Saturday, November 30, 2013

An amazing experience with a great organization - Ronald Tipan

Over a year had already passed since I left Intiwawa. The second half of 2011, I traveled down to the south of Peru in the beautiful city of Arequipa to technically work on communication projects but instead taught English for about 6 months. At that time I was a little hesitant to accept it because I had no teaching experience and I felt uncomfortable around children. I was scared. I had an idea of what I want to do and teaching wasn’t in the cards. Also just planned on staying for four months but extended through the end of the year. As it turned out, it was the best decision. 

Nervous as I was to teach, I felt confident and ready due in part to the other volunteers who came before me and the others who worked with me. I taught English throughout my time there and became an integral part of the Corazon de Jesus staff. I participated in a lot of school activities and bonded well with both the local teachers and the children. I enjoyed my time and deeply appreciative of the schools hospitality. Not only did I teach, I also got to help other children in the area with homework and other things. As the unofficial photographer I documented a wide ranging activities for the organization in San Isidro. Some performed skits, some organized art painting, some played sports and some invented any fun activities the children would enjoy. Being a part of Congeso, an annual weekend conference for the children, proved to be a daunting experience in terms of organizing almost a hundred Intiwawa children at a beach. The planning and execution required every volunteers’ cooperation. It was a quite a success nonetheless. Later in that year, Christmas holiday rolled in. Everyone wanted to give the children an unforgettable experience and we didn’t disappoint. At the end of each day what mattered the most was seeing each of the children smile and enjoy everyone’s company. 

Volunteers came from different parts of the world and virtually from all walks of life who shared the same mentality. I still remembered how often I would look at the white board and count how many new volunteers were coming and where they’re from. The two-story apartment building located an hour away from the projects created an oasis for all of us that we called our home away from home. I was one of the few volunteers who stayed longer and witnessed the influx of volunteers coming and leaving. It was difficult at times. But the bond and camaraderie that developed between the volunteers were evident in how much we enjoyed each other on Christmas 2011. The celebration was the symbol of respect for each other and how well everyone worked together. When one leaves, someone else takes the spot. Each person that I met had an influence in my professional growth. Maybe even one person made a lasting impact on me. Thumbs up! But of course, we were all “for the children.”

Looking back, I accomplished a lot of things in the half year. I got to teach to a bunch of amazing Peruvian children, met some of the amazing people from all over the world, participated in variety of events and activities, dealt with a few ups and downs, assisted in organizing a few projects, visited beautiful landscapes and historical buildings, and immersed myself in a different cultural setting. All of these quenched my thirst for traveling. 

As I prepare myself in another exciting volunteer work in the Dominican Republic, I will take away the amazing experiences and lasting memories that I gained at Intiwawa. For those of you who are still wondering if Intiwawa is a great organization, there are no questions about it. Please support them as the most recent flooding that devastated the city ofArequipa and surrounding villages caused significant problems for the local people.

By Ronald Tipan

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


One of our projects is in a place called Coporaque which is 3 hours away by bus up in the Colca Canyon. Up until last weekend there has been a project on Saturdays where the older kids were learning how to make a newspaper by writing articles and taking photos. The paper should be ready this week and the plan is to give it to the kids from San Isidro and Salinas to read about the goings on of their fellow Intiwawa students in Coporaque.

It is a very important component of Intiwawa for all the kids from all the places to learn about each others cultures and different living conditions.

For example in Coporaque we are currently working out of a cement classroom with no desks or chairs or a whiteboard so we have to improvise our lessons a lot more than in San Isidro and Salinas.
But we have recently bought a printer mainly to make copies and also posters to decorate the walls so it's looking nicer than it was. And next week hopefully we will have a whiteboard!

Also we have added some temporary tables which has made teaching English on Sundays much easier!
The older kids can now introduce themselves (name, age, country and favourite colour) in English which is so great and hopefully by the end of next week they will be able to talk about their family and their house.

