Community EducationPeru

The Community Education project in northern Peru helps children who are living in extreme poverty by providing them with education and welfare support.

The team provide nutritious meals, tutoring and well-being classes for the children aged 6-18 years old in a friendly community centre. Volunteers run workshops, games and arts and crafts sessions. The educational support they receive from volunteers boosts the children’s confidence at school and improves their chances of academic and social success.

Experience rich Peruvian culture whilst surrounded by breath-taking mountain scenery. It’s a perfect adventure location and you can explore the stunning trekking routes at weekends.

Volunteers are needed to help support local staff run sessions with 55 children at the project.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: Huaraz
  • Start dates: Every Sunday
  • Duration: 2 - 12 weeks +
  • Age requirement: 18+
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £625 / €690 / $775 - see fees table below
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Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers support 55 children aged 6-18 years old at a community centre in the mountain city of Huaraz.

The centre aims to help educate young children deemed ‘at risk’ of dropping out of the school system due to poverty or lack of family support. It provides a free care service where children can access much needed academic and welfare assistance in a safe and family orientated environment.

Each day will differ and volunteers provide additional support including:

  • Helping with homework; Spanish, English, maths and other subjects
  • Assisting with individual learning and working with children to build confidence
  • Leading activities: music, arts and crafts, active games and sports
  • Helping on the nutrition awareness programme, healthy living and hygiene education
  • Preparing and serving meals
  • General maintenance / cleaning at the school
  • Fundraising / awareness and engagement activities

Volunteers are encouraged to use their imagination to come up with activities to engage the children. If you have any specific skills or interests then the team are always eager for you to share these with the staff and children.

Most of the children come from families where the parents have to work long hours to support the family and/or cannot read or write. The centre also tries to educate the children’s parents about the importance and benefit of them staying in school.

“Our volunteers are the lifeblood to our organization - they bring new ideas, energy and creative projects to our classroom. Most importantly, they offer support, encouragement and knowledge to our students whom are our top priority.”
Yuri, Project Director

Typical day

On arrival you will have your induction where you will learn more about Huaraz and receive an introduction to your role at the project.

Volunteers work five days per week, Monday to Friday. The day is split into 2 sessions:

  • 9am - 12pm - sessions for older secondary level students, before they attend public school in the afternoon
  • 3pm - 6pm - sessions for younger primary level students, following their morning at public school

Friday is generally the sports, arts or games day, so if you have a particular passion or workshop you would like to do, this is the best day for it!

During school holidays (January - March and the first two weeks of August), the team run lessons for the children from 9am to 1pm each day. These lessons focus on subjects such as literacy and maths skills, computer workshops and life skills. There are extra classes in the afternoons for the older children which may include watching an educational film, a maths lesson, or playing games.

On your days off you can enjoy free time activities in and around Huaraz.

Other volunteers

There are generally between 1-6 volunteers with a maximum of 10 who work alongside a local coordinator and full-time teacher.

Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award

This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.

Child Protection

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.

Local support

You will be supported by the local team led by Yuri, the founder and school director. Yuri is a qualified music teacher and accountant and has devoted his life to improving the education levels in his home town of Huaraz.

Accommodation

The volunteer apartment is basic but in a great central location, a short walk from both the project and the city centre. Bedrooms are shared with 2-3 volunteers per room and there are shared bathrooms.

Bedroom

The apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, living area, roof terrace and there is WIFI. 

View of Huaraz

Volunteers may choose to stay in either a private double or twin room which are nice options for those wanting more privacy, or couples or friends travelling together. There is a weekly supplement for these options.

Meals

Meals are not included in this placement so volunteers can choose to prepare their meals in the volunteer apartment or eat out at one of the many cafes or restaurants. Here are typical examples of meals: 

  • Breakfast – fruit, cereal, toast, porridge
  • Lunch – sandwiches, salad, pasta, ceviche, soups
  • Dinner –  pizza, burger, chips, meat dishes, beans, stews, rice, pasta

There are vegetarians and vegans options available. 

Boiled drinking water is available at the volunteer apartment or you can choose to buy water at local supermarkets.

Location and free time

Located in northern Peru, Huaraz is the provincial capital of the Ancash Region and is at the foot of the spectacular Cordillera Blanca Mountain Range. Huascaran, the highest mountain in Peru, is frequently visible from the city centre from behind the clouds! 

