Lima and Sacred Valley, Peru

Mission Trip:

October 24- November 1, 2018

Travel abroad, get out of your comfort zone and join Smiles for Speech for an opportunity to make a difference! This adventure of a lifetime includes 7-days, 6 nights exploring the culture of Peru while volunteering to work side by side with children with special needs at a school, hospital and various non-profit organizations. Become a part of making the world a better place!



Our first visit will be to Colegio La Alegria en el Senor, a Center for inclusion located in the La Molina District of Peru that educates, trains and rehabilitates disadvantaged, young people with physical disabilities. You’ll join an inspired community of like-minded people such as: speech-pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and educators in sharing methods of helping children with various special needs/disabilities while spreading smiles and joy.



We will visit children at My Small Help and the Kiya Survivors/Rainbow House whose projects focus on providing support, therapy and love children with special needs as well as abused and abandoned children and their families.

During our mission trips, our goal is to serve not only the children and the families we visit, but also their communities. You will have the opportunity to experience agricultural life, traditions, and culture first hand while helping families improve their quality of life by participating in workshops such as: ceramics, chocolate making, Chicha (typical maize drink) preparation, bee keeping, flower growing, weaving, coffee processing or guinea pig raising.

Our last 2 days will be spent enjoying a spectacular and scenic journey to Aguas Calientes and Macchu Picchu.


“I was reborn on my mission trip with Smiles for Speech. I was able to recognize myself and my spirit in the families and kids we visited. I think they made more of an impact on me then I did for them.” — Irene

Sample Accommodations

Package Includes:

  • 6 x nights /  7 days accommodation
  • Transportation to the Colegio La Alegria en el Senor/Neoplastics hospital/Peru Association for Laryngectomies  in Lima
  • Round trip flight from Lima to Cusco
  • Transportation to Urubamba-NGO’s My Small Help/ Kiya Survivors/Rainbow House
  • Chichumba Community Tourism Tour
  • Train to Aguas Calientes
  • Machu Picchu entrance fee/permit/tour
  • Excursion and hike through beautiful mountains of Machu Picchu

“I joined Smiles for Speech because I wanted to change lives… but every life I touched changed mine. “  — Jendayi


Mission Trip Cost: $1390

NOTE: You only have to book your airfare by September 30th  to be registered. No deposit required. Pay your balance by October 15th and you are on your way. Email us at to  tell us a little bit about yourself and share why you would like to join the mission trip . *based on triple occupancy.


Mission Trip Leaders

Sandy Dorsey, Founder of Smiles for Speech

Sandy Dorseyis a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist that for over 15 years has provided speech and language services to wide ranging populations, from early intervention to high school students in New York City. Sandy has witnessed first-hand how children with special needs from disadvantaged backgrounds do not always receive necessary help for various reasons.  Driven to close this gap and make an impact, Sandy founded Smiles for Speech, a humanitarian, education based organization dedicated to increasing awareness of this disparity while working with children with special needs and families within their communities to enhance their ability to reach their full potential by promoting self-esteem, self-expression and confidence.


Ana Berrios is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, born and raised in Puerto Rico and trained at the University of Puerto Rico. Her interest in working with culturally diverse people motivated her to move to New York City in 2014 where she currently specializes in Early Intervention. Prior to becoming a Speech Pathologist, Ana volunteered and taught a Spanish course for an NGO in Brazil for children at risk.  She enjoys working with infants and toddlers and their families to support and enhance children’s developmental skills as well as parent education. This will be Ana’s second adventure to Peru!

Thanh Dinh is a Canadian-trained Occupational Therapist currently working with the geriatric rehabilitation. He received his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in Canada at the University of Western Ontario. Thanh relocated to New York City in 2015 to begin his professional career, where he gained experience working with children and adults with physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities. He has a strong desire to help others while traveling and immersing himself in new cultures around the world.

Q & A

How many people will attend this mission trip?
We will travel with around 8-10 volunteers.

Who can attend?
We welcome those with a sense of adventure and a heart dedicated to helping children with special needs from disadvantaged communities.

When should I plan to arrive at the center?
We will leave the hotel on the morning of October 25th at 8am to make our first visit.

How do you assign the rooms?
Rooms are assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis based on when you make your deposit. We will match according to you who you would like to share a room with.

What airport do I fly into?
Please book your flight to the Jorge Chavez International, Lima, Peru to arrive the morning of Oct 25th.

Are transfers included?
You are responsible for your airport transfers to and from Lima.

