The volunteering experience in the small town of Trujillo was my first experience of such sort. I found this opportunity on a website called Work Away.
What really got me interested in this project was the fact that primarily the organization concentrates on helping street dogs as well as teaching English to local children and adults. I believed this to be an exciting project and therefore decided to get into contact with William who is in charge.
William responded very quickly and in a very informative manner, so it was not long before all the questions I had were answered and I found myself at the bus stop in Trujillo waiting to be picked up by William.
William is an incredible host, he makes sure that all the volunteers feel extremely welcome and tries to do everything in his power to make the stay of the volunteers as much fun and entertaining as possible. Every weekend he has a different activity planned for the group such as sand boarding, camping, going to a bar or club or visiting some archaeological sites where we all learn things about the history of Trujillo.
Throughout the week volunteers also have the possibility to attend salsa and bachata lessons as well as spanish lessons which is a one on one lesson, moulded exactly to the level of spanish that the volunteer has.
Now, for the most important part; I personally chose to help out at the dog shelter. This experience was far more emotional and fulfilling than I would have ever expected. Mariella, the woman who gives her absolute best at saving as many dogs as possible and giving a safe and healthy environment to the ones she has kept (19) also has one of the best hearts a person could have. She is the most friendly woman who for many people should become an example of how to do some good in the world.
Our daily work with the dogs in the shelter would include: walking the dogs, feeding them, washing them, giving them water to drink, playing with them, cleaning up the area they live in. Sometimes the days were more serious where we would pick up abandoned, injured or sick dogs with a car and would take them to the vet for vaccinations, x-rays, stiches or skin treatments.
It was hard to see the animals suffer when they went to the vet, many of them scared and nervous. It was in these moments when you realize what a difference you are making, even if it is just stroking a dog to help it calm down on its way to the vet. Mariella has a heart of gold to be doing this day in and day out and it was an absolute pleasure to be part of that for 2 months in total.
The friends at the volunteer house are also some that you will keep for way beyond your time at Peru Vivential.
I truly appreciate the time I spent there and the people I met, thank you!