I came for an internship, I left with a great life lesson.

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Looking for a 6 month internship abroad as part of my university studies, I decided to join HOOP as a Program Assistant. HOOP appeared as a unique opportunity to discover an exciting and original workplace in which I could learn a lot, expressing my creativity while doing something meaningful and useful for people living in an impoverished area of Arequipa. One of HOOP’s main assets that made me take on this adventure was its professionalism and its commitment towards the Flora Tristán community.

Even though volunteers come to enjoy their time in Peru, you can see that people working here really try to make a difference. HOOP works with total transparency and always involves the Flora Tristán community members in the decision making process.

Besides all the skills I have developed while working with HOOP, I’ve found that the biggest thing I will take away are the feelings that will last a lifetime; the feeling that people believe in me, the feeling that my work is of value to someone, and the feeling that I can make a real difference. These are just priceless.

What I enjoyed most during my time with HOOP was the solidarity between all “HOOPsters” alongside the enthusiasm of the kids at school continually communicating happiness and positive energy. The relationship I’ve built with the HOOP staff members, the volunteers and the kids turned what could have been a basic internship into an unforgettable life experience. I could show you dozens of pictures more to try to convince you to come and volunteer or intern with HOOP. But I won’t.

One final thing that my time in Arequipa taught me is “it is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essentially invisible to the naked eye”.

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