Spectrum / Huanchiquito.Update [22 October 2008]
Twinned and supported by Spectrum Community School, Victoria, Canada
IntroductionHUANCHAQUITO CHILDREN'S CENTRE is part of a non profit organisation operating from the city of Trujillo, Peru, with the aim of giving aid and support to children from impoverished backgrounds living in and around the area. A team of international and Peruvian volunteers provide food, classes and activities to children who would otherwise be in the streets - our mission is to get them educated.
In HUANCHAQUITO itself, we will recruit a group of volunteers to join our trained social worker and a team of Peruvian staff to work at the project in the mornings every week day. Children will come for lessons and lunch, remaining at the centre until they are attending school regularly. The social worker liaises with parents, teachers and community members; the volunteers organise activities of a wide-ranging nature.
Besides these activities, we welcome new ideas to make our project most effective for the children. Volunteering at HUANCHAQUITO can be a tiring but immensely rewarding experience. You should be able to cope with big groups of street children demanding a lot of attention and enthusiasm. You will have to be a team worker, working together with Peruvian and international volunteers. In the centre you will be a representative of the project and are expected to be responsible and behave as an example for the children. What you do in your free time outside the centre is up to you.
Volunteering at 'LAS DELICIAS' is a fantastic way of getting to know Peru, of improving your Spanish, and above all, of interacting with the community and with the children of the city in a positive and helpful way.
The Region:Trujillo is a city of 651,000 inhabitants, on the Paciffic Ocean in northern Peru. It is the site of the largest city in the Inca Empire, has the largest quantity and best preserved Inca ruins in Peru. Today it suffers from a range of social problems, including bad sanitation, lack of electricity and a shortage of food, and was recently classified as one of Perus poorest cities. Like many Latin American settlements, it is characterised by an attractive and ornate colonial centre, with the poorest partssprawling along the coast to the north and south, and to the west toward the Andees mountains. For the visitor it is a safe and lively place, with good restaurants and bars, an excellent market, all manner of beach and ocean sports and, as a testament to the great Inca civilisation, the palaces of Chan-Chan and the Temples of Huaca de la Luna, which lie just outside the city. The local inhabitants are generally kind and friendly, and we have been able to cooperate well with schools and families in the past.
The Programme:Our centre is located in the heart of HUANCHAQUITO, and is comprised of a small semi-complete plywood building, separated into thwo class areas - for children of differing learning skills.. Children attend the centre from between 9 AM and 11:30 PM, (ending with lunch) during the children's time in the centre volunteers organise a range of workshops and activities, including art, music, science, sport and drama. Groups are divided up according to age or ability; individual classes are also given to help with reading, writing, spelling and maths. None of these children go to school, so an important of our program is teaching them group discipline and study habits. We regularly plan trips outside the centre, to play football and other games. Our international Volunteers do not live in the HUANCHAQUITO centre, but rather on our main campus, which is located in the centre of Trujillo, a half block from the main square. HUANCHAQUITO is only an eight minute taxi ride from the campus.
The Language School:In the evenings English-speaking and French-speaking volunteers give English and French classes to poor Peruvians of all ages, who pay a small monthly contribution to our work. Our students know that their tuition goes towards our work with the children and enables us to maintain HUANCHAQUITO and our other centres. Volunteers are therefore obliged to give at least one class per night to maintain our Language School.
Spanish classes are offered for free to all our volunteers.