Huaraz

Huaraz is a small but lively city, filled with thriving markets, cafés and restaurants and a hub for the outdoor tourist industry. In Huaraz Just about everything you need is on or near the main street - Calle Luzuriaga – which is a short walk from the volunteer accommodation.

Surrounding the city, there are lots of outdoor activities including day walks, trekking, mountain climbing and mountain biking. Further into the Callejón de Huaylas (or ‘Peruvian Switzerland’) there are beautiful glacial lakes and some of the most remote areas of the Andes.

Your evenings and weekends will be free for you to enjoy the local area. A graduate of the community school is training to be a tour guide so he can advise you on the best places to explore. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

Travelling in Peru before or after your placement

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:

  • Visiting the Machu Picchu on a mountain hike along Inca Trail or on a day trip from Cusco
  • Exploring the colonial cities of Lima 
  • Hiking the Colca Canyon or Sacred Valley

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!

Machu Picchu

Climate

Huaraz 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 slightly more rainfall from January to March. Huaraz sits 3,005 metres (10,100 feet) above sea level so the sun is stronger in this region and some may experience mild affects due to the altitude.

Dates

Start dates are every Sunday. The project is closed due to national holidays between 23 Dec 2019 - 6 Jan 2020 and 26 Jul - 2 Aug 2020.

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Pick up from Huaraz
  • Accommodation - a shared room
  • Induction
  • Support from the local team
  • Support from the Pod Volunteer UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Criminal record / police check
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Transfers to / from Huaraz
  • Living costs - food, snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
2 weeks £625 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £115 GB Pounds

Accomodation

There is an additional fee for the private room option - please contact us for details.

Discounts

  • £75 discount for every additional project you book as part of the same trip
  • £75 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 

Where the money goes - financial transparency

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.

Book with confidence - financial protection

All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

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Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

Read volunteer reviews from the Community Education project

Chloe - 2019

"My three weeks at the Community Education project were fantastic, and the only thing I regret is not staying longer. I could have easily stayed for at least a couple of months. The children are incredibly sweet and accepting of new volunteers, and they all have a special place in my heart. 

In the mornings, you will help the older children with their work which can be quite complicated, but you know that you are being a real help to the students. For three hours at lunchtime, you have free time to do whatever you like. Later in the afternoon, the younger children arrive and bring a lot of energy and playfulness with them. During the evenings, you can help with the adults' English class, giving you the chance to meet some lovely Peruvian locals, or you can learn some Spanish or go out to one of the many restaurants.

The director and international coordinator make sure that you are happy and will help you settle into the lovely city of Huaraz - a lively little city, full of Peruvian culture, parades and friendly people. Hiking at the weekends is a big plus."

Anna - 2018

“I had a wonderful time working with the Community Education project for the past two months. The kids were all so welcoming and getting to know each of them throughout my time in Huaraz was really rewarding. They are all incredibly kind, happy, smart and hilarious! I miss them so much already and will definitely cherish the time that I had with them.

Yuri and the local volunteers at the project are all great and will help you with any questions or concerns that you have. Also, the city of Huaraz is absolutely stunning with lots of amazing day hikes nearby that I would highly recommend."

Kamaldeep – 2017

“The project itself is very rewarding, with helping the children and lots of opportunities to play sports. Yuri the Director of the project has fantastic knolwegde of the area and is really helpful as is the overseas coordinator. A brilliant overall experience......I wish I could have stayed longer!!"

Summer - 2017

“Volunteering was the best experience I have had. I stayed for 3 and a half months and wish that there was a way I could stay for longer. Teaching the kids is so rewarding and all the Peruvian volunteers at the school are very welcoming. I have gotten close with all the other volunteers in the apartment and have plans to see some of them again."

Read more reviews

55+

children and their 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

Iona

Pod UK Specialist

Apply and you'll hear from Iona soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Peru Community Education volunteer - Cécile

    "The project combined everything I was looking for: working in a community, for a small organization, with kids, in Spanish, in the middle of the mountains! I definitely left in Huaraz, a little piece of my heart."

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Peru Community Education volunteer - Morag

    “Working on the project was an amazing experience. The kids in the school were so friendly and you feel right at home. The local team were also all very welcoming. I actually stayed an extra month it was so good!”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Peru Community Education volunteer - Rick

    “I taught them a lot, but they taught me a lot as well. As volunteers, we help a ton with their education, but we also get the opportunity to be positive role models, and that was really special to me.”

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal