Volunteer Peru Community Project
The Volunteer Peru Community Project is based in the magnificent city of Cusco, the oldest continually inhabited city in South America and the staging post for Machu Picchu.
Globalteer is a UK registered charity providing volunteer placements working with care homes, schools and community projects in South America and Asia
Peru is one of Latin America's most visited countries, and without doubt Machu Picchu
, which is located very close to our projects is one of every traveller's must-sees in Latin America, if not the world.
We currently place volunteers with two projects in or close to Cusco. The first is a Community project that provides a free after-school education programme
in a small Andean village. The second is a children’s reading project
on the outskirts of Cusco. The after-school programme is run from lunchtime to 5pm and the reading project runs from 4pm-7pm.
Both projects focus on the young and vulnerable by supporting them in their education so that they can become contributing members to their families and society.
Duration: 1 to 12 weeks
Hours: Mon to Fri, approximately 4 - 6 hours per day
Activities: Assisting with English, arts & crafts, and computing classes; helping out with sports & games and in the kindergarten. Reading with children, assisting with homework.
City info: Cusco, Peru, South America
Accommodation: Private room in a 2* Hotel, private room in homestay or apartment
Requirements: Aged 18+
Donation: From UK£505 / US$760
Community Project After-school Education ProgrammeGlobalteer's Community Project After-school Education Programme is based in Oropesa village outside of Cusco. The focus is on providing the poorer children of the village with a secure place where they can enjoy being children, and giving them a healthy and safe alternative to being “on the streets”, or going out to work with their parents.
At the project they are provided with educational and fun activities such as homework assistance, English classes, maths, reading, arts, photography, chess, sports & excursions. The children also enjoy classes in traditional Andean folk dance which they often perform for their parents and other villagers.
Many of the children come from single parent households, or households where both parents have to work so there is no one home to supervise them after school. Some of our students live away from their immediate families in order to be closer to the local school.
The recent addition of a kindergarten at the project means that younger children can now attend the project too and many of the older children will no longer have to look after their younger siblings, enabling them to fully enjoy all the benefits that the project has to offer.
Volunteer DutiesVolunteers at the after-school education programme assist local staff in teaching English, arts & crafts, computing, photography and playing sports and games. Suitably experienced volunteers can also help out in our new kindergarten.
Volunteers also assist with cleaning and gardening and may undertake manual work to improve the project site such as general maintenance, painting and decorating. There is also the opportunity to take the children on excursions around the village or into the countryside – for example the children make regular photography outings as part of their photography classes.
Volunteer hours are from 1pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Class times are from 2:30pm to 5pm and volunteers are required to arrive at 1pm to assist the local staff in preparing for classes and in cleaning the classrooms and playground. There are always lots of improvements to the facilities and extra tasks that the staff need to work on in the mornings and volunteers are welcome to assist with these tasks too.
A knowledge of Spanish is not necessary
for this project as volunteers can concentrate on assisting our teachers in the increasingly important English classes
. Cusco is the main tourist destination in South America and a working knowledge of English has never been so important for the next generation. By speaking English, new opportunities are available to those that could otherwise be destined to stay in the cycle of poverty.
You can also help out with arts & crafts
where enthusiasm, a good imagination and sign language go a long way!
This project is also a good choice volunteers who wish to learn Spanish or improve their Spanish language skills whilst volunteering with us in Peru. We can arrange Spanish classes
for you in the morning - including your first week free
- and you can try out your new found skills at the project in the afternoon. See below for further details.
Got a question about volunteering in Peru? Try our Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering in Peru
To see more pictures of our community projects in Peru visit the Volunteer Peru Community Project photo gallery
Children's Reading ProjectThis project is found in a purpose-built library, attached to the project founder’s home on the outskirts of Cusco. But unlike most libraries it is bustling with energy and chatter and opens the door to the wonderful and amazing world of reading for children six and above. Through reading and play and the warmth of our teachers and volunteers, the project helps children to realise their potential and improve their chance of making the most of the opportunities they face, in school and in life.
The library offers a safe alternative to the streets for children to gather and make friends through literacy. It is where they can read on their own, with friends, teachers, or volunteers; and do their homework in a positive and friendly atmosphere. When the reading's done, there is fun in the library's game room, filled with the latest educational games, puzzles, and their friends!
