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Volunteer in Peru - It Will Change You Forever...

  • World's most affordable fees guaranteed
  • Pay your program fees directly to your host families and projects
  • Experienced local staffs to attend to your every need
  • Flexible schedule that leaves evenings and weekends free for fun, travel and exploration

Volunteer in Peru and immerse yourself in a colorful and diverse culture while helping local Incan and Spanish descendents and native Amazonian tribes. Peru is home to the most bio-diverse climate in the world. Eight hours from Cusco, you can visit the Amazon jungle, which is still one of the last wild frontiers on the planet. As you explore Peru, you can go back in time to the Incan Empire of the 16th century. In Cusco, you can trek along the Inca Trail, wander through Machu Picchu, stroll through colorful markets, try Andean cuisine and take part in a variety of adventurous activities such as horseback riding, quad biking, river rafting, bungee jumping, hiking, mountain biking and zip lining. You can travel through the archeological capital of the Americas, visiting Ollantaytambo, Saqsayhuaman, Moray and other tourist attractions such as Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, beaches and sand dunes.

While Peru is rich in natural resources and the tourism industry is booming, it is estimated that 54% of the current population live in poverty and 19% survive on less that $1 USD a day. As a Helping Abroad volunteer in Peru, you will have the opportunity to help underprivileged people and engage in cultural exchanges. You can chose to work in orphanages, schools, clinics/hospitals, with street children, teaching English or conservation projects. Regardless of the project you chose, Helping Abroad ensures that you have a safe, rewarding and meaningful experience as you explore Peru and its endless opportunities. Act now, Peru awaits you. Email us to begin this fascinating, rewarding and life changing experience, both for you and for those you help. We will be happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.

Program Fee

Helping Abroad volunteers Program starts every 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.

Are you looking for a safe and affordable volunteer abroad experience? Do you want to see the fees you pay, being utilized towards the welfare of the project and host families? Helping abroad, a 501 c 3, offer volunteer programs at unbeatable, low prices. At Helping Abroad, we maintain a level of transparency of funds, especially for volunteers who want to know where and how the fee they pay are being channelized. The volunteer fee is paid directly to the families that host volunteers and the project that volunteers work on. The program fee is divided as registration fee ($299) and weekly fee. The registration fee is used to cover our expenses like advertisement and office expenses. The weekly fee is divided between room/local food (3 times a day, 50-70%) and project donation/ support to local project staff (30-50%) and local coordination fee (10%). The allocation may differ according to location and project type. Therefore, our coordinator will explain these issues before you pay the fees. Please find the breakdown of the cost in a weekly basis below:

Duration All Other Projects Medical project
  1 Week   $209   $234
  2 Weeks   $343   $368
  3 Weeks   $427   $502
  4 Weeks   $511   $586
  5 Weeks   $620   $670
  6 Weeks   $704   $754
  7 Weeks   $788   $838
  8 Weeks   $872   $922
  9 Weeks   $981   $1,006
  10 Weeks   $1,065   $1,090
  11 Weeks   $1,149   $1,174
  12 Weeks   $1,233   $1,258
Additional Fee
  • Airport Pickup and Transfer $20.00
  • Mandatory Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day
  • Spanish Lesson (10hrs a week, M-F) $70/Week
Included in Fee
  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals a day
  • Donation to project
  • In-country office expenses
  • Field support
  • Project coordination
Not Included in Fee
  • International flights
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Immunizations
  • Personal food and beverages
  • Travel costs
  • Entertainment
  • Local transportation
  • Laundry
  • Communication (telephone, internet)

Volunteer Programs

Work in an Orphanage (Cusco, Manu)

Volunteers playing with orphans

Volunteer in an orphanage in Peru in either the historical Cusco or the Amazon Jungle and surround yourself with array of colors and cultures as you provide children with love, basic necessities and a chance for a better future. Poverty, disease and lack of opportunity have increased the number of orphans in Peru, leaving multiple children without parents and essential care. In many cases, extreme poverty and sickness are disabling parents to care for their children, convincing them to leave them as orphans. Helping Abroad partners with multiple orphanage homes in Cusco and Manu National Park (Amazon Jungle) to provide these children with safe environments, basic necessities, education, affection and support. Unfortunately, orphanages in Peru lack funds, food, amenities, basic facilities and governmental support. There’s also a shortage of local orphanage workers therefore volunteers are highly needed. As a volunteer working in an orphanage in Peru, you can help children educationally, socially, and physically as you change their lives and futures for the better.

