By Carlos Kamisaki (University of Piura & Nexos Comunitarios)
In January 2015, I became part of Media Luna’s Rural Tourism Association, which is where my involvement with our work began. Many of my responsibilities involved providing resources to the association so they could work towards self-sustainability, which has been NeVo’s goal for more than four years.
In order to work on this project, I was given the opportunity to travel to Cusco. As if this valuable trip and putting my work to practice was not enough, my colleagues and the Media Luna’s Association endlessly taught me daily lessons of patience, tolerance, respect for traditions, and pride for my roots. Every shared moment allowed me to realize that work pays off only when it generates positive impact for others. However, these lessons were not easy to face. I counted on the trust and friendship of the our (NC) family, which came in a very special way from each of its members.
I have already written an article about my experience with the rural tourism association, which is why I am going to focus solely on the importance of volunteering. Volunteering is a means of doing something about a situation that one sees as undesirable. My advice for those who are interested in volunteering is to focus on the desire to “do something” about a situation, while always keeping in mind that changes do not happen overnight. All coordinators’ work have been magnificent, but the time has come to start a new road with more ambitious goals and the same, if not more extraordinary, projects.
Nexos Comunitarios is now the leading organization. We are facing very important challenges for the coming years and are increasingly excited by the goals we are working towards. In Lima, we seek to earn a name that will identify our job with our ideals, obtaining sources of revenue through the participation of more Peruvians. The situation is complex in our country because there are many paradigms regarding the work of NGOs. However, nothing is impossible and with this way of thinking we have already seen pleasing results.
Our inexhaustible labor continues. In places that we have already started implementing our development projects, we will continue growing towards self-sustainability and the ideal that we aim to reach every community. Furthermore, we have extended our scope with the hope of including more Peruvian volunteers, alongside the help that we already receive from our international agreements. Note to self: I cannot thank Jean Gabriel Tarassenko enough, the most Peruvian English man I know. JG was the program director of NeVo and he is still an invaluable piece of all our organization’s efforts. Thank you JG for your friendship and your extraordinary work (as extraordinary as you are). I hope you come back soon and find us more capable than ever of serving more people. Success! I believe that we will smile at the end of the year while reflecting on our achievements and always maintain the optimism of facing the future with good desire and hard work.