By Lorne Gillies
The sights, sounds and smells of South America attract thousands of miserable, grumpy, British tourists every year.
One main factor is the weather, the magical ball in the sky known as the sun is a rarity in the British Isles and visiting cultured countries in Latin America, such as Columbia, Argentina and Peru is a world of new experiences to people.
There comes a time, in most people’s lives, where dreaming about visiting a far off land is not enough and they dive head first into their savings account and buy tickets on the next plane to Latin America.
One 15-hour journey later, a possible airport pit stop on the way, exhaustion and exasperation and you are in Peru.
Having lived in four different cities in four different countries I know how easy it is to make that holiday last an extra couple of days/weeks/ months longer.
There is an entire world waiting to be discovered and your holiday getaway may turn into your home away from home for many years to come.
At a young and exciting age where life is just starting to begin with: university, job opportunities, meeting interesting new people, and travelling this is the perfect time to leave everything behind and start a new life anywhere in the world.
Spending most of my life in Scotland, it really does rain every single day, anywhere with the sun is my ideal location – yet here I am writing this in my Leiden office whilst the rain pours down – and anywhere with good opportunities, culture, and new experiences is where I want to end up.
This is why Peru and other South American countries are so appealing.
Latin America is filled with so many opportunities: learning Spanish, a language which will come in useful in around 25 countries, experiencing a new way of life enriched with culture and meeting new people that will no doubt become a major part of your life, even if you do not expect them to be, for years to come.
Travelling and living in a new country really is one of the most enriching experiences that you can do in their lives; the British mentality at times is negative and forgets to see the beauty available in different areas, and how our own experiences, good and bad, can influence and help people around the world.
This is why working in Latin American countries, especially Peru due to the educational and environmental issues in the centre and rural areas of the country, would be such a positive experience for those with a passion for travel and helping people.
Although some might sit here and ask themselves “what can I give to people in Peru?” the answer is simple, your time.
Professional positions are available to many in the country.
Travelling to a different country to live with a family and care for the children, bed and boarding plus pay for caring for the children on occasions included, is an age old tradition which started in 1840 where a foreign traveller would settle down with a family to live and learn from them, whilst educating the family on their own culture.
An au pair, which comes from the French meaning ‘at par’, is a wonderful way to settle into a new country and environment as, immediately, you will have people to talk to and build a relationship with which, realistically, would take the fear out of not knowing anyone.
Working with families, especially in Peru or other Latin American countries, is a great opportunity for British or native English speakers as they are able to teach the children, and other members of the family, to speak, read and write English – just one of the most popular and beneficial languages to learn for day to day life and future work opportunities.
Besides helping people learn a new language working on the Peruvian environment can be seen as another popular job.
The Peruvian landscape is filled with beaches, mountains, archaeology, farms and city life – something for everyone – that can be maintained or improved with the help of those willing to give the time to the people who work on farms or those who clean the environment.
Working in Peru is an exciting way to live your life and learn from the locals, teach the locals what you know and meet interesting new people whilst living in a country filled with history, culture and amazing food.
If working over summer, a gap year or a long term fix is what you are looking for it is time for more people to venture past Europe and see what Latin America has to offer; it sure has more than world class footballers and Columbian hip shakers for visitors to see and take part in.
Hacer algo diferente. El trabajo en Perú.