For volunteers who are up for a bigger challenge and willing to commit at least a month with special skills in fields such as counseling, social work, psychology or nursing; Cusco offers orphanages and homes for special children, “Las Estrellas” (the stars), which are emotionally, mentally, developmentally and or physically challenged. A volunteer can make a huge impact in the lives of these very special-need children or stars. These children are largely the unseen, abandoned, and forgotten children of Peru. A courageous group of people here in Cusco has taken on the challenge of caring for them, but they need your help and support.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

No specific skills, qualifications or experiences are required to volunteer in an orphanage in Peru. Basic Spanish skills are preferred, but not mandatory. If your Spanish skills are poor, we recommend that you enroll in out Spanish Language Program to make your experience more efficient, effective and enjoyable both for you and those you help. If you are interested in working with disabled orphans, we prefer an intermediate level of Spanish. You should have a passion for teaching and caring for children. Volunteers must be hardworking, patient, confident, enthusiastic and good with children. You should bring energy and enthusiasm to the orphanage and your projects.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

As a volunteer in Peru working in an orphanage, you will provide orphan children with opportunities, smiles, hope and support. Depending on individual interests and skills, volunteers carry out a wide range of development-enhancing activities such as, but not limited to:

  • Teach Basic English (2-4 hours a day to orphans from kindergarten to high school, depending on orphanage and school schedules)
  • Teach computer lessons
  • Help students successfully finish their homework
  • Sing songs and play music/instruments
  • Dance with children
  • Help children with art projects and drawing
  • Play games and sports
  • Teach children personal hygiene
  • Helping local staff take children on educational excursions
  • Reinforce life skills and chores such as cleaning, cooking, getting dressed, sewing, gardening, etc
  • Work on maintenance such as painting, building, and other activities to improve the facilities
  • Assist in administrative tasks such as fundraising, organization, etc.

Please Note:   The activities above are only examples of volunteers’ daily activities, but this may change due to requests from orphanage staff members and teachers. Volunteers are encouraged to be creative with the children and local staff, sharing ideas, projects and activities. You will receive your work schedule from local staff. You are only required to work 4-5 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, therefore, you will have ample time to relax, learn Spanish and explore Peru’s natural beauty and culture.

Working with Educational Programs and Street Children (Cusco, Manu)

volunteers with street children

Volunteer in Peru with educational programs and street children to improve the futures of Peru’s vulnerable and at-risk children. Despite Peru's significant progress in the last few years, the social and economic inequalities which still plague much of Peru have left about 60% of Peruvian children impoverished. Many children are left alone in the streets and suffer from poor health, malnutrition, physical trauma, child prostitution and physical violence. Many street-involved children have never had the opportunity to go to school and others do go, but their school work suffers because they have to work long hours on the street to support their family or have a difficult home life. The continuous hunger and difficult street conditions have forced a lot of these children to become street beggars or thieves and in some cases child prostitutes. To forget their daily sufferings, some children have started to consume cheap alcohol or drugs and have become involved in petty crimes. To alleviate these situations, Helping Abroad is working in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations, schools and after-school programs to provide infant, child and adolescent centers for safe and productive environments. Through education, volunteers and organizations can adequately provide poor children with greater opportunities, brighter futures and healthier lives.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

No specific skills, qualifications or experiences are required to volunteer in the Educational Programs and Street Children Program in Peru. Basic Spanish skills are preferred, but not mandatory. If your Spanish skills are poor, we recommend that you enroll in out Spanish Language Program to make your experience more efficient, effective and enjoyable both for you and those you help. You should have a passion for teaching and caring for children. Volunteers must be hardworking, patient, confident, enthusiastic and good with children. You should bring energy and enthusiasm to your projects. For those volunteers that have counseling, social work, and psychology backgrounds their expertise is greatly needed. All of the programs are open to those individuals practicing their specialty and assisting children to heal emotionally, socially and developmentally.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

