Tinkuy Peru's primary mission is education, but we also offer moral, spiritual, intellectual and material support for children in poverty. These children are in need of support as a result of abandonment, displacement due to the social violence of the past decade, and family violence.
Tinkuy offers volunteer opportunities for professionals, trades people, and students of all nationalities, who want to share their knowledge and their special skills with the people of Huancayo. Tinkuy is especially interested in providing English-language training, which we feel will help open doors to the global community. The most valuable asset that we have from our volunteers is their time.
Tinkuy Peru is based in the town in of Huancayo Peru which is located in the Peruvian Andes Mountains. There is a high level of poverty in Huancayo caused by the terrorism is in the 1990s, the weak Peruvian economy, as well as low quality education. Tinkuy works with orphaned children and poor families in different areas to promote community development.
Our main project is the Mountain School, which teaches around 75 children from 5-17 years old. Volunteers teach anything from English and Math to Arts and Crafts. As a volunteer, you only need to be in the school for a few hours, holding a conversation with some of the older kids in fluent English to realize the difference you are making and the opportunities you are creating.
The volunteers bring a new world, and provide a safe and positive experience for the children who often come from broken homes. Ultimately, we hope that it will give the children the desire to stay in school and a better outlook on life. The volunteers try to bridge a gap with education and new experience for those children who often even cannot economically afford all of the basics.
These volunteers are the heart of the program and without their continued support Tinkuy Peru would cease to exist, and the future of our children would not be nearly as promising. Volunteering in Peru is an unforgettable and life changing experience, and many of our volunteers enjoy themselves so much that they end up coming back to Huancayo.
I am so glad that I ended up with Tino´s family and Tinkuy Peru, even though I never planned to. I spent my first week volunteering at another project in Huancayo, which turned out to be nothing like I was expecting; The hostparents drank way too much and everything was unorganized. Their project was all about making money rather than helping poor children. So luckily I found Tino´s number, and he invited me over to his house. Everyone in the family made me feel at home straight away. I have now spent two months with Tinkuy Peru. It has been the most rewarding time of my life.
Tino created Tinkuy Peru to help children, and compared to many other projects, he really does. The money you pay goes straight to the school and the children. While I have been here, he has finished one of the classrooms and the playground. It is nice to see that your money is actually spent on something meaningful. The school still needs much work. Tino wants to build two more floors, and showers and bathrooms for the children that do not have this at home.
The kids at the mountain school are wonderful and some are really intelligent. They all have big dreams about becoming lawyers, policemen, veterinarians and teachers. It makes me sad when I think about the fact that because they are poor most of them will never be able to go to university. However, if they have learnt enough English by the time they finish school, it will definitely increase their chance of going to university. That´s why volunteers are so important to Tinkuy Peru. If they don´t have any volunteers, they don´t have any English teachers.
I have to say that being a teacher was challenging at times. No one tells you what to do or what the kids already know. With no teaching experience I felt pretty lost my first day. It was especially hard because I don´t speak spanish. However, somehow we managed to communicate, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single day I spent at the school. I have been teaching the oldest kids at the school (11-16). Even though not everyone pays attention at all times, the kids are absolutely lovely and very eager to learn. I have also spent a lot of time just playing, speaking and laughing with the children. I truly love my class.
I have also been taking Spanish lessons with Leslie, Tino´s niece. This has been very helpful. It is not a problem if you don´t know spanish, but I would recommend taking lessons with Leslie. She is a wonderful and fun teacher!
Mari cooks delicious food every day. She has also been very kind and helpful when I unfortunately got sick.
In the weekends I have enjoyed bikeriding and hiking with Tino and other volunteers. Mari has taken me to see Wanka ruins, crazy Peruvian markets and to eat traditional Peruvian food. I also went to the jungle with Leslie, Tino´s sister and 4 other volunteers. It has all been amazing experiences.
Thank you Tino, Mari, Leslie, Pilar, Angelita, Gladis and the rest of the wonderful Tinoco family for two wonderful, unforgettable months!
Kristine Erstad Vegard (firstname.lastname@example.org)