Volunteer In Peru
- When should I apply for the volunteer/internship programs in Peru?
- Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Peru-based volunteer programs?
- Who manages the volunteer projects in Peru ?
- What are the daily schedules of the projects?
- Where are the projects located?
- When are the Peru-based projects available?
- Which airport should I book my flight into?
- Will someone pick me from the airport? If so, how do I know about the person?
- If I arrive with my friend, or girlfriend/boyfriend, can we stay together?
- Will there be other foreign volunteers/interns at my placement?
- What are the local cuisines? Who manages food?
- Can you supply special diets?
- Is the running tap water safe for drink?
- Are there hot and cold water facilities available?
- Will bottled water be provided?
- How safe is Peru ?
- More about Travel Safety to Peru
- What are the principle health risks?
- How can my family members contact me?
- Can I bring my telephone from my home country?
- What is weather like in Peru ?
- Official Peruvian Holidays
New Hope Volunteers has been running volunteer/internship programs in Peru for more than three years. We are able to offer placements on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month year round. Because of the increasing volume of applications, participants are requested to apply at least two- three months in advance, but if you want to expedite your application within less than three months of time, please contact our office for more information.
It is NOT necessary to speak Spanish before you arrive in Peru , although it is always helpful. Our country coordinator is there to help you with anything and everything you need. For specialized placements, such as medical and health related projects, volunteers are required to take at least a 7-day crash course in Spanish. We strongly recommend Spanish classes for volunteers staying longer than 4 or 5 weeks.
Depending on where you are from you may or may not need a special visa to enter Peru . Check with the Peruvian embassy in your country to be sure. Most people, including those from the U.S. , Canada , Australia , and Europe, automatically receive a 90-day tourist visa upon entering Peru . Following 90 days, there are two ways to extend your Visa:
- You can leave Peru through Bolivia , Chili , Ecuador , Columbia , or Brazil and receive a new entrance stamp when you return.
- You can pay for a 30 day extension at the Immigration Office. You must have your passport, your original entrance slip and your departure ticket.
New Hope Volunteers suggests that ALL volunteers acquire the appropriate visa in their home country BEFORE arriving in-country to avoid any unnecessary hassles at the airport.
New Hope Volunteers’ In-Country Coordinator in Peru is responsible for researching appropriate volunteer projects as per the qualifications and skills of the applicants.
Project schedules vary for each project in Peru . Most projects are from Monday to Friday for 5-6 hours a day. Most volunteers have the weekends off to sight-see or explore Peru on their own.
Most of the projects are located in and around the city of Cusco .
Cusco is a city of great history – it was a capital of the Incan empire. It's a fast growing city, with a relatively small population of 300,000, located in a valley of the Andes Mountains . Interesting, according to research, Cusco has the highest level of ultra violet light on the planet – a strange coincidence seeing as that it was the capital of the sun-worshipping Incans. The famous Spaniard Pizarro called the city “noble and great” when he first saw it in the 16 th century, and some archeologists believe the ancient city was planned in the shape of a puma cat. Since the old days, Cusco has become a leading city in Peru and continues to grow, with exciting options for young people and tourists.
Spanish language classes begin every Monday. Volunteer projects begin on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. You can start your project on other Mondays also but please email us for confirmation. You need to arrive on Sunday to begin your project from the next day. If you arrive earlier you will need to pay extra for those things.
New Hope Volunteers- Peru 's base of operations is in the city of Cusco , and this is where most of our volunteer projects take place. However, depending on the type of project and availability, Lima , Urubamba, Trujillo , Arequipa , and Huancayo are also very suitable locations for volunteers.
Regardless of your project location, you must fly into Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima , Peru 's capital city. From Lima , you will have a connecting flight to Cusco or other destination; or you may elect to use bus service. You are responsible for your own arrangements from the Lima Airport to your final destination. If your travel plans require an overnight stay in Lima , New Hope Volunteers will make arrangements for you to be met at the Lima Airport , but you must specifically request us to do this.
To make flight arrangements or bus ticket reservations online, please contact www.go2Peru.com or you may make your arrangements via your own travel agent.
New Hope Volunteers’ country coordinator can arrange inland air flight tickets and bus tickets for incoming volunteers; however we must receive payment for these services 30 days prior to your departure. To make reservations we need the following:
- Incoming flight number
- Passport number
- Full name (as it appears on your passport)
You will be picked up at your final destination, but you must send your travel itinerary to our Peru in-country Coordinator and to us at New Hope Volunteersbefore your arrival in Peru (we'll pass it on to the Coordinator). You will be picked up by a staff member or our in-country coordinator who will be holding a sign with your name written on it, awaiting your arrival outside of the airport. In case no one is there, you can call our in-country coordinator, who can help with the picking-up or arrange the accommodations immediately. You will be supplied with all contact information in-case of the rare instance that you are not picked up. Make sure you look carefully for your pick-up, as it will be extremely busy outside of the airport.
Contact our office about this issue, since it may depend upon individual circumstances, but we will try our best to put you together.
This depends on the exact placement and your preference in this issue. If you want to travel with others, we allow people to come with a friend or even as a group. You may be placed in different homes, but these homes will be located within one to two miles of each other. In addition, we can place any volunteer near another volunteer already working in the field. Please be reminded that two different genders of volunteers are not allowed to stay in the same house unless they are a married couple.
New Hope Volunteers manages food and accommodation from the very first day to the last day of the program in collaboration with the local host families involved, except for Sundays.