As a volunteer working with educational programs and street children, you can help in various ways and international volunteers will give the children a chance to experience different cultures, languages and customs, broadening their visions and giving them hope. Common activities volunteers working with street children take part in consist of:

  • Teaching children English
  • Teaching other subjects such as math and science
  • Working with after-school programs and organizations
  • Teaching computer classes
  • Helping children with their homework and school assignments
  • Providing them with care and support
  • Helping during meal times
  • Ensuring all children wash their hands
  • Assisting in creativity-based activities such as painting, art classes, etc.
  • Playing sports with children
  • Identifying children with dental or other health-related problems
  • Supervising the children
  • Teaching informal education classes to the children and making them aware about the world
  • Creating an awareness about their rights in the society
  • Promoting extracurricular activities such as playing games, theatre, panting, dancing, singing, playing music, etc.
  • Teaching the children about health and hygiene
  • Taking children to and from school
  • Planning and leading educational workshops
  • Helping with designated chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, routine maintenance, etc.
  • Depending upon your skills and interest, you can also teach the street children different vocational skills such as sewing, typing, beautician, business skills, painting, etc.

Please Note:  The activities above are mere examples of volunteers’ daily activities, but this may change due to requests from local staff members and teachers. You will receive your work schedule from the local organizations. In the full time home based programs, volunteers can work from 9am-12pm or 1pm to 4pm, depending on school rotations. Those working in the after school street program will typically work from 3pm to 7pm. You are only required to work only 3 to 4 hours a day, Monday through Friday and occasionally on weekends, therefore you will have ample time to relax and explore the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Manu and Peru as a whole.

Teaching English (Cusco, Manu) in Peru

Peruvian students heading to school

Helping Abroad holds an infinite range of opportunities for anyone who wants to share their English knowledge with less fortunate children in Peru. Although Peru's school enrollment is high, educational quality and access to schools is low and most schools lack trained teachers and efficient resources. The tourism industry is growing in Peru as travelers visit the jungles, Machu Picchu, the Nasca lines, sand dunes, and the Andes. Tourism brings economic opportunities, but only for those with the ability to speak English. Unfortunately, poorer children are not given the chance to learn English because their parents cannot afford to pay for private schools or lessons. As a result, many poor and rural Peruvians are left jobless and those who speak only Spanish or Quechua are at a great disadvantage for their future. For this reason, Helping Abroad partners with local schools, after-school programs, nonprofit organizations and rehabilitation centers so each volunteer in Peru in the English teaching program can improve educational opportunities and enhance the futures of their students.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

No specific skills, qualifications or experiences are required to volunteer in the Teaching English Project in Peru. Intermediate Spanish skills are preferred, but not mandatory. If your Spanish skills are poor, we recommend that you enroll in out Spanish Language Program to make your experience more efficient, effective and enjoyable both for you and those you teach. You should have a passion for teaching and children. Volunteers must be hardworking, patient, confident, enthusiastic and good with children. You should bring energy and enthusiasm to school classrooms and your projects.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

As a volunteer in Peru teaching English, you may work with either a school, educational center or nonprofit organization to carry out responsibilities such as:

  • Teaching English for 3-4 hours a day
  • Helping students successfully finish their homework
  • Singing songs and playing music/instruments
  • Helping children with art projects and drawing
  • Playing games and sports
  • Teaching children personal hygiene
  • Reinforcing life skills and chores such as cleaning and cooking
  • Teaching children to how to garden
  • Working on maintenance such as painting, building, and other activities to improve the facilities
  • Assisting in administrative tasks such as fundraising, organization, etc.

*Most schools in Peru use a trimester system and are closed for winter and summer breaks, but if you would like to volunteer during this time we can gladly find you a similar project.

Please Note:   The activities above are mere examples of volunteers’ daily activities, but this may change due to requests from local staff members and teachers. You will receive your work schedule from the school administration or organization. You are only required to work only 3 to 4 hours a day, Monday through Friday, therefore, you will have ample time to relax and explore Peru.

