Community Education

Peru

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

The team provide nutritious meals, tutoring and well-being classes for the children aged 6-18 years in a friendly community centre. Volunteers run workshops, games and arts and crafts sessions which help to inspire a passion for education. 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, 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: 3 - 12 weeks +
  • Age requirement: 18+
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £695 / €815 / $890 - see fees table below

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers support 55 children aged between 6 and 18 years old at a community centre in the mountain city of Huaraz. The centre provides a safe, family orientated environment where children can access much needed academic and welfare support.

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

Each day will differ and volunteer tasks include:

  • Helping with homework; Spanish, English, maths and other subjects
  • One to one tuition with children who are struggling and need additional support
  • Assisting with individual learning, setting targets and working with children to build confidence
  • Taking informal lessons or leading activities
  • Arranging creative activities; music, arts and crafts
  • Leading 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 community education project is always eager for you to share these with the staff and children.

Working days and hours

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

  • From 9am-12pm, the older secondary level students attend the community school, they then go on to attend public school in the afternoon
  • From 3pm-6pm, the younger primary level students attend, following a morning at public school

Friday is generally the sports, arts or games day and so if you have a particular passion or workshop you would like to do, this is the best day for it! On the days off you can enjoy free time activities.

Other volunteers

There are generally between 1-6 volunteers with a maximum of 8 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, including a minimum number of other participants.

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.

Volunteer Reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Peru Community Education Reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

Volunteers work in partnership with local full-time staff to support lessons and educational games as well as to bring a new perspective and creativity to teaching and activities at the project. Volunteers expand the children’s horizons by acting as positive role models. The educational support they receive from volunteers boosts the children’s confidence at school and improves their chances of academic and social success.

“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

Closure Dates

The project is closed due to national holidays between 21 – 31 Jul 2017, 22 Dec 2017 – 1 Jan 2018, 24 - 31 Jul 2018 and 22 Dec 2018 - 1 Jan 2019

Location, free time and accommodation

Peru

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 include:

  • Hiking the Colca Canyon or Sacred Valley
  • Exploring the colonial cities of Lima and Cusco
  • Reconnecting with nature in the Amazon rainforest

To find out more see: Lonely Planet Peru

Local area 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.

Huaraz is a small but lively city, filled with thriving markets, cafés and restaurants and a hub for the outdoor tourist industry. 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 now training to be a tour guide and can advise you on the best places to explore. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

Accommodation

The volunteer apartment is basic but in a great central location, a short walk from both the project and local shops. Bedrooms are shared with 2-3 volunteers per room and there are shared bathrooms. The apartment has a fully equipped kitchen and living area and intermittent internet connection.

Read volunteer reviews from the Community Education project

Summer

“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. Huaraz is a beautiful place with hikes, nice weather, and friendly people.

They are very polite and welcoming which makes arriving easier. I have already made plans to return next summer and volunteer again. Most rewarding was helping the kids with their homework when they don’t understand it. Coming here and being with these kids is a decision you won’t regret.”

Sarah

“I was keen to spend my summer holidays doing something genuinely useful. The placement in Huaraz, Peru, was perfect, because it gave me the opportunity to help vulnerable children and practice my Spanish in a completely new setting.

The volunteer role itself is challenging, but ultimately very rewarding - the children are so appreciative of the educational and emotional support provided by the community centre and it’s such a privilege to see them develop their literacy and numeracy skills in a secure, supportive environment. Most rewarding was seeing the children’s improvement, even in the short 2 months that I was at the project.”

Morag

“My whole experience was incredible. Small organisations do such amazing work for the kids but they don’t have very much money so it’s really important to support things like this. Their money comes from volunteers deciding to go out there, they totally rely on all the volunteers. And it’s so worth it for the experience!

Working on the project was an amazing experience. The kids in the school were so friendly and welcoming you feel right at home straight away. The local team were also all very helpful and welcoming. I actually stayed an extra month it was so good! Would highly recommend this project to everyone!”

Veronica

“The time spent assisting at the Community Education project was truly amazing! My only regret was that I did not sign up for a longer period of time. The children are a joy to be with. They make you laugh constantly. The teachers seem very appreciative of help from the volunteers - the other volunteers and coordinator were great. I loved Yuri and the other teachers! It was sad to say good bye! I can’t wait to visit again

While the children are quite disciplined and work diligently with their studies, they are playful and extremely fun. Most rewarding was working with the children- they are playful and sweet. Friday’s together we’re amazing. It’s important to share - our wealth, our experiences, our time, our love. Even though I went to give my time and any of my gifts, I feel if I was the one who was benefited the most.”

Read more reviews

What's included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Gemma is your dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • In-depth volunteering and planning your trip guides
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Help arranging criminal record checks
  • Discounted online teaching course
  • Access to specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to Pod

On your placement:

  • Teaching volunteering placement
  • Assistance arranging transfer to Huaraz
  • Being met on arrival in Huaraz
  • Accommodation - a shared room
  • Induction
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), criminal records check, food. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
3 weeks £695 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £115 GB Pounds
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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

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

Gemma

Pod UK Specialist

Gemma has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her 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