Peru has among the most diverse landscapes in the world: the country has 28 individual climates between the snow-capped Andes, arid deserts, Amazon jungles, gorgeous beaches and islands, and the deepest canyons in the world. You can explore remote villages, small towns, and bustling cities like Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the ancient Inca capital. Peru is a welcoming and beautiful country for travelers worldwide, with amazing culture, colorful history, and wonderful people – though it’s also a developing country that benefits from the support of volunteers who want to make a difference and build a better future for people and communities in need.
Nearly one-third of Peruvians live beneath the poverty line – that’s about 8 million people – and communities most affected are rural or remote villages largely comprised of indigenous families. Cities are affected by poverty as well: Lima, in particular, has experienced rapid growth in recent years but is in great need of sustainable community development as well as support for those living in shanty towns and unable to afford proper education or healthcare.
There are many opportunities for volunteers to help. Whether your interest lies in environmental conservation, education, or healthcare, volunteering in Peru provides a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture while contributing meaningfully to the community. Peru’s volunteer landscape is diverse, with projects catering to various professional interests.
But first, do I need a visa to enter Peru?
Peru offers a specific visa for foreign volunteers, known as the “visa cooperante” (cooperation visa). To obtain it, the hosting organization must request it on your behalf from the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, obtaining this visa can be a complex process, often impractical for short-term volunteers or those working with smaller organizations.
That’s why it’s common for foreigners to volunteer informally while in Peru on a tourist visa, as long as they don’t receive any payment. The tourist visa, or “temporary authorization to enter as a tourist,” is automatically granted upon entry for many nationalities, allowing a stay of up to 90 days in a 180-day period. This period, however, is not extendable, and overstay penalties apply.
If you plan to volunteer for an extended time, it’s advisable to work with organizations that can facilitate the correct visa. Several organizations stand out for their exceptional volunteer programs in Peru; and here’s a selection of providers handpicked based on their stellar reputations:
Start on an impactful journey with IVHQ, renowned for sustainable, affordable global volunteering, and a commitment to carbon neutrality. Explore diverse, responsible projects with GoEco, a leader in volunteer tourism emphasizing sustainability. Experience transformative opportunities with Maximo Nivel, offering reputable accredited programs throughout Latin America. Contribute to global change through Projects Abroad, aligning with UN goals and offering accredited, inclusive experiences. Join Involvement Volunteers International (IVI) for community-driven, ethical initiatives, including disaster management. Engage with Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) in their extensive, responsible projects across various sectors. Or become globally certified with the International TEFL Academy, providing TEFL courses and lifetime job placement services. Each organization offers comprehensive support, flexible options, and a chance for personal and academic growth.
Read on to find out more about volunteering opportunities in Peru!
Best Volunteer Programs in Peru
Embark on a transformative journey with International Volunteer HQ’s Peru programs, where you can immerse yourself in diverse volunteering opportunities ranging from teaching English, animal care, medical assistance, and eco-agriculture, to Andean immersion in Amazon Jungle conservation, and more. Situated in the vibrant capitals of Lima and Cusco, the programs are not only affordable but also deeply impactful, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Volunteers can choose service durations from 1 to 24 weeks, receiving comprehensive support like airport pick-up, orientation, dormitory or homestay accommodation, meals, and 24/7 in-country assistance. The experience extends beyond volunteering, offering exhilarating add-ons such as tours to Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain.
Here are a few IVHQ Volunteer in Peru Opportunities just for you:
Dive into the heart of the Amazon rainforest with the Amazon Jungle Conservation Volunteer Program in Peru – Cusco. As a volunteer, you’ll exchange city life for an adventure in rustic bungalows at a conservation center, where your efforts will directly impact the preservation of this vital ecosystem. You’ll be involved in a range of activities, from reforestation and trail conservation to animal inventories and research projects, contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action.
Program fees begin at $805 for 2 weeks, which includes accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, orientation, and round-the-clock support. This program is perfect for you if you’re passionate about the environment and ready to roll up your sleeves. You’ll not only assist in vital conservation efforts but also grow personally and professionally, developing communication skills, gaining hands-on conservation experience, and immersing yourself in Peruvian culture.
Join the Teaching English Volunteer Program in Lima, Peru, where you’ll lead English lessons in local schools or community centers. This opportunity allows you to make a significant impact by providing students with access to quality language education, a skill that can open many doors for their future.
Programs start on the first and third Monday of each month, and with fees starting from $275 for 1 week, you’ll receive accommodation, meals, airport pickup, orientation, and continuous on-gound support. Your role involves lesson planning, tutoring, and teaching, contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education.
While you don’t need to be a qualified teacher, some teaching experience or training, like a TEFL course, and basic Spanish skills will enhance your impact and experience. This program, lasting up to 12 weeks, is ideal for volunteers who are fluent in English and passionate about education.
As a Construction and Renovation volunteer in Cusco with IVHQ, you’ll actively contribute to the development of local communities. Your role involves working on building, renovation, and maintenance projects at community centers, schools, and clinics. These tasks are crucial for communities lacking the necessary resources for facility upgrades.
This program is ideal for volunteers aged 16 and above, including families, who possess a good level of fitness and willingness to help. No construction experience is required, as you’ll work under the supervision of a qualified local foreman.
Your efforts will not only assist with construction tasks but also contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. You’ll develop your communication skills, gain construction experience, and immerse yourself in the rich Peruvian culture.
Under the canopy of the Peruvian jungle, encounter an Azara's Night Monkey, native to Puerto Maldonado in Peru
Volunteering opportunities in Peru with GoEco are diverse, allowing individuals to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s progress. GoEco ensures flexibility and ease of travel for volunteers. GoEco’s Volunteer in Peru program structures allow you to explore Peru’s rich heritage and stunning landscapes. Programs typically begin on a Sunday, allowing for a full week of immersion before departing on a Saturday, making it a compact yet impactful volunteering journey. Explore GoEco’s programs below!
Join the Amazon Wildlife Rescue & Release Sanctuary program in Peru and make a significant impact on wildlife conservation. As a volunteer, you’ll be directly involved in rescuing and rehabilitating animals affected by illegal trade, hunting, and habitat loss. Your primary goal is to nurture these animals back to health and prepare them for release into protected reserves.
Your journey starts in Puerto Maldonado, a gateway to the enchanting Amazon jungle. Your daily tasks include feeding animals, maintaining and improving the center, and assisting with baby animals’ care. This ethical wildlife volunteering opportunity allows you to learn about the local ecosystem and play a crucial role in educating others about conservation.
This program, suitable for anyone over 18 with a passion for wildlife and capable of physical tasks in a tropical climate, offers a unique opportunity to contribute to meaningful conservation efforts. Volunteers can also enjoy their free time exploring the nearby town, kayaking, and participating in wildlife spotting tours, making it a truly holistic experience.
In Cusco, Peru, you can participate in a unique health and medical care volunteer program, offering invaluable experience in both fields. Recognized as one of the GoEco Best 10 Volunteer Abroad Programs for 2020, this opportunity allows you to directly impact patients’ lives, enhance your CV, and engage in positive cultural exchange with your host family.
Throughout your stay, you will work three to four hours per day, either in the morning or afternoon, with tasks varying based on your experience, qualifications, and the project’s needs. These tasks may include patient care, clinic work, distributing medications, assisting with check-ups, and updating patient records.
This program is perfect for anyone aged 19-80, from students in health-related fields to licensed medical professionals. On weekends, explore the rich history and stunning landscapes of Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu. The program offers an enriching blend of professional development and cultural immersion in one of Peru’s most historic cities.
Volunteering in Peru with Maximo Nivel offers many unique and impactful opportunities for those looking to contribute in Peru. From healthcare and education to construction and environmental conservation, a variety of available programs ensure that every volunteer finds a meaningful way to contribute. With accommodations provided in a host family setting, volunteers are given a chance to experience the local culture intimately. Breakfast and dinner are included seven days a week, along with 3-4 hours of practical work from Monday to Friday.
