I'm a female university student from Canada.
I volunteered in Lima for two weeks then went backpacking for two weeks in Peru, 2009.
In 2010 I backpacked and volunteered in Guatemala for a month, ending with natural disasters keeping us stranded for an additional 2 weeks.
Now: Headed to SE Asia backpacking for a month or so, then down to Australia for an unknown amount of time.
June 9th 2010
Spent another two weeks at Finca La Florida near Columba, Guatemala. It is a cooperative farming community that produces organic coffee. We helped them re-build their fish ponds which were collapsed and leaky. So we dug them deeper and lined them with plastic to seal in the water. We also helped re-dig a trench to divert water away from the main building and the swimming pool (which was full of mud from the torrential downpours). We stayed in the main building which has had bunk beds fitted for visitors. We ate with various local families on a rotating basis (a few days at each family) so everyone got an equal chance to have the income from the program and better quality food for their kids. We went on tours of the farm to learn about the ... read more
April 28th 2010
My trip to Guatemala was with Global Youth Network. Eleven university students backpacking together to two different eco-tourism/volunteer locations. The first was two weeks at "Volunteer Peten", San Andreas near Flores, in the Peten Region. The project is run by Mateo, an American who moved there something like 20 years ago. He started with a conservation area just outside of town, and built a school to teach of conservation, agriculture, and environmental related aspects of health. He also built a library in town to try and interest young kids in learning. We spent our mornings volunteering in the conservation area. By noon it was too hot to work, so we went to the lake most days, then back to the library before dinner to do crafts with the young kids, and teach english to the older ... read more
May 20th 2009
So the volunteer portion concluded with a trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu. In Lima we had volunteered in maternity wards, schools, constructing that schoolhouse, the physiotherapy clinic, etc. To get to Machu Picchu we flew into Cusco, took a train to Aquas Calientes, and a bus up to the ruins. Wish I had the time to do the full hike up. Spent the full day at the ruins. Hiked up Machu Picchu mountain -I highly recommend it. Quite the journey though for someone not used to the altitude. Returned to Lima and the rest of the volunteers went home. I remained and went on a road trip down to Ica, Paracas, Huacachina, and Lunahuana. The Paracas Islands were interesting - took a boatride out to check out the wide range of species living there... seals, ... read more
April 24th 2009
Waking up at 7, we had breakfast prepared for us by the lovely kitchen ladies who will be cooking for us our entire stay. Eggs and bread is the typical breakfast we will be having for the next two weeks. We loaded onto the bus and made a trek up the street to Wong's, a popular grocery store. Peru has an interesting amalgamation of Chinese culture within it. Chifa is a common peruvian-chinese food available in every second restaurant. Wong, as you can imagine is a chinese name.... Wong's is a popular peruvian-chinese grocery store. I totally did not expect that Chinese is one of the largest ancestry groups within Peru. At Wong's we unloaded from the bus and split up into groups while Raul made a quick trip into the grocery store. Half of the ... read more
April 23rd 2009
It is kind of strange meeting a group of virtual strangers at the airport knowing you will be spending the next two weeks together. I am participating in a social justice focused experiential learning volunteer trip organized through my university. We are going with Solidarity in Action (recently renamed Solidarity Experiences Abroad), an NGO originally developed by Brock University students (and Raul) that acts in partnership with Solidaridad En Marcha in Lima. Our main trip leaders are Greg Robertson, and Raul Masseur. Greg and Raul put together volunteer trips for different types of groups with different focus. For universities they try to get several different types of volunteer placements so that students can have a variety of options to choose from. On this trip we will be focusing mainly on building a brick wall around a ... read more
April 8th 2009
So, here I am, two weeks before departure for Lima, Peru. Trying to get everything together while trying to study for exams. My brother just got home from backpacking Europe, so I get to steal his bag. Its stressful trying to figure out exactly what I will need in a country and climate I have never experienced before. First thing is first, though, have to get my travel blog working. So here I am, figuring this out. Sorry this post wasnt more entertaining. G... read more