2020: a year full of surprises!

If there is one thing we can all agree on, then it is that 2020 has been a year full of surprises. The COVID pandemic has put countries worldwide in a lockdown. We all had to adapt to social restrictions, lockdown and other limitations. This has been no exception for Proyecto Peru, the long lockdown has started to take his toll and therefore we started a fundraising to help us get through the lockdown. https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-local-projects-in-peru?

As it has been a challenging year for most of us, it is time to stay focused on the positive! Because besides our continues support to local projects and communities, Proyecto Peru has provided hundreds of students with meaningful and learning experiences in the past 15 years! And we definitely want to continue helping them discover, immerse, experience and grow in the following years. Therefore, Proyecto Peru gathered some of our previous student’s stories of Peru. You can participate and share your story of how you discovered, immersed, experienced and grew in Peru on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DiscoverImmerseExperienceandGrow

How Cierra discovered, immersed, experienced and grew in Peru

‘my time in Cusco was absolutely amazing and I owe a lot of my great experiences to Proyecto Peru. They helped me meet friends while i was in Peru and gave me the best professor in the world to teach me Spanish.

The organized activities were important to me and helped me immerse into the Peruvian culture while making local friends.

Some of my best memories are from the salsa and bachata classes in ‘mama africa,’ we ended up dancing there several times a week!

On top of all, we had the most caring and happy family and I am grateful that I spend 3 months with them. My experience had taught me a lot about the diversity of life´

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is -_C_acNnBy7Bhka-xQ74TmfrPuYGRFcXttlhCVUq-llOTD0kCpoGqPFjEkQE9y-BzDkHxBZbSAjdWzDOo-dw9FJMkBMnN-QAIK0CoZLAHjLILibrh9VxnThMDlJE473YZPsyJ5iR

How Lasse discovered, immersed, experienced and grew in Peru

From the moment I took my first steps on Peruvian ground I felt that something huge was going on. I’m not talking about something big for the general public; I’m talking about something that happened inside me. That feeling expanded over the course of the next four months when I got to know a lot of amazing people from Cusco in general and from Proyecto Peru specifically. With their support and outgoing mentality I had the foundation for an adventurous time in this beautiful country. 

They provided me with a secure base which meant I had all the energy to discover and grow as a person, and they functioned as a central point of social gatherings which made me immerse myself into Peruvian culture and experience some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. Proyecto Peru made an immense impact on a journey that would already have been unforgettable. 

Don’t hesitate to contact the lovely people at Proyecto Peru if you want a fantastic experience!

How Emil discovered, immersed, experienced and grew in Peru

The time I spent in Cusco volunteering with projects was awesome. I felt I made a difference, and working with Proyecto Peru was completely awesome in becoming who I am today. Peru became a home, and Proyecto Peru played a big part in that, while making sure you have a good time they worked on improving the community which led to a total peace of mind. So make a difference by working with proyecto Peru. You won’t regret it!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is iNukEtzYHRbyTU1PbOZtiZBwLYoHJ_CJ10mXKvjSs8wbFpsqyAR_1yHsvtjyrA3EX_F7eJRd1969UGGcE9Hn7MmKuLIJ-8S5jm9-onb0ANGabgcDDkmullqJrM0XPtjZWwaQp3L6

Usually, Christmas is a special and busy time at Proyecto Peru! In previous years, Proyecto Peru donates chocolates and gifts to our afterschool’s, kindergarten and childcare projects. The month December we are busy wrapping and distributing gifts, chocolate and visiting projects. Unfortunately, this was not possible this year due to Covid. Luckily, Proyecto Peru has been able to donate some small gifts to the local project coordinators. Once the childcare projects open again (expected to open in March), the gifts will be distributed!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 36NHUQeRAD2ch9JGNAMKLs_6udyy_I382utXDAs3tYRSFaQuMb6TPkeYgU6lETcGAPaHGOkWypIHWawn-hSk1mSS_WF_VKERWa-gHz7cQzQRp_l0hxcttvpGOhXAkNHVheR0WaFk

This year, Proyecto Peru primarily donated some books, school materials, candies, toys and some clothes to the childcare projects. Another small donation of dog toys and food was made to our dog shelter and a bag full of clothes and shoes was donated to the woman protection centre.

