My trip to Peru was not my first time out of the United States, but it was my first voluntourism trip. It fulfilled my childhood dreams and changed me forever. I cannot wait to go again, and take my children when they are older. The places we worked in Peru and the work Globe Aware volunteers do there are fantastic. I worked hard, but the work was good. We did some landscaping, continued laying a cement floor, played games with the children, and helped with English homework. The coordinator Rocio is amazing, and I cannot thank her enough.
The country is beautiful. The sites are majestic. This city is historic. Those are all great things, but being involved in this program gave me so much more. This trip gave me a real experience with the culture and the people of Peru. The people I met during my week in Cuzco were genuine, kind, and welcoming. The children are sweet and funny and I am lucky to have spent time with them.
Volunteering, no matter where you do it, makes the world a better place. I am absolutely certain of this. I have been volunteering since I was a child, thanks to my family. And my passion for helping others was really ignited by some fabulous people I was honored to serve with in the military. Volunteering brings you a sense of humility, appreciation, and compassion.
It is difficult to put my experience into words, as I feel words cannot do it justice. Big Heart Home (translated from Quechua), Peru, and the people I met in my travels there hold a special place in my heart. The experience was beyond incredible. If you have an opportunity to go on a voluntourism trip, do it! You will not regret it. Just keep an open mind and an open heart, for that is certainly what you will receive from everyone there. Thank you Globe Aware and all the volunteers for all that you do around the world! - April McCarthy Morgan, April 2012 (as submitted for Volunteer of the Month contest)