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Global Gap Year: Stage 3 - Peru Education

Peru volunteer placement map Projects Abroad Teaching volunteers help local teachers improve their skills in Peru.

Peru is a fascinating and beautiful country with an extensive Pacific coastline, a vast area of Amazon rainforest and the magnificent Andes.  Peru provides an opportunity for volunteers to experience much of what South America offers within just one country. Wildlife, beaches, historical sites and the most beautiful mountains in the Andes are found in abundance. There are also interesting cities full of colonial history, especially Cusco, which is an archaeological paradise.

At Projects Abroad, we are particularly proud of our Teaching Project in Peru. We are working with the Peruvian Ministry of Education on an eight-year program to update the English curriculum for 23 schools in the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The English curriculum, created in the capital city of Lima, is not always relevant to children in the more rural Sacred Valley, and local English speakers who would otherwise be teachers are often tempted by higher salaries in the local tourist industry.

This project was designed and continues to be run by Projects Abroad staff with experience in education. If our new curriculum is judged a success, it will be applied to many more rural schools all over Peru.

While living in Cusco, participants will help with an innovative teacher-training program during Peru's long school vacations from January to March. Teacher-training workshops on English instruction are led by our project supervisors, along with the help of our volunteers. Volunteers prepare interactive lessons for small groups of teachers, who are divided up according to their level of English ability. Throughout the training, volunteers develop worksheets and lesson plans that can be used by the teachers in their own classrooms around the Sacred Valley. Through this important program volunteers are raising the level of English instruction in the Sacred Valley for years to come.

Partner profile
  • Name: Vilma Unda
  • Title: Head of Secondary Schools
  • Organization: Ministry of Education - Cusco
The project developed by Projects Abroad in the Cusco region is especially important as we are working on a diversified regional curriculum. The in-service teacher training offered by Projects Abroad and the volunteers accompanying the Peruvian English teachers has had a positive influence on thousand of students. Taking into account that the Cusco region is extremely touristy, the development of a pertinent and diversified curriculum for the teaching of a second (and in many cases third) language is a priority and we would like to thank and acknowledge the help we received from all Projects Abroad volunteers and staff alike.

Depending on the scheduling of the teacher training, the Global Gap group may also get the opportunity to spend a week on our Incan & Wari Archaeology Project in the Lucre Valley – about 40 minutes from Cusco. Here volunteers will get to participate in different archaeological work, community work, and expeditions throughout the surrounding area.

At the conclusion of the work in participants will visit the magnificent lost city of Machu Picchu. After several days of hiking and exploring ruins the participants' few remaining days will be spent relaxing in the city of Cusco.

Next Stage – Nepal

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