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Experience the energy of Lima, Peru's bustling capital, while making a meaningful impact through volunteering!
Animal Care Volunteer Program in Lima - Peru

Animal Care Volunteer Program in Lima - Peru

Purpose
Care for & rehome abandoned animals
Start dates
Programs start the first and third Monday of the month
Duration
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Accommodation
Volunteer house or homestay
Program fees
From $275 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who like dogs and are interested in making a difference to their welfare in Lima by undertaking a variety of volunteer tasks. You’ll be working closely with local staff so there’s no need to have prior experience caring for animals, but being able to speak Spanish would be hugely helpful.

Project details

Love hanging out with man’s best friend and want to be an Animal Care volunteer in Peru - Lima? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a great opportunity for volunteers to help the thousands of dogs that have been abandoned on the streets of Lima and are often suffering from hunger, disease and injury. Volunteers gain animal care experience while providing vital support and help for non-profit dog shelters that manage, treat and rehabilitate the dogs and try to find them new, loving homes.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Thousands of stray dogs call the streets of Lima home, especially in low-income areas where many people have pet dogs, but struggle to access sterilization programs. When dogs fall pregnant they, or the pups, are often abandoned as the owners can’t afford to provide for an entire litter. 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.

As an Animal Care volunteer you will 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 and grooming
  • Feeding
  • Playing games
  • Administering vitamins
  • Cleaning and general upkeep of the shelter
  • Adoption campaigns to help give dogs a permanent home and free up shelter space for other dogs.
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Animal Care volunteering in Lima with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with animals in Peru - Lima you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping stray and abandoned dogs from the streets of Lima
  • Assisting local initiatives to rehabilitate and rehome animals
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining animal care experience
  • Immersing yourself in Peruvian culture
  • Exploring the stunning mountains and ancient ruins of Peru

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the local team.
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

SW
Shannon Worrall
17 Jun 2024

I had a wonderful time volunteering on the Lima medical project. All of the local staff were amazing and helped with everyones needs, making sure we were all happy, safe, and comfortable. The medical project has a clear impact on the community and it was incredibly eye-opening and interesting to be immersed in another country's culture and learn about their healthcare system. I would highly recommend the program to anyone in healthcare, including students, as it provides such hands on experience and a range of different opportunities. It was incredibly rewarding working with the children in schools who were excited and grateful to learn from us and have their health checks completed, and working in the local market meant that we were able to reach people who otherwise may not have access to healthcare - and on some occasions I was even able to develop continuity of care and build rapport with people who would visit regularly. I especially enjoyed practicing my Spanish speaking skills and confidence as this is something that I wanted to develop on my trip, and the full immersion in an area with limited access to English speaking meant I was able to do this! Starting the program with an open mind and a sound foundation in Spanish would be very helpful for anyone who is volunteering on this project, but otherwise there's no reason to hesitate!

...
JH
Julia Harnadek
10 Aug 2023

The IVHQ preparation checklist was an excellent resource. The local coordinators were absolutely excellent I cannot sing their praise loudly enough. They consistently looked out for us, helped us in any way they possibly could, and were always kind and approachable. The dog shelter is amazing and the people there are passionate and dedicated. I really looked forward to going to my volunteer placement every day and felt that I really built relationships with the shelter dogs. I loved spending time with them, and looking after them, and I think that the local staff do an amazing job with managing the volunteers.

...
ME
Madison Ekstrom
14 Jul 2022

I realize how grateful I am for what I have. It was humbling to go to a place where there was many places without safe water or access to electricity. Take the leap. I was scared at first to travel alone to a foreign country, but I felt safe and supported from the moment I arrived in my volunteer city, and was able to enjoy the local culture through the recommendations of the local team with many of the volunteer friends I made.

...
MV
Mollie Veale
13 Jul 2022

I loved every minute of it and want to do it more regularly, trying different programs and destinations. Try it, just for a week, you won’t regret it

...
DL
Diana Lopez
21 Jul 2021

My favorite moment from my volunteer experience was meeting new people and making lifetime friendships. Go with an open mind and just experience the difference in culture.

...
MM
Michael McMahon
03 Mar 2021

IVHQ and the local team made my experience unforgettable. If you want to travel and make a difference, IVHQ will make sure you achieve these goals while your needs and safety are met.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Peru, Lima with IVHQ

Location

Lima, Peru’s capital city, is perched along the country’s Pacific coast. As the biggest city in Peru and one of the largest in South America, Lima is an important hub of culture, commerce, finance and politics. It’s also got a long history dating back to Pre-Columbian times as well as a strong Spanish influence and both of these can be explored in the many museums, art galleries, churches and ancient historical sites dotted around the city.

IVHQ’s Lima projects are set in and around the city, near the tourist hotspots of Barranco and Miraflores, wildly different in nature but both known for their beauty, great food and buzzing nightlife.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each 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, or you can make your own way to the program site.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at the volunteer house in Lima. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date. It covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Lima – an introduction to Peru, Peruvian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Peru, and an 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.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day You’ll kick-start your program with a warm welcome from our local staff, who will provide you with an orientation and a local city tour to prepare you for the week ahead!

