A Peruvian volunteer’s story: Melisa Ramos shares her thoughts

More people need to get involved but we need to continue working with them. Giving them the tools to grow as a community..to grow as people.. ….to grow as families……..to grow as friends… It is a long way but I think it is possible with the help of Canadian and Peruvian volunteers.

Hi there!

My name is Melisa Ramos, I am Peruvian and I am a teacher and I’m a volunteer in Solidarity in Action.

Let me tell you about my experience in Pacifico de Villa.

On May, 2012 it was the first time that I visited Pacifico de Villa that it is a community in Chorrillos (Chorrillos is a district in Lima). For me it was so shocking to see this reality totally different from where I live and work and also it is so different from other communities that are near Pacifico de Villa. (I live 40 minutes from that place)

It was so close from home but so different at the same time that really impressed me a lot. Most of the houses are made of clay-brick and reeds. Just a few houses are made of wood. They do not have roads or pavements. Neither do they have a principal supply of water. It is very dusty. Recently they have won a trial against SEDAPAL, a water company here in Peru. Now they will own their own property and they can start building new houses. … They will have water.

I have been a volunteer with Solidarity in Action since July 2012.
On July 2012, one group [of volunteers] worked in the kindergarten. They were building another classroom and a bathroom. It was not easy to do that kind of job. Also they were giving English classes to the mothers of the community in the afternoon and two volunteers gave workshops for teachers in different schools.

Following the first group in July, another group came soon after. They worked very hard with the community. July marks the time of vacations for students. SIA and their volunteers created a summer school for children from 2 years old to 17 years old. It was amazing! Also [we had] a health campaign and work[ed] on construction. They were divided in groups. We were all working so hard all the time!!

On August 2012, the last group was working in construction and with the summer school.

From October to December 2012, the Peruvian volunteers Daniel, Guillermo, Mayra and I were working on two projects: Youth in Action (In this group we had theater classes, and we watched movies) and we [held] music workshop for children. We were so glad and delighted to work with children. The music workshop was on Saturdays mornings and [the] Youth in Action was on Sundays afternoon. After each session, the children watered the plants and cleaned the [Youth in Action] park. It was amazing to talk and listen to the children. We tried to teach them values. We focused on values because they will teach someday to others later. In November, we h[eld] a soccer tournament with the young boys from the community. They loved it! With the help of two Canadian volunteers we had [a] wonderful tournament.

During [the past few] months I have seen that the community has been growing little by little. The mothers and children [have been] so glad to learn new things. Now the mothers are having a knit group, they are knitting purses, sweaters, scarfs, etc. They want to sell them in order to help their families to have better conditions to live. Their children want to continue having summer schools or workshops because they learn new things. The young boys from the community would like to have more soccer tournaments.

More people need to get involved but we need to continue working with them. Giving them the tools to grow as a community..to grow as people.. ….to grow as families……..to grow as friends… It is a long way but I think it is possible with the help of Canadian and Peruvian volunteers.

Melisa Ramos (Solidarity in Action volunteer staff)

Melisa and Ruth hang out during the women's knitting group.
Melisa and Ruth spend time during the women’s knitting group.
Melisa (2nd to the left) poses with SIA 2012 volunteers, Renish (far left), Avantika (2nd to the right) and Nabila (far right)
Melisa (2nd to the left) poses with SIA 2012 volunteers, Renish (far left), Avantika (2nd to the right) and Nabila (far right)
Melisa poses with Florentino one of the Pacifico de Villa section leaders.
Melisa poses with Florentino one of the Pacifico de Villa section leaders.

Melisa Ramos has been volunteering with Solidarity in Action since July 2012. Melisa has played an important role as a translator and organizing project logistics for SIA’s education programs. Melisa is an English teacher in Chorrillos, she volunteers during the weekends, evenings and during school vacations. Melisa is the Spanish instructor for all of SIA’s programs.

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One thought on “A Peruvian volunteer’s story: Melisa Ramos shares her thoughts

  1. You are such an incredible person, Melisa! All your hard work with SIA is truly inspirational. I can’t wait to come back to Peru and work in Pacifico de Villa with you.

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