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Dental Volunteer Program in Peru - Cusco

Dental Volunteer Program in Peru - Cusco

Want to gain experience as a Dental volunteer in Peru - Cusco? International Volunteer HQ’s Dentistry project allows volunteers to help improve and provide everyday healthcare services for Peruvian communities. Volunteers have the exciting opportunity to assist in local dental clinics or health clinics offering dental services in Cusco. You will support the day-to-day functions of the clinic while gaining valuable exposure to dental practices and the healthcare system in Peru.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from £390 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner each day, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Assist local dentists and hygienists in low-income communities

  • Discover Peru’s incredible natural beauty

  • Experience life in Cusco by staying with a local family

Key information

Improve access to quality healthcare
Set in local dental & health clinics
Homestay accommodation
Eligible volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from £390 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 24 weeks
Rainbow Mountain and other tours available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers enrolled in a post-secondary dental program, dental students, dental nurses, dental hygienists or fully qualified dentists. Tasks will range based on level of study and qualifications.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Dental treatments are typically low on the priority list in Peru, due to logistical and financial constraints. Meanwhile poor oral health impacts the entire body. By offering a helping hand, volunteers make a significant difference in the lives of dentists, dental hygienists, orthodontists while also learning about how clinics operate in a developing country.

As a Dental volunteer in Peru, your tasks may include:

  • Shadowing a dentist or dental hygienist
  • Teaching patients about basic dental hygiene and oral health
  • Cleaning and preparing materials
  • Helping to schedule appointments and other administrative tasks
  • Helping with local education programs promoting good oral hygiene

As a fully qualified professional, you may also have the opportunity to:

  • Teeth cleaning and check-ups
  • Extractions and fillings

Your tasks and the level of hands-on work you are able to complete may vary based on the needs of the project and the community at the time you are volunteering, and will also depend on your Spanish language ability, level of studies and qualifications.

Due to the limited resources available in these clinics, volunteers on the Dental project are required to bring their own PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), including scrubs, 1-2 boxes of disposable latex gloves, disposable medical aprons, surgical masks for personal use at the project placement.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Dentistry volunteering in Cusco with IVHQ?

When you volunteer on the Dental project in Peru - Cusco you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping low-income communities access dental care
  • Assisting local dentists and hygienists at understaffed facilities
  • Observing clinical practice in a different cultural setting
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining hands-on dental experience
  • Immersing yourself in Peruvian culture
  • Exploring the stunning mountains and ancient ruins of Peru

Volunteer requirements

  • To be eligible for this project you must at a minimum be enrolled in a post-secondary dental program, or be a dental student, dental nurse, dental hygienist or fully qualified dentist.
  • You’ll need to provide evidence of your education and qualifications to our local team in Cusco once you have registered for the program, as per Peruvian Ministry of Health requirements.
  • Volunteers need to bring their own scrubs.
  • It is strongly recommended that volunteers on this project know how to speak Spanish or learn as much as they can before the program.
  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

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

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

JB
Jacob Barsness
05 Feb 2024

I went to Peru with a mindset of learning Spanish, exploring a new country, and contributing in a positive way with the skill-set I have. IVHQ gave me this opportunity to explore and expand my personal goals in a way that benefited myself and those around me.

...
JO
Jide Oke
24 Jan 2024

I'm blown away by this experience. Every single detail was well thought out and I can tell so much effort went into preparing this experience. As a volunteer, I felt valued, safe and cared for. This program is a gold standard with so much positive energy each day!

...
HK
Hyunjung Kim
24 Jan 2024

This was the most wonderful experience I've ever had - from the first day to the last day it was perfect! I fully recommend this program.

...
SY
Saini Ye
24 Jan 2024

The project and program was well organized and everything went super smooth! I enjoyed working with other volunteers and the local team - everyone was so sweet. This was a great experience and I will do more programs in the future - thanks for everything!

...
SJ
Sania Jabeen
10 Oct 2023

I'm really glad I joined this experience! Being there and seeing the patients and the treatments offered was a great educational experience for me. I feel my lack of knowledge in Spanish limited what I was able to help with, but the overall experience was amazing. Staying at the host family's house was a fantastic immersion experience and I met so many amazing people who were on the same wavelength as me. It was such a wholesome experience - IVHQ and the local team were friendly, approachable and efficient in providing support.

...
CK
Christopher Kiser
24 Jan 2023

IVHQ and the local team were excellent! This experience was life changing, I would recommend everyone do this at least once in their life. I grew personally and professionally every day I was here. I gained a new perspective and fell in love with a new culture. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from this experience. My accommodation was excellent, my host and the meals he provided were amazing.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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!

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Volunteer Abroad in Peru, Cusco with IVHQ

Location

Cusco is one of the oldest cities in South America and situated in the stunning Peruvian Andes. The city is close to famous Inca trails, ruins and temples, such as Machu Picchu. It’s a hive of culture, adventure and culinary delights - all of which makes it a prime destination for visitors to Peru.

The IVHQ Peru - Cusco volunteer program has volunteer placements located in Cusco and surrounding valleys. Volunteers are important to Cusco because despite the thriving tourism industry and government investment in the region, many local people make little money and struggle to access food, water, shelter, healthcare and education. Volunteers can make a difference by supporting local initiatives that aim to help people improve their quality of life by making sure they have the basic necessities and opportunities to help them improve their futures.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Cusco on the Sunday before orientation. Orientation will be held within 24 hours of your arrival.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) in Cusco. 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 local team’s main office and then to your homestay. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are travelling in Peru prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Cusco on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at their offices in Cusco. Orientation begins on Monday morning and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cusco – introduction to Peru, Peruvian customs, language lesson details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Cusco, 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 socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, typically Tuesday, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays

Volunteers will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift which will last about 3 to 5 hours. Volunteer roles and hours are dependent on your project and placement. A typical morning schedule might be as follows:

8:00 AM Breakfast with your host family.
9:00 AM Leave the homestay and travel to your placement, where you will be given a structure sheet and a plan for your work.
12:00 PM Lunch at a local restaurant.
1:00 - 6:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. You are free to travel back to your accommodation, go sightseeing or take Spanish lessons.
7:00 PM Dinner with your host family.

