Chloe, In Various Places

wherever you go, there you are

Staff Meetings, a bi-lingual international endeavor.

Vive Peru staff meetings are something to behold. So far, I’ve participated in four of them. They happen every Friday morning and are a time for the staff to share what they’ve been working on for the past week and get everyone’s to-do lists ready for Monday. 

Basically, what happens is we go around the table and depending on the level of complexity or specific information needing to be shared the conversation flows between spanish and english.

Fantasia is in charge of our Parasite Prevention Program and activities, so she typically shares information like, “today we taught the mom’s the importance of using clean water for cooking” or “yesterday we did home visits to check in on how the families are doing, some good, some okay, some not so much”. She takes the volunteers to the community twice a week to work with the moms to provide interactive workshops to help them understand why parasites are a problem in the first place, and then how to prevent them. Parasites are particularly prevalent in this community because A. they have dirt floors and B. the children generally don’t have/wear shoes and C. they don’t necessarily know why they keep getting sick. 

Gary is our Medical Coordinator. He’s a nurse, and his job is helping all of our Clinical Medicine volunteers explain what the heck is going on. He checks in at their worksites, helps arrange the medical campaign and their surgical rotations, and also takes them into the community to do workshops twice a week covering topics such as the importance of brushing your teeth. He usually shares information like “today at -insert volunteers name here- worksite they were able to scrub in to see a cesarian birth so now they are happy” or “our planning for the workshop went well, and they are practicing their lines in Spanish now”. 

Diego is a psychologist who covers the social work side of things. He helps out volunteers at Hogar San Jose and Hogar de la Niña plan their activities for the week and arrange special projects. For example, one of the volunteers wanted to create a Job Fair for the boys at Hogar San Jose and Diego helped her make that happen. He shares things like “the boys are really getting attached to the girls, especially because -insert volunteer name here- already knows how to play soccer” or “the girls created a new english workshop for boys who want to practice with them after school, so that’s cool”. 

Melissa (my Peruvian BFF, remember?) is the Regional Coordinator, and she basically is in charge of everything else on the Peru side. She helps oversee all the programs, and makes all the arrangements for the volunteers while they are in-country with us. For example, she helps book everyones hostels, buses, tours, etc for their weekend trips. She books everyones hostels and buses to and from Lima at the beginning/end of the program, and checks in with the host families. She also started the Economic Empowerment Project, Cinco Madejas which is pretty darn awesome. I can explain more about that later. Her updates sound like lists of what she’s done and what she needs to do that day, since inevitably there is that one volunteer who waited until the last minute to ask her if they can join in on a weekend trip, and she is too nice so she almost always says “okay”. 

Then there is Rachel, she is the founder and head of Vive Peru. She is everyones boss, and oversees all the financial technical business-y stuff. She does more listening at the meetings, as really it is a report-out to her in a lot of ways. 

That’s the staff, and they’re pretty great. 

— 9 hours ago

This evening in the Vive Peru office we held a little concert for the volunteers and staff to showcase their talents. Here, on the left is Ruth, our coordinator in Trujillo for the summer (and currently my roommate) and on the right is my boss and head of all things Vive, Rachel.

— 2 days ago

This is what my job is all about. Check out our IMPACT video we made last summer to highlight what our programs mean to the communities we work with. 

We work in the areas of:

Learn more at about our community outreach initiatives. 

— 3 days ago
#vive peru  #volunteer abroad  #peru  #work abroad 

I can never tell if my host cousin is crying or laughing. He is almost 2 years old and he doesn’t speak. Literally not a single word. He just makes these awful whimpering moaning animal sounds or shockingly deep manly fits of frog-like laughter. It’s unsettling, but he is just SO cute. Plus, he’s smart, despite being mute he plays the whole family like fiddles. Bonus points: his name is Fabricio which I find delightful.

— 3 days ago
Sunday morning spent scouring the classifieds with Mel & a few cappuccinos. I think I finally found an adorable apartment guys!

Sunday morning spent scouring the classifieds with Mel & a few cappuccinos. I think I finally found an adorable apartment guys!

— 5 days ago with 1 note
This is what I’ll be doing today - hanging out with the Cinco Madejas selling some of their gorgeous scarfs downtown as part of a dessert festival with Arte en las Calles (art in the streets)! Want a scarf? Holla at me!

This is what I’ll be doing today - hanging out with the Cinco Madejas selling some of their gorgeous scarfs downtown as part of a dessert festival with Arte en las Calles (art in the streets)! Want a scarf? Holla at me!

— 6 days ago
The Golden Question

I was often asked, why Peru? why so long? what are you DOING? before I left for Peru, and those questions seem to have followed me all the way here. 

Everyone asks me, what brought you back to Peru? why are you here? why for so long? what are you DOING? and to be honest, I still don’t know quite how to answer them. 

I like Peru. This place has a piece of my heart. It is beautiful, the people are amazing, and the food is good. I have a job here with an organization I care about, and a boss who I admire as a human being and enjoy working with. I had an opportunity and I took it. For me, it was no more complex than that. 

Apparently, that simplicity is not enough to satisfy the average Peruvian (or American probably, but you all are too polite to say so). During my last days in Tucson, one of my closest friends asked me what I imagine some of you have been wondering. He asked me; “Chloe, are you going to Peru because it’s what you want to do, or are you going because you need to run?”. At the time, I thought about it, and told him it is probably a little bit of both. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is where I need to be. Working for Vive and living here in Trujillo, Peru. Why I feel that way, is a mix of many conflicting factors. 

—- WARNING: This is where it gets personal. Feel free to go back now. —-

Maybe it’s because two years ago I had my heart totally and thoroughly broken in ways I had not previously thought possible, and I’m still (obviously, crap!) not completely over it. Maybe it’s because I graduated college and didn’t do much for the past year, I was coasting in Tucson, and I was bored. Maybe it’s because I had always said I would move abroad to work and wanted to make good on my word. Maybe I wanted to prove to myself that I actually can. Maybe it’s because my mom died and being in Tucson hurts, being anywhere hurts, but here it seems to hurt a little less. Maybe I was flirting with depression and wanted to not be anymore. Maybe it’s because I let myself fall for a babe who didn’t want to date me. Maybe it’s because my douchey father has stepped back on the scene and I wanted a few countries of separation from that mess. Maybe it’s because I’ve been taking care of people for a long time, and I needed to go and do something for myself. Maybe it’s because I love to travel, and there is something about it that makes me feel more alive, more at peace, and more of a part of this world. 

It may sound a whole lot like running, but when you are stuck in the middle of the ocean and someone throws you a line to their life raft, you grab it without question. Maybe that’s what I did, but I don’t think it matters. I’m here, I’m happy, and I love the work I’m doing. 

Plus, I kinda seem like a badass.

How to wrap that all up in a quick sentence or two in Spanish, however, is another matter. I think the truest answer to the golden question is I just wanted to. I wanted to, so I did. ‘Nuff said. 

— 6 days ago with 4 notes
Snail Mail International

I’ve gotten a few requests for the address to which mail can be sent. This is it:

Chloe Hein

c/o Sra. Elsa de Ganoza

Calle Sta Beatriz, Mz R Lote 3

La Merced, Trujillo, Peru

Be warned: sending me mail takes A LONG TIME AND COSTS A SMALL FORTUNE. Basically, don’t do it. Although I will appreciate it, I’m not expecting it or hoping you all send anything along. 

— 1 week ago


This song has been on repeat in my head for days and all it makes me think about is the people in this video. Almost exactly 4 years ago I got back from the adventure of a lifetime and spent countless hours painstakingly putting this together on Windows Movie Maker from thousands and thousands of pictures. I don’t expect anyone to ever watch it but the people in it. 

4 years, a few dozen meet ups, thousands of tiny moments and a million conversations on every form of digital communication imaginable and some of these people are still my closest friends in the world. 

I’m so grateful to still have them in my life and can’t even imagine who I would be if an over enthusiastic Kiwi chick hadn’t crashed my Psychology of Policing lecture to rave about this exciting summer opportunity! It doesn’t matter where we are in the world or how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, we always pick up exactly where this video left off. 

This trip to the Dominican Republic is what ignited my love of travel. These people are the reason I’m doing what I’m doing today. 

Ditto to everything Debra said. That trip and these people changed my life. 

Now more than ever I’ve been thinking of them and how these songs and that adventure made me into the person who is in Peru today.

— 1 week ago with 2 notes