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Volunteer in Peru - Global Volunteer Network

Updated on June 19, 2014

What is the Peru Volunteer Program all about?

Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the global community and gain experience, and also fosters personal growth. Whether you would like to take a short volunteer vacation or a prolonged gap year, volunteering in Peru will give you in-depth experience of the culture that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Peru's population of about 23 million is divided almost equally between the highlands and the population centres of the coast, and the division marks a sharp cultural as well as geographic divide.

The inland, highland regions are marked by extreme poverty and subsistence agriculture, while the fertile river valleys of the lowlands have produced a wealthier, more cosmopolitan culture. The highlands comprise about a quarter of Peru's territory, but are home to about half of Peru's population. This mountain mass poses major problems for development and integration into a single society.

The result is dramatic regional diversity, and considerable inequalities in services and living standards. Health, education and law enforcement programs are unevenly distributed across Peru.

GVN currently has opportunities to work on a range of projects in Peru. Volunteers can become involved in childcare, teaching, construction, healthcare, cultural, and conservation/wildlife projects.

To find out more about the Peru Volunteer Program read on or visit our website here

Volunteer with Children
Volunteer with Children

Childcare Program

At childcare placements volunteers assist the children with their homework, organise educational activities and provide the children with love and attention.

There are many different childcare placements available in Cusco, including working at orphanages, homes for abused children, daycares for babies, community centres and working with street children at shelters.

There is also the possibility to work at a boarding school for deaf children and at a school for children and young adults with Down syndrome.

If you have an area which you are particularly interested in please let us know, although it will depend on availability as to which project you will be placed.

Map of Peru

Map of Peru
Map of Peru

Teaching English

At teaching English placements volunteers assist the full time teacher with speaking, listening, writing, reading, grammar, and vocabulary lessons. Volunteers may also be asked to help with specific learners in terms of their pronunciation and for one-on-one tutoring.

Construction Project

At construction projects volunteers assist with construction and/or renovation usually at a childcare project. Construction projects change all the time, but our partner organization is currently helping to build a new orphanage in Oropesa, near Cusco.

Tasks on the construction program may include: renovation, labouring, painting, decorating and carpentry. Volunteers will assist with cement mixing, sand sifting, cutting wood and transporting building materials. The building projects are to help the community improve their schools and community centres.

Be prepared to be very patient and flexible, and to get your hands and clothes very dirty.

Healthcare Projects

There are two options for this program: the first is to work at a clinic for mentally and physically disabled children. This project does not require any qualification or experience. It is in a clinical setting but volunteers essentially help to look after the children, organizing activities and helping at meal times. There are options at this project to assist in physiotherapy and to shadow a doctor as well.

The second option is to work at a clinic for low-income families. This project is for pre-med students (with relevant first aid or experience working in a clinic or hospital), med students or qualified nurses or doctors. Volunteers for these projects require at least basic Spanish as the staff they will work with have limited English.

Conservation and Wildlife

There are two options for this program. The first is to volunteer at a zoo in Cusco, assisting with cleaning and feeding. This is a small zoo which also houses injured animals. These are taken in and rehabilitated to go back into the wild.

The second option is to work at the Manu National Park in the jungle region of Peru in the Sacred Valley. At the jungle project, volunteers may assist in orchid planting, bamboo removal, teaching at the local school, and creating an inventory of species. Please note that for the Jungle project volunteers will complete one week of Spanish lessons in Cusco before heading to Sacred Valley for the remainder of their stay.

Andean Cultural Immersion

Volunteers live with a host family in the mountains in the Sacred Valley. They assist their family with agriculture and textiles practices. They will also provide some workshops to members of the local community, for example teaching English or reading and writing.

Apply to the Peru Volunteer Program

Your application process is free and seamless and if you are successful we will provide you with a choice of application fee payment options that include a secure online service.

Your application fee is fully transferable, providing you with the flexibility to switch, transfer, or postpone your placement within a five year period from date of payment.

Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the global community and gain experience.

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