The 11 weeks that I spent in Peru this summer for HOP were truly amazing! This experience provided everything I could have wanted in a trip. From making friends with all sorts of unique and wonderful people, to dancing and fun Peruvian parties, to getting to do many different rotations at various hospitals/clinics (like watching awesome surgeries), to receiving evening medical classes, to working with beautiful children with cerebral palsy, to trying so much delicious food, to exploring Mancora’s beaches and the Amazon jungle and some historic parts of Peru, to getting to interact with patients in the highlands of Peru and helping to provide them with care at various medical campaigns, to living with a local Peruvian family, and to finding a welcoming Christian community, it’s easy to see how my time in Peru was well-spent and full of unforgettable memories! To anyone reading this, if you are interested in health care or are pre-med, and you want to see what health care delivery really looks like, and also want to learn about how it differs from health care in the United States, and practice your Spanish with amazingly kind and helpful doctors and nurses, I would 100% recommend this program! You will not get this type of experience shadowing a doctor in the States, and this was only half of what made the HOP experience great! In working alongside enthusiastic and kind individuals that want to serve and learn, it will be hard not to feel inspired and motivated, and hopefully—like me—you will leave having experienced both personal and professional growth!
Luisa Nilan, Harvard University
I could not have asked for a more rewarding experience! Through the Hands to Teach program I was able to oversee and teach four different elementary school classes. It was amazing to get to know all the kids, learn about their lives while also sharing my life and language with them. Additionally, having the opportunity to experience another country surrounded by amazing coordinators, families and volunteers made the trip even more special.
Thanks for everything,
Three weeks earlier, I stood in the airport with my brother both excited and nervous. I didn’t know what to expect of this experience. Now, having just left Peru, I already want to go back. I had the opportunity to be a part of the inauguration of the new preventative health clinic, CESAPU, in an underdeveloped area of Peru. I received great amounts of valuable medical experience and exposure from this trip, but they don’t match the relationships that I’ve built with the staff, volunteers, doctors, nurses, and most importantly, the kids and the community. Every day brings a new adventure, but for me, the most exciting part of the experience was the morning that we arrived at the clinic with all of the kids lined up outside waiting for us. As soon as we turned the corner, the kids bolted towards us to give us hugs and to grab our arms and legs. There is no greater feeling than knowing the impact that you can have on these children’s lives. While I managed with only a little Spanish, I have decided to study Spanish so that next time I go to Peru I can get even more out of the experience and develop deeper relationships with the community and its incredible children. Until next time Peru!
Omar Sharaf, (December 2016 - January 2017)
To feel at home in a foreign country is a feeling that most people have never had the opportunity to experience. I have just returned to the United States after living with my loving, Peruvian family in Trujillo, Peru for a month as a volunteer with Hands on Peru (HOP). I was lucky enough to witness the opening of El Centro Voluntariado En Salud Publica (CESAPU), the first clinic of its kind in Peru, and to spend the next month volunteering with amazing and driven people. Along with six other volunteers, various doctors, and some coordinators and administrators, we worked every day to make the clinic’s campaigns successful, and they were! Hundreds of people were registered with the clinic by the third week, and the trust between the community and the clinic had grown so immensely that the same people were returning every day to visit and receive care! During my time in Peru I gained an entire Peruvian family, made connections with the community that will last a lifetime, swam with sea turtles bigger than myself, watched a baby come into this world by C-Section, learned how to perform a pap smear, and most importantly, I inherited a drive to stay involved with HOP and the community that it serves. If you want to be a part of something that changes several lives in addition to your own for the better, consider joining the HOP family.
Grace Gunter, (December 2016 - January 2017)