Volunteer in Peru with International Volunteer HQ today. IVHQ’s local staff in Cusco, Peru require volunteers NOW! IVHQ has a wide range of volunteering projects in the ancient Peruvian city of Cusco and surrounding valleys, including Teaching English, Childcare, Medical, Construction and Renovation and Jungle Conservation.
LOCATION OF PERU - CUSCO VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
IVHQ has volunteer placements in Cusco and surrounding valleys. Cusco is one of the oldest cities in South America and close to the tourist mecca of Machu Picchu. This town is extremely popular with volunteers and has a lot of work available.
START AND DURATION OF PERU - CUSCO VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Programs begin on every Monday of each month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for any duration from 1 week to 6 months.
HOW MANY OTHER VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE?
PERU-CUSCO VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program and have at least a high school education. Volunteers participating on the Medical Placement must have appropriate training and certification to be presented to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Peru. All volunteers must provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Peru.
We recommend that all volunteers regardless of their Spanish language ability (unless they are extremely fluent), take advantage of the very affordable Spanish lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our program staff in Peru. Past volunteer feedback tell us volunteers feel they can contribute far more with some Spanish ability. Spanish is NOT a prerequisite for our Cusco program, however on certain placements (such as medical placements) the level of work a volunteer can do will be restricted with limited Spanish. Our local staff in Cusco offer discounted Spanish lessons to our volunteers with a wide variety of options (one-on-one learning, group classes and a local student language exchange). More details on these options are provided when a volunteer register on the program.
PERU - CUSCO VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIALS
"I was so impressed with my entire Peruvian experience, and feel like I really had the opportunity to immerse myself in Peruvian life and to help out in a small way. I am so grateful to the IVHQ team for making my adventure possible and giving the the most rewarding experience of my small lifetime. I look forward to volunteering with IVHQ in the very near future." - Genevieve Rogan (Teaching English)
Click here to read more testimonials from IVHQ volunteers in Peru - Cusco.
PERU - CUSCO VOLUNTEER PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
As Cusco is the tourism capital of South America, many local children will tell you they want to be tourist guides when they grow up. They are also aware that this dream requires a high level of English and are therefore very excited to learn English with native speakers. As tourism forms an integral part of the local economy, the ability to speak English gives local children a genuine opportunity to support themselves and find work after completing their education.
Volunteers work in local schools, community centers and shelters for street children. Work varies but generally consists of providing tutoring to local students, setting up small workshops, assisting local teachers and organizing educational games and activities. Volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on the Teaching project.
The aim of the Childcare project is for volunteers to provide individual attention and assistance to children from difficult backgrounds. Many children at the placements we work with do not receive the level of affection and education that they deserve, volunteers therefore play an important role in working alongside local staff to improve the educational, emotional, and hygiene conditions of the children.
Volunteers work in orphanages, community centers, daycare centers, schools and kindergartens. Work varies but generally consists of providing individual attention, playing with children, organizing games and activities, assisting with home work and educating children about hygiene.
The focus of the Jungle Conservation project is one of ecological restoration - the process of re-establishing an ecosystem that has been degenerated, damaged or destroyed. The project has a number of different phases so each individual volunteer will form part of a much bigger picture.
Volunteers work in the local jungles and ecological reserves located in the valleys surrounding Cusco. Volunteer activities vary but generally involve removing non-native plant species, planting and re-introducing native plant species, assisting with inventory and observation of wildlife and assisting at the local schools located in the jungle areas.
Please note, this project has an additional fee of US$7 per day for travel on top of the program fees listed on the website (these extra costs will be included in the program fee quoted to you by IVHQ staff when you apply). While we do accept volunteers for 1 week on the jungle conservation program, because the site is located 8 to 10 hours from the base in Cusco and transportation is limited, we recommend staying for a minimum of 2 weeks or choosing one of our other placements in and around Cusco for 1 week.
CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION
Our construction projects can involve painting, making adobe mud bricks, building, plastering, installing new floors, and gardening.
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One of the ways we provide support to the different placements we work with is through our Construction and Renovation project. Many projects are under-funded and run-down, and in need of renovation work. Volunteers usually work alongside a local construction worker who provides them with direction and motivation. Volunteers work on a variety of buildings such as schools, orphanages, community centers and clinics. Volunteer work varies but generally consists of renovating buildings, re-painting community centers, building required infrastructure such as orphanages and landscaping/gardening. Volunteers do not need to have experience with construction work but having good energy levels, a reasonable level of fitness and good dedication will go a long way to ensuring you get the most out of your volunteer project.
Please note, this project has an additional fee of US$7 per day for construction and renovation materials that are used during the project.
Clinics and hospitals for low income families in Cusco tend to be under-funded and under-staffed. As a result, volunteers can play an important role in assisting local nurses and doctors, while also learning about the healthcare system here. However, it is important that healthcare volunteers have realistic expectations with regard to the activities that they will get involved in (see below).
Pre-med, 1st year or 2nd year medical students
- Clinic or hospital for low-income families - Triage: Taking weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature - Hospital wards: Making beds, cleaning, talking with patients - Materials: Preparing materials, sterilizing equipment
- Clinic for mentally and physically disabled children - Activities: Taking the kids to the park or farm, organizing art and crafts workshops, providing individual attention - Mealtimes: Assisting during mealtimes, assisting with tooth brushing
3rd year or 4th year medical students and medical professionals
- Clinic or hospital for low-income families - Cleaning wounds, giving injections and sutures - Consult rooms and specialized departments: Assisting doctor taking physicals and histories - Campaigns: Giving vaccinations, taking records, drawing blood samples
- Clinic for mentally and physically disabled children - Activities: Taking the kids to the park or farm, organizing art and crafts workshops, providing love and attention - Mealtimes: Assisting during mealtimes, assisting with tooth brushing - Physiotherapy: Providing basic assistance with physiotherapy
Please note, volunteers need to be training or qualified in a relevant medical field. Naturally, volunteers are required to present a copy of their qualifications and certificates to our program partner on arrival in Peru.
PERU - CUSCO PROGRAM COSTS
One of the strengths of IVHQ is our extremely affordable fees. Click here to see the program cost to volunteer in Peru- Cusco and what you receive in exchange for your fees.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in either a home-stay or volunteer house where they will live with a local family or other volunteers. We give that local family money from your fee for support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a family; that way you will learn the Peruvian way of life, meet local people, eat local food, speak the local language (Spanish) and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is comfortable and all home stays and volunteer houses have electricity and running water. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers but in some home stays volunteers get their own rooms. Peruvian food is tasty, diverse and volunteers can expect to experience a myriad of flavours and meals during their home stay experience. If volunteers wish to eat out, there are a large number of restaurants and diners to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Orientation will begin on every Monday of each month and last for approximately one day. Orientation will be conducted by staff in Cusco and cover everything you need to know for your volunteering program in Peru – Introduction to Peru, Peruvian Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Peru and Introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. Once orientation is complete, volunteers will be transported to their home stay and introduced to all relevant parties – home stay family members and program placement staff.
EXTRA ACTIVITIES - Mini Adventure in Peru with IVHQ!
First Day: On the first day of the volunteering placement, the volunteers will be escorted to the project and introduced to the staff at the project you will be working with.
Weekdays: Volunteers will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift which will last about 2 to 4 hours. A typical afternoon schedule would be as follows:
- 7.30 AM - Breakfast with the host family or at volunteer house
- 12.00 PM - Lunch with the host family
- 1.00 PM - Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project. You will be given a duty roster and a plan for your work. Work and hours are dependent on the project and location that the volunteer is participating in.
- 4.00 PM - Work at the project usually ends. The volunteer at this point is free to travel home, visit and see places or do shopping. If volunteers are taking a Spanish language course they will usually do this in the morning (or in the afternoons if you are volunteering in the morning) and this may take 2-3 hours.
- 7.00 PM - Dinner with the host family.
*Please note this schedule can vary as some projects take place in the morning, others in the evening. If a volunteer is taking advantage of the Spanish language course, they will usually volunteer for half the day and spend the other half of the day taking Spanish lessons (1-2 hours), planning the activities for the next day of volunteer work and exploring Cusco.
Weekends: During the weekend, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Peru. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield such as Machu Picchu, the jungle and Lake Titicaca. On Saturdays we offer free Salsa lessons for all our volunteers between 3pm and 6pm and in the evening have a movie night (there are no cinemas in Cusco).
Peru - Cusco Volunteer Fees
|Volunteer Period||Program Fee US$|
|1 Month (4 weeks)||750|
|2 Months (8 weeks)||1210|
|3 Months (12 weeks)||1670|
|4 Months (16 weeks)||2165|
|5 Months (20 weeks)||2625|
|6 Months (24 weeks)||3085|
To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
The jungle conservation, medical and construction programs also have an extra cost of US$7 per day for surcharges and materials. This will be included in the fees quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee (Refundable if you choose not to go*) – 24/7 support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – Airport pick up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer placement period, In-country 24/7 volunteer support and In-country administration costs.
What additional costs will I have?
Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, vaccinations, souvenirs, Spanish lessons (optional) trips or tours you do while in the country, spending money (volunteers in Peru generally find US$20 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).