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.
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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!

The long-term tenats in Paracas: Kane (New Zealand), Allie (Peru), I, Melissa (Peru), Romy (Peru)

Bar co-workers, Laura and Malaika are best friends from Denmark.

Always on the same spot. At this job, you will also get to know the hostel guests. 

100% hostel guests from Lima whom I went out with after one night shift.

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.

Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.


  • April 24, 2014

    Trisha, love your posts. Looks like everything is peachy keene for you. I wish you the best during all of your travels!

    • April 24, 2014

      Thanks Michelle!!! Do you live in Colombia now? I hope everything’s fine on your end too and happy travels! Wait, how did you find me? Besos amiga! Xx

  • April 24, 2014

    Nice write up Trish! Take Care!

  • Tricia
    April 24, 2014

    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!

  • April 24, 2014

    Looks like you’re having an amazing time! Was it hard to get used to waking up with nothing to worry about? Sometimes I’m not good at letting go!

    • May 12, 2014

      Hi Jodie! I don’t really know if it’s a bad thing but right now, in this trip, I am focusing on the present rather than other stuff. 🙂

  • April 27, 2014

    Witwiw! Sexy ng barista. Cheers to your travels Patwisha!

  • May 3, 2014

    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. 😉

    • May 12, 2014

      I’m sure! I spent a month here drinking every night (because we have 2 free drinks per shift that turns into 4 or 5.) HAHAHA! Safe travels, Tammy!

  • May 11, 2014

    This looks awesome…you seems to have had an awesome fun.


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P.S. I'm On My Way is a blog by Trisha Velarmino. She didn't
quit her job to travel the world. She made a job out of traveling and you can do it, too.

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