Coporaque is a beautiful place and hopefully the kids can use knowledge gained from Intiwawa to improve their lives!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Yo quiero ser - Alex Farfán

“Yo quiero ser”,  es el sueño de que tienen nuestros niños en Intiwawa. Cuando un niño sueña comienza a cambiar el mundo,  comienza a transformarlo todo. Puede dibujar con un pincel un futuro mejor para él y su familia;  puede con una pelota de fútbol, ganarle a la pobreza; puede desde una computadora programar un futuro mejor,  escribir un final feliz para su comunidad, o con una escoba barrer el desinterés de la sociedad. No importa que herramienta elija,  lo importante es que tenga ganas de soñar.

“Yo quiero ser” es una frase llena de entusiasmo, de vitalidad, decisión. Ayudar a la realización de este sueño es una de las más nobles tareas que podamos hacer. Todos los niños sueñan, algunos en silencio; tal vez los problemas apagaron ese sueño, quizás se sienten incapaces de realizarlo,  pero cada niño guarda un deseo,  un sueño en el corazón. Una sonrisa, un abrazo, a veces  una palabra es suficiente para darle fuerza y futuro a esos sueños escondidos y debilitados. No perdamos la oportunidad de ayudar a los niños a realizar sus sueños. Es hermoso cuando ese “Yo quiero ser” se convierte en “Yo soy” y es triste cuando por el desinterés  o el desgano se convierte en un  “Yo quise ser”

Los voluntarios de Intiwawa, ponemos nuestro granito de arena para que esos sueños tengan futuro y para que la sociedad tenga niños felices. No hay esfuerzo pequeño todo suma, todo es bienvenido cuando se trata de ayudar a nuestros niños, niños que guardan muchos sueños.

De Alex Farfán

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weekends by Intiwawa - by Astrid Soufflay

One of the advantages of volunteering for INTIWAWA is that it gives the opportunity to get out of the city to take part in one of the sides projects in either Coporaque or Salinas. 
Luckily for me, I have been to both.

Salinas is located about  two hours from Arequipa itself. It is an isolated, preserved little town whose name  comes from the  gorgeous  saltflats.

The idea of the weekend project is to allow the children to have interaction with other cultures as well as some English lessons whilst also allowing the volunteers to see something different from the very european Arequipa. 

Therefore, two weeks ago, Sophie (the other frenchie from Intiwawa) and I accompanied Juan Jose and Angelo, the peruvian volunteers in charge of the project out to Salinas. I got up that sunday at 5.30 am to get on the 7am bus to the small village. Two hours later, there we were ready to rock that classroom. 

As it turned out, we needn´t dread anything, the kids from 4 to 14 are some of the most enthuastic, knowledge-hungry children I have ever met. Our two hour program was finished in about 30 minutes which meant improvisation most of the time. 

After singing several "good morning" songs and having improvised a game going through most kitchen appliances in English, we finally gave the stage to Juan Jose and Angelo who talked about important values, such as punctuality, honesty and respect. After that, while the boys were teaching the kids some games, I took the opportunity to help the mothers, who cook lunch every Sunday. While preparing the food , they taught me some Quechua and laughed a bit at my french accent but also talked about their children and what they wished for  them. They asked for simple things like a dictionary or maps for school, mentioning that the teacher had to draw one because there was none available.

Even after all this, there was still a little time for us to walk around and discover the gorgeous saltflats, where I fell disgracefully, stupidly attempted to actually eat salt and got terrified by the many alpacas around. All in all, a great sunday which managed to make me fall in love with the idea of the weekend projects. 

The following weekend I got myself in the tricky situation of committing to two week end projects. First Coporoque on Friday and Saturday and then Salinas again on Sunday. As it happened it was the 156th anniversary of Coporaque to which the mayor of the city had nicely invited the Intiwawa team. We were to take part in the official desfiles and I was not going to miss that for the world. 

After admiring condors and then almost dying of sheer phyisical pain walking up the Colca Canyon, my fellow volunteer Katie and I showed up to Coporaque exhausted but enthusastic. The following two days would be musical and colourful, dominated by local dances and some of the prettiest dresses and costumes I had seen in my life. 

All of the children were happy to take part in our desfile and seemed genuinely interested when we talked to them about the new project our coordinators Kerryn and David are putting forward to give secondary school kids artistic and physical activities on Saturdays. This project is a welcomed addition to the Sunday programs which are similar to those ran in Salinas and will notably feature photgraphy classes, for which we are still trying to fundraise.  

To learn more about this specific project :

by Astrid Soufflay

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jincana y teatro

This Friday the volunteers threw a party for the children. We had some guest come in to entertain the children. They did a magic show, musical chairs, thearte and some dancing. We had 46 children turn up in total and they all had a good time participating in the activites. To finish the day they had pancakes made by the volunteers and a goody bag filled with pencils, pens and other goodies. Brilliant day! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Latest news from the projects

The Casa of Intiwawa is now up and running! There is electricity and running water in the Intiwawa house. We also just bought some new furniture for the house, so we can work better with the kids.

Every Monday - Thursday Intiwawa runs ‘Tareas’ - an opportunity for the local children to come along to the house, receive help with their homework in a warm and friendly environment, read books and have a hot homemade meal. Our volunteers are able to spend quality time with the children, teaching them valuable life 

lessons such as teeth cleaning and recycling of waste.

A few weeks ago the kids had two week of school holidays, ‘Vacaciones’, so we altered our usual routine and arranged a variety of activities for the children. Workshops such as painting, theatre, treasure hunts and a mini Olympic Games encouraged the Intiwawa children to work together and to develop existing bonds between themselves and the staff.  

This week we held a fundraising-party in one of the local clubs.The fundraising-party ´fiesta de anitifaces´ was a great success. We had about 350 people at the fiesta! Thanks to the collaboration of the party-people and the helping hands of the volunteers we are now able to improve our work and projects with the kids.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Casa Intiwawa

In january the construction of CASA INTIWAWA started, after a sacred ritual and planting of the first brick stone :-) The picture shows Intiwawa president Susana Ramos with her father and the contractor of casa Intiwawa.

After that they rapidly started constructing the house, here some pictures of the progression:

By this time it was end of february, the contruction was ready for the placing of the roof.
A special occasion here in Peru, and another reason to celebrate. Volunteers, friends of intiwawa and the people of the village helped with the contruction of the roof...this all happened in 1 day!! 

Finally on the 8th of July 2012 it was time for the grand opening of Casa IntiWawa!! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Last sunday it was mother's day. Intiwawa organised a little celebration, about 20 mothers enjoyed a nice show in their honour. The kids had prepared dances, poetry, songs and a theatre.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

A day in the park

On saturday the volunteers took the kids of San Isidro to a park nearby. The Socabaya park is new and has a nice playground, swings, slides and more. The ideal day out, with lots of smiles, a picnic and just time to play and relax.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Projects: English and computer classes

The beginning of a new school year is as well a new start for a lot of projects. Intiwawa teaches computer and English in different schools. Mid april the English and computer classes started in Corazon de Jesus. This is a primary school of about 100 children in Socabaya, Arequipa, Peru. The kids are between 6 and 12 years old.

As it is the start of a new school year, we will apply a new teaching concept and book. With this new curriculum we hope to assure that the kids learn well. Volunteers from Peru and abroad work together on this project. With the help of the peruvian volunteers we hope that the 'foreign' volunteers will be understood better and that we can create more discipline in the classroom. This will also bring consistancy in the classes.

Intiwawa also has volunteers teach in a small school in San Isidro, classes started end of April.

Come and help teaching English, we are looking for long-term volunteers to teach. Get in contact with our coordinator Jana: