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Don Jose de San Martin

San Martin ProjectDon Jose de San Martin is a school for mentally handicapped and deaf children. The ages of the children who visit the school varies from 3 to 25 years. The levels of intelligence are varied and range from severely mentally limited to a small learning disability, to normal intelligence, but deaf.

There are 5 sections where the children and youth receive education:

1.- Deaf School: Here the deaf children are divided per age in a class. There are 3 classes with deaf children. The children are generally taught in sign language, but it is backed with spoken language for children who hear a little bit. Some children learn to talk.

2.- Kindergarten: Here the younger children are taught. There are 2 or 3 classes (depending on the number of children), each with about 10 to 15 children. The children are divided according to their level of intelligence.

3.- Primary school: In this part of the school are most children. After kindergarten, the children will go to the 1st class of primary school. Primary school goes until 6th grade.

San Martin Project 24.- Division multiple complex behaviors: In this section are the classes with children and youth with severe mental handicap class, and often accompanied by complex and difficult behaviors. Here the classes are smaller and more focused on teaching practical skills (for example washing hands after toilet, eating, motor development, etc.)

5.- Practical training: Here the oldest students of the school get lessons. There are several practical classes: carpentry class, sewing class, craft class, bakery class. Here young people learn practical skills they can use into the future when they leave school. Besides these classes the school also has a speech therapist, physiotherapist and psychologist employed.

Each class has an average 10 to 15 children, and is taught by one teacher. In the classes, children with different levels of intelligence are taught together, for the teachers this makes teaching even more difficult.

To teach the children, the help of volunteers is very useful. They support the teachers in the classroom with all activities during a day of school and do individual activities with the children. For the volunteers there are also always opportunities to come with their own ideas and activities.

San Martin always pays much attention to the various holidays of Peru and Cusco. Regularly these are events where the volunteers are actively involved. There are dances and plays prepared, the children get dressed and they prepare different kinds of food. These extras make the work in San Martin extra fun!

Workdays:: Monday to Friday from 8.30h - 13.00h
Kind of people to work with: Mentally disabled and deaf children and youth
Spanish level: Basic
Minimum availability: 2 weeks