Teaching English in Pachacutec, Lima, Peru

On Oct 14 we flew from Cusco to Lima to begin our week of teaching English! We signed up for our volunteering through IVHQ, a very respectable and well known volunteering organization. IVHQ works with a local group in Lima named TarpuySonqo (which means “spreading love” in Quechuan). Teaching English is one of many volunteer programs that TarpuySonqo runs. They also organize volunteers for day care at orphanages, construction work, medical care…etc. 

We spent the week in the San Miguel district living in a homestay. Our homestay mother was Cecilia, and boy did she cook us a ton of food (a lot of rice, chicken, beans, and bread)!! She lives in a home with her daughter, Stefany, and her parents, abuelo and abuela. Everyone in the household was beyond friendly to us throughout the week. 

Each day of our volunteering, we woke up at 5:30am in order to meet the other four volunteers at the bus stop by 7:00am. We took the public bus from Faucett (the closest stop to the San Miguel district) to Pachacutec, which is usually about a 1.5 hour drive. The Tarpuysonqo chaperones advised us to never take out our phones on the buses, since it would simply be an invitation to mug us. The buses were probably the craziest parts of our days. They came in all shapes and sizes and were privately operated. The drivers were more aggressive than NYC taxi drivers and were certainly the dominant drivers on the road. Seats were hard to find so most of the time we stood holding on for our lives as we weaved through traffic. Needless to say, it was an experience!!

Our week was spent between two schools – Jack Dajhert and Alfonso Ugarte in Pachacutec. We taught two classes per day for about two hours each and our students ranged from seven years old to eighteen years old. The first day was definitely the most challenging, but we started to get the hang of it as the week went on. We taught the younger kids how to count to 20 in English, common verbs, and animals. The older kids learned “is” vs. “are” and “have” vs. “has.” Each day we got more and more creative with our lessons. We made up competitive games for the kids to learn the day’s lessons, and we even brought dulces (candies) for them when they answered questions correctly!

The town of Patachutec is extremely impoverished; there is limited running water and the houses and schools are falling apart. That being said, the kids are so energetic and happy. We’re glad to have continued to fulfill their eagerness to learn English. 

When we weren’t volunteering, we explored Lima. The city has way more to offer than most people think!

We went to the historic district to see the Plaza de Las Armas. 

We walked along the water in Miraflores to see Larcomar and El Parque del Amor (“Love Park”).

One night, Stefany took us to the famous light and fountain show in Parque Reserva. 

And, on our last night in Lima, we went to the artistic, bohemian district of Barranco. We went to the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MAC), walked down the main avenue, and had a delicious, healthy dinner at Bodega Verde (highly recommended)!! 

Now we are off to Ecuador!! 🇨🇴

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