with a lot of food because the traditon says that you have to eat twelve dishes, of course this is not possible for none so we count the water, desserts and bred and we serve small portions.
  • In June we have the corpus christy is a religious party where the people celebrate to the saints. This party represents the mix of the cultures and at the same time is a party to try all fruits from the region and a famous dish based on cuy .
  • On June 24th cusco celebrates the most important party of the year the day of cusco ,this day there is an inca ceremony in the nearby ruins all visitors go over there. There are festivals, contests, parades, etc
  • In July the peruvian people celebrate our national party this is on 28th and 29th, there are many militar paredes in all country.
  • On November 1st we celebrate the day of death and alive people we prepare in Cusco an special food named lechon and there are special breds for this time named huahuas and caballos the tradition says that every boy and girl has have one.
  • In December we have Christmas thats why we have a big festival in Cusco in the Main Square. There you can buy many things hand made a lot of traditonal toys and fire works specially for the christmas Eve.

There are other festivities during all year Cusco has a lot of religious traditions and allways they celebrate with parties.

Amelia Bishop a volunteer from USA who worked in an orphanege,donated money for an orphanege here to treath the girls who are there and who had problems with their eyes they have been checked for an specialist and then the girls who require had glasses for the girls who have another problems with eyes we bougth medicines and the doctor continues the threatment until now.

It was a nice expierence because almost all girls had problems with eyes and because of poor conditions they couldn’t have an assistance.

Now many girls have glasses and this is very important for their daily life and self confidence. We want to give you this example of charity to push you to donate something for our proyects they really need help and because of our economy, you don’t need to give a lot of money wathever you want to donate it wiil be welcome, people here really will apreciatte your help.

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