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Volunteers Peru is a grassroots organisation based in the city of Arequipa. We are currently working in partnership with two projects where volunteers can make a positive contribution to the local community. The first is a home for abandoned girls in Arequipa; the second a primary and secondary school in the village of Tomepampa in the Cotahuasi canyon.

We are committed to helping the children that we work with to fulfil their personal and educational needs, and to promoting mutual understanding. Long and short-term opportunities are available. Both projects are greatly in need of support.

We able to offer volunteer accommodation at reasonable costs but volunteers may seek alternative options if they wish. We can also arrange Spanish lessons and tours for volunteers.

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  • Children & Youth
  • Community Development
  • Teach English
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5 Participant reviews

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Emilee Aument

30 Apr 2016

So, working at Honofre Benavides School in Tomepampa was perhaps one of the coolest experiences of my life! This primary and secondary-level school is located in the Cotahuasi Canyon in southern Peru - a very remote portion of the country with breathtaking views at literally every turn. The spectacular hikes alone are worth the the time and energy that you'll put into this project. However, the greatest part of this experience for me was becoming part of the tiny community of Tomepampa. I never was able to find an official record of its population, but if I had to guess, I'd say there are probably less than 200 people living there - 200 of the friendliest, warmest people may ever meet. Whether passing down the block to the store or hopping a local bus to the hot springs, you're likely to be met with a smile and a ''Buen dia! Como estas?'' Many will proceed to ask you if their town is to your liking, and you may even find yourself invited to an upcoming festival (they celebrate a lot)! The students you teach at Honofre Benavides school will chat you up about what it's like to live in your country and will marvel at any pictures of your homeland that you're willing to share. They may even venture to speak English with you outside of school, which is the coolest thing ever! Living with Carmela and her kids at Casa Primavera and eating her stellar traditional cuisine is an added bonus. Her young sons, Miguel and Hector love to play and ask you all sorts of questions, so be sure to spend lots of time with them! They will love it, and it'll be time well spent, as there really isn't much to do on quiet nights in the canyon. This opportunity is really an incredible means to disconnect and get back to the basics of life - making meaningful connections with the people around you, learning from them and sharing your wisdom in return (in this case, the beauty of the English language)!

Emilee Aument

30 Apr 2016

Having spent 7 months working for Volunteers Peru with the girls at the Torre Fuerte Home, it seems almost impossible to describe how incredible of an experience this really was for me. There were many days filled with jokes, laughter, piggy-back rides, games in the courtyard, turns on the swings, homework happily completed and chores willingly done. But there were also times of great challenge. And I think that might be the most important thing for any potential volunteer to know - that because these precious little ladies have come from such tumultuous situations in life, there are bound to be moments and even entire days in which they will test the very fiber of your being with their sometimes unpredictable behavior. But the days and the moments in which you can share a laugh, a smile, a victory, big or small, a hug, a high five, a sweet story or even a cuddle will be much more frequent, and will instantly turn your heart to mush. From the moment you walk through the door and they call you hermana to the moment they beg you not to go, and demand to know when you will be back, you will likely find yourself as smitten as I was.
Devote at least 4 weeks, if you can. Give yourself a chance to really get to know these girls and ample opportunity to love on them. It's a decision you will not regret and you may find yourself a bit different of a person when you leave. :)


6 Apr 2016

I spent 4 unforgettable weeks working for Volunteers Peru at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte Girls' Home. The Casa Hogar is a great institution giving home to girls aged from 3 to 17. As a volunteer you will mainly work in the afternoons and thus, spend more time with the younger girls as the older ones have classes until the late afternoon or early evening. The girls are welcoming you in a lovely way, taking you by the hand the moment you arrive at the Casa Hogar and asking you to play with them. This gives you an easy start and is a great experience especially if you are planning to only stay for some weeks and not several months. During holidays we played a lot with the girls and often brought some nice games or puzzles from our office. Eva as the current project manager of Volunteers Peru is very helpful and whenever you have a good idea of what could be done with or for the girls she is more than willing to help you with the realization.

I also really enjoyed living in Arequipa and you can use the mornings and weekends to explore the beautiful city or go on trips. Working for Volunteers Peru means to be part of a great team and spending time with other motivated volunteers at the project. I highly appreciated the great preparation I got before I came to Peru by receiving a pre-departure guide and being able to ask Eva as many questions as I had. I can only recommend Volunteers Peru as a great NGO and the Casa Hogar as a valuable project that is more than worth to spend your time with.

Alicia Leva

12 Aug 2014

Volunteers Peru is definitely a great place to dedicate your time while traveling. I worked with both projects that they support and absolutely fell in love with each. The work that volunteers do is truly meaningful and you definitely have the opportunity to make connections with the communities. Also, the support from the organization is the best I have experienced while volunteering oversees. The staff does so much to ensure that you are comfortable and getting the most out of your time in Peru!


29 Jul 2014

This project was brilliant - a highlight of my trip across South America.

If you want a project where you get involved in the local community, can use your Spanish language and have a life changing experience helping a great group of girls, this is for you!

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