Volunteers listen to the children read, helping them with pronunciation, intonation and comprehension, or read stories to the children who cannot yet read themselves. You can also help them with their homework and join in with their games in the library’s play room. Volunteers at this project will require some knowledge of Spanish, although fluency is certainly not required, as long as you can read Spanish and know enough to be able to encourage the children and correct them where necessary.
Globalteer provides all volunteers with a teaching handbook which gives guidelines on how to be an effective reader and listener.
This project is also perfect for volunteers who wish to improve their Spanish and put it to practical and highly rewarding use in a very relaxed environment. Volunteering hours are from 4pm to 7pm four days a week, giving you ample opportunity to take Spanish classes during the morning (see below) or even take in some of Cusco's many sights, museums and galleries.
Spanish ClassesYou don't need to speak Spanish to be an effective volunteer at all of our Peru projects, but we know that many volunteers like to take advantage of being in a Spanish-speaking country to learn Spanish or to brush up on those rusty language skills.
From 2014 onwards all our volunteers in Cusco will have the option of taking free Spanish classes with our tried-and-tested local partner in their first week, and discounted classes thereafter. Additional classes start at just 20 Peruvian Soles an hour (that's approx £4.50, US$7.50 or AU$8.00)
Classes are tailor-made to suit each volunteer's level of Spanish so it doesn't matter if you are a complete beginner or just need to brush up a bit. However, if you would like to learn some useful phrases or get a head start before you arrive in Peru we can also arrange for you to take classes by Skype before you even leave home. Just let us know on your application form. Skype classes start at 24 Peruvian Soles an hour (approx £5.50, US$9.00 or AU$10).
The Globalteer DifferenceThere are many volunteering opportunities in Cusco, but unfortunately not all volunteering organisations are equal, so who you decide to volunteer with is a decision that should not be taken lightly. The most expensive volunteer placements are not necessarily the best, and if you find an organisation that promises to find you a placement for free, you will probably get just what you pay for. When you choose to volunteer in Peru with Globalteer you can feel confident in your choice.
| Globalteer || The Difference |
| We employ full time local and western staff in Cusco and at the project where you will be volunteering. There is always someone who works directly for Globalteer available to help - from your arrival, supporting you through your placement to helping you out should anything go wrong. || Many organisations will pass you onto third party once you arrive in Cusco. This is often a Spanish school whose main focus and expertise is not in volunteering or the needs of the charity sector. |
| The Globalteer community project where most will be volunteering on the after-school education programme is run by Globalteer and was set up by Globalteer to answer a real educational and welfare need for local village children. Our placements are not afterthoughts or cheap, optional add-ons to a Spanish study trip or internship. 100% of our focus is on our community project and our project partners. You will never be faced with an empty classroom or school yard! || Many agencies or Spanish schools will just pass volunteers onto local charities who are unable to cater for volunteers. They do not have the resources or staff to make use of volunteers and the experience is often disappointing for both the volunteer and the charity. |
| Your wellbeing is important to us – if you are not feeling at your best we know you will not get the most out of your placement – and where you live is one of the most important aspects of your trip. That’s why we offer you a choice of hotel or home stay, both of these options include your very own private room. || If you chose to volunteer for free in Peru then bear in mind that you will still need to pay your own way in Cusco. Globalteer has discounted private room accommodation as part of your package or you can live at a home stay which will include a private room and meals. If you volunteer for free then bear in mind that you are likely to have limited or no resources to use and no support or guidance during your placement. |
| Globalteer is a registered UK charity. We are not a business, we are not a travel company or Spanish school and we do not make a profit. Every penny and every cent that we make has to be used to help achieve our charitable aims – that’s the law. No shareholders, no bonuses and no dividends. Whilst a small share of what you pay goes towards our running costs, over 80% of what we spend goes directly towards achieving our charitable goals. || Globalteer's focus is on the charity and achieving our legal requirements and objectives. We make sure that all volunteers are useful in helping us achieve our objectives and all donations are used in the charity and not for profit. |
Find out what previous volunteers
have to say about volunteering with our Peru Community Project.
Why we need volunteersDespite the wealth of tourist money that enters the country (particularly Cusco), very little of this money filters down to the average Peruvian.
Peru faces high levels of poverty and inequality. In 2011 the Corporación Andinda de Formento, a multilateral development bank, reported that while nationwide poverty levels were around 33%, they reached 70% in parts of the Andean and Amazonian regions where the country's indigenous population is concentrated. In these same areas, rates of malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality were also much higher and access to healthcare more limited.
