Our first working week in Villa El Salvador, a 40 year old district on the southern outskirts of Lima, has been a warm welcome. From the host family we're staying with, colleagues at our placements and the local community, the last seven days have been packed with invitations to community events, meetings, outings to get to know the area better and of course, getting to grips with teaching English at our placements.

Currently we are in the children’s summer holidays and the youth centres have opened for the 'jovenes' of Villa El Salvador. Planning classes and getting into a routine has kept us busy over the past week, and this week is promising to be just as busy, if not more.

The group is currently working together to also co-ordinate additional placements which will give us the opportunity to get even more involved with the community; including the 'Comedor' soup kitchen, health centre, elderly respite care centre and Vida y Esperanza's nursery.

Having experienced one week in Villa El Salvador the significance of security, health, education and political issues raised in our orientation is falling into place. We’re now looking forward to understanding this further as the next week unfolds. Hasta luego!

ICS volunteer Alana Barlow writes about her group's first week in Peru. Photo: Teaching at Casa de la Juventud.