Diego Acosta was born in Arequipa, in the south of Peru. At age three, his family moved to Lima, where he was raised and attended school. He became Global Volunteers’ team leader in 2022, after serving as our English translator for four years. In cooperation with our community partners in Peru, Diego leads all teams serving at Sagrada Familia, and manages all project-related logistical issues. When you serve in Peru, Diego will introduce you to the work projects, guide you in Peru’s culture, invite you to community events, and engage you in the day-to-day life of the community. Read on to learn about his personal background and program responsibilities.
How did you develop your passion for helping others?
Throughout childhood, I was exposed to great examples of helping those in need. My grandmother founded a Christian nursing home for abandoned seniors and those in difficult situations that still runs and assists people today, and my mother started another non-profit organization, Kuskalla, which coordinated after-school activities with kids in the district of El Agustino, a very poor district in Lima.
What path did you take to your current career?
After high school, I got into management school. During that time, I worked for different non-profit organizations as a translator. At the beginning, I started translating postcards between sponsors and the children they sponsor. After a few years of translating for many non-profits in Lima, I pursued my love of music and the arts. I left management school and went to Spain to study sound engineering and production. After five years, I returned to Perú, and worked with live bands and did studio work. This led to post-production work for big consumption brands in radio and TV. After many years, I started working independently and went back to management school, while I worked. I graduated this year in business management and entrepreneurship.
“Diego is a caring, responsible and humble man. He did a fantastic job as our team leader. It’s obvious that he has a great love for his country and its people.”
Peru Volunteer Kevin Coughlin
What most motivates you in your work with Global Volunteers?
My motivation is the possibility to be a change factor in the life of the children of Sagrada Familia and that they learn about other things outside the community. Talking to people is something I really enjoy when I’m leading a program, getting to know people, not only volunteers but everyone involved in the Sagrada Familia familia program.
I enjoy working the the volunteers. Americans are very hard-working people and have have the concept of giving back, which is great. They help the children by giving them their time: playing, teaching, sharing, etc.
How did you initially learn about Global Volunteers?
I learned through Global Volunteers’ former Perúvian Country Manager and friend, Daniel Salazar. He worked for several years leading teams, and helped establish our partnership with Sagrada Familia. He asked me to translate for our teams because of my experience with other nonprofits. Global Volunteers’ approach to service programs seemed interesting to me, and I found I greatly enjoyed the work with the volunteers. When the opportunity arose to become the team leader, I was excited to join the staff.
What do like to share with volunteers in Peru?
The best of being a volunteer for a week is that you get to know the reality of Peru in a short period of time. In a two-week program, you get to learn more and people create more bonds with the children and everyone in Sagrada Familia. I always suggest the two-week program, if they have the time. In both programs, the experience is great and the kids learn a lot. What always impresses me is how happy the kids are despite the circumstances they have lived sometime in their lives. Also how welcoming and hardworking is everyone. You always leave with a lesson.
I always try to share about Perúvian culture, also about the reality of Perú and really anything they also have interests like art, history, etc. People should sign up for a service program in Perú because children in the community need a bigger view of the world they live in. Volunteers help them dream big, and they get to know this bigger world through their influence. As a proud Peruvian, I cannot pass the chance to talk about our food. Volunteers always enjoy a culinary experience! I really think it’s a special program because of the work with the kids and the community. Just spending time with them creates a positive experience that will stay with them for a long time, and Sagrada Familia’s director Miguel Rodriguez always emphasizes that idea.
“Diego was perfect! He literally had an answer to every question. Because of him, there was never a point I felt lost or unfocused during this program. Excellent job!
Peru Volunteer Raegan Elizabeth Holivay
Diego Off the Clock:
“I love music. I play guitar and collect records (vinyls and CDs) of many genres from all over the world. I also like to watch movies with my family.”