Weekdays - A typical day would be as follows:

6:00 AM Breakfast: Start your day with breakfast that is provided at the volunteer house and homestay, fueling up for the day ahead.
7:00 AM Departure: At this time, volunteers, accompanied by local coordinators, embark to their placements to commence their day of volunteering.
12:30 - 1:00 PM Volunteer day concludes: Volunteers will now journey back to the volunteer accommodation, where you can prepare your lunch in the communal kitchen or enjoy the flavors of the local cuisine at a nearby food cart or restaurant.
2:00 - 6:00 PM Free Time: With your volunteering duties complete, the afternoon is yours to explore! Whether you’re immersing yourself in Spanish lessons, discovering hidden gems in Lima, or simply soaking up the vibrant culture.
6:30 - 7:00 PM Dinner: This is when typically when volunteers unwind, enjoy their dinner, and make any necessary preparations for the following day.

Weekends

During the weekends, explore the wonders of Lima and beyond! From paragliding over the cliffs of Miraflores to surfing the coastal waters of Barranco, the possibilities are endless. Venture further afield to discover the ancient ruins of Pachacamac or the breathtaking beauty of Machu Picchu.

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Peru - Lima? Check out our Lima Travel & Tours page!

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers will either be accommodated in the main volunteer house or a homestay experience. Typically, volunteers are housed in our main facility, unless capacity is reached or you express a preference for a homestay.

Our volunteer accommodation strikes a perfect balance between independence and camaraderie. Featuring shared bedrooms and a communal area, it fosters a sociable atmosphere while a dedicated local team member is available on-site for support. It’s important to mention that volunteers will be accommodated on the third floor, while a local family resides on the floors below. We’ve had a longstanding partnership with this family since 2015, and while their presence has been warmly received by volunteers, there is often minimal interaction between volunteers and the local family due to the separation.

Each room is equipped with single bunk beds, usually shared with up to 6 volunteers of the same gender. Amenities include Wi-Fi, hot water, bedding, a fridge, and a TV in the common area for your comfort. Additionally, you have the option to upgrade to a homestay experience (shared room) for a more immersive interaction with a local Peruvian family. Please note that this incurs an additional cost. During quieter seasons, you may be accommodated without other volunteers in the homestay. Conversely, during busy seasons, a small number of volunteers may share the homestay with you.

For those seeking a quieter retreat, private single or matrimonial rooms are available as an accommodation upgrade. This option places you either in the volunteer house or in a homestay with a local host family. While preferences can be noted, room allocation cannot be guaranteed. Reservations incurs an additional cost and is subject to availability.

To ensure the safety and respect of all volunteers, our local team enforces an 11.00 PM curfew from Sunday through to Thursday. Exceptions may be granted for special occasions if requested in advance. The curfew is explained in detail during orientation.

Meals

Volunteers are provided with both breakfast and dinner through their stay on the program. Breakfast is conveniently available as a self-service offering in the volunteer kitchen, featuring selection including tea, coffee, toast, breads, fresh fruits, cereals, assorted condiments, as well as savory options like ham and eggs, alongside yogurt and cheese.

Although lunch is not provided, you have the flexibility to explore the diverse flavors of Peru. You can either utilize the fully equipped kitchen in your volunteer accommodation to prepare your meals or explore the nearby food stalls and restaurants for a taste of local cuisine.

Dinner offers a fusion of Peruvian and Western style dishes. Featuring locally-sourced ingredients, our menu provides pasta, rice, bread, corn, potatoes, vegetables, and flavorful chicken dishes.

Should you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, please inform us in advance, and we’ll make necessary arrangements. While we strive to accommodate your needs, we also recommend bringing extra spending money for any personal dietary snacks. As a volunteer, flexibility is key, so expect some variation from your usual dining habits.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately $329) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $275 Equivalent to $39/day
2 weeks $488 Equivalent to $35/day
3 weeks $700 Equivalent to $33/day
4 weeks $835 Equivalent to $30/day
5 weeks $974 Equivalent to $28/day
6 weeks $1,114 Equivalent to $27/day
8 weeks $1,404 Equivalent to $25/day
10 weeks $1,684 Equivalent to $24/day
12 weeks $1,964 Equivalent to $23/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Lima generally find US$50 - $100 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as snacks, lunches, in-country tours, and Spanish language lessons.
  • Anyone volunteering during the week before Christmas will have a one-off surcharge of US$70 added to their file when registering, for Christmas activities within the community.
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Lunch
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Spanish 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 can be pre-booked by the hour via your MyIVHQ profile and the class schedule confirmed 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 $20 (approximately $20) per hour for a private class.

Check what's required to visit Peru

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Lima
Population 32 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 jungle is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.

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