Mary-Katherine's Impact in Peru

Mary-Katherine Workman volunteered in Peru in January 2018. She wanted the opportunity to travel but also make a sustainable impact. In Peru, she worked on numerous social projects to help uplift Lima communities. Lawrence Book-McKnight, Program Manager for CCS Peru interviewed Mary-Katherine about her experience. Read about her impact journey!

When did you originally decide to volunteer with CCS, and why?

I decided I wanted to volunteer with CCS because after my college graduation I wanted to be able to see the world from a new perspective. I wanted to travel but at the same time experience a country on a more personal level and make a difference while there.

What drew you to the social project, and what motivates you to continue participating in it all over the world?

I believe education is so important on every level. I am so thankful for the education I was able to receive that I wanted to help further develop education in areas that weren’t as fortunate. It is such an amazing feeling to know you are giving back.

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How did you see the community impacted by this project?

I believe the impact we made was providing a fun and safe learning environment for kids to come to every day. I hope that it also made learning fun for the kids and that it encouraged them to continue to study and work hard.

Why should others get involved with the CCS Social Projects?

I encourage other people to get involved because it is hard work that is so rewarding. It challenges you to think differently and step outside of your comfort zone. You have to be a leader for the kids and show them what education can do for them.

What is your favorite part of CCS programs?

I loved how I got to spend the mornings volunteering and then come back to the house for cultural activities. I absolutely loved the different tours I went on to various archeological sites and museums, I felt that I got a crash course in the history of the country.

Can you share a favorite memory with us from any of your CCS trips?

My favorite memory was during my second week there at the volunteer site when a couple of the children who had been shy or struggling the previous week with the lessons we had been going over with them started to speak up more and were getting answers right. It was amazing to see them actually making progress.

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What piece of advice would you give a future volunteer?

Make the most out of it the work. CCS is an amazing organization that really goes above and beyond to make sure you not only have a great volunteer experience but also have fun exploring the country. With that said however, it is up to you to get what you want out of the volunteer experience. For me what made it such an incredible experience was getting hands on with the kids and getting to know them individually. I could have just sat back and participated but instead I chose to try to step up in the ways I could and truly have my focus on helping the kids. For me the main reason I was there was to volunteer and leave knowing I made at least a small difference. The cultural activities are amazing and I had so much fun, but what made the experience worthwhile for me was the hours I spent at the volunteer site. So I encourage everyone that signs up for this to really make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Likewise, stay for at least 3 weeks if possible because I feel like if you want to see progress or truly make a different you need to be there longer than just 2 weeks.

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