The Proyecto Peru team stays positive and we cannot wait to welcome students again to Cusco! In the meanwhile, any help to get us through the lockdown is much appreciated, you can donate at:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-local-projects-in-peru?fbclid=IwAR1YbGQX2NjIqC1Dr_cXeVJ4K9fqBy2oHSGmo9VveQnKw7JjQwLOlxvboTA

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is xJDbepmFSylLhu_sKdP0jb1x4fwdHpnk-XhC-Y-b87z3D-NCOp8fr2o7Kgy166jOIGTvXjTtooQM_kFkvADPQCDvOb2NlgqUIQW1yhk0SR3E03XmkqHhMomsGcwj6Hi3SioTt-Qu

Support local projects in Cusco!

Proyecto Peru was founded in 2005 by Dora Elguera Velarde, having the dream of spreading the Spanish language while contributing meaningful work to local communities. 

We can proudly say that since 2005, Proyecto Peru has been able to do so! We have received many volunteers and interns who contributed to more than 40 projects such as after school programs, early childhood development, dog shelters and much more. We also received many donations from our supporters, donating food, equipment (like refrigerators), educational materials and much more.

Proyecto Peru envisions a network of travelers dedicated to connecting with the communities they visit and set a standard for responsible and sustainable tourism. In the past years, Proyecto Peru has contributed to driving positive change and improvement by::

1. Sending responsible volunteers and investing in local projects to contribute to positive change and development of the Peruvian communities

2. Sending students to host families (with which many local families have been able to generate extra income)

3. To give native Spanish teachers the opportunity to teach and share the Spanish language

4. To not just send our students away to a volunteering project, but to provide them continuous support in their experience, making sure they leave Peru with a cross-cultural, giving and rewarding experience

Proyecto Peru is passionate about providing an intercultural experience. The continuous in-country support is an important aspect for us. With weekly meetings we make sure the students contribute to the project while they discover, immerse, experience and grow inter-culturally. Moreover, we match students with the project, making sure everyone’s special skills or talents are connected with the right project in which they can contribute the most.

About the projects

Proyecto Peru supports animal care projects, including a dog shelter and wildlife rescue center. The dog shelter has to maintain more than 150 sick and injured dogs. Their main goal is to rescue these animals from the street and to find them a new home. It often happens that volunteers fall in love with the dogs and sometimes they even adopt one of these beautiful animals!

Moreover, the dog shelter usually organizes several types of campaigns, such as free sterilization, vaccinations and more. In this way, they support the local community in taking care of their dogs.

In Cusco there are many childcare projects. Unfortunately, still not everyone has access to good education and a safe environment. The childcare projects focusses on providing a safe environment in which the children can really be children for a moment. Moreover, Proyecto Peru supports these projects in education (sending responsible volunteers, developing education programs and of course providing educational materials and more).

Proyecto Peru works closely together with more than 40 projects, in all type of categories! We for example also support special education projects, medical projects & campaigns, woman protection center and many more.

It is Proyecto Peru´s passion to be part of positive change and improvement. However, to continue to do so, we now need your help to get us through the lockdown until our clients come back!

Donate now with the link below and let us continue to help many more projects in 2021!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-local-projects-in-peru?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf%20share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR3R8zkuXQIBozsZpxpJI0q2EecVuJC43Hj4bY6iZkKvpBmOG-VovQ4oVEY

Read more about our volunteer projects: https://proyectoperucentre.org/volunteer/index.html

Learning a New Language – Spanish for Kids

A child’s brain is a wonderful thing. It has a high level of plasticity and that’s why it will be easier for them to learn a new language. Of course, learning foreign language has a lot of benefits on the long run, and you are doing right to start learning early on. Spanish is an interesting language and you can find many interactive ways to make it fun to learn for kids. As said, there are a lot of benefits, but also some considerations worth taking into account.

Continue reading “Learning a New Language – Spanish for Kids”

Monthly update October

Hike Cerro Pikol

Last month, Peru loosened some restrictions and people are allowed to hike again! Cerro Pikol is a beautiful hike, though many tourists have never heard of it. 

There are many ways to the top, however, it is very easy to get lost so it is highly recommended to go there with someone who knows the route well! 

