Cusco used to be the capital of the Incan Empire due to its strategic location which protected the Incans from invaders. It is seductive, natural and striking. The history of Cusco is still alive today and well-kept. It lives in the heart of the city, in its valleys, squares and street. Cusco is one of the most visited cities not just in Peru, but in the entire South American continent.
Inca stonemason buildings are still maintained to this day. Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Tambomachay, Kenko, Saysayhuaman and Choquequirao are just some of the Incan jewels that had been built many centuries ago and tell of the wisdom of the ancient Peruvians. With captivating landscapes like the Sacred Valley which is clothed by terraces and picturesque villages, there is something for everyone in Cusco, Peru.
Cusco is actually the birthplace of the world and it is where the Andes mountain range is found. It is an impressive city with is filled with Incan ruins and centuries of history, as well as a cuisine that would make your mouth water. The city is the ideal place for volunteering. Cusco Peru has truly got it all.
Although, many people come to the city just to make their way to Machu Picchu, the city has a lot to offer with many enchanting valleys and avenues that it almost feels like stepping into another world. Every year, there is a huge influx of tourists and people that attend to these tourists. This is what has led to many volunteering options opening up in the city.
Extremely Rewarding Experience
There is nothing more rewarding than volunteering in Cusco Peru. Volunteers get to volunteer during the week and visit the Machu Picchu over the weekend. What more could one ask for? When you choose Cusco Peru as you volunteer abroad destination, you get to experience something surreal.
What to Expect When Volunteering in Cusco?
When you volunteer in Cusco, you will get the opportunity to work with children at schools, special needs centers, orphanages, day cares, and kindergarten, while teaching the kids English or anything else.
There are also volunteering opportunities for medical and premedical volunteers who would be placed in any one of the public clinics in the city. You would also get to live with a local middle class host family close to the programs and safely.
Opportunity to Learn Spanish
Perhaps, one of the main reasons why people choose to volunteer in Peru is due to the fact that they get to learn or improve their Spanish. After all, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and it is a romance language, and considered to be one of the most beautiful. Volunteers get this once in a lifetime opportunity to speak with the locals and become fluent in the Spanish language.
All of the volunteering programs can be easily combined with Spanish Lessons in order to master the language.
Each of the volunteering programs has a description of the cost, the length and what is included in the program, as well as what is not included in the fees. This allows volunteers to make an informed decision and choose a program which suits them best.
Majority of the volunteering programs are available for a period of 1 to 12 weeks. Make sure to read the Overview of the programs to get a better idea. Volunteer in Cusco Peru and see a broader view of the world and life.
Make a Difference
Anyone wanting to see the world and making a difference can choose to volunteer in Cusco, Peru. As a volunteer in the city, you would be able to use the skills to help communities that are in need. By volunteering, you can actually make a direct impact on the lives of others by helping provide people with medical care or improving their access to education. You might even to choose to get involved in any one of the community development projects. There are also programs for protecting the environment. Do any of these things, while also practicing Spanish or even Quechua which is an indigenous language that is spoken by only a few hundred people and get real-world language experience. Besides, you would get the opportunity to explore some of the most fascinating place in South America and the world in your free time.
Why Volunteer in Cusco?
Volunteering in Cusco can be a life-changing experience which happens once in a lifetime. You can choose to spend anywhere from just a few weeks to even a year living in one of the oldest cities in the world and in the Western Hemisphere. Through volunteering, you get to make an impact because when you choose to volunteer abroad, it is not just about travel. It is more about doing what is right, giving back to the world and expanding on your personal horizons.
When you volunteer in Cusco, you get to use your experience and interests to make life better for the people around you. This is volunteer organizations are vital. They play a huge role in helping offer important services through the city of Cusco. Therefore, whether you love to communicate or are passionate about the sciences, or maybe just want to get your hands dirty once in a while, you get to use these skills to help people. Besides, you would get to know that the work that you do would continue on helping others, long after you leave.
Types of Volunteer Opportunities in Cusco, Peru
A huge part of what you get out of the experience is the kind of work that you do while volunteering abroad in Cusco. By selecting the program which suits your interests and skills best, the trip could be worthwhile and fun at the same time. Here are just some of the works that you could get involved in.
