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Animal Care Volunteer Program in Lima - Peru

Thousands of stray dogs call the streets of Lima home, especially in areas that are faced with poverty. Many people have pet dogs, but struggle for access to sterilization programs, and when dogs fall pregnant they are often abandoned as the family can’t afford to provide for a litter of pups.

Dog shelters are seen as important institutions to help manage street dogs that commonly suffer from hunger, infection and injuries, however they are not funded and rely on the help of volunteers to operate.

Animal Care volunteer in Lima, Peru with IVHQ

Volunteers assist in the daily running of non-profit dog shelters, which provide a loving home to many dogs that would otherwise be on the street. Tasks include dog walking, bathing, feeding, playing games, administering vitamins, cleaning and general upkeep of the shelter. You can also help with adoption campaigns to help give dogs a permanent home and free up shelter space for other dogs.

This project is well suited to volunteers who love dogs and are willing to help out in a range of tasks with the ultimate goal of having them be rehoused. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.

Apply now
Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $180 for 1 week
  • Volunteer with animals in a dog shelter for abandoned animals

  • Help with exercise, playing, cleaning, feeding and shelter maintenance

  • Suited to enthusiastic volunteers who like working with animals

  • Volunteering for up to 5 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Peru at a glance
  • Based in Peru’s capital city, Lima

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a volunteer house or homestay

  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Lima each month

The IVHQ Peru - Lima volunteer program has volunteer placements in the Peru’s capital city of Lima.

Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Monday of each every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each every month and volunteers need to arrive into Lima on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Lima. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Peru prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Lima on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is taken by our Peru team at the volunteer house in Lima. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Peru – Introduction to Peru, Peruvian Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Peru, 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.

First Day: On the first day of the volunteering placement, you will be escorted to the project by our local staff and introduced to the staff at the project you will be working with.

Weekdays: A typical day would be as follows:

6.00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.

6.45 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.

1.00 PM Lunch break. Volunteers may take a packed lunch from the volunteer accommodation.

2.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing. If volunteers are taking Spanish language lessons, they will usually take these in the afternoon.

8.00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.

Volunteers in Lima are accommodated with other volunteers, in either a​ volunteer house run by the local coordinator’s family or in a homestay. Bedrooms are comprised of single and double beds and volunteers can expect to share a room ​with ​one to three other volunteers. Living is comfortable and there is electricity and running water in the volunteer house and the homestays. Bedding is provided and you just need to bring your own towel and toiletries, and a sleeping bag if you wish to travel during the weekends. If you would like more private setting, an accommodation upgrade can be arranged for a private room once you register for the program. For $70 per person per week, these upgrades place volunteers in smaller homestays with a local host family and a maximum of 1 to 2 other volunteers.

WiFi is available to volunteers in both the volunteer house and homestay accommodation.

Volunteers are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfasts generally consist of tea and coffee, toast, local breads, cereal, condiments, ham and cheese. A typical lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice, sandwiches and fruit, while dinner usually sees traditional meat and vegetarian stews accompany the vegetables and rice. Bottled water is readily available in Peru and volunteers should budget approximately $5 per week for this (2 liters per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.

“I loved the experience and it was really worthwhile. I volunteered for a period of 4 weeks and I feel as if everyone involved was very appreciative of the work that we were doing and were very inviting. The children were very receptive, willing to learn and very loving. The accommodation in which I stayed was a lot better than I had expected.” - Valeria Hernandez (Teaching English Volunteer in Peru - Lima)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Peru here

Peru - Lima

Length of Program Program Fee $USD
1 week $180
2 weeks $370
3 weeks $530
4 weeks $620
5 weeks $715
6 weeks $810
8 weeks $1,000
10 weeks $1,190
12 weeks $1,380
16 weeks $1,760
20 weeks $2,140
24 weeks $2,520
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • To see prices in your local currency, use this currency converter.
  • The Medical and Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of US$35 per week to cover materials, supervision and logistics involved in these projects.
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from your placement if required
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Spanish lessons (optional)
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Peru - Lima generally find US$50 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • Deals on flights and travel insurance
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Discounts on language lessons

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Lima and Peru. Popular activities include paragliding from the cliffs of Miraflores, visiting the Pachacamac Ruins south of Lima, climbing to the top of the Huaca Pucllana Pyramid in the centre of Miraflores, surfing the coastal waters of Miraflores and Barranco, and sand boarding in Huacachina of Southwest Peru. Long weekends can be taken to travel further a field such as Machu Picchu.

Please note, Teaching English volunteers generally work Tuesday to Saturday, having Sunday and Monday free for personal time.

See our Peru - Lima Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Peru!

Capital Lima
Population 29.99 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone UTC-05:00

Weather and climate: Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current causes great climatic diversity within the country. The coast has moderate temperatures, low precipitation, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches. In the sierra, rain is frequent during summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The selva is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.

Volunteers who are under 18 years old will be required to provide IVHQ with parental consent and two character reference letters in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Lima. Additional requirements apply for Medical volunteers, please read the project description below.

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Peru - Lima volunteer program, however on certain projects, such as Teaching English and Medical, volunteer work will be restricted with limited language ability. We recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our partner staff in Lima. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Spanish lessons can arrange these directly with the local staff once in Lima. Below is an outline of the various Spanish requirements for each placement:

Community Support and Construction and Renovation - Volunteers participating on the Construction and Renovation and Community Support project in Lima can have little to no Spanish speaking ability, but must be fluent in English. If volunteers have no Spanish, they must be prepared for some language difficulties at their placement and be willing to take the language lessons offered by the local staff.

Animal Care Project - Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian on this project. If volunteers have no Spanish, they must be prepared for some language difficulties at their placement and be willing to take the language lessons offered by the local staff.

Teaching English - Volunteers who wish to participate on the Teaching English project must have at least a basic grasp of Spanish. Many of the children and adults in the classes only have a very basic understanding of English, and volunteers should therefore have a basic grasp in order to help manage the class. A list of common classroom vocabulary is provided to volunteers before they arrive in Lima.

Medical Placement - Volunteers who wish to participate on the Medical project must be confident in their conversational Spanish, with a view to interacting conversationally and professionally with patients.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

Volunteer Language Lessons

Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ strongly recommends these for all volunteers, unless they are fluent in Spanish. If volunteers have little or no Spanish ability and are volunteering for a period longer than 2 weeks, they should strongly consider these courses, so they can work and communicate with all parties more effectively during their program. These language lessons are organized on your arrival in Lima at your program orientation. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers at $10 per hour.

Basic Language Course

10 hours per week (2 hours per day, 5 days a week)

Advanced Language Course

15-20 hours per week (3 to 4 hours per day, 5 days a week)

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!