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While Peru is famous for its beautiful landscape and ancient ruins, it’s also well known for its volunteer opportunities. Many local communities and leaders, as well as NGOs, have set up programs where people can work with and in communities in Peru, helping with teaching, education, after-school care and construction. These programs allow volunteers to become a part of a community and even offer live-ins, which is when a Peruvian family opens its doors to a volunteer. Somewhere in Peru is the perfect volunteer program for you.
Despite its small size, Huanchaco may be the best place to volunteer in Peru. The small but tight-knit community has a lot to offer in terms of options for volunteers and a lot of very personal support and guidance. Huanchaco has become recognized as a new tourist destination because of its history and its caballitos de totora fishermen, but more and more tourists end up staying or even living there because for its awesome volunteer programs and the little beach city’s special feel.
Coco Touzet, one of the owners of Moksha Yoga and Surf Hostel, runs an empowerment center for women and children of Cerrito de la Virgen, the barrio on the top of the hill in Huanchaco, and is always looking for new volunteers. Her school is the Milagro School and it offers arts and crafts lessons, craft and trade specialization, and environmental awareness and literacy classes. She also has information on all of the other volunteer projects in Huanchaco.
Share the Wave
This program allows you to work with a surf school that teaches underprivileged Peruvians how to surf, giving them a fun hobby. Share the Wave teaches the social and cultural importance of surfing, allowing a space for young kids to express themselves.
Otra Cosa is a Peruvian NGO and a UK-registered charity operating in Trujillo and Huanchaco. In the program, you’ll be placed in communities around Trujillo and Huanchaco, teaching English in local schools to underprivileged children.
Esperanza Canina is an association based in Huanchaco, Peru, dedicated to rescuing and taking care of street dogs who have been abandoned, and are sick, hurt, or mistreated. The shelter currently has 47 dogs, which they take care of, feed, and give shots and veterinary care to. If you’d like to adopt, there’s no better place to adopt a dog from in Peru.
Because of its beauty and cultural rich history, Cusco is a hub for volunteers and NGO organization. Cusco also has a very large and active extranjero community, which makes volunteering in the former capital of the Incas very easy.
Maximo Nivel is an organization in Cusco that’ll place you in teaching programs for underprivileged students around Cusco. International volunteers play an important role by working with local staff to improve the educational, emotional, and hygiene conditions of children who are in desperate need of some help. There are also construction volunteer projects that you can go on, helping repair houses, businesses, and schools.
With Ubelong you can pick from volunteer projects in caregiving, education, sport, business, health, and construction, all within the Cusco area. The program isn’t very expensive to join, and offers housing or the opportunity to stay with a host program, including breakfast and lunch, and a driver to pick you up from the airport.