Daniel Salazar was born and raised in Peru and joined Global Volunteers staff as Country Manager for Peru in 2014. He leads teams working with our partners at Sagrada Familia and La Molina, and manages all aspects of those programs. In addition, he serves as our Operations Program Coordinator, managing volunteer service program preparations and answering volunteers’ questions before their departure. When you volunteer with us in Peru, Daniel will ably guide you in all things related to culture, development, and volunteer travel in Peru.
From the age of 16, Daniel spent his summers experiencing the American culture visiting friends in California and New York. After a year studying Economics at the Universidad Del Pacífico College in Peru, Daniel received a scholarship from The King’s College in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics there and after graduating worked in Washington D.C. for a year at the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation before returning to Peru to earn a Master’s degree in Human Development at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru. Before joining Global Volunteers, Daniel was a professor at Universidad SEL in Lima. Daniel is happily married to the “love of his life,” Ana, who is proud of Daniels’ work with Global Volunteers, and occasionally accompanies him on his service programs.
A short interview with Daniel:
“Daniel was amazing in organizing everything from beginning to end. All the dinners were great and the community was well-informed and ready for the group. He was very instrumental with the complete volunteer experience. Thank you.”– Urvi Doshi, Peru volunteer
What motivates you in your career?
“I work for Global Volunteers because I’m passionate about development. I believe the work we do in Peru benefits the community of Sagrada Familia. I love seeing children get attention and enjoy fun times with our volunteers. I get paid for helping people and helping people help other people, which is something I love doing anyway.”
What’s a favorite part of your job?
“I love seeing the connections created between volunteers and children at Sagrada Familia. When one of these boys or girls understands that these volunteers have come from so far to be with them, play with them, get to know them, that creates a huge impact. The kids feel loved, feel like they are worth something. When you see that in a kid that has been abandoned or abused, you understand that any sacrifice is worth it.”
“You need to come to understand how hundreds of children craving for love can, ironically, fill you with more love than you can imagine.”-Daniel Salazar
What’s special about Sagrada Familia?
“Because over the years, I have led volunteer teams in various struggling communities in Peru (and other countries), and I have never seen such a magical place like Sagrada Familia. There is such a need in every sense possible, yet spending time within this community somehow fills your soul. As many volunteers have said before, it’s indescribable. You need to come to understand how hundreds of children craving for love can, ironically, fill you with more love than you can imagine.”
What advice do you have for people considering a service program in Peru?
“I’d recommend coming to serve in Peru because you will truly experience the Peruvian – Latin American culture at its best. You’ll never see people from the community dress up and dance for you in costumes they would never wear otherwise. Children will open up their homes, lives, and hearts to you. You will work, play, learn, eat, and laugh with them. You will come to their home for two weeks, but they’ll take you in as part of their family forever, and they will never leave your heart. These aren’t just my words. I’m quoting volunteers who have experienced it!”
“Daniel was excellent. He went above and beyond to make sure everything ran smoothly. He was very accessible and always willing to help. He answered all our questions and continued to motivate us to be engaged and learn more. Outstanding.”– Lisa Osherow, Peru volunteer
Daniel off the clock:
Daniel reveals his playful (and mischievous) side in talking about sports and playing with his dogs. “In my free time, I love to run, play soccer, and travel. I also have two rescue dogs, whom I adore. One is called Becky, and the other one is “Ratero,” which means thief in Spanish. I named him “thief” because I like it when I call his name out loud, and people freak out, thinking that there is a thief around!”