Huaycan, Peru

This week marked the start of the second part of my Peru journey: volunteering for eight weeks in Huaycan for an organization called LLI. My title is “Miss” and my job is teaching which technically makes me a teacher even though I am not yet confident with that title. On our first day, after a short orientation and training, we were thrown into teaching and I have been working on my role in the classroom since. I teach a variety of classes to both adults and kids. My kids classes include basic and advanced English, reading, and math. My adult classes are just English. I am also leading a “biohuerto” project, working with women to construct and maintain a community garden. So far, this job has consisted of a good mix of hurrying up and waiting, of learning and teaching, of planning and going with the flow. If we are going to make a difference here, it will be on Peruvian time. Huaycan is a “pueblo joven” in the outskirts of Lima with a bustling downtown where you can find the best tres leches cake, churros, ceviche, and yuquitas all in the same block. Where moto taxis swerve through every obstacle in the street and stop lights don’t mean much. Where tiny makeshift homes painted in bright colors spot the dusty hillside and remind you of what we really need in life. As foreign volunteers we stick out in this community. Where the sweetest students run to you when they see you arrive, eager to learn English and play. LLI volunteers are known in town as ‘the gringas’ and we get many calls and whistles – which I like to take as compliments – when we are in the streets. But they do like us I think, and I know they appreciate the work that we do. I am looking forward to building friendships within this community,  working on my leadership skills, growing vegetables and growing into my title as “teacher.”


birthday cake in a pasteleria near our house – I am now 20


maria and franco


los cerros


zona s


john and I


maria and darma


the biohuerto in its beginning stages. next week we will build a fence, bring in some better soil, and then we start planting!



One response to “Huaycan, Peru

  1. This is very much how it was for me when I taught in Mexico when I was 20 – no formal training to be a teacher – it took me a few weeks to realize when they said “teacher!” that they were talking to me! We got a lot of the whistling, too – since we were so different looking!

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