Volunteering in the Heart of Peru

I spent two weeks in the heart of the Sacred Valley in I spent two weeks in the heart of the Sacred Valley in Peru. For my first week, I was volunteering in the village of Misminay building a greenhouse for a family. I was one of two teams building greenhouses. The second week I was in Peru, was spend learning about the culture of the country and enjoying the adventurous excursions.

After my trip to Peru, I noticed that I am more aware of those that are less fortunate than me. During my two weeks in Peru, we were submerged in the lower, power class of citizens. We stayed in the poorer hostels, connected with the families in our poor village. It made me very aware of how fortunate I am in my life here in the United States. During my trip I was constantly in a position were I was helping others. By simply purchasing something from the market, I was helping that merchant. By building a green house for the village family, I was able to help them have access to food year round. Here at home, I am no longer in a position where I can easily help others. I find myself seeking out opportunities to help those less fortunate than me. I find that I want to help more than I did before my trip.

I have also renewed my dedication to my studies here at OSU. There are not many students that are so fortunate enough to have their entire schooling paid for. After returning from my trip I have become more humbled and ashamed for how I spent my first two years simply “being here” as a student instead of utilizing the tools I’ve been given here on campus.

During my stay in Misminay, we interacted daily with the families we were helping. They spoke to us often about their struggles with food with shelter with money. It was a very hard situation to be put in as I listened to these people talk, while I took pictures of the scenery with my iPhone. The children and parents would go days wearing the same holed filled, dirty clothes without showering or changing their clothes. They would have dirt caked on their feet and and hands for multiple days. Knowing that they did not have access to abundant amounts of water like we do in the U.S. was a hard realization. The people in the village were the biggest impact on me and my change that I see in myself since coming back. I was able to experience the poor living conditions of people first hand, and not from a picture or a short video, it was for several days of face to face interactions.

The members of my volunteer group also influenced my greatly. We all experience the same thing while working in the village and all had varying degrees of impactfulness. We spent hours reflecting on what we saw and heard and did. After all of these reflection, we, as a group, decided to give larger than normal donations to our village families in order to give them as much as we could since we feel we had more than we needed and they didn’t even have the bare minimum of what was needed.

Our guide, Yieber was also a great influence on me. We spent hours in the ancient city of Machu Picchu. During our time there, Yieber gave us a for informal but informative lecture of the culture of his small village of Maras, (about twenty minutes from Misminay) and of the culture of the people of Peru. He spoke of worship to the mountains and mother nature and the rivers. The people of Peru are constantly giving back to mother nature since it is she that they take their resources from. There are always ceremonies, alters made, prayers said, and symbols worn. Most famously is the chakana, or Incan Cross. This symbolf of Peru culture is the very definition of how the Peruvians try to live their lives and treat those around them. Yieber became so overwhelmed with emotion while talking about this subject that it made the influence that much more meaningful. While the people of Peru do not live in fancy houses or drive cars or have iPhones, they do respect each other as human beings, and they take care of their mother earth. If they can live this way with nothing, why can’t I live this way when I am fortunate to have more than them?

I plan on carrying this thought into my career plans. I plan on continuing on to the financial industry. With my own successes, I plan on helping others to find their own success and to make sure others succeed in living the way they want and have earned, much like the people I met in Misminay and Cuzco.

Peru. For my first week, I was volunteering in the village of Misminay building a greenhouse for a family. I was one of two teams building greenhouses. The second week I was in Peru, was spend learning about the culture of the country and enjoying the adventurous excursions.

After my trip to Peru, I noticed that I am more aware of those that are less fortunate than me. During my two weeks in Peru, we were submerged in the lower, power class of citizens. We stayed in the poorer hostels, connected with the families in our poor village. It made me very aware of how fortunate I am in my life here in the United States. During my trip I was constantly in a position were I was helping others. By simply purchasing something from the market, I was helping that merchant. By building a green house for the village family, I was able to help them have access to food year round. Here at home, I am no longer in a position where I can easily help others. I find myself seeking out opportunities to help those less fortunate than me. I find that I want to help more than I did before my trip.

I have also renewed my dedication to my studies here at OSU. There are not many students that are so fortunate enough to have their entire schooling paid for. After returning from my trip I have become more humbled and ashamed for how I spent my first two years simply “being here” as a student instead of utilizing the tools I’ve been given here on campus.

During my stay in Misminay, we interacted daily with the families we were helping. They spoke to us often about their struggles with food with shelter with money. It was a very hard situation to be put in as I listened to these people talk, while I took pictures of the scenery with my iPhone. The children and parents would go days wearing the same holed filled, dirty clothes without showering or changing their clothes. They would have dirt caked on their feet and and hands for multiple days. Knowing that they did not have access to abundant amounts of water like we do in the U.S. was a hard realization. The people in the village were the biggest impact on me and my change that I see in myself since coming back. I was able to experience the poor living conditions of people first hand, and not from a picture or a short video, it was for several days of face to face interactions.

The members of my volunteer group also influenced my greatly. We all experience the same thing while working in the village and all had varying degrees of impactfulness. We spent hours reflecting on what we saw and heard and did. After all of these reflection, we, as a group, decided to give larger than normal donations to our village families in order to give them as much as we could since we feel we had more than we needed and they didn’t even have the bare minimum of what was needed.

Our guide, Yieber was also a great influence on me. We spent hours in the ancient city of Machu Picchu. During our time there, Yieber gave us a for informal but informative lecture of the culture of his small village of Maras, (about twenty minutes from Misminay) and of the culture of the people of Peru. He spoke of worship to the mountains and mother nature and the rivers. The people of Peru are constantly giving back to mother nature since it is she that they take their resources from. There are always ceremonies, alters made, prayers said, and symbols worn. Most famously is the chakana, or Incan Cross. This symbolf of Peru culture is the very definition of how the Peruvians try to live their lives and treat those around them. Yieber became so overwhelmed with emotion while talking about this subject that it made the influence that much more meaningful. While the people of Peru do not live in fancy houses or drive cars or have iPhones, they do respect each other as human beings, and they take care of their mother earth. If they can live this way with nothing, why can’t I live this way when I am fortunate to have more than them?

I plan on carrying this thought into my career plans. I plan on continuing on to the financial industry. With my own successes, I plan on helping others to find their own success and to make sure others succeed in living the way they want and have earned, much like the people I met in Misminay and Cuzco.