You can start this hike from Cusco, the San Sebastian and San Jeronimo district or you can take the bus to Pisac and get out halfway. However, all routes have one thing in common, you will hike up hundreds of meters to reach the top. At the top, you will reach an altitude of 4350 meters! Although this requires some effort, the amazing view over Cusco is definitely worth it!

Spanish for children

Did you already know that Proyecto Peru has the best Spanish teachers for children? In addition to their experience and certification, they know exactly how to keep the classes fun and interactive. 

Our teachers have unique and specialized methods, games and exercises to teach any child Spanish. The classes are for young children up to high school aged students and available for all levels!

Read more about Proyecto Peru`s online classes at https://proyectoperucentre.org/online-spanish-classes.php

The Chimú Civilization in North Peru

Source: 9news.com.au 

Everyone has heard of Machu Picchu. However, did you know that Peru is full of other archaeological sites? For example the city Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian city in South America!

The Chimú civilization lived in the north of Peru, and several archaeological sites have been discovered with remains of these Chimú civilizations. This civilization had huge engineering projects, besides the largest mud brick city in the world (Chan Chan), they also invented a system to irrigate the desert sands of Peru. It was a powerful society with elite craftsmen and farmers before it was conquered by the Inca´s in 1470.

Archaeologists have found many remains of sacrificed children at Pampa La Cruz. They discovered 4 mass sacrifices, which were made between 1200 and 1450. One mass sacrifice consisted of more than 250 children between 4 and 12 years old. Archaeologists have also found many animal sacrifices and the remains of around 40 warriors. 

In 2018 archaeologists found 2 sites, one with the remains of 56 people and another one with 140 children and 200 baby llamas!

Researchers say that the Chimú civilization made these sacrifices to the Gods to end natural disasters and they expect to find many more sites in the future. Archaeologists also expect the melting rainwater to damage these remains as it is turning the city back into mud. Moreover, erosion can also further damage these historical remains. 

Source: 9news.com.au 

Goes the world travel award 2020 to Peru?

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Obh-13Bx-EFCzxV47qgT3b7_I1R5ZF4OIIq0UBQ2_GkLihyECmR0StTDToucExidkWaE8Y-rhig4NZcVtP7ZrqREaABz3-jdGEF8W1FtA6pc_2FxLbB4gk49JxT3XMeAuM3WWoyf

This year Peru got nominated for the world travel award 2020, this is the Oscar of tourism. In the past months, people have been able to vote and at the end of October the winners will be published. Peru has 24 nominations of the 28 categories. In total, there are 67 tourism Oscars in the world travel award. Specifically, places such as Lima, Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon and Mancora are nominated. 

Lima was nominated as the best city, the best place for sportive tourism, the best place for romantic tourism and the best place for events, festivals and conferences. Machu Picchu has been nominated as the best touristic and cultural attraction. Moreover, Mancora is considered to have one of the best beaches and Colca Canyon is nominated for the most natural and green tourist attraction. 

The OMT mentioned that in the first half of 2020, tourism dropped more than 65%. The tourism industry is considered to be one of the hardest hit industries of the Covid-19 crisis. The World Travel award is also seen as a medium to encourage countries to continue improving their touristic locations. 

Besides the mentioned nominations, Peru is also famous for their gastronomy. They have won the award numerous times for gastronomy and the award for the best cultural destination. Colca Canyon has also won the award for most green and natural tourist destination. In 2018, Colca Canyon had more than 290,000 visitors!

This month, national tourism is expected to open again. And Peruvians have the chance to enter places such as Colca Canyon and Machu Picchu for free. The government wants to encourage Peruvians to get to know their own country. In the past years, there has been a lot of focus on international and foreign tourists.  Locals now have the opportunity to visit these beautiful places for free. 

At the end of this month we will find out what tourist awards Peru has won! The many nominations already show the richness of Peru, whether you want to go to the jungle, the beach, the mountains, or a cultural city, Peru has it all!

People of Proyecto Peru – Enrique

Meet our operations coordinator: Enrique!

Last month (September) it was Kike´s birthday, Happy birthday Kike!

Enrique is our Operations Coordinator, he is better known as Kike. Kike was born in Cusco, but has also lived in Miami and Boston.