Working in Clinics and Hospitals (Cusco)

volunteer in a hospital

Volunteer in Peru in clinics and hospitals and help to treat Peruvians, changing their lives for the better and increasing their quality of life. Affordable and quality healthcare is difficult to find in Peru; therefore Helping Abroad focuses on helping low income families in Cusco and surrounding area to alleviate some of the major health problems in the region. Helping Abroad partners with local hospitals, clinics and nonprofit organizations to bring doctors, nurses and other medical volunteers to Cusco. Partner clinics and hospitals specialize in rehabilitation for children, general medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, obstetrics, neurology, dental, family medicine, psychology, counseling, social work, physical and occupational rehabilitation and more. In addition, Helping Abroad partners with a mobile hospital in order to provide medical attention to rural Peruvians who may not have the means to travel to Cusco for care. Medical teams with specialists and mental health workers are greatly needed in this area. Please inquire about the special needs and requirements for the mobile hospital. For those interested in the medical/healthcare fields, this is the perfect opportunity to gain professional experience, help those in need and explore a colorful and mystical city. As a volunteer working in clinics and hospitals, you will have a life-changing and unforgettable experience, both for you and for those you help.

Educational Requirements and Project Skills

Our medical placement is available to those with or without experience; however those without experience must be able to handle observing and being involved with real life medical procedures and or emergencies, which may include minor surgery or blood. Those with experience and certifications will be able to perform duties accordingly. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical students and volunteers with medical related experience are asked to submit proof of a healthcare certification, such as an ID as a medical student, EMT, paramedic certification or nursing or physician's credentials before joining this project. Volunteers need to be 18 years or above at the start date of project. You should also have a medium level of English and Spanish. If your Spanish skills are poor, we recommend that you enroll in out Spanish Language Program to make your experience more efficient, effective and enjoyable both for you and those you help. During your stay working in hospitals/clinics, you must be respectful and easy to work with. You are also expected to be open minded, flexible, independent, enthusiastic and hardworking. A lot of patience, compassion and eagerness are required to work with patients.

Your Responsibilities as a Volunteer

In the area of medicine, what a volunteer can do depends on their level of training, their certifications, and their licensing. All clinics and hospitals seek to use their volunteers to the maximum and have the spirit of learning from each other. As a volunteer with or without experience you can observe the work of doctors or other members of the staff and help them according to your skills in the medical field. Responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting in the lab and/or pharmacy
  • Helping with triage
  • Assisting with patients
  • Shadowing nurses or doctors
  • Administrative tasks
  • Taking patient details and vital signs such as blood pressure, height, weight
  • Distributing medicines
  • Performing in basic first aid
Doctors, nurses, or medical students based on their certifications can participate with:
  • Medical procedures
  • Helping incoming patients
  • Doing triage
  • Assisting in day emergency room
  • Working with local doctors
  • Doctors can diagnose and treat patients based on their certification and specialty as a full physician

You can also have the opportunity to help in any specialized area you might be certified in. The clinic will evaluate and discuss your level of training in order to use your skills efficiently and maximize your volunteer experience. They also do some minimal training to be sure you can work to your capacity in their clinic. There is ample support and supervision available for those that need it. The local staff, doctors and nurses really try to create a family atmosphere in the clinics.

Please Note:   Medical projects are very sensitive so you need to be conscious about your responsibilities. You will receive your work schedule and support from local doctors and nurses in need of your assistance. Normally, you are required to work for only 4 to 5 hours per day for 5-6 days a week. If any volunteer is interested in doing some extra work then he/she can consult local doctors or medical staff. They will arrange the working schedule according to your requests. Outside of volunteering, we recommend that volunteers take advantage of their free time and immerse themselves in the culture and go on excursions to experience as much of Peru as possible.

Spanish Language Program

Are you looking to learn Spanish or improve your skills? Helping Abroad offers exclusive Spanish lessons for its volunteers in Peru and collaborates with a respectable Spanish school. Volunteers will learn from highly qualified and experienced teachers who offer intensive and valuable classes. Volunteers will work in their project and simultaneously take classes, allowing volunteers to practice what they learn in class with project staff, new friends and host families. Volunteers will either take classes in the morning and volunteer in the afternoon or visa versa, volunteer in the morning and take classes in the afternoon. Volunteers can work with their project staff to create their own schedule. As you improve your Spanish skills, your experience will be more beneficial, both for you and for those you help.

Major FAQ's

  • Who will meet me at the airport? What should I do if I am delayed or miss my flight? When should I arrive?
  • Most volunteers fly to Lima with a connecting flight to Cusco, but a direct flight to Cusco may be possible depending on your original location. You may need to spend the night in Lima before your connecting flight. The Jorge Chavez International Airport is in Lima and is Peru's major international airport and the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is located in Cusco. Once you arrive in Cusco, a Helping Abroad representative will meet you and take you to your host family. The Helping Abroad country coordinator will be waiting for you at the “Arrival” gate. Please look for a person with both the Helping Abroad company logo and your name on a sign card. In case your contact person is not there, please contact the Helping Abroad office and we will immediately follow up on your contact persons’ whereabouts. Coordinators’ contact details are available on the pre-departure handbook. If your flight is delayed, immediately contact Helping Abroad so we can make adjustments to your program. Helping Abroad will be responsible for creating the necessary changes in your program.

    The program fee covers expenses from the first day of the program to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program and/or stay beyond the last day of the program, you will be responsible for these expenses.

  • What are the visa requirements to volunteer in Peru?
  • It is the volunteer’s responsibility to acquire a tourist Visa. Please contact either our office or the local Peruvian embassy to learn more about the process for obtaining a visa, timelines, visa fees and visa extensions. It depends on where you are from but normally tourist visas are easily obtainable upon arrival to the Lima or Cusco International Airports.

  • What do I need to know about health and safety in Peru?
  • Volunteers should be aware of all health and safety information before traveling to Peru. You can read about health and safety in Peru on the website listed below:

  • What immunizations/vaccinations are recommended before arriving to Peru?
  • We strongly recommend that volunteers obtain vaccinations before arriving in Peru. You can speak with your health-care provider to determine which vaccinations you will need. Please read CDC recommendations about vaccinations and preventive medicine: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/Peru.htm

  • What is the local currency and exchange rate?
  • The local currency in Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol. ATM cards are the best way to get money and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in airports, large stores and large hotels. There are ATM machines throughout Cusco. It is a good idea to carry a credit card for large purchases and emergencies. Make sure you notify your bank that you will be out of the country and give them your expected arrival/departure dates. This will prevent your account from being locked and you will be advised about any fraudulent charges. Please always be aware of your situation and keep all valuables and money concealed at all times. It is always best to go to the ATM machine in groups.

    Please visit XE, a privately held online foreign exchange tool for rates. XE.com (http://www.xe.com/)

  • How can I communicate with my family/friends while I am abroad? Is there internet access?
  • If you have an unlocked cell phone that contains a SIM card, we recommend that you bring it because you can buy a SIM card upon arrival in Cusco. Phones are important to have for safety and communication with family and Helping Abroad staff. Internet cafes are widely available in Peru.

  • How is the climate in Peru?
  • Cusco’s climate can be both hot and cold. The rainy season is from December to March, where raingear and warmer clothes are necessary. Between April to November, it tends to be sunny during the day and cold at night. For projects in Manu, the weather can be warmer and humid. For accurate weather please visit ACCU Weather (http://www.accuweather.com/)

  • What should I bring?
  • You can purchase basic necessities in Peru at reasonable prices, but we suggest bringing the following:

    • An unlocked mobile phone (you can use it after buying a sim card)
    • Camera
    • Sleeping bag
    • Mosquito repellent
    • Insect repellent
    • Sunscreen
    • Books about Peru
    • Map of Peru
    • Toiletries
    • First aid kit
    • Flash light
    • Electricity adapter/converter
    • Sun glasses
    • Good shoes (for work and travel)
    • Towel
  • Should I bring gifts for my host family?
  • You are not required to bring a gift, but it is common courtesy as a token of appreciation for hosting you. Gifts can be as simple as postcards or pictures from home, chocolates, t-shirts, or something that represents where you are from. In addition, you can bring gifts for your projects. If you are working in orphanages or schools, you can bring items such as school supplies and games. Remember that many children will desire what you bring, so you may want to bring a large amount of one item (pencils, pens, notebooks, games, art supplies, etc).

NOTE:Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is derived from generic information about the country, and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly, and the information contained here may not be up to date. Participants should consult Helping Abroad staff or travel advisors to verify this information.