WHY we need you in Peru
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IMMERSION PERU
LOCATION: ANDES MOUNTAINS (APPROX 1 HOUR FROM CUZCO)
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: HOME STAY
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 18+ (16 with guardian)
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
The Indigenous Community Immersion project provides a totally unique learning experience that brings volunteers up-close to an ancient way of life. Volunteers are placed in an indigenous, Quechua-speaking community high in the Andes mountains, approximately 1 hour from Cuzco. This volunteer project is an off-the-grid full-immersion. An excellent project for volunteers interested in anthropology, gender-roles, and indigenous cultures.
As you’ll be sharing in everyday life with an Indigenous family, the standard of living is quite basic and the pace is slow. Schedules can vary greatly depending on weather, harvest seasons, family and social events. As a volunteer you’ll need to be self-driven with a capacity to see tasks that can add value to the local community.
Cusco, Peru is one of the top 5 ancient civilization centers in the world, is also home to immense scenic beauty, bio-diversity and incredible culture. On this project, you’ll be situated approx 1 hour from Cuzco, high in the Andes mountains.
- Be ready for anything! Volunteers on this project need to be adaptable to local ways
- Minor construction related jobs such as painting, refurbishing sheds, fences etc
- Animal related work such as feeding livestock, cleaning pens, collecting food, herding, pasturing etc
- Assist with traditional weaving and textiles for the woman to sell at the local markets
- Teaching English at the local school (You’d need to know Spanish)
- Promote cross-cultural learning and subtly provide new ideas
Food & Accommodation
While in Cusco for your orientation, you stay with a pre-approved middle class Peruvian family in a shared room. You share with 1-3 other people of the same gender.
The houses are basic and heating is traditional wood or gas stoves with no central heating. The nights can be very cold as you are high in the mountains so volunteers are encouraged to pack warm clothes. We’ll help you with exactly what to bring as part of the application process, so don’t worry. There may be limited electricity in the homes and no internet and likely no hot showers. Bed linen, western style toilets & fresh clean drinking water are provided. The volunteer guest rooms usually sleeps 2 volunteers per room with 1 shared bathroom per household.
Peruvian cuisine is yum. Your meals are included in the volunteer fee. Rice, beans, and corn are popular ingredients, and fresh root vegetables like cassava, taro, and sweet potato are extremely important. You can also expect some fruits and vegetables, such as avocados (palta) accompanied by spicy aji salsa.
1 Day Orientation
24/7 In-Country Support
Project Materials & Equipment
Pre-departure Expert Advice
Preperation Tools & Checklists
Certificate of Completion
This is an excellent project for volunteers interested in anthropology, gender-roles, and indigenous cultures. If you’re not afraid to go off the beaten path and enjoy a no frills experience, this could be an amazing and life changing project for you! You’ll need to be a self starter and able to see opportunities to help and act on them with confidence. Keep in mind that in these communities there is often alot of pressure to join modern world and it’s important to be aware of the benefits and challenges this brings to these people.
- Breakfast & Dinner daily
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Ground transportation to/from the home stay
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Some daily transportation to/from the project (if applicable – approx US$1-3 p/day)
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
An in-depth orientation is included for all volunteers.
This orientation is designed as a 1 day overview to help ensure you are equipped with the necessary info to effectively work with the local people and community. This may include but is not limited to;
- Peru culture / history overview
- Spanish language lesson
- Customs / law’s / do’s & don’ts
- Volunteer expectations
- Home stay guidelines
- Travel opportunities during free time
- Overview of your placement
- Notes from previous placements to help maximize impact
Volunteers should aim to arrive into Cuzco on either Saturday or Sunday to ensure they can participate in the Orientation which starts every Monday.
Complimentary Arrival Transfer
You’ll arrive at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ). When clearing immigration it’s best to simply state ‘tourism’. When you arrive you will be greeted by a member of our local team and taken to the homestay or the volunteer center for orientation.
A one-way trip rarely costs more than US $0.50 in Cusco or nearby neighborhoods and maybe US $2 for longer distances.
You will volunteer for around 4-6 hours each, day but this can vary.
Sunday – Arrival
Monday – Orientation in Cuzco & Travel to Home Stay
Tuesday to Friday: This is a varied project and dependent on the time of year and various factors. Here is a very rough guide on what to expect;
- Breakfast at the accommodation
- 4-6 hours of volunteer work either in the morning or afternoon
- Your own lunch at the accommodation or project site
- Free time
- Dinner at the accommodation
On this project, most volunteers will head back into Cuzco on weekends to socialize with the other international volunteers. Weekends are always free time and you’re welcome to go and do as you please!
Modest or smart clothing – It is required that your knees and shoulder be covered while volunteering and also while interacting within the community. No sheer or see-through clothing, no low cut/ midriff revealing tops, no miniskirts or skimpy clothing is allowed, out of respect for the local culture.
You should also bring a headlamp and/or flashlight, and some entertainment for your free time such as books, a journal, cards, games (keeping in mind electricity is limited).
These are some of the things you might like to bring from home:
- Warm clothes for the night times
- Games, books, colouring pencils, etc
- Photos from your country, family and friends
- Small unique objects from your country of origin
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia this South American country of 33 million is an incredible destination. Peru has a fascinating 5000 year old history and unique cultural heritage that exists to this day!
With world renowned historical sites like Machu Pichu, incredible natural wonders like the Amazon rain forest, the Andes mountain range and loads of adventures such as rafting, zip-lining, paragliding and mountain biking, Peru is seriously an amazing place to visit!Don’t forget the Peruvian coastline which accounts for 10% of the whole surface of the country…Although the Incas are the most famous, there are other pre-Columbian cultures and unexplored archaeological sites which can be located in the North of Peru.
A country of contrasts, crazy traffic, 6700 meter high cities, amazing beaches and sunsets, tropical rain forests and lamas!While the Amazon represents 60% of the Peruvian surface, it is the least densely populated region of the country. Therefore, it holds a lot of uninhabited parts, untouched by humans and beautiful unseen areas. With all the madness of the cities, the countryside is never far and in our opinion, here is the place where you can experience something very unique and special. Here is where you will make a difference.
The climate varies depending on altitude and region, but for the most part the dry season is from May to November, and the ‘green’ season from December to April.
As Cusco is 3300 meters above sea level, the average temperatures in Cusco rarely reach above 25 degrees celcius. During the dry season expect sunny, warm days and cool nights. It’s generally warmer during the ‘green’ season with intermittent rain and sun during the day and mild rainy nights.
Peru has over 10,000 years of history! It’s no surprise that Peru has an incredible wealth of culture and tradition that is one of the most varied countries in the world.
As the 3rd largest country in South America Peru is divided into 25 regions and 11 eco-regions. With an enormous range of landscapes, biodiversity and natural resources, you can boil this down to 3 main regions being 1) Coast, 2) Mountains 3) Jungle.
Spanish is the official language and spoken by 85% of the population with 47 other native languages present among the various regions. Music and dance play a vital role in Peruvian society. Hispanic influences combine with Spanish and ancient styles to create a flair that is unique to Peru.
Peruvian’s are proud people and very aware of the natural world and the value of the Andes, Amazon and historic civilizations in this region. The country has overcome difficult political and economic issues.
The people are welcoming and attentive to visitors with food and music being the central point for celebrations and of course colorful dress which is unmistakable. Peruvian’s love football (soccer) which is the national sport and you can often see families playing together. Most of Peru is quite religious with Catholicism very prominent.
In Peru, personal hygiene and style are very important and people tend to dress neatly and professionally. Be prepared to cover your shoulders and knees, and wear clothing that is not revealing or extravagant
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