Kike is finishing his Business Administration studies with a thesis focused on Digital Marketing. Initially, Kike did an internship with Proyecto Peru almost 2 years ago. As he loved the environment, with both the co-workers and clients, he stayed with us as Operations Coordinator. 

Whether you want to know where you can buy a simcard for your phone, where you can take out money or where you can drink the best Pisco Sour in Cusco, Kike is there to help you!

Kike speaks English and his quote for learning a new language is: ´Live the language!´ According to Kike, you should listen to music, movies and podcast as much as possible, practicing and living the language is the best way to learn it, whether you want to learn English, Spanish or any other language!

Moreover, Kike is known for his love of basketball. He loves playing basketball and has even been part of the university team. He has played in national and international tournaments in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and more! So if you are a basketball fan, don´t hesitate to talk with Enrique!

Learn more about Enrique and Proyecto Peru´s staff at: https://proyectoperucentre.org/about-us.html

Monthly update

Back to the Office!

After several months of quarantine, the staff of Proyecto Peru was finally able to return to the office! Proyecto Peru can now work behind closed doors on administrative work. Everyone was very happy to return to the office. At the moment Proyecto Peru can not receive clients in the office, but we are looking forward to welcoming students again to Cusco! In the meantime, we continue to follow the updated corona safety regulations. 

Lockdown in Peru: a summary

In the beginning of March, Peru confirmed its first case of the Coronavirus. Peru responded quickly and declared a State of Emergency with a domestic lockdown. This all happened very quickly and there were several students of Proyecto Peru still in Cusco when all borders closed. Luckily, there were several repatriation flights and during March most students were able to get back home. Some students also decided to stay in Cusco, hoping that they could continue their project or travel plans after the lockdown.

This turned out to be an optimistic idea, as Peru stayed in quarantine till the end of June. The domestic lockdown meant that people were only allowed in the street for essential reasons, such as buying groceries or medication. As in most countries, people started to excessively shop for food, this resulted in empty shops which seemed a bit worrying in the beginning. However, it soon turned out that the shops had more than enough supplies and that excessive food shopping was unnecessary.

During the lockdown, the Peruvian government tried several systems.´ They for example introduced a system where men were only allowed in the street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and women only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This system did not have much success and the government soon switched to a system where 1 person per family was allowed to do food shopping. 

In Peru, many people don’t have a registered job, this means they earn money per day, for example by selling souvenirs, snacks or food in the street. The lockdown has had a huge impact on poverty. Many people who used to live from the money they earned the same day on the street, were suddenly without income. The Peruvian government has tried to support its communities by providing financial bonuses. Moreover, people were able to take out money from their savings and pension funds. 

Most people seemed to be hopeful when the quarantine was lifted in June. Shops started opening again and the government introduced a 4 phase plan to re-open industries. As industries were slowly re-opening, national flights were also allowed again. People were happy to economically start again. However, the corona cases kept rising in Cusco.

In spite of all the optimistic recovering plans, Peru returned to a lockdown in the beginning of August. Luckily, this time the quarantine was not as strict as the first time. Restaurants stayed open and businesses were able to operate under certain regulations. International flights are expected to start again this October. As the Peruvian government continues to monitor the situation and make decisions accordingly, locals and tourists alike are hoping that restrictions will soon be loosened.

Proyecto Peru Hike

In August, some members of the Proyecto Peru team went on a hike! This is an amazing hike of 3 / 4 hours which you can start from the city centre for free. Coen has also guided this hike a couple of times for our volunteers. It is a great hike to get some fresh air without going too far from the city centre. 

Afterwards, Dora cooked one of her famous dishes: Ají de Atún! This is one of her personal recipes, a delicious alternative to the traditional Aji de Gallina.

Positive developments of the lockdown

The spread of the corona crisis has had, and will have many serious consequences. It does not only affect people’s health, but world economies, poverty and more. However in this article we will take take a look at some positive developments of the Corona crisis

More efficient online systems

The worldwide lockdown has forced people and companies to look for new solutions. People started working from home and so online systems became even more important. Businesses and even governments were forced to further improve their online systems. This is causing much more efficiency than before. In Peru, everyone knows the ´challenge´ of waiting in lines for hours or days to get a paper, to get a bank account opened or to get your visa signed. Because of the corona crisis, the government was now forced to change this system. They introduced a new ONLINE system and people are now able to make payments, request cards, papers and more online! On the long-term, this will be a huge advantage and it is a step towards more efficient systems!

