Volunteers who participate in the physical therapy program will be working with either the elderly or with children under the supervision of a specialist.
Patients in the elderly projects need different kinds of treatment that sometimes take long periods of time, mostly due to the advanced age, distortion and malfunction of the ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Sometimes this pain originates from a fracture, sprain or broken bones, for which the patient needs the help of volunteers and doctors to regain their normal physical movements. Most of these elderly patients have been abandoned in nursing homes by their relatives so that the staff at the home must do the their best with limited resources and funds to meet their health needs.
For those who are placed with children, they will work mostly with children that are physically and mentally disabled and need constant physical therapy to develop normal physical movement for different parts of the body. These are also children who have generally been left by their parents, and not only need physical therapy, but also love and attention.
Volunteer duties include:
- Help with the restoration of bodily functions
- Work and massage to increase strength, coordination, and range of motion
- Application of traction and heat, cold, light, and water treatments
- Train patients to use prosthetic and orthotic appliances.
Note: In order to be part of the physical therapy program a volunteer must be studying or have completed studies in Physical Therapy, Massage or other related fields.
Room and Board
Meals and accommodations are included. Most volunteers will stay in a homestay where they will live with a local family. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers but in some homestays volunteers get their own rooms. We give the host family money from your fee for support, food, and board. We highly recommend staying with a family; that way you will also learn the Peruvian way of life, meet local people, eat typical food, speak the language (Spanish) and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is comfortable and all homestays have electricity and running water.
Volunteers can expect to experience a variety of flavors and meals during their homestay experience as Peruvian food is diverse. If volunteers wish to eat out, there are a large number of restaurants in your chosen city to suit all tastes and budgets. 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 language courses are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. PV Travel strongly recommends these for all volunteers unless they are extremely fluent. 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 arrival in Peru at the program orientation. The language course is tailored to each volunteer's current level of Spanish. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to PV Travel volunteers at a discounted price.
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 Volunteer leaves home and takes public transport (or in some cases walks) to the project with other volunteers and program staff. You will be given a plan for your work. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break. Work and hours is dependent on the project and location that the volunteer is participating in.
2:00 PM-5:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. The volunteer at this point is free to visit and explore the city. When you first arrive you will also have the city tour in the afternoon and the night tour during the evening. You may also want to spend additional time at your project up until the late afternoon.
7-7:30 PM Dinner with the host family.
If a volunteer is taking advantage of the Spanish language course, they will usually volunteer for half the day and take Spanish lessons for 1-4 hours in the other part of the day.
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 is required, although volunteers in our Physical Therapy Project must be studying or have completed studies in Physical Therapy, Massage or other related fields. 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 - Sundays through Saturdays (Family Stay, Shared Apartment or Hostel)
• 3 meals per day (Family Stay only)
• City tour
• Nightlife tour
• Airport pick-up
• Volunteer certificate
• Transport to volunteer project the first day
• 24/7 support from our staff in Peru
• Free coffee and tea
• Access to computers with High Speed Internet
• Wi-Fi access
• Spanish classes at a discount (placement based on your level)
- Certified Spanish teacher
- Free Spanish placement exam
- Free Spanish textbook and materials
- Conversation exchange program
• Free salsa classes Monday through Saturday
• 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!