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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
1
Comments: 
Leon and I have just completed our 10 week commitment with Blue Lagoon Volunteering. We were living in the River House with Professor Patrick and his wife. Location • The town of Sauce is a quiet welcoming country town surrounded by green hills and Laguna Azul or the Blue Lagoon. • There are small local shops where you can buy most things. Milk is available in tins or in powdered form and there are a few herbal teas. We couldn’t buy black tea. • There are many local restaurants and street parillas where you can get a good, large meal of rice, fish or chicken, plantanos, chorizo, beans and salad for 6-8 soles or US$2.00 to US$3.00. • There are upmarket resorts around the lagoon which cater for Peruvian tourists. • Friends of ours rented a clean room with a polished concrete floor, painted walls and washing machine in a hostel for US$20 a month. Accommodation • The River House is in a pleasant location on the bank of a stream and only a few hundred meters from the centre of town. However the house is an old adobe dwelling in need of repair with a heavily worn, packed earth floor. The walls are cracked, crumbling and falling away in one corner of the volunteer’s room. • There is hot water in the shower, internet, a washing machine, a flushing toilet and a rusty, mouldy, dirty fridge. • You must remember to use the water in the thermos to make coffee or tea and not boil the kettle because Patrick and his wife like to save money. • We enjoyed the food; however evening meals were very light- a thin soup with bread or crackers and fruit. • On five separate occasions over the 10 weeks we saw rats or the evidence of rat- eaten fruit on the kitchen table. Teaching • We taught a group of 12-20 students who were 12-14 years old, mainly boys, for 4 hours a week. This was great fun- they are lively, charming and full of character. We needed to change the activities every 20 minutes to keep them engaged. They played an hour of sport as part of the program. • The resources include 2 white boards and whiteboard markers. We bought a bingo game and we made all the other resources. • The classes are held in two locations approximately 10 and 20 minutes’ walk away. • Patrick stopped teaching the students when we arrived so we had free reign to develop and implement a curriculum. Eco Farm • We understood we would be working in the eco farm in the mornings (my partner Leon is a horticulturalist). We did about 2 weeks work cultivating, planting and nurturing a small patch of citrus seeds on a friend’s property. We were told to stop working on the eco-farm because it would be too much to maintain when there are no volunteers. • At present the seedlings that did survive have been eaten by leaf cutter ants, trampled by horses and overgrown by weeds. It was disappointing. From a horticulturalists point of view, it was an ill-conceived project. We enjoyed the teaching, the students, feeding the ducks, the climate, walking around the town, the lagoon and the surrounding hills and meeting the local people and other volunteers.

Comments

Blue Lagoon Vol...

Anne & Leon where her until the end of October with another couple Ann & Geoff. They submitted a 5 star review originally but after leaving created these last two 1 and 2 star reviews. It is obvious that this is a result of a personal issue between us. All our other reviews are 5 star because we are a 5 star organization. We have the original 5 star review and will gladly share this with anyone who inquires. Sincerely, Patrick M. Reardon Director Blue Lagoon Volunteering