The Children’s Day Care project in Peru provides safe and free child care for children from low income families in the local community.
The project promotes a positive attitude to education to create a strong foundation for the children as they enter the state school system. Many of the children are from families where their parents have dropped out of education at a young age, and support and encouragement is essential. Volunteers work alongside local staff, helping with games, music and fun activities.
Live in the beautiful ‘white city’ of Arequipa, immersed in Peruvian culture with Colca Canyon in easy reach at your weekends.
Join the team and help run activities at the Children’s Day Care centre.
The Children’s Day Care centre is located a quiet suburb of Arequipa and is a colourful place with five classrooms and large outdoor play area. The centre's mission is to provide:
In the morning younger children aged 2 - 5 arrive at the centre and attend their age specific class. Each class has around 20 children and typical morning tasks could include:
In the afternoon, older children aged 6 - 13 arrive and the project provides them with a safe after school venue for further study and entertainment. Volunteers who have a good level of Spanish have the option to help with the afternoon session. Activities in the afternoon may be similar to morning and also include:
The primary role of volunteers is to alleviate the pressure on the full-time local teachers.
Many of the children who attend the project come from single-parent homes or have very young parents and in some cases there are ongoing issues at home including domestic abuse, alcoholism or drug issues.
“Volunteers give the staff some well-earned respite! Volunteers do the majority of household chores as there just is not enough Peruvian help. The kindergarten would not run as well without them”
Mel, Volunteer Coordinator
During your first couple of days you will receive an induction about the location, the volunteer accommodation and your role at the project.
There are two sessions each weekday; 9am - 1pm with the younger children and 2pm - 4pm for the older children. Volunteers generally work 5 days a week, Monday to Friday with most choosing to do a 3-4 hour morning shift each day.
The project is approximately 25 minutes from the volunteer accommodation and volunteers travel by local bus.
In your free time you can explore the beautiful ‘white city’ of Arequipa and surrounding area.
There are generally between 1 - 4 volunteers with a maximum of 8, who work alongside full time Peruvian staff.
This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award, including a minimum number of other participants.
Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy. All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.
Sofia is the Volunteer Coordinator, who manages and supports international volunteers. She is based in the office below the volunteer accommodation and runs a Spanish School in Arequipa. She speaks a good level of English.
The centre itself is run by headmistress Marianela and supported by dedicated local teachers. Marianela speaks basic English and the other teachers have a very limited level of English.
Volunteers live within the city in an apartment located in an International Spanish School. The volunteer apartment has a fully equipped kitchen and social area. Volunteers share bedrooms and bathrooms and the apartment has WIFI.
Alternatively, there is a private room option with en-suite bathroom in the apartment. There is a weekly supplement for this option.
Meals are not included in this placement. Here are typical examples of the food you can buy at the local supermarket, town markets, cafes and restaurants:
There are vegetarians and vegans options available.
Bottled drinking water is available to buy at local supermarkets.
Surrounded by 3 dramatic volcanos, Arequipa is a beautiful city with plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops, markets and museums. Peru’s second largest city is well known for its glistening white buildings which are made from white volcanic rock, and gives Arequipa its nickname ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ or ‘The White City.
You will be located close to the world famous Colca Canyon which is one of the world’s deepest canyons and it’s a lovely site to see herds of llamas on the craggy mountain. The project staff are very knowledgeable can help you organise local tours, treks and bike rides. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.
Peru is famous for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, however there is so much more to this truly diverse South American country from the snow-capped Andes Mountains to giant sand dunes in Huacachina. Popular things to do in Peru that you might like to combine with your project are:
For more information on Peru and some of the things we loved when we visited there please see our Peru country page. This also features all our other Peru volunteering projects as you might like to consider combining this project with one of the others we offer to make a trip of a lifetime!
Arequipa has a consistent climate with highs of around 23°C and lows of around 9°C each month. It is typically dry throughout the year but there is more rainfall from January to March.
Start dates are every Sunday. The project is closed to volunteers between 22 Dec 2019 - 8 Mar 2020 and between 20 Dec 2020 - 7 Mar 2021.
|2 weeks||£675||GB Pounds|
|Extra weeks||£85||GB Pounds|
There is an additional fee for the private room option - please contact us for details.
Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis. For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.
All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT).
Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com
"I had an incredible time working in the Children's Day Care Center in Arequipa, Peru. The local team was great to work with and everyone was so welcoming. The children were so open and greeted me immediately upon arrival! My initial doubts of being unable to communicate properly were taken away very quickly. The Spanish lessons I took in the school below the accommodation helped a lot!
Living in Arequipa, a very vibrant city with a beautiful historic centre contributed a lot to my great experience. It was so easy to meet others and the location makes it possible to reach a lot of amazing places within Peru by bus."
“The project was everything I hoped it would be. The children were, warm, loving and full of energy and it was a pleasure to see their smiling faces everyday. Whilst at first everything was very unfamiliar, I soon got used to the routines at the day care and I was quickly able to find ways to help - from teaching basic English to supervising at playtimes and helping to diffuse disagreements over whose turn it was on the swings!
Although at times it was challenging, particularly due to my basic knowledge of Spanish, the project was extremely rewarding and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of joining."
"My experience as a volunteer in Peru was amazing! I felt part of the community and the Children's Day Care project gave me so much, I'm definitely going to come back.
Giving a hand, really feeling part of the project and seeing that your help was so appreciated was the most rewarding part."
"When I first arrived, it felt so strange to finally be there, after so many months of planning. I was welcomed by the staff and current volunteers straight away which made the transition from England to Peru that much easier. The city is just as beautiful as advertised, and there were so many things to see.
The culture and lifestyle of Peru is so incredible and really changed me in the best ways. It was also so easy to go visit some of the most popular sights in Peru, such as Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and Cusco, made all the more better by the volunteers and other travellers that join in on the adventure.
The projects is doing incredibly good work, I became very close with the amazing lady running it. Their main priority is giving these children a good start in education, in a safe environment when their parents need to work. I remember one day, I got to go round and judge the classrooms for the first day of spring, as each year group had made decorations and hung them up around the room. Seeing how excited they were was just incredible and the kindergarten as a whole gives me hope that these kids can achieve great things in the future."
families supported by the project
"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder
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“The volunteering was amazing, the best experience I have done in my whole life. When you arrive at the kindergarten every child would come running up to you! Knowing this project runs on donations makes it even more worth it; knowing so much good is coming out of so little.”Read more volunteer reviews
“My time in Arequipa was everything I hoped it would be, living in a foreign city is completely different to just passing through as a traveller. Becoming part of a community so far from home is an experience which you are very lucky to have.”Read more volunteer reviews
“We learn about new cultures, see a life that is not so dependent on technology and learn new things about ourselves, whilst truly doing something useful and extremely rewarding.”Read more volunteer reviews