Picaflor House is a Community Project situated in the small village of Oropesa (approximately 1 hour south from the centre of Cusco), founded by the small British charity Globalteer, and acts as an “after-school” type club for the local children. The project hosts 3 lessons a day – English, Maths or Spanish, and Art – and once a week the children are free to run wild and play games on ‘Funday’. There are many, many, other projects just like Picaflor dotted all over Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and it took me a lot of time staring at charity webpages before I finally decided this is where I wanted to spend 3 and a half weeks.
So, why Glabalteer? Why Picaflor House? The deciding factor boiled down to something pretty simple: Globalteer posted their finances for all to see on their webpage, under the tab “Where your money goes” which, considering the large donations these charities ask for before you can volunteer with them, I really appreciated that they published this information and all in all made them look like an honest charity that I could trust. Some other NGOs (‘Global Volunteer Network’ in particular) would fill their pages up advertising free Salsa Lessons, volunteer parties, and various other uncharitable activities alongside their supposedly charitable volunteer placements, clearly trying to buy into the recent phenomenon of ‘voluntourism’. I was pretty sure I had made the right decision, but after reading numerous articles about fake orphanages in Cambodia, and volunteer building projects where walls are torn down after each group has finished and left the site, I was worried Picaflor House and Globalteer may be just another corrupt company out to con philanthropists and allow capitalism to swallow up all that is good in the world…
Luckily, my cynicism was proven wrong and this was far from the case!
To read more about my experience with Globalteer:
More on informarion on Globalteer and Picaflor House: