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Volunteering in Peru

Info., Volunteering

If you would like to get to know Peru beyond the tourist glitter, consider volunteering. Opportunities for volunteering are plentiful, particularly in Cusco and Lima, but also in Arequipa, Huaraz, Puno, Trujillo, Iquitos and other parts of the Amazon, Andes and the coast. Volunteers can work in children's homes and hospitals, teach in schools, and help out at animal refuges and ecological reserves. Some projects require volunteers to speak some Spanish, others accept volunteer with no Spanish-language skills. Some placements last for a week, others for a year. Some organizations specifically seek professionals (qualified teachers, medical professionals etc.), others just need an extra pair of hands.

There is, however, a huge variation in the types of organizations that offer volunteering. Numerous volunteer organizations exist which offer volunteers a "complete" placement (usually including accommodation, food, orientation, the volunteer project itself, and the help of a volunteer coordinator) which is generally organized before the volunteer arrives in the country. Many of these organizations are excellent, and are ideal for those who want the advantage of having all the details planned for them, and the peace of mind of having somebody there in the country (usually the volunteer coordinator) should problems arise. However, these types of placements usually come with a fee, and often a large one. Though it is trickier to locate volunteer projects that don't charge a fee, it is certainly possible. Many projects also offer room and board in return for the volunteer's time and help. Though it is sometimes possible to set up this type of volunteer project before you arrive in Peru, it is generally easier to do so once in the country. Ask around-many hostels and cafés aimed at tourists may know of volunteer opportunities. Also check out the following:

  • South American Explorers in Lima (Ca. Piura 135, Miraflores, Lima. URL: www.saexplorers.org) and Cusco (Ca. Atocsaycuchi 670, San Blas, Cusco) list volunteer opportunities.
  • Several Spanish schools can also arrange volunteer placements (some are free, some with a small fee) for their students.
  • Look at www.idealist.org and www.volunteersouthamerica.net.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Peru: Peru-Chile Border Crossings, Lake Titicaca Homestays, Travel Insurance In Peru, Peru Food and Drink , Photography in Peru, Money and Costs in Peru, Politics in Peru, Studying Spanish in Peru, History of Lima and Travel Tips for Specific Groups.








By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

04 Jun 2012





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