If you want to see the world and make a difference, volunteer in Cusco, Peru. As a volunteer in Cusco, you could use your skills to help a community in need. You might improve access to education or help provide medical care. You may get involved with community development projects. You might even help protect the environment! And you could get real-world language practice with Spanish or Quechua. Best of all, you'd spend your free time exploring one of the most fascinating places in South America.

Why Volunteer in Cusco?

Volunteering in Cusco could be a once in a lifetime experience. You could spend anywhere from a few weeks to a year living in one of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere. And, even better, you might make an impact while you do it! Because when you volunteer abroad, isn’t just about travel. It’s about doing what’s right, and expanding your personal horizons.

As a volunteer in Cusco, you could use your interests and experience to make the life better for those around you. Volunteer organizations play a large role in helping provide important services throughout Cusco. So whether you’re passionate about the sciences, love to communicate, or want to get your hands dirty, you could use those skills to help people. And you could do it knowing that your work may continue helping long after you’re gone.

Types of Volunteer Opportunities in Peru: Cusco

The kind of work you do volunteering abroad in Cusco is a huge part of what you get out of your experience. By choosing a program that fits your skills and interests, you could make the trip worthwhile - and have fun while your doing it.

Here is some of the work you might be able to get involved in.

  • Education: Love school? Help children and adults living in and around Cusco get the education they need. What role you play may depend on the project and your experience.  You might work as the primary classroom teacher, a classroom aide, or in an administrative role. You could also teach a variety of subjects. One example would be teaching English to children and adults. This ability could be a big advantage for them later on. Especially if they want to work in tourism.
  • Work with Children: Some organizations help provide childcare services to families in Cusco. These projects might overlap with education services. Some volunteers work in a residential facility like an orphanage. Others help provide daily childcare services to working families.
  • Infrastructure: Want to get your hands dirty? Help out with construction and renovation projects in and around Cusco! You could get hands-on project experience, and make something that could benefit the whole community.
  • Community Development: Use your creativity and business acumen to help a community thrive. You might help create or enact plans to boost the local economy. Other projects may aim to help small businesses flourish. This might also involve helping increase access to important social services. The specific projects you get involved with could change depending on the needs of that community.
  • Medicine: Help provide access to important medical services. Some options might be working in a clinic, or helping to educate the community about health and nutrition.
  • Conservation: Love the environment? Volunteer in Cusco to help protect it! You might work with plants and animals in the field. Or you could help educate the local community about conservation and the environment.

And that's not be all! No matter what your passion is, you might find an opportunity to pursue it as a volunteer in Cusco. Just remember that different projects might have different requirements. For example, if you’re going to be working in a medical clinic, you might need to have experience or training in providing medical care. Other programs may provide any necessary training to volunteers. Follow up with your selected programs with any questions about prerequisites or preparation.

What to Expect Living as a Volunteer in Cusco Peru

Cusco is one of the biggest tourist cities in South America. But what does that mean for your volunteer experience? For one, surrounded by the beautiful Andes, so close to Machu Picchu, you won’t run out of places to explore on your weekends off.

In some ways, tourism is the backbone of Cusco’s economy. That’s due to a combination of pristine landscapes, history, and culture. So it’s likely you’ll interact with the tourism industry in one way or another. That could be through your volunteer project, or throughout your daily life.

Between international visitors and the rich culture drawing them there, your experience in Cusco is sure to be a diverse one. You could meet people from all walks of life. You might befriend locals from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. And you may work alongside volunteers from all over the world every day! What it comes down to is that as a volunteer in Cusco, you could build friendships that span the globe.

Even your day to day experiences living in Cusco could be unique compared to life back home. Cusco has a subtropical highland climate, with a wet and a dry season. Because Cusco is in the Andes, the wet season might be accompanied by mudslides. That kind of thing could impact local travel. In fact, infrastructure in general is one of Cusco’s challenges. While it is improving, the mountains make maintaining roads in the region difficult. This can slow development in the city compared to in other places like Lima. While this issue can create day to day challenges, it also means that volunteers like you have an opportunity to make a real impact.

Cusco Peru History & Culture

Once upon a time, Cusco was the heart of Incan civilization. In fact, it was such an important city to them that the Incas called it “the bellybutton of the world!” Cusco has lived through the Incan Empire and outlasted colonization by Spain. Today, the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Knowing all that, it’s no wonder Cusco such a tourist mecca.

Cusco today is well known for its blend of history and modern culture. Ancient Incan architecture stands alongside Spanish colonial and contemporary construction. And that’s not even counting the ancient ruins, like Sacsayhuaman and Machu Picchu.

Another thing that makes Cusco unique is the vibrant local and indigenous cultures. Living in Cusco, you could learn more about many of the indigenous Andean cultures up close, by getting to know your friends and neighbors. Many people in Cusco adhere to cultural dress and traditions. If you’re looking for a volunteer abroad experience where you could learn about different ways of life, Cusco may be a great place for you.

Find Cusco Volunteer Programs in Peru

Ready to step outside your comfort zone and volunteer in Peru? Start your search for volunteer in Cusco programs today! StudyAbroad.com can help you get started. If you’re looking for something in particular, such as a particular program length or work type, use the menu to filter your options. Then read about the sponsored program listings that match your search, and get in touch with them to find out more!