Lauren is going to Arequipa, Peru to volunteer with children

Jared and I are changing continents and heading to South America!  I will begin a 4 week volunteer teaching program in Arequipa, Peru on November 13, 2010.  We both thought it would be a great time to travel solo for a little while and I wanted to use my skills as an Occupational Therapist to work with children in another country.

I will be a volunteer with GVI (Global Vision International) and be working with children ages 4 and up.  I will also be living with a local family and learning Spanish so I can communicate with my host family and all the children I will be working with in the schools.  These schools are located in the ‘pueblos jovenes’ or the ‘young towns’ which are more rural and benefit greatly from the extra help.  There are too few teachers in the area so we are able to lend a hand and spend one on one time with the children who may need extra attention. We also concentrate on fine motor skills, and classroom basics such as letters and numbers with the younger children. Along with donating school supplies, GVI hopes to promote literacy and education reinforcement.

You can find out more about GVI at

You can also find out more about my specific trip at

These days you pay to volunteer and I am trying to raise money to cover the cost of this 4 week program.  My goal is to raise $3000.00 to cover the cost of the trip (flight, stay with family, all meals, Spanish lessons, and donations to the schools).  GVI is not a non-profit organization and therefore the donation is not tax deductible.  If you feel inclined, you can help sponsor my trip at

I will try to update the blog as often as possible with pictures and stories from my adventure! Thanks for your help.


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6 responses to “Lauren is going to Arequipa, Peru to volunteer with children

  1. Nice trip! It’s tough to always keep summer in your sights… sometimes it’s better to linger when you find a really nice place – regardless of weather. We’ve been in Medellin for two weeks and it’s rained every day – and we’ve loved every minute of it!

    • I couldn’t agree more. When traveling you really need to find a good balance between being a tourist (i.e., seeing all you can see) and being a traveler (i.e., really getting to know a country and its culture.) In the last 3 months we’ve spent a lot of time being tourists, so now we’re planning to stay in one place for a while, at least a month or two, to really get to know the language, culture, and people. Btw, I’ve been to Medellin and its one of my favorite cities in the world. -Jared

  2. Big Ed

    Why the decision to travel separately for a month – are you experiencing some interpersonal friction?

    • Lauren

      Ha ha. It was always our plan to do a little solo traveling and I wanted to use my skills as an Occupational Therapist to volunteer with children. Jared wanted to learn Portuguese and I wanted to become fluent in Spanish.

  3. Jasmine

    I’m glad I came across your blog!! I’m leaving corporate America to travel the world for a year or forever. I’m starting my trip in Central America. 🙂 How did your volunteering experience with GVI go? I’m looking into volunteering options, too, but thought they were kinda pricey.

    • Volunteering can be very pricey these days. I found that if you stay longer than a month, you get more for your money so take that into consideration. GVI in Arequipa was great and I loved my experience, but make sure you know exactly what you are getting into. Some of the volunteers were unaware how many hours they were going to be working a day, what kind of work they were going to be doing, if they were going to be living with a family, etc so just ask as many questions as you can before you commit to a volunteer position. There are times when you may come to a community and just be able to volunteer at a school on your own. It just depends on the community and the opportunity. If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to help. Good luck with everything and enjoy!!!

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