Maximo Nivel is deeply committed to the communities it serves, partnering with local organizations to create sustainable and impactful projects. Volunteers can expect a multi-lingual and well-traveled team, offering a mix of local and international perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive and culturally sensitive volunteer experience. Volunteering in Peru with Maximo Nivel not only allows volunteers to contribute positively but also pushes them beyond their comfort zones, providing an unforgettable experience of learning and service.
Explore these top Maximo Nivel Volunteer in Peru options:
As a teaching English volunteer in Peru with Maximo Nivel, you will be instrumental in bridging the socio-economic gap by providing vital English language skills to those who cannot afford private classes. Your role will involve teaching English in various settings, including after-school programs, community centers, and local military facilities.
You will create lesson plans, conduct classes, offer one-on-one tutoring, and organize educational games and activities. This not only enhances the language skills of kids, teens, and adults but also equips them with tools to access better opportunities and rise above poverty.
Maximo Nivel prepares you for this challenge with an ESL Crash Course, offering essential teaching techniques and strategies. Additionally, you’ll receive continuous support from a dedicated academic team for materials and lesson ideas.
Your commitment as a volunteer is crucial and multifaceted, extending beyond teaching to include support activities like maintaining and improving educational spaces. This program is open to volunteers aged 16 and above, requiring a positive mindset, creativity with limited resources, and a readiness to work hard.
As an international volunteer on the Alpaca Farm project in Cusco, Peru, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work closely with alpacas and llamas, iconic animals native to the region. This project is located about 30 minutes from Cusco in the village of Huayllarcocha. Your main responsibilities include cleaning and maintaining animal pens, feeding the animals, possibly engaging in light construction, and caring for sick animals.
The farm’s mission extends beyond animal care to the production of traditional Peruvian textiles using alpaca and llama wool. You may also have the chance to learn and help with traditional shearing, dyeing, and weaving processes. This project offers a comprehensive experience of rural Peruvian life and traditional practices.
This volunteering opportunity is well-suited for individuals who are comfortable around animals and can handle their active and sometimes moody nature. The program requires a minimum commitment of one week, but longer stays are recommended for a more immersive experience.
In the Eco-Agriculture volunteer program in Peru, you’ll be deeply involved in sustainable farming practices in the Huyro Region, high in the Amazon rainforest, approximately three hours from Cusco. This unique opportunity allows you to live and work alongside a local Peruvian farming family, gaining insight into traditional agricultural methods.
Your role is crucial in supporting the production of high-quality tea, coffee, and chocolate. You’ll participate in every aspect of the production process, from picking and weeding to planting new trees and helping with roasting and packaging. This hands-on experience also includes learning about and contributing to efficient farming practices and environmental sustainability.
You may also engage in reforestation efforts and community activities, adding to the project’s broader impact. The program is well-suited for volunteers who are comfortable with manual labor in a rural setting and who can bring a positive and hardworking attitude to the team.
This program is an excellent fit for those passionate about environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture, offering a unique blend of practical farming experience and cultural immersion in one of Peru’s most beautiful and ecologically diverse regions.
Volunteer in Peru with Projects Abroad and help address key issues such as early childhood development, education, and conservation. Most projects are centered in Cusco.
Projects Abroad ensures a smooth journey from the moment you land at the airport, with staff available 24/7 for support. Comprehensive induction and orientation sessions are provided to familiarize you with your project and local surroundings. Embrace this opportunity for cultural exchange, personal growth, and making a significant impact in Peru. Check out our top picks for volunteering in Peru with Projects Abroad!
Embarking on a journey as a Teaching Volunteer in Peru offers a unique chance to contribute to the education system of this culturally rich country. In partnership with Peru’s Ministry of Education, this program starts in January 2024 and focuses on English language teacher training. Your role will be instrumental in enhancing the capabilities of local educators, by sharing innovative and engaging teaching methods to improve their English proficiency and pedagogical skills. This program is not just about teaching but also about creating a lasting impact on the future of Peru’s children through improved education.
It’s an opportunity to grow professionally as a teacher, while also experiencing the deep cultural heritage of Peru. However, with limited spots available only in January, it’s an opportunity that requires prompt action. By joining this initiative, you’ll leave a meaningful mark on the educational landscape of Peru and return enriched by the experience.
In Peru, as a volunteer with children, you’ll play a pivotal role in supporting early childhood development in underprivileged care centers. You will work alongside local teachers, aiding in the education and hygiene practices of children. This program is ideal if you’re interested in a career in childcare, education, or social work, providing valuable experience to enhance your CV.
Through your efforts, you’ll engage in activities promoting literacy, numeracy, and basic English skills, and contribute to the overall health and well-being of the children. Your work will directly support the long-term, sustainable goals set by the project, addressing the immediate needs of disadvantaged communities.
No prior experience is required to participate. You will receive all the necessary training and guidance from the local staff and teachers. Regular workshops are also conducted for volunteers to exchange ideas and receive advice on childcare and teaching.
In this program, you’ll have the chance to learn from professional archaeologists and uncover the mysteries of ancient civilizations in Peru. This program is perfect if you’re fascinated by history and archaeology. You’ll explore various archaeological sites around Cusco and the Sacred Valley, including Incan and Pre-Incan structures and artifacts.
Your work will include mapping, workshops, site maintenance, and artifact classification. Alongside hands-on archaeological activities, you’ll attend presentations to deepen your knowledge of the Incan Empire and participate in community outreach, like renovating local school play areas.
This unique experience will enrich your CV, particularly if you’re interested in pursuing history, anthropology, or archaeology in the future. The program includes fun cultural activities and a weekend trip to Machu Picchu, making it a blend of learning, community service, and adventure.
The Volunteer Sports Coaching program in Peru offers a unique and enriching opportunity for individuals passionate about sports and eager to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children. By joining this program, you immerse yourself in the local culture of Peru, working at clubs or with the Peruvian Sports Institute. Your role involves coaching various sports like soccer, basketball, and volleyball, primarily to children whose families cannot afford professional training and equipment.
This experience is not just about teaching sports; it’s about inspiring young minds to embrace fitness, teamwork, and healthy living. Regardless of your prior coaching experience, you’ll receive guidance from local coaches and continuous support from Projects Abroad staff. Your efforts will focus on developing creative coaching methods, fostering life skills such as leadership, team building, and motivation, and planning effective training sessions.
Participating for a minimum of two weeks, you’ll spend mornings planning with local coaches and afternoons conducting training sessions. This project not only allows you to contribute meaningfully to the community but also helps you develop personal skills that are valuable in any career path.
Make new friends - human and furry! - while volunteering in Peru
IVI’s projects in Peru are diverse, ranging from animal care and rehabilitation to teaching English and childcare. Volunteers get to live and work in Cusco, and the programs include comprehensive support, with accommodation, meals, airport pickup, local transportation, and a one-day orientation, ensuring a safe and fulfilling experience. The accommodation is typically in homestays with middle-class Peruvian families, providing an authentic insight into the local way of life.
The program fees cover all essentials, and volunteers can choose the duration of their stay, ranging from one week to three months. Read on to see our favorite program picks from IVI!
As a volunteer in the English Teaching program in Cusco, Peru, you will have the unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of children, teens, and adults. You’ll work closely with local project staff, creating daily lesson plans, engaging in one-on-one tutoring, and developing playtime activities, all aimed at enhancing English language skills. Your efforts will provide a safe and positive environment for students to learn and grow.
With no special requirements for joining, whether you’re a qualified teacher or simply passionate about teaching, your contribution will be highly valued.
This program not only helps improve the English proficiency of students but also equips you with valuable teaching experience, especially if you opt for a TEFL-accredited course before your arrival. A typical day involves a blend of teaching, planning, and cultural immersion, making this an incredibly fulfilling experience for anyone looking to contribute to a developing community.
