In addition to the key perk of experiencing a new country and culture while supporting important community development projects, volunteering in Peru offers some additional perks which make this a much-loved destination among our IVHQ volunteers.
IVHQ offers two popular volunteer programs in Peru - one in Lima, and another in Cusco but below we’re sharing the perks of volunteering in Peru’s capital of Lima!
As a volunteer in Lima, you’ll find yourself in a fully-supportive environment where you’ll be in the company of experienced volunteer coordinators who are committed to ensuring you find your feet quickly. They’ll accompany you each day to your placement and ensure you know where your support is needed the most. They’ll travel with you, they’ll work alongside you, and if your Spanish skills need developing, they’ll be there to offer translation support so you can better communicate with the locals you’re working with. Back at the volunteer house, there will always be a team member available to answer questions and offer support around the clock. Plus you’ll always be in the company of an awesome squad of IVHQers. If you’re after a quieter scene and like the idea of living in a homestay, IVHQers can request to stay with local families who love hosting international volunteers and their stacks of thank-you letters show our volunteers are welcomed with open arms. The homestay accommodation is also ideal for couples, families or groups of volunteers who are traveling together.
Customizable Language Lessons
To support you in communicating in the local language, many IVHQers take advantage of the Spanish lessons available at the volunteer house. These lessons can fit around your volunteering schedule and are highly customizable so you have the opportunity to choose the content of your lessons. For example, medical volunteers can choose to study relevant vocabulary and phrases that they can use within the context of their volunteer work to allow them to communicate with the patients, doctors and nurses more effectively. With over 200 to 300 patients visiting the clinics we support, the involvement of medical and nursing volunteers is clearly valued within the community. The more confidence you have in communicating in the local language, the greater the scope of work you can get involved in at your placement. Former volunteers always recommend learning as much Spanish as you can before you arrive in Peru to enhance the value you can deliver as a volunteer - whether that be in a clinic, school, orphanage or community center.
Culinary Capital of South America
If you rate sampling the local cuisine as a top travel perk, Peru is the destination for you! This foodie haven is widely regarded as one of the world’s culinary hotspots and for a good reason. Living in the volunteer house, you’ll be treated to many local delicacies with some of the volunteers’ favorites including lomo saltado, ceviche and empanadas! For the fruit-fiends, fresh juices are available on every corner, along with countless varieties of corn, potatoes and some seriously tasty avocados. If you’re a vegetarian or have any special dietary requirements, you’ll be well catered for as the volunteer house chef is experienced in putting a spin on local dishes to provide those with special dietary needs with the opportunity to experience the local flavors. Not surprisingly, our in-house cook has received countless marriage proposals from departing volunteers who don’t want to face the reality of life (and cooking) after Lima. With the culinary capital of South America at your doorstep, you can’t leave Lima without trying chicha (beverage derived from maize), chaufa de quinua (Chinese-style stir-fried quinoa), tres leches (cake made from condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream) and pisco sour (a local cocktail) followed by a substantial glass of water!
With the likes of Machu Picchu, the sand boarding oasis of Huacachina, and the Chanchamayo jungle all packable into a long weekend, Lima serves as the ideal base for volunteers to get acquainted with the adventures available to travelers in Peru. Better yet, you don’t need to leave Lima to get your adrenalin pumping with paragliding being a popular free time pick for volunteers!
Cultural & Coastal
Surf enthusiasts and culture vultures alike will feel right at home in Lima. With the nearest surf break just minutes from the volunteer house by taxi or bus, it’s easy for first-timers to try their hand at surfing the Pacific Ocean during the weekends. Or if soaking up the eclectic art on display across the city is more your thing, don’t miss a trip to the Historic Center of Lima to immerse yourself in the rich history of Peru through the stories told via the colonial architecture and historic paintings. Then treat yourself to a trip to the cosmopolitan centers of Miraflores or Barranco to catch the latest outdoor art exhibition and if your timing’s right, catch the sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean at one of the local restaurants or bars.
Whether you’re attending a local football match to cheer on the home team Alianza Lima or attending a Peruvian dance show, our local team are proactive in organizing activities so volunteers have the chance to get to know each other and the coordinators outside of the volunteer house.
As our most affordable volunteer program with fees starting from $180 per week, Lima is an ideal destination for those on a tight budget. Your fees cover your airport pickup, accommodation, three meals per day, 24/7 support from the local team and WiFi. With these weekly expenses covered, you’ll have more savings to put towards your weekends (because chances are you’re going to be tempted to join forces with other volunteers and venture further afield)!
Whether you have 1 week or 24 weeks to commit to volunteering in Peru, IVHQ and our local team will ensure that you are supported every step of the way and you can feel confident that your involvement is supporting the long-terms goals of your host community. Discover more about volunteering in Lima here.