- Education: Passionate about education and school? Then help children and even adults that live in and around Cusco get the education that they deserve. The role that you play depends on your experience and project. You may choose to work in an administrative role, classroom aide or even a classroom teacher. Teach a variety of subjects to students. English could be taught to kids and adults as it would help the individuals lead a more successful life.
- Work with Children: There are some organizations which are helping to provide childcare services to the populace in Cusco. Often, these projects overlap with education services. Some of the volunteers can work in a residential facility such as an orphanage, while others may help provide childcare services daily to working families.
- Infrastructure: Do you like to get your hands dirty? Then you can help out with renovation and construction projects in Cusco. It will help provide you with hands-on project experience which would help benefit the entire community at the same time.
- Community Development: You can also help enact or create plans to help boost the overall local economy. There are other projects which aim at helping small businesses flourish. It might even involve helping with increasing the access to important social services. Depending on the needs of the specific community, the projects you get involved with might change.
- Medicine: Make a difference by proving access to critical medical services. Some of the options to choose from include helping to educate the community about nutrition and health, or working in a clinic.
- Conservation: Do you love the environment? Then you can choose to volunteer in Cusco to help with protecting it. You may get to work with animals and plants in the field. Or help with educating the local community about the environment and conservation.
The above options are just a few of the things which can be done. No matter what your passion might be, there will always be an opportunity for it in Cusco as a volunteer. Keep in mind that different projects do have varying requirements. For instance, anyone working in a medical clinic might need to have adequate training and experience to actually be able to provide medical care. While on the other hand, other programs might require the volunteers to provide necessary training. Make sure to follow up with the selected program to understand if you meet the prerequisites and are adequately prepared.
What to Expect From Living as a Volunteer in Cusco Peru?
Cusco is known as one of the biggest tourist destinations in all of South America. It is also one of the most visited. However, what does that mean for your volunteer experience? It means that you would be surrounded by the gorgeous Andes, be near to Machu Picchu and would never run out of places to explore over the weekends.
The tourism industry is in fact the backbone of the local economy. It is due to a combination of culture, history and pristine landscapes. This means that you would get to interact with the tourism industry is some way. It could either be through the volunteer project or throughout your time in the country.
Your experience in Cusco would surely be a diverse one, between the rich culture drawing international visitors there. You would get to meet people from different walks of life, befriend some of the locals from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Work alongside volunteers from all over the world daily during your time in Cusco. At the end of the day, it all comes down to building friendships that span the globe as a volunteer in the city.
Even the day to day experiences while living in Cusco tend to be unique as compared to your life back home. The city has a subtropical highland climate, with a dry and a wet season. Since Cusco is in the Andes, the wet season would be accompanied by mudslides. Remember that this could impact local travel. The infrastructure of Cusco in general is a challenge. Although, it is improving, making roads on the mountains can be difficult. This has led to slow development in the city as compared to others such as Lima. Even though, this challenge might not disturb your day to day experiences, it does mean that volunteers such as you have the opportunity to make a change.
Vast History & Beautiful Culture
Cusco used to be the heart of the Incan civilization. It used to be such an important city to the Incas that they referred to it as the bellybutton of the world. However, despite all the challenges faced by the city, Cusco has lived through the Incan Empire and the period of Spanish colonization. Today, the entire city has been considered to be a UNESCO World Heritage site. This clearly explains why the city is a tourist Mecca.
The Cusco of today is well known for its blend of modern culture and history. The Ancient Incan architecture and Spanish colonial construction stand alongside one another, and this does not even include the ancient ruins such as Machu Picchu and Sacsayhuaman that surround the city.
Another great thing about Cusco is its unique indigenous and local cultures. When you live in Cusco, you would learn more about these indigenous Andean cultures for the first time and make new friends. You would notice that many people in Cusco still adhere to their cultural dress and traditions. By volunteering abroad, you get to experience different ways of life.
Cusco Volunteer Programs
If you are ready to get out of your comfort zone and venture into a new environment, then volunteering in Cusco is just what you need. Search for a volunteer in Cusco program. Here are some of the requirements/ features.
- 17 years old or over and with parents if under.
- 24/7 local support in the country.
- Safe accommodation
- Spanish lessons offered.
- A work schedule of just 4 to 8 hours a day.
- Airport transfer service offered.
- Group volunteer programs are also offered.
- No language requirements.