Volunteers will be placed in very small villages of approximately 60 people in the Andes Mountains outside of Cusco. This project provides an income source for small communities and promotes cross cultural understanding. Volunteers will be able to take part in local festivities and gatherings both within their host family and the community. Volunteers should consider this project an intense, cultural encounter and be able to live with only basic necessities. It will be very rewarding but also very challenging.
Volunteers help families with the following activities:
Agriculture — As an agriculturally based community the most common crops are potatoes and quinoa. Volunteers assist with planting, harvesting, storing, and transporting crops.
Livestock — Volunteers help by feeding and taking care of the animals and sometimes milking the cows owned by the host family.
Textiles — Volunteers have the opportunity to learn about traditional weaving skills and natural dyes by working with the women who create traditional textile products to sell at local markets.
Please note that the accommodations and meals will be very basic due to the extremely remote setting of these communities. Hot showers will not be available and running water is not guaranteed. Locals bath in a mix of boiled and cold water that they put in a bucket.
Another important point is that no English is spoken in these communities. Quechua is the local language. Most locals also speak Spanish as a second language. It is still possible to have a rewarding and full experience even though there will be a language barrier. Furthermore, the community is very warm and welcoming to all volunteers.
Room and Board
Meals and accommodations are included. Volunteers will stay in a homestay where they will live with a local family. Volunteers may expect to share a room with either other volunteers or the members of the family (who are the same gender as the volunteer), but in some homestays volunteers get their own rooms. We give the host family money from your fee for support, food, and board. When staying with your family you will be able to learn the Peruvian way of life, meet local people, eat typical food, speak the language (Spanish or Quechua) and engage in local customs and traditions.
Volunteers can expect to experience a variety of flavors and meals during their homestay experience as Peruvian food is diverse. We will be glad to let the family know if you have special eating needs. Please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. You will be well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible towards the new culture and traditions.
First day! Your Introduction
The first day of your program (normally Sunday) your Orientation will begin at around 8:00 am and will be conducted by our staff. It will cover everything you need to know for your volunteer placement in the city including an introduction to Peru, Peruvian customs, language training information (Spanish), 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. Once our orientation is complete, volunteers will be transported to their homestay and introduced to all relevant parties – homestay family members and program placement staff.
Spanish classes will not be available during your stay in the Andean community but we will be happy to set up classes for you for before or after your project. Please note additional fees may be applied for housing and/or classes.
Spanish language courses are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. PV Travel strongly recommends these for all volunteers unless they are extremely fluent. If a volunteer's Spanish is none to basic and they are staying for a period of longer than two weeks then volunteers should strongly consider these courses as they will allow them to work and communicate with all parties a lot more efficiently during their stay. These language courses are organized on your arrival in Peru at the program orientation. The language course is tailored to each volunteer's current level of Spanish.
The Volunteer Day
While our programs are flexible and can be fit to your requirements, an example of a typical day is as follows:
7:30 AM Breakfast with the host family
8:00 AM/2:00 PM Volunteer will either work with the family directly at their house or go to the local community. Where you volunteer for the day will depend on the time of year (for agriculture) and the type of duties available. Work hours are generally four hours in the morning or afternoon.
12:00 PM-6:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. The volunteer at this point is free to relax or explore the local area.
7:30 PM Dinner with the host family.
On the weekend, volunteers have spare time and usually relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Peru. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield such as Machu Picchu. At PV Travel we organize fun and interesting tours for our volunteers, so just let us know where you would like to go!
Requirements and Application Process
The minimum age for volunteers is 18 years old unless traveling with family members over 18 or their school. No previous volunteer experience or other qualifications are necessary as all skills are useful in our projects. We do require volunteers to be aware that they will encounter cultural differences in Peru, which they must be prepared to respect. Our volunteers must be willing to engage in their project and be open-minded towards the dissimilarities they may encounter.
- Once we receive your application, we will review it and notify you within a few days of your acceptance status.
- If you are accepted you will need to pay your deposit within one week to reserve your place.
- Upon receipt of your $250 deposit you will be sent our in-depth pre-departure brochure full of indispensible tips regarding preparation and packing, your destination and its customs, your accommodations, travel requirements and suggestions, and much more.
- After reserving your place please book your flight and send us your flight information so we can schedule your airport pick-up. Also, visit your doctor for any vaccinations you may require and do not hesitate to ask us any questions that you may have.
- The remaining total is due 30 days before the start of your program.
- Join us helping and traveling in Peru!
• Volunteer placement in your preferred project
• Volunteer project management and administration for your selected program length
• Accommodations in a Family Stay - Sundays through Saturdays
• 3 meals per day in Family Stay
• Airport pick-up
• Volunteer certificate
• Transport to volunteer project the first day
• 24/7 support from our staff in Peru
• Volunteer discounts on tours throughout Peru
**Your fee also contributes to the purchase of needed supplies for improvements at your project.
To get started click Apply Now!