My volunteer work in Paracas, Peru: bartending

A new and unique experience — that’s what Peru gave me. From being a hostel receptionist and teaching English in South America, I now upgraded to bartending!

Okay, I didn’t have any idea that this will be the job not until I arrived. I was directed to the bar manager of Kokopelli Hostel in Paracas and boom, I started right away.

What am I doing here?

Drinks, I guess. I never had any experience making mojitos, margaritas, caipirinhas, etc but now, I can say that I can do all these things even under time pressure!

This is so different from my volunteer work in Colombia and Ecuador and I really am having fun! Sleeping habits are 100% wrecked as I always worked during the night. I’m a bit worried about it but I’ll figure something out in the future.

What do I get in exchange?

A bed, breakfast, 40% off on drinks, confidential tour prices and many more! I told you traveling is easy and cheap when you know what to do and where to go!

I will further discuss in another post how you can afford a life of travel by volunteering so keep it here!

A lot of people came for the Holy Week and I was given a huge challenge: taking orders over the bar. There are 6 of us volunteering here and only two of us are equipped in both English and Spanish so they had to divide us into shifts.

On normal days, the guests of the hostel all speak English but this weekend was different. The percentage of Peruvians are higher than that of foreigners. Hence, the delegation of tasks and change of system.

… and we all survived! Plus, I was really surprised with my Spanish skills. It gets better and better as I go down to South America.

This task gave me my first Spanish argument (with a customer complaining about his tab), people phrasing my Spanish, my first understanding-without-paying-too-much-attention-skill and lastly, speaking rapidly.

Every night, after each shift over the Holy Week, I look back and try to absorb how far I’ve gone with this language and it makes me feel accomplished.

From speaking zero, and learning from scratch, I can now communicate fluently.

Ahhh, Paracas. As always, I have to move on. I’m on my last week in volunteering here and this was one of the best volunteering experiences. It’s unique, it’s fresh and best of all, I learned new things.

I’m off to Cusco next week volunteering again for a vegan restaurant (yes, I will be cooking) and of course, to finally meet the famous Machu Picchu.

Pardon my English. In exchange for fluently speaking Spanish, my English was compromised.

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  1. I can’t imagine how fun it would be to experience lots of different things and always having soemthing to look forward to in different places. How I wish I can do it like you even for only a year! Hope to see more of your travels!

  2. I think it is good to do something new every now and then. I kind of like challenges like that and once you have done it, it is a great feeling of achievement. I couldn’t work in a bar though, as I’d make myself cocktails all night. 😉

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