Volunteer and Intern in Peru
- Location: Sacred Valley, Puerto Maldonado
- Accommodation: Host families, Shared volunteer housing for the Conservation Project
- Local languages: Spanish, Quechua
Peru, one of our most popular destinations, is an fascinating and rewarding place to do a volunteer or internship placement. Projects Abroad runs programs in the Amazon Rainforest and the Sacred Valley including in Cusco, once the most important city of the Inca Empire.
Poverty and unemployment rates in Peru are high, though there is a strong middle class as well as areas of advanced development. There is a great deal of social inequality and a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Nearly 50% of the population officially lives at the poverty level. Many Peruvians, especially indigenous peoples, survive on low incomes and with little human rights protection. Volunteers in Peru help address these issues through programs focused on Care, Teaching English, Medicine, and Environmental Conservation.
About two-thirds the size of Mexico, Peru was shaped by the Incas and the Spanish. Hispanic and Native Peruvians live, for the most part, in harmony. Both Spanish and Quechua are commonly spoken throughout Sacred Valley of the Incas, as well as in through the whole of Peru.
“Peru is a magical spot: a melting pot of different cultures and a country of dazzling scenery, yet to be discovered archaeological sites and lovable people. Our volunteers form an integral part of the communities they live in, whether in the Amazon Rainforest or high up in the Andes. They engage with the local people and really contribute to the development of the country. Come join us in this land of variety and adventure!”
Accommodations while Volunteering in Peru
The Projects Abroad office in Peru is located in Urubamba, a town in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Volunteers work in many of the small towns within the region as well as in Cusco, known as the red-roofed city. Most Peruvians are eager to welcome volunteers into their communities and volunteers often return saying that the families and individuals that they met were the highlight of their experience abroad.
If you want to work in the Amazon Rainforest, our Conservation & Environment project is an hour’s flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, followed by a two-hour boat trip up the Madre de Dios River – it’s a jungle adventure just to get there. Conservation volunteers in Peru live and work in our own Taricaya Lodge. You might find yourself living alongside playful spider monkeys!
Our unique Incan & Wari Archaeology Project is based in Huyro, about three hours from Urubamba. Volunteers on this program live in a shared volunteer house near the excavation site.
Explore all that Peru has to Offer
With an extensive Pacific coastline, a vast area of Amazon rainforest and the magnificent Andes, Peru provides a chance for you to experience much of what South America offers within just one country. Wildlife, beaches, historical sites and the most beautiful mountains in the Andes range are found in abundance. There are also interesting cities full of colonial history, especially Cusco, which is an archaeological haven.
From Urubamba it’s easy to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu. The mysterious lost city of Machu Picchu attracts tourists, archaeologists, and historians from all over the world. Incan ruins are everywhere and you will find they even form part of the structure for modern day buildings.
You can also go rafting on the Urubamba River or see traditional Andean theater and dance. If you’re an adrenaline seeker, venture into the Andes, which offer some of the best mountain-climbing and trekking opportunities on the planet. Take a weekend trip to explore the enigmatic Nazca Lines, or enjoy a boat ride on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest lake. Get to know the local Peruvians, their history, and traditions. You may even find yourself celebrating your birthday with cuy - guinea pig - as the main dish.
Puerto Maldonado is a dynamic young town, home to 25,000 people. On your days off from the Conservation project, as well as taking the boat back to enjoy life in a frontier town, you might take a river trip to the Sandoval Lake where you can enjoy fishing, wildlife watching, or immersing yourself in the local culture.
Although Peru is a gateway to the rest of South America, there are so many rich things to see within the country itself that you may not ever want to venture over its borders. It’s mosaic of different cultures, stunning scenery, and bio-diversity.