Meet Zach, 25 years old and carpenter by trade he’s a down to earth, diligent and deft young man from Boston, Massachusetts. Zach joined LLI about three months ago, and has been volunteering as an English teacher as well as assisting in teaching chess, art class, sports, and reading program. When asked about his favorite thing about teaching kids: Helping a student figure out something they’re having a hard time with and seeing their face light up when it finally clicks. I truly enjoy the sense of humor of the students as well even the very young ones, joking around and laughing with them is a wonderful feeling.
LLI: What inspired you to volunteer in Huaycan?
Zach: Volunteering abroad is something that I’ve wanted to do for a number of years. To have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life and to help them have some opportunities that they may not otherwise have had the privilege to have is a wonderful feeling for me. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with kids and the Latin American culture is something that’s always been interesting to me. So when I came across light and leadership initiative during my online research for volunteering opportunities it seems like a perfect fit.
LLI: What activities do you enjoy the most while volunteering for LLI?
Zach: My time spent here at LLI has been truly amazing. The thing that I enjoy most is definitely spending time with the kids. They are so incredibly appreciative, caring, loving, energetic and enthusiastic. They’re almost always smiling and the feeling that I getwhen they run up to me to give me a hug is more than I can explain with words. It’s so great to be able to spend enough time with these kids to get to no their individual little quirks and personalities. Each one is truly an individual. In addition to the amazing students it’s it is a privilege to live with such a great group of volunteers and I feel that I’ve made some true friends in this process. I’ve also been impressed with how well this organization is run. We are able to work as a team to solve problems and continuously move forward.
Somethings that are at the top of my list include; playing sports with the kids before English class especially when they get really into the game. Helping a student figure out something they’re having a hard time with and seeing their face light up when it finally clicks. I truly enjoy the sense of humor of the students as well even the very young ones, joking around and laughing with them is a wonderful feeling. And like I mentioned earlier getting to know the individual personalities of these children and gaining an appreciation for their little quirks and the things that make them unique is extremely enjoyable to me.
LLI: Plans after LLI?
Zach: After I finish volunteering with LLI I plan on spending some more time traveling in Peru before I head back to the states to resume my job as a carpenter.
LLI: Message to future volunteers?
Zach: To anyone thinking about volunteering abroad, I can’t say enough about the experience that I’ve had so far with the light and leadership initiative. I truly feel that this is an organization that makes a difference in the lives of the children and the families of Huaycan and I feel truly privileged to be a part of it. If you put your heart into it it will no doubt be a life changing experience.
LLI: Any travel/volunteering/teaching tip for future volunteers.
Zach: My best advice to future volunteers in terms of traveling would be to take advantage of every opportunity you have to do or see something new here. You likely won’t be disappointed. As far as teaching and volunteering goes, the more you put into it the more you’ll get out of it. You have the opportunity to build a real relationships with these children it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.
It’s been smashing having you here with us, Zach. You’ll always have friends at LLI and we wish you success in everything 🙂