Volunteers work under the direction of the local medical professionals who determine the level of responsibility delegated to volunteers.
Poverty in Cusco has significant implications on the physical and mental health of the local population. Many diseases, injuries, and maternal health problems are directly related to poor living and working conditions. Health issues like those stemming from alcohol abuse, inadequate public sanitation, and limited personal hygiene are a persistent challenge.
Volunteers work in medical projects serving disadvantaged communities in Cusco. Volunteers work with the local staff to provide quality healthcare. They also share public health information with patients to help them become more proactive in managing their own health. Volunteers live in Cusco and work in medical facilities throughout the area.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work four to six hours a day in a public health center. They
work under the direction of the local medical professionals who
determine the level of responsibility delegated to volunteers.
Volunteers shadow the doctors and nurses and, as determined by each
volunteer’s background and performance, partake in areas that may
include dentistry, diagnostic tests, emergency medicine, infectious
diseases, OB/GYN and primary care. Additionally, based on local need,
volunteers work with patients to educate them on topics like dental
care, early childhood development, nutrition, personal hygiene and
There is no typical day :-)
Volunteering abroad is all about finding your role in local communities. Unlike a tourist, volunteers travel to serve instead of to be served.
Also, remember that you’re working in the developing world in very poor contexts—conditions are constantly changing. There is no script to follow and being adaptable is crucial. This is what makes international volunteering challenging and rewarding.
In general though, you’ll be working Monday through Friday. Weekends are off. Every project is different, so you want to read the detailed project descriptions.
Connecting with the locals and other volunteers is also a big part of the experience. You’ll have plenty of time after your work and on the weekends. Volunteers often check out tourist sites together, hang out in the evening, travel on the weekends, etc. It’s up to you, don’t worry you’ll have a lot of fun too :-)
The plazas and streets of Cusco are nearly always bustling with activity as locals in colorful traditional garb go about their daily lives. Countless bars and restaurants cater to all tastes. There are new things to discover on nearly every corner of the city. Cusco is also a jumping point to other destinations, most famous of which is Machu Picchu. Depending on one’s budget and appetite for adventure, Machu Picchu can be visited in a weekend or over many days. Other destinations include small towns like Chinchero and Pisac, which are nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Numerous well-preserved archeological sites can also be reached easily from Cusco, including Saqsaywaman, an impressive Incan fort that was the stage of one of the pivotal battles of the Spanish conquest. For those interested in adventure sports, Cusco offers countless hiking trails, scenic mountain bike rides and whitewater rafting opportunities. Finally, for volunteers who would like to improve their Spanish, we can connect them with affordable and excellent Spanish classes.
A driver will pick up at the airport and drop you off at the volunteer house.
Volunteers live in a wonderful volunteer house that is centrally located near the Plaza de Armas, the heart of Cusco. You usually share a room with one to four other volunteers. Bathrooms are private and cleaned on a regular basis. There are welcoming common areas where volunteers can gather and relax. The house is staffed 24 hours and there is a security guard at night. A laundry service is available for a small fee, and wireless internet is available for free.
The cuisine of the Peruvian Andes is one of the most distinctive and tasty in South America, and you can expect to eat very well during your stay. Every day, you receive breakfast and lunch. Cooks prepare a wide range of Peruvian dishes exclusively for the Volunteers.
Volunteers work with local teachers to help plan and lead classes for students ages 12 to 15, although there may be students who are older.
Volunteers work in local schools or community centers teaching English to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Volunteers can contribute to a variety of medical areas, mainly treatment of tropical infectious diseases.
Volunteers work in either a living center, a boarding school or a local NGO for children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Volunteers work with a local organization that supports poor girls in rural communities.
Volunteers assist a local human rights organization that helps working children to get back to school. Volunteers work with project staff four to six.