Source of creativity 

Worldwide, people and business are becoming more creative. This crisis forces people to think differently, to evaluate the current lifestyle and to look for alternatives. As many people were stuck at home, they had time to re-evaluate their life. To pick up creative hobbies and to start thinking out-of-the.box. People found creativity in themselves they thought they did not have. People started online businesses, restaurants quickly adapted with delivery services, online cooking classes and more!

We can conclude that the importance of digital services has risen significantly in the past months. And though it takes time and effort to adapt to change, some changes will be a huge advantage on the long-term.

Medical Spanish programme

Proyecto Peru offers an extensive medical Spanish program to improve your medical Spanish skills. This program consists of 3 courses, from basic to advanced Spanish!

The program powers up your medical Spanish skills, such as specific vocabulary, grammar structures, greetings and introductions, medical conversation exchange, diagnosis, treatments and more! It teaches students how to interact and express themselves in a medical setting.

People of Proyecto Peru

Meet our staff: Coen Bosch, general manager and owner of Proyecto Peru

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1-683x1024.png

Initially, Coen stumbled upon Proyecto Peru while seeking to learn Spanish during his travels. After back packing through Australia and Asia, he travelled around South America and like so many other travellers, he realised some Spanish would be helpful. First Coen fell in love with Cusco, the city and the people. Later on, Dora (owner of Proyecto Peru) was another reason for him to stay in Cusco!

Coen is Dutch and has been part of Proyecto Peru for more than 10 years. He actually studied and worked as a Biomedical electrical engineer before coming to Cusco. However, in Cusco he realised there was so much more he could do. He could drive real change by supporting and helping Peruvian families, volunteering projects, Spanish teachers and more. So here he is, more than 10 years later, working on the same mission: being part of driving change and improvements.

Proyecto Peru now offers a 40% discount on all online Spanish classes and a first free class. Contact us now!

https://www.facebook.com/ProyectoPeru

How do you prefer to learn a new language?

language-learning-methods-featured-image

Have you ever studied a language at university and forgotten all about it six months later? Well, don’t worry you are not the only one! For decades now, universities have been using the so-called traditional language learning methods. Every student is approached in the same way and tested on their general knowledge. In recent years, this technique is being questioned on its effectiveness and effiency.

Continue reading “How do you prefer to learn a new language?”

7 Reasons why apps can’t replace Spanish teachers

apps can't replace teachers

With the rise of technology and all the options coming with it, jobs are taken over by robots and automized. These days, you can do pretty much everything on your mobile. There is an app for everything! But why can’t apps replace teachers?

Online learning gets more and more popular. You can study and learn all kinds of things from behind your device. Today, you don’t even have to travel anymore to dig into a new culture or language. There is a variety of language learning apps that you can download on your phone that will help you learn a new language. But, are they as effective as you wish it to be? And, will they ever be able to offer what teachers can offer you? In short, will technology ever replace teachers? Of course, this also depends on your learning objectives. In this article, we will answer these questions for you.

Continue reading “7 Reasons why apps can’t replace Spanish teachers”

The history of the Day of the Flag in Peru

Each year on the 7th on June, Peru celebrates la Día de la Bandera: Day of the Flag. It is a day of national pride full of festivities such as parades and various ceremonies. The day dates back to the Peruvian resistance to the Chilean invasion in 1880 at the Morro de Arica; a mountain located in Southern-Peru. Interested in getting to know more about this national festivity? Keep reading!

Continue reading “The history of the Day of the Flag in Peru”

Peru honours the potato during “Day of the Potato”

portal blog day of the potato

On 30 May, the southern Peruvian city of Cusco is entirely dedicated to the ‘papa’; the potato. With more than 3,200 different types of potatoes, Peru is the destination for potato lovers. In terms of diversity and numbers, the Peruvian potatoes are world-class. Every year, Peruvians celebrate “La Día de la Papa”: National Potato Day.

Continue reading “Peru honours the potato during “Day of the Potato””