Poverty levels are significantly higher in rural areas, while urban areas are the most unequal. This means a lack of education, healthcare and nutrition effects the poorest the hardest. With volunteers we hope to help the least fortunate live healthily, with dignity and with a future.
Funds are used to:
- Run the Picaflor House volunteer community project.
- Provide access to decent health care for the children.
- Provide educational materials.
- Supplement the running costs.
- Provide sports equipment.
- Support the Children's Reading Project
- Our work is not possible without the invaluable assistance of volunteers and the donations generously provided.
The project is based in Cusco, Peru. Cusco is undisputed archaeological capital of South America and the closest city to the lost Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.
Full of beautiful plazas, cobbled streets, massive Inca walls, colonial architecture and surrounded by the amazing Andes, Cusco is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Machu Picchu was voted the best place in the world to visit by a survey of worldwide travellers.
Due to the number of tourists visiting each year, Cusco caters to all tastes and has everything a foreign traveller may need. There are many restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs as well as museums, plazas and ancient ruins.
To find out more about Peru and Cusco, visit our Volunteering in Peru Fact File.
We have different types of accommodation for this project, private hotel, homestay or apartment.
Volunteers can stay in a comfortable hotel. The hotel is well situated about a 15 minute walk from the main square of Cusco. All rooms are single occupancy or can be shared if volunteers are travelling together.
The rooms are clean and comfortable, each with private toilet, shower or bath tub. The facilities include hot water, cable TV, free basic breakfast and Wi-Fi.
In the homestays, you will live with and be part of a Peruvian family. The homestays are in safe areas with middle class families that are screened by Globalteer. Your room will be private with a shared bathroom. This is a wonderful experience to immerse yourself in the Peruvian culture and a great way to practice your Spanish skills. Volunteers eat with the family when not volunteering at the project.
If you wish to stay in an apartment then please let us know on your application as there are various options available.
Extra activities in Peru and South America
To say that every person visiting Peru has Machu Picchu on their mind would not be an exaggeration given its reputation amongst travellers of being one of the best places to visit in the world.
You can go there by train, trek the amazing Inca trail high in the Andes or take any other number of routes all ending with lost city itself. Built, but never completed by the Incas around 1450 the Inca capital was only re-discovered in 1911. The lost city of the Incas is now discovered by thousands of visitors every day.
There are many Incan ruins scattered around Cusco that are worth a visit. The Sacred valley of the Incas is a magnificent drive from Cusco and has many small villages with bustling indigenous markets as well as rafting and paragliding for the adrenaline junkies.
For long weekends or those travelling through, Lake Titicaca is 7-8 hours from Cusco. For an amazing experience you can also visit the Amazon Rainforest in Manu or Puerto Maldonado.
Globalteer works closely with a well respected agency in Cusco which can arrange services such as visits to Machu Picchu, Amazon trips, Lake Titicaca as well as many other amazing trips in Peru and South America. Southern Crossings, South American Adventures
|No. of weeks|
The required donation for a volunteer placement is stated in UK £pounds and US $dollars.
The donation includes -
- Project donation.
- Airport pick up from Cusco international airport.
- Peru orientation guide and induction on arrival.
- Cusco town tour.
- Accommodation for the duration of your volunteer placement
- In country support from our volunteer co-ordinator and Peru team.
- Free Spanish language classes in Cusco during your first week
- Daily local bus transport to and from your project
The donation does not include flights, visas or insurance although we can provide information as required.
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Application process & requirements
The minimum age for volunteers is 18 years old. No previous volunteering experience or qualifications are necessary but we do require volunteers to be respectful and open minded to the cultural differences they will encounter in Peru.
- Click on the link below to fill out an application form.
- Add "@globalteer.org" to your E-mail safe list to ensure that you receive a response.
- Your application will be reviewed and if accepted you will be notified via E-mail within one week.
- Pay your deposit to secure your placement within one week of acceptance.
- Undergo your background check for the safety of the children.
- Research your destination, book your flight, inoculations and ask us any questions you may have.
- Full amount is to be paid 10 weeks before the start of your volunteer placement.
- A comprehensive information folder will be sent to you with all information including a packing list, Peru cultural differences, etiquette, useful language phrases, volunteer placement rules, useful phone contacts and full project information.