For my third year at Ipag Business School, I had to do an internship or a volunteer mission abroad, for a semester. I chose to be volunteer in Peru. I thus lived in Cusco for 5 months. I was attracted by Peru mostly because of its history and culture. If I volunteered it is because I didn’t want to travel, to only see the difference, but mostly to make a difference, and learn as much as I can. I volunteered in three different mission with Maximo Nivel Company. The three different missions I chose to do are: Special Need Care, Construction & Renovation, and Jungle Conservation. Maximo Nivel role is to lead volunteers and fined us a placement. The staff was really professional but in my mind, the company had a bad financial politic.
For my first project, Special Need Care, my mission was to take care of children with mental disabilities. I had to organize different activities on purpose to make them happy, occupied and eventually help them improve their capacities. It was a very difficult task to teach to these kids, but in the same the most interesting and amazing time I had during my trip. I tried to teach them how to wright and read, and I tried to improve their manual skills. I thus invented several activities. Main difficulty with this mission, was to improve every 21 children skills and get their intention. It was a good way to learn patience, when it is not my quality. This project was totally in line with my career plans because I want to create my own institution/foundation for Down syndrome people.
For the construction and renovation I worked on 2 places. The first one was a kids’ study room where I had to renovate the outside, mostly painting the walls. The second project consisted in building a clinic second stage, with the Peruvian way. It was physical, but together and with tips we made a great job. We built the supporting walls and start to put the roof cement. With this project I improved my patience and learnt how to find out solutions to a problem, faster. I really enjoyed to do this mission, which was physically hard, but also full of satisfaction. Even If I sweated a lot, I always felt proud when finally I had succeed. It’s a great feeling, to know that your work has more than 1 purpose, and that it will help others.
In the jungle, my missions where mainly based on the animal monitoring project, which is crucial in assessing the level of animals activities. The agroforestry system which is a sustainable food source, needed to be clean every week by cutting grass. The camera game is a way to know which animals are where and when. We thus used to walk between 7 and 14 kilometers in a day to place the camera and take it back one week later. We even walk in jungle parts unvisited by humans before, to access to more knowledge about biodiversity. Sometimes, at night we went to hunt snake, frogs and caimans. When we had one animal, the next day we have to identify it, before releasing it. Jungle is the best place to resource yourself, and finally have some silence, or only naturals relaxing noises.
Classes I followed at IPAG allowed me understand better what surround me and differences between cultures. This experience was the best opportunity IPAG could give us. I now feel ready to go back to study and to begin to develop my ideas. Cusco, a unique city and people I met totally shaped my travel.
I would like to thanks my family, my friends, my school and all those who supported me before and during this trip in Peru.