From December 2015 to January 2016, I was a JC at Intiland Village in Lima, Peru. This was the first village in Peru’s CISV history. After a total of 16 hours travelling –by myself for the first time- I arrived in Lima. My homestay showed me around the city as we went to a famous beach in Lima. He gave me a tasting of the culture with the food and also he took me to a fruit market. The homestay was an experience I will never forget as I felt like I got to experience the city as we went everywhere that was interesting and experienced another culture.
Before the children arrived at the camp, I went to the campsite to meet all the leaders, staff and other JC’s and we got to know about each other. From here we set goals that were agreeable by all the leader’s and set the standard for the camp.
This was the first time I was away from home for the New Year’s period as well and even though I was a bit homesick at first, I realised that it was a great way to celebrate the New Year’s. Every time a time zone would hit the New Year period we would countdown and celebrate the New Year in that country and it was awesome because I essentially celebrated 13 New Year’s.
From the moment the children arrived at camp to the moment they left the transformation of each and every individual was incredible. I had the privilege of these young people learning about each other’s cultures, understanding complex problems as well as developing their fundamental skills that are important for their futures. The activities were the catalyst for this success. On camps like these, the leaders, JC and staff run the activities for the children to do. The camp begun with simple name games to build trust and create friendship and progressed onto needing to either fully trust each other or work as a team.
The daily schedule was a packed schedule that was put in place in order to ensure the children could have as much fun as possible. We started off with flag time and breakfast in the morning, and this was a time where pyjamas were accepted as much as clothing. The kids would then get changed, brush their teeth to get ready for activity 1. One of the activities we did was based on communication without the ability to talk. This in turn develops trust for each other as well as creates a simulation on how to get across ideas in non-conventional ways. From here we would have delicious lunch, shower time and 2 more activities until we had dinner. The meals were a display of Peruvian cuisine and I found it very delicious. After one more activity and lullabies the children would go to sleep. From here the leaders would have meetings reflecting on the progress of the camp as well as we would have to plan for the next day so we had plenty of late nights.
From moments like making “secretive banana” energy, to #embracethelump the camp was filled of inside jokes and unforgettable memories. All 71 people there will be my friends forever and I would recommend either going as a JC or sending your child to a camp because you learn so much about yourself, and develop as an individual. I can’t wait until I go on another international program.
Noah Ventura, aged 16yrs old.