For meat eaters Peruvian cuisine is among the most varied in the world. Not only does the country grow a variety of fruits and vegetables, but it does so throughout the year. Peruvian geography offers at least 8 different climates (desert along the coast, steep and high mountains, and the Amazon basin). In Lima, due to its history as an important Spanish colonial port, the dishes are a mixture of Amerindian, Spaniard, African, Asian and even Italian influences that contribute to the ever changing platos creolos (creole dishes). Rice is the staple foodstuff, and expect many dishes to include rice. In the Sierra it's corn and potatoes, and in the Jungle yuca. Meat is traditionally included in most Peruvian dishes. Chicken ( pollo ), pork, sheep and beef are common. Alpacas are actually kept for wool, not for meat. Mostly, you will find that alpaca meat is rather tough. An Andean delicacy is guinea pig ( cuy ). Peruvian cuisine includes dishes which use various organs, including anticuchos , a kebab made from a very marinated and spicy cow's heart, and cau-cau (sounds like cow-cow), made from the stomach of the cow served in a yellow sauce with potatoes. Anticuchos are a standard street stall food, be careful with it. Be careful: many Peruvian dishes can be too spicy and heavy, so if you have a weak stomach, try it with caution. Peruvians are quite proud of their desserts, especially in Lima. Source: wikitravel.org
New Hope Volunteers can provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Occasionally, in the event that you require a special diet, you are responsible for your own meals. Participants are strongly urged to inform New Hope Volunteers of any special dietary need prior to arrival in-country.
Peruvian tap water is generally not safe to drink. We recommend that you purchase bottled water for your consumption, but make sure that the cap's seal is not broken! You can request that your host family boil water for you each day to consume.
Specifics pertaining to availability of hot water will be included in participants' placement details.
No, if participants require bottled water, they are responsible for obtaining it themselves.
Peru is a safe country, and you can relax while you are there. That said, it's still important to use common sense.
- Be careful if traveling on buses, as petty theft is common.
- Ask for a receipt when you store your backpack or luggage.
- Do NOT carry your passport or any credit cards and cash that you will not need.
- Use only registered taxis.
- Do not walk into unknown areas by yourself at night.
- Avoid any contact with drugs, as laws are very strict in Peru .
More about Travel Safety to Peru
International travel does present risks, especially with the threat of international terrorism. The U.S. State Department has issued travel warnings and advisories in many countries for U.S. travelers. These travel advisories and warnings change frequently as situations in each country change. We suggest that all volunteers consult their own governments before participating in a New Hope Volunteers program. These links provide travel information:
- British Foreign Office Advice
- American State Department Advice
- Australian Government Advice
- Canadian Government Advice
We use the Center for Disease Control traveler's health recommendations (www.cdc.gov). Your travel doctor will be knowledgeable about current epidemics and should be consulted.
Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications
The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Peru and Tropical South America. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
- Hepatitis B , especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
- Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including some cities. See your health care provider for a prescription ant malarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to Tropical South America .
- Rabies , if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
- Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors.
- Yellow fever , a viral disease that occurs primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America , is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The virus is also present in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago . Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travelers to endemic areas and may be required to cross certain international borders (For country specific requirements, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country .). Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10 year intervals if there is on-going risk.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles .
Yellow fever is present in this region and vaccination is recommended if you travel to the endemic zones in any of these countries. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries if you have visited an endemic area. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements .
Once you settle down at the host family, you will want to use your calling card to contact your family if you have not already done so when you arrived in Peru at the airport. Of course, they call also email you and you can reply using the computers at the New Hope Volunteers office, or at an internet café.
US cell phones may be functional, but you'll want to contact your cell phone provider to make sure that your phone will work while you are in Peru .
Obviously since the climate differs according to region, there are many different weather conditions in the country at any given time. In Cusco , the June – October months can be very chilly and dry, compared to the rest of the time, which can be quite warm and humid. On average, the temperature in Cusco can get up to 18ºC in the heat of the day, and drop to around 6º at night.Required Clothing
Lightweight clothing and rainwear is recommended as well as warmer clothing for the evenings (light jacket and/or light sweaters). You should bring winter clothes according to when you'll be in Peru . A solid pair of walking shoes is highly recommended for trekking.Average Daily Temperature
- Jan 1: New Years Day Año Nuevo
- Apr 5: Maundy Thursday Jueves Santo
- Apr 6: Good Friday Viernes Santo
- May 1: Labour Day Dia del Trabajo
- Jun 29: St. Peter and St. Paul Dia de San Pedro y San Pablo
- Jul 28: Independence Day Dia de la Independencia
- Aug 30: Santa Rosa de Lima Dia de Santa Rosa de Lima
- Oct 8: Battle of Angamos Combate de Angamos
- Nov 1: All Saints Day Dia de todos los santos
- Dec 8: Immaculate Conception Inmaculada Concepcion
- Dec 25: Christmas Navidad
Tipping is not obligatory, but it is expected with most services.
Materials to BringClothing
- 4 pairs of underwear
- 4 pairs of socks
- Day pack
- 4 T-shirts
- 3 pairs of pants
- 2 warm shirts
- 2 pairs of shorts
- Swim clothes
- Fleece jacket
- Rain gear
- Hiking boots
- Water bottle
- Ziploc bags
- Day pack
- Back pack
- Bathroom kit
- Camera Insect repellent
- Sun block
- First-Aid kit