Yes, we felt our work project was very meaningful. Both because we as a family got to help to improve the grounds of the orphanage by cleaning out the gardens and building fences as well as teaching the students English and being able to interact with them.
We liked how the free time/ breaks were spread out throughout the day. After a morning of working, it always felt good to have a break after lunch and then one after dinner. As the week wore on we tended to look forward to the breaks more as we were tired! The only suggestion I would make is to not plan an outing for the first day of arrival. We arrived on a Saturday from Lima and had not adjusted to the altitude. We wound up not being able to go on the walk/ tour through Cusco as we slept for several hours and were too tired!
We learned a lot about the culture of Peru. Especially about the lives of the children and how they needed to travel to Cusco to get higher education. We especially felt enlightened by our trip to one of the students home in the community. It was during this visit when we made a stove and really got to see and absorb how families live off of the land. It definitely put things into perspective for my family of 5 as we have three daughters ages 12, 14 and 17. - Kimberly Snapper, July 2014