The village of Yuncaypata is located in the District and Department of Cusco. It is located in the mountains above the city of Cusco. It takes about 30 minutes on a local bus to get there from the city. The population is approximately 310 people. This village has basic resources such as water and some places have electricity. There is no sewerage.
The school is called The Educational Institution 50044, Virgin Del Carmen, of Yuncaypata (La Institución Educativa N. 50044 Virgen Del Carmen de Yuncaypata). It is a public primary school, funded by the government. All students of this institution must enrol in the school under the norms and rules, according to law. The school has grades from 1st grade to 6th grade, divided into 2 classes.
The school has minimal resources. The two classrooms have enough tables and chairs for the students, with black boards and white boards. The school does not have enough material for the students. The resources include learning materials such as exercise books, writing materials, reading books and other learning resources, such as posters.
The school also has a kindergarten for small children, not yet of school age. Having a kindergarten assists parents to work, as well as making the transition to school easier for the children.
There are officially two teachers employed at the school, including the principal. The students are taught mathematics, biology, Español, etc. The matriculation rate is currently 66%.
The school was chosen by Cultural Immersion to receive Volunteers to teach English. This school was chosen for a variety of reasons including, the economic situation of the school and the students; it's proximity to Cusco and therefore accessibility to English speaking tourists willing to Volunteer; and the benefit speaking English would bring to the employment opportunities for these children in the future.
The project at the school started in 2007. So far the school has had Volunteers from Australia and the USA. Volunteers are asked to give their time for a minimum of one month, to ensure some continuity and for the students to gain the maximum effect of teaching. The Volunteer coordinator has selected a teaching resource called Super Kids, which provides resources, guidance and continuity for the Volunteers. The school principal requested that Volunteers give 2-3 hours of teaching every day of the school week, from 8:30 in the morning. Within this time both classes are taught separately.
How is the Volunteer experience?
A whole lot of fun! The children are wonderful and happy. They are all full of spirit and character. It is a joy to spend time with them and their teachers. One month is long enough to get to know the children and feel like you are contributing to their learning. No previous experience teaching English or children is necessary, just a lot of energy, enthusiasm and willingness to give and a bit of creativity! Be warned your heart will break when you leave them!