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My name is Martín, I’m 19 years old and live in Lima, Peru. As a volunteer I was looking for two things while engaging with NGO Taxi. First, as a Peruvian citizen myself, I wanted to help my country (and its citizens) in whichever way possible. Peru is still a country with very deep needs. All the way from political to educational needs. In my point of view, for me as a Peruvian, it would be irresponsible to go abroad when there’s so much need just around the corner. Second, I wanted to travel, get to know new people, and jump onto new adventures. Now, after 5 weeks of working with NGO Taxi I can say both of my initial motivations and expectations have been fulfilled.

I worked in the school project in Cusco city. Together with one further volunteer we assisted with English classes in a local school. The first days we were shocked by the low level of English from both the local teacher and the children. But isn’t that why we’re here in the first place? It’s true, having to work with such low levels of English might be frustrating. However, it was a genuine joy to go every day to school and stand in front of the kids. The love and motivation the kids show are really rewarding. Everyone in the school, up from the director to the students were really kind and thankful towards us. Now, after my experience is over, I feel I’ve helped my country, even if it’s in the smallest way possible. The rewards are definitely worth it.

But of course it wasn’t all about work. It was also about living and experiencing. Cusco is a place that offers A LOT. There are numerous tours and hikes one can do. Cusco and its surroundings are beautiful and filled with nature and history. As a volunteer one does not run out of things to do. Whether it’s visiting an archaeological site on a Saturday afternoon, going clubbing on a Friday evening or taking a 5-day break to do the Salkantay Trek up to Machu Picchu, the activities Cusco offers made my volunteering a complete and joyful experience. One I strongly recommend to any person looking to travel abroad. There’s no more complete way of genuinely experiencing a new place than working with its people and travelling around when not.