Your love, support, and dedication to teaching English will open doors for your students, providing them with skills crucial for their future careers.
On the Alpaca and Llama Farm project in Cusco, Peru, you have the chance to contribute meaningfully to the care of these iconic animals. Your role involves daily tasks such as cleaning and maintaining their pens, feeding, bathing, and brushing them. By assisting with these tasks, you provide crucial support to the local farm, helping it grow and prosper, which in turn benefits the community.
Additionally, you’ll be involved in the production and distribution of Peruvian textiles made from alpaca and llama wool. This includes assisting with shearing, weaving, and creating educational materials about the significance of these animals in Peru. Your work on the farm not only supports the local economy but also helps preserve important cultural traditions.
This project is perfect for you if you love animals, enjoy hands-on work, and are keen to experience rural living in a beautiful, culturally rich environment. It’s an opportunity to learn, contribute, and experience the authentic Peruvian lifestyle while making a positive impact on the lives of alpacas and llamas.
In the Stray Dog Rehabilitation Shelter project in Cusco, Peru, your role as a volunteer is vital. You’ll be hands-on in providing care and support to stray dogs, an issue exacerbated by local attitudes towards animals and unchecked breeding. Your tasks include bathing, grooming, walking, and offering basic obedience training to these dogs. Additionally, you’ll assist in medical treatments and engage in educational outreach for spay/neuter programs, helping to address the root of the problem.
This project also involves fundraising and maintenance tasks at the shelter. By giving these animals love and human affection, you play a crucial role in their rehabilitation and eventual adoption into loving homes. Your accommodation in a homestay with a local family offers a deep cultural immersion and a chance to live like a local in Cusco. If you’re an animal lover who’s flexible and willing to work in challenging conditions, this project offers a rewarding experience where you can make a significant difference in the lives of these animals.
Medical volunteering in Peru is a great way to gain real-world experience and boost your CV while giving back!
Volunteering in Peru with Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) offers a transformative experience in the historic city of Cusco. Suitable for high school and college students, gap year travelers, and backpackers, VolSol provides a range of affordable volunteering projects. These low-cost projects, lasting from 1 to 24 weeks, include meals and accommodation, allowing you to live with a Peruvian host family and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Highlights of the programs include meaningful volunteer work, weekend hiking tours to Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, and Rainbow Mountains, and other travel opportunities. During your free time, you can explore Cusco’s rich heritage, savor Peruvian cuisine, and participate in organized city tours. The program offers a balance of volunteering and cultural exploration, making it an ideal choice for those who wish to contribute to the community while experiencing the beauty of Peru.
The programs include comprehensive support from the local coordinators, ensuring a smooth transition into your volunteer role and life in Peru. With options for group volunteering and customized itineraries, VolSol caters to various needs, making it a great choice for an enriching volunteer experience in Peru. Here are our favorite programs by VolSol in Peru!
This program offers you a unique opportunity to make a significant impact in the lives of disabled and differently-abled children in Peru. As a volunteer, you’ll work in a local school catering to mentally challenged and deaf students, where your responsibilities will encompass a broad range of activities. You’ll engage in teaching, playing, and organizing creative sessions like art, craft, and music. Additionally, you’ll assist in ensuring the students’ safety during outdoor activities, including shopping, park visits, and library trips.
Your role extends beyond direct interaction with the students; you’re also involved in organizing fundraising, marketing, and promotional activities, along with contributing to the development and restructuring of the school’s website. If you’re a licensed psychologist or therapist, there’s an opportunity to work directly with the school’s psychologists, providing tailored support in various classrooms.
The program accepts volunteers 17 years or older, requiring an open mind, a flexible attitude, and a passion for working with children. A clean criminal background check is mandatory, and a basic to intermediate level of Spanish proficiency is an added advantage. Your main role is to assist and support the students in their daily lives, helping them progress despite their disabilities.
In this program, you’ll have the opportunity to enrich the lives of Peruvian students by teaching English. Your role involves conducting three 60-minute classes daily, either leading them or assisting local teachers to enhance students’ pronunciation and English skills. This program is suitable for a range of learners, from 13 to 45 years old, grouped by their English proficiency rather than age.
