Kati es una de nuestras más recientes voluntarias Finlandesas, ella nos cuenta cómo ha sido su tiempo en Perú y en La Casa de Panchita en este post.
Hi my name is Kati and I am from Finland. I came here to Casa de Panchita to do volunteer and my plan is to stay here for six months. For many years I wanted to go abroad to do voluntary, finally I found myself an interesting organization and also finally I had time. Normally Finnish voluntaries choose Finnish organization ETVO (KEPA) which has co-operated many years with Casa de Panchita but I decided to come outside the program.By chance I found Casa de Panchita from the internet and I thought it was interesting because it is an organization for local domestic workers, mostly women. I am a little bit of feminist so I I found this suitable for me. For the very beginning I felt that the energy is really good here at the office and the workers and other volunteers made me felt very welcoming, it is like a one big family. So, basically I got lost in internet sites and now I am here! Coincidence or not, this is really a new experience for me and I will make most of it!
I work mostly at the office but also few evenings in the poor areas San Juan de Miraflores in Ludoteca and Biblioteca where I help kids with their homework and play with them. I think it is nice to have variety. Sunday is a day off for domestic workers so on Sundays there is a many kinds of activities in Casa de Panchita. Those days I am helping with English classes and computer classes and I also have TID workshops with young girls working in domestrc service(“Trabajo Infantil Domestico”).On Sundays Casa de Panchita is usually always crowded. Almost all of the people who come here are persons who work in domestic service (women) and because of the origin of their cultural background they are socially and economically treated differently by them employers etc..One of the goals here in Casa de Panchita is to strengthen the self-esteem and identity of domestic workers and also to increase the appreciation of the different cultures in the regions. Unfortunately there still is racism towards certain cultures.
In the beginning Lima was a lot of chaos for what I am used to, even though I’ve traveled a lot. And definitely not love at first sight but I think this is a city that you learn to like in time. There is lots of traffic, pollution and noise. But also, I have met nothing but nice genuine, open and hospitable people. It is said it takes 3 months to adjust to a new environment, a country, so I will give myself some time. Naturally I came here also to improve my Spanish skills so I think during my first month I’ve learned a lot of new words. First month in my work has been at times a little bit challenging because of the language but I think it is every day easier.
Peru is a big and interesting country and lots of variety from tropical jungles, Andean mountains, The Inca cultures, beaches to a cosmopolitan city of Lima. It is the third biggest country in South America and there are approximately 30 million inhabitants and only in Lima there is 8,5 million people. While I am here I will travel to other cities as well, there is in my list for example Cuzco where I will go to celebrate Christmas with other volunteer Vanessa who is from Germany. Also I will visit Trujillo, Iquitos, Arequipa, Puno and from there to all the way to La Paz, Bolivia. Before I came I already had few local friends here which I got to know during my solo trips in Cuba and Mexico I think it is great to have local friends everywhere you go.
I hope my time here in Casa de Panchita will be rewarding, eye-opening and empowering experience for me. So far I have enjoyed it!:D