What can I expect the daily program to look like?
Each volunteer can choose which activities to attend. However, a day will look something like this:

  • Breakfast
  • Scheduled Visits
  • Lunch
  • Free time / optional planned outing
  • Dinner

Have a question? Email Smiles for Speech at


A Sojourner’s Journal: Last Days in Russia

It has been so much fun exploring Russia with Cosmos .

August 6, 2017

Went to an Oceanarium today. Frogs and fishes and sharks, oh my!

August 7, 2017

Went to this huge indoor family climbing area/jungle gym. Things went pretty great till they stopped being great and everything was pain. So I decided to give archery a try. I generally like archery but my hands were still raw from the ropes and this just made it worse.

August 8, 2017

Amusement park today. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!

Sandwiches were nice. Meat chips were just meh.

August 9, 2017

Went to an aqua park today. Water slides are sweet but a literal pain.

This place has a LOT of different saunas. Tried out the infrared one. Isn’t bad.

August 10, 2017

Back to Africa today and end of travel journal.

18 Reasons Why You Should Travel

Last week, I shared with you our intentions for 2018 as wanderlusts. This week, I want to share with you reasons why you should not be content with seeing the same things and doing the same things each day. Reasons why you should go on trips this year. Reasons why travelling is good for you.

Here we go;

Travel for new experiences

How is it possible to do the same thing each day, live the same way and not yearn for something new? No wonder you are dying slowly on the inside. Get out there. Go to a new place. Try out new things. Go to a place you have never been before. Rejuvenate! Live anew! Dream again!

Travel for all the delicious delicacies

If you are a foodie such as I, you will know how important it is for the taste buds to try something new often. Treat yourself to meals from around the world. Eat whatever you want without feeling ashamed. You can worry about the calories when you get back home. And you will expand your menu list also.

Travel for the memories

Most of my cherished memories are sitting on Lake Togo sharing a sandwich with Ellen; going evening swimming with Mary at Takoradi; learning basic French with Albert, Afia, Mary, Reggie and Shika; strolling at the beach with Jacqueline; Nuella and I making fun of people at the Winneba Beach; sharing a hotel room with Dee on the mountains; staying in a beach house with friends and acquaintances for a weekend; holding the tail of a crocodile at Paga; having photoshoots with Edem, Jacqueline and a donkey at Burkina Faso; relaxing at the swanky Royal Senchi with Paa Kow; Elim’s birthday party on an island at Aqua Safari; Lizzy’s on the green mountains of Aburi etc. I can go on and on for days. Hopefully I will make new memories soon with the Jacobs at New Orleans.

Travel for cool stories

As the saying goes; don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled. Travel adds up to you. It somewhat increases your vocabulary and gives you a lot to say on that date, to friends and family. Your travel stories can be an icebreaker if you are nervous about starting a conversation though I believe travel boost your confidence since you have the opportunity to interact with various people from various ethnicity. Travel just makes you so cool and super interesting.

Travel to make new friends

People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact. I have friends from different countries and backgrounds on my contact list. Some I met while I was travelling or while they were travelling. These friends have given me a glimpse of the world outside my community and has forced me to look beyond what is around me and strive for more.

Travel for bonding

What makes me enjoy solo travelling is the fact that I get to realise so many things about me on my trips. I do not know how it happens but being at a new place sort of open my mind’s eye to things I have ignored or buried deep inside. Also, if you are travelling with a loved one or friends, nothing says bonding than being stuck in a house with a group of people for a couple of days. You find yourselves getting closer, making memories and overcoming obstacles together.

Travel for adventure

How do you expect to be fun, daring and adventurous when you have been sitting at the same desk for centuries? Does it not bother you that you are getting too old for your age? Spice things up! Take a speedboat ride in New Zealand, zip-line over the jungle canopy of Peru, bargain prices in the markets of Marrakech, visit the safari in South Africa etc. We are wired for excitement and adventure. So go on that trip!

Travel opens your mind

The most open minded people are those who have travelled a lot. They have seen so much and learnt so much that they are open to things all the time. They are somewhat more relaxed also and take life rather easy. This is an ideology I am yet to unravel. The different people, new experiences, reality of things and foreign places have a way of shattering preconceived ideas.

Travel for creativity

Some of my best poems and write-ups was while I was in a new place. New places do that to you. You will find yourself identifying solutions for problems you or others have been facing for a long time. That is why entrepreneurs are advised to travel often as it gives them a new perspective about things.

Travel for education

If not for the fun, go see the world for education that you will not get in school. Relive history through the walls of ancient ruins. Learn about socio-economic differences and its effects from locals and personal observations. Learn about politics, sociology and geography while living / experiencing / seeing it.