You’ll be equipped with a fixed curriculum and support from a local teacher coordinator, but you’re also encouraged to bring your own innovative ideas and projects to the classroom. Your involvement isn’t limited to teaching English; you’ll also have the chance to contribute to your students’ growth in other areas like basic math. Your work schedule consists of 5-6 hours per day, five days a week, with free weekends to explore Peru’s rich cultural landscape.
Volunteers must be at least 17 years old, possess an open-minded and flexible attitude, and have a passion for working with children. A clean criminal background check is required, and knowing some Spanish is beneficial.
The Medical Volunteer Abroad program in Peru offers you a unique chance to delve into the local healthcare system and make a tangible difference in the lives of local communities. As a volunteer, you’ll work alongside professional doctors and nurses in local healthcare clinics, with responsibilities that could include suturing wounds, administering vaccinations, and shadowing doctors during operations and treatments, all depending on your level of Spanish and previous medical experience.
You’ll be immersed in an environment that’s ideal for pre-med and medical students seeking valuable clinical experience, assisting with various medical procedures and daily operations in clinics serving underprivileged areas in Cusco. Your role is crucial in supporting the medical staff and enhancing the healthcare services provided to the local population.
This program demands a flexible and open-minded approach, with a minimum age requirement of 18 years. A clean criminal background check, CV, and relevant medical qualifications are necessary to join. You’ll be expected to work five days a week, with weekends free to explore Peru’s rich cultural heritage.
In-person sessions allow you to quickly and easily gain the knowledge you need to learn how to be an ESL Instructor
The TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course in Peru, offered by the International TEFL Academy, is particularly beneficial for volunteers seeking to enhance their skills and impact in communities where English language education is in demand. The TEFL course in Peru offers a unique combination of professional development, cultural immersion, and global networking opportunities, making it an ideal choice for volunteers who are committed to making a meaningful impact through English language education in Peru and beyond.
Empowering Volunteers with Essential Skills
The comprehensive TEFL certification equips volunteers with the necessary skills to teach English effectively. This includes classroom management, lesson planning, and teaching methodologies tailored for non-native English speakers. These skills are invaluable for volunteers who wish to engage in educational projects, as they can directly contribute to improving the English proficiency of learners in various communities.
Increased Employment Opportunities
For volunteers looking to extend their stay in Peru or other countries, a TEFL certification opens up numerous teaching opportunities. Schools and language institutes often seek certified English teachers, and having a TEFL certificate can significantly enhance your job prospects. This can be a sustainable way for volunteers to continue their journey abroad, either by funding their stay through teaching or by combining volunteer work with paid teaching assignments.
Cultural Immersion and Community Engagement
The TEFL course in Peru provides an immersive experience beyond the classroom. Volunteers will have the chance to interact with local ESL students during their practice teaching sessions, offering a deeper understanding of the local culture and language. This cultural immersion is essential for volunteers, as it helps them to connect more meaningfully with the communities they serve.
Start Your Journey!
The beauty and wonders of Peru await you!
Choosing to volunteer in Peru is more than just a commitment to help; it’s a transformative journey that benefits both you and the communities you serve. Whether you’re involved in short-term projects or longer-term initiatives, your contributions have a significant impact. Volunteering in this magnificent country goes beyond the act of lending a hand; it’s about personal growth and gaining a deeper understanding of Peru’s true essence. This experience offers a perspective of Peru that’s vastly different from that of a typical tourist, allowing you to immerse yourself in the heart of its culture and the beauty of iconic locations like the Amazon, the Andes, and Machu Picchu. By choosing to volunteer in Peru, you’re not just a visitor, but an integral part of meaningful projects that leave lasting impacts on local communities and conservation efforts. Embrace this opportunity to replace a conventional vacation with a meaningful journey in Peru. The rewards of this experience are immeasurable, transcending words, and offering the most fulfilling experiences that challenge, change, and connect us with the world in profound ways.