Maximo Nivel

Experience Indigenous Andean Communities

Umasbamba, Peru show on map

Agency | Maximo Nivel

A unique and authentic cultural immersion experience in Peru, where volunteers live and work in a local indigenous community. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
50+

Volunteers volunteer in a small village in the Andes Mountains outside of Cusco, Peru. This project provides an income source for small communities and promotes cross cultural understanding.

Participants have the option of being involved in the following activities:

Agriculture — As an agriculturally based community the most common crops are potatoes, corn, and quinoa. Volunteers assist with planting, harvesting, storing and transporting crops. Volunteers also work with the animals in the community, including herding, pasturing, feeding, cleaning pens, and collecting food. Work will vary depending on the needs of the season and weather conditions. In addition, the Andean culture often includes some division of labor by gender, so your assigned tasks may vary.

Textiles — Volunteers have the opportunity to learn about traditional weaving skills and natural dyes by working with the women who create traditional textile products to sell at local markets.

Construction — Volunteers help mix and form adobe bricks and construct adobe homes and buildings within the community. Work is dependent on the needs of the community; there may not be a construction project going on during your program. 

Important: Due to the extremely rural setting of this project volunteers should expect the accommodations and meals to be very basic. For example, running water is at times unreliable and hot water is unavailable. You can expect bathing and bathroom/hygiene facilities to be much less modern than you are accustomed to. Sometimes bathing is done using a bucket of water. We recommend bringing your own toilet paper, which can be purchased in Cusco before you go to your project. 

Volunteers are expected to take part in local festivities and community gatherings. 

It is also very important to note that no English is spoken at this project. The first language in this community is Quechua, not Spanish, though Spanish is spoken as a second language. Despite the language barrier, it is possible to have a full and complete experience, though it is critical that you approach your project with this knowledge in mind. The community is very warm and welcoming to all volunteers.

The nearest village is approximately 15 minutes from your project site and approximately 1.5 hours from Cusco. This makes Cusco very accessible for weekend excursions and nightlife.

Typical day

Working hours vary according to the needs of the project, but volunteers can expect to work an average of 4-6 hours per day, Monday to Friday, and may also work some weekends. The goal of this project is to share in everyday life with the host family and community, this means that schedules and work can vary greatly. Village life is often affected by harvest seasons, weather and family events. 

Details on Arrival

Every Monday, all year round. For the first couple days volunteers stay in Cusco to receive the orientation. The Andean Cultural Immersion projects are located outside of the Cusco area in a small Quechua community. Travel from Cusco to the project and accommodation site will be up to 1.5 hours. Private taxi transportation to and from the project and Cusco at the beginning and end of the program is included.

Free-time activities

All year round, Cusco and its surrounding towns celebrate a mix of Inca and Catholic holidays, providing visitors with a variety of different cultural activities to experience. Cusco offers travelers a plethora of historical and archaeological sites both in and out of the city. Students most commonly like to explore the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, and of course Machu Picchu. Our local staff also posts a monthly events calendar to let you know of the activities going on around MaximoWhile participating in the Andean Immersion project, there are many great hiking spots. It is also a great jumping off point for exploring the Sacred Valley. Our on-site travel partner is very knowledgeable and can assist in setting up trips. 

Sightseeing
Climbing
Hiking

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Maximo Nivel cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Maximo Nivel.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Maximo Nivel (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Maximo Nivel

Our fees include:

- Airport pick-up
- Host family accommodations (shared room with half board in Cusco and full board at the project site)
- Program and safety orientation
- Walking tour
- Official certificate of volunteer service
- Emergency contact number 24/7
- Program management

While in Cusco:

- Free Tandem Conversation Program
- Free office-wide WIFI and computer lounge
- Free social activities
- Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
- Maximo Nivel Institute open 7 days/week

Airport Pickup at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport

Airport pick up in Cusco and taxi private transportation to and from the project and Cusco at the beginning and end of the program are included.

Accommodation

The first two days in Cusco volunteers stay in a traditional family-stay with a shared room and breakfast and dinner included. At the project, the setting is very rural and the houses are made of adobe bricks. Volunteers live with a typical Andean-Quechua speaking farming family. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the stay; meals are basic and made from locally available ingredients. While all meals are provided, participants may consider taking some of their favorite snacks along with them, since the meals may not provide a lot of variety. There are small stores in the nearest village (15 minutes away) where they can buy snacks as well. We also recommend bringing along books, small musical instruments, or games to entertain themselves in the evenings. There is no internet and limited phone signal where they will be staying. Please note that the family lives a very simple life together with their children and pets. They also raise guinea pigs at home. Andean culture has different standards of hygiene than other cultures. We recommend to bring antibacterial cream and to purchase toilet paper as sometimes this is not used. 

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

The first 2 days in Cusco volunteers have 2 meals included (breakfast and dinner), while at the project they have full board with 3 meals/day.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) in Cuzco. We assist you to find cheap flights to Peru.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Peru provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Peru you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Peru.
Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 645
2 weeks
$ 875
3 weeks
$ 1,065
4 weeks
$ 1,255
8 weeks
$ 1,855
50 weeks (max. stay)
$ 8,155
Average fees
$ 404 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Umasbamba/Peru between 1 week and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Maximo Nivel will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Peru.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Maximo Nivel during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Peru  Umasbamba, Umasbamba

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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