Weekends

On weekends volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Cusco and Peru. Sunday is a religious day of rest and most stores and restaurants are closed on Sundays, as most Peruvians devote the day to spending time with their families. If you like, you can accompany your host family to their local church, as a Latin American church service is a unique and special experience for many volunteers.

Cusco is a lively metropolitan city with a fascinating history and lots to see and do. There are places where you can learn about the Mayan and Incan culture and traditions, see ancient ruins, a beautiful central square bordered by restaurants and cafes, cooking classes, a chocolate museum offering all kinds of tasty delights or dance the night away in some of Peru’s best nightclubs. It is also an outdoor-lovers paradise with plenty of horseback riding, ziplining and hiking opportunities, including Rainbow Mountain.

Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to visit other parts of Peru, such as Lima.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on Cusco based projects will be accommodated in either a dorm-style volunteer house or a homestay with a local host family.

You will find living conditions are comfortable in both types of accommodation, and all homestay families have been approved by our local staff. Bedrooms have single and bunk beds with bedding provided. You will share a room with up to four other volunteers of the same gender.

The volunteer house can accommodate up to 30 volunteers, whereas the homestays can host up to 6 volunteers at one time. If you prefer a private room, these are available in our homestays and you will need to arrange this through your Program Manager once you’ve secured your spot on the program. Private room upgrades cost £51 per person, per week.

You can expect the homestays to have electricity, drinkable running water and western bathrooms. Low pressure showers are common and the water is not always heated.

Please note, homes in Peru are not typically heated but your hosts can provide you with additional blankets upon request. We also advise wearing layered clothing as the temperature tends to drop at night, due to the altitude.

WiFi is available in the majority of homestays and you will have access to computers and WiFi at the local team’s office in Cusco.

Please note, volunteers under the age of 18 who are travelling solo will be accommodated separately from those over the age of 18, in a homestay. If there are other volunteers under the age of 18 participating at the same time, the local team will do their best to ensure they are accommodated together.

Meals

In Cusco, volunteers are provided breakfast and dinner at their accommodation.

A typical Peruvian breakfast consists of bread, spreads, fruit and eggs accompanied by tea or coffee. Dinner commonly consists of meat (often chicken), soups, pastas, starches and vegetables. We recommend budgeting between US$3 (approximately £2) and US$10 (approximately £8) per day to purchase lunch. Local staff will give recommendations on economical places to eat in Cusco.

Please let us know of any dietary requirements you have so we can make special arrangements for you.

Pricing

  • USD
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 £390 Equivalent to £56/day
2 weeks £669 Equivalent to £48/day
3 weeks £898 Equivalent to £43/day
4 weeks £1122 Equivalent to £40/day
5 weeks £1347 Equivalent to £38/day
6 weeks £1571 Equivalent to £37/day
8 weeks £2020 Equivalent to £36/day
10 weeks £2469 Equivalent to £35/day
12 weeks £2918 Equivalent to £35/day
16 weeks £3816 Equivalent to £34/day
20 weeks £4714 Equivalent to £34/day
24 weeks £5613 Equivalent to £33/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised 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.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cusco generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as lunches (except for Amazon Jungle Conservation, Andean Immersion, and Eco-Agriculture Conservation volunteers), in-country tours, and Spanish language lessons.

Free-time experiences & tours in Peru

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Peru! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Peru program.

Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)

Prepare to be in awe of this unique landscape and surroundings on this overnight tour!

£116
Machu Picchu Overnight Tour  - Upgrade (2 days, 1 night)
Machu Picchu Overnight Tour - Upgrade (2 days, 1 night)

Explore Machu Picchu on an exhilarating 2-day & 1-night tour.

£407
Machu Picchu Tour (Full Day)
Machu Picchu Tour (Full Day)

Experience the awe-inspiring wonders of Machu Picchu in just one day without stretching your budget!

£311
Mini Adventure (6 days, 7 nights)
Mini Adventure (6 days, 7 nights)

See all of Peru’s major hot spots on this 1-week Mini Adventure tour.

£765
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)

Prepare to be in awe of this unique landscape and surroundings on this overnight tour!

£116
Rainbow Mountain - Short Trek
Rainbow Mountain - Short Trek

Enjoy a short, mountainside trek to the top of Rainbow Mountain, part of Ausangate Mountain in the Andes.

£49

No experiences or tours for Lima, yet...

Affordable Spanish language lessons

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Peru - Cusco program, however on certain projects 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 local team in Cusco. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish and classes run from Monday through to Friday. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers.

  • Group Class: 2 hour a day - starting at £74 per week
  • Private Class: 1 hour a day - starting at £78 per week
  • Private Class: 2 hours a day - starting at £5147 per week

How to book IVHQ’s language lessons: Once you’ve paid your registration fee, you will be able to select language lessons as an “Add-on” via your MyIVHQ profile.

Spanish language lessons are not available on the Andean Immersion, Eco-Agriculture or Amazon Jungle Conservation projects due to their remote nature. However volunteers will have plenty of opportunity to practice with locals.

Check what's required to visit Peru

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

Capital Lima
Population 32 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Peruvian 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. In the mountains, rain is frequent during summer and temperatures and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The jungle has heavy rainfal​l​ and high temperatures, with the exception of its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.

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How to get started

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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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