Travel challenges you

Travel not only changes you but it also challenges you. It has you reconsidering certain thoughts and actions while encouraging you to set new goals for yourself. It has you doing things in a totally different way.

Travel for the language

I do not know about you but it feels rather satisfying when I say a few words in Greek and French. I know just a few words but being able to throw it into a conversation with natives gives me a small victory. You do not have to learn a whole new language but being able to say “hello”, “thank you” or “how are you” in Chinese, Arabic or Spanish should be everyone’s goal. You can also just luxuriate in the beauty of a different language and accent. You see that French you have been struggling with, you can easily learn it if you find yourself in among natives.

Travel to make your dream come true

Do you dream of the Eiffel Tower and feasting on the delicious pastries of Paris? How about learning the story of the Incas in Peru? Or partaking in Mardi Gras at New Orleans? Or is it the Carnival in Brazil? Maybe it is island hopping in the Caribbean? Or an euro trip? Maybe it is visiting the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania. Or exploring the exotic life of Zanzibar. Whatever your travel dream might be, making it happen means dreams do come true and that should be motivation enough.

Travel for a sense appreciation, gratitude and perspective

One thing I learnt about myself while travelling was I lacked appreciation and gratitude for what I have. This is because I had become so used to my blessings that I did not realise that not everybody has it like I do. Travel changed me as seeing new places, interacting with locals, seeing how others live etc. had me appreciating what I have. I no longer take the little things for granted.

Travel to live in the present

If it is your desire to move to Bangkok for a few months, why not do it? If it is an Europe trip for the summer, why not do it? If it is to help a non-profit in another continent, why not just do it right now with Operations Groundswell or Kailend? We make so many excuses and put so many things off for later when it can be done right now. Do everything that you want to do and do it now. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Live in the now. Enjoy what it is that you have right now.

Travel else you will regret not doing so

So many things we are striving for right now can wait but travel cannot. You won’t be young forever. You will not have this energy forever. You will not have this perfect vision forever. So now that you have what it takes to travel and see the world, you better do it and not live in regrets later on.

Travel for love

I am a sucker for romance and happy endings and I have seen enough to know that travel heightens the connections you make / have with people. There is nothing as refreshing as holding hands while watching the sunrise with a new love; slowly moving to the rhythm of a foreign song with a love interest; rekindling lost passion with an old love on a secluded beach; bonding with an old flame on a road trip; discovering your feelings for someone you have friend zoned on a camping trip; or enjoying a couples’ massage with some sweet scented oil in Hawaii. As you are your truest self while travelling, let your guard down, be open minded because you will never know where love will come from.

Travel for the heck of it

Why travel? Because you can! Because you want to! Because it beats the alternative of staying home! What will you do with all the money you are working so hard for if not to travel!

So just go already or plan your next trip with triphobo trip planner for better travel experience.

And I became the Rainbow

I have always loved Diwali- I call the festival- “the resplendent luminescence” for during the period of its celebration, India is like a jewel sparkling and beckoning to the heavens, the static beauty of rice bulbs and the constantly recycled splendor of fireworks are an illustrious lift to every soul. In my three years in this land, I have tried all within my power to witness and indulge in. Holi on the other hand has been an affair I have always wanted to avoid first for the lighter issue of having to take an unnecessary shower and then for more grievous battle of washing colour splattered clothes which may go a notch upwards with you losing that attire. So as a rule Holi must be avoided and that I had largely done over the past two years.

That of this year though was quite different. Maybe it was because this is certainly going to be my last year and I wanted to indulge in all the revelry it brought. Maybe It was because I saw the rare camaradie among my estate folks, maybe just maybe I wanted to show them that the serious faced African with a smile is the most embracing fellow they will ever come across but I pulled my housemates down and into the colours we went. 

First baptism, a man walked up saying Happy Holi smearing my face with pink, then another came with a huge bucket full of water and drenched us; from then onwards it was a colour shooting affair. I left after two hours but not before seeing my baby bro Embe enact a priceless revenge on a four year old who had made him a walking fountain. He grabbed a handful of colours and lashed it out full force on the spectacled chap. Sadly, he had his mouth wide open whilst spraying another victim with his large water gun. As I walked back home leaving my three housemates to the third staged ritual of being dragged through mud before dancing, I reflected on the essence of this festival- To appreciate the beautiful diversity of life and to indulge in it whatever shade it throws at us.  Three hours after reaching home, I stared at three physical reflections of those shades walking into our home- rainbows from head to toe.