About Peru

Global Volunteer Network currently has opportunities to work on a range of projects in Peru. Volunteers can become involved in childcare, teaching, construction, healthcare, cultural, and conservation/wildlife projects.

Peru boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in South America and volunteers will primarily be based in the city of Cusco, the historical capital of the Inca Empire. In contrast to its stunning geography, which attracts growing numbers of international visitors to Peru, poverty and unemployment remain high throughout rural regions and more than half of the population live below the poverty line.

Please visit the Global Volunteer Network website for more information about the Peru Volunteer Program.

Recent Peru Journals:

 Permalink  Posted by Natalie Klein at 1:26 pm  Peru  Comments Off on
Jul 262015

It was a very emotional goodbye to the children I have grown so close with at the orphanage on Friday. I know I have done all that I can to improve their lives but I seem to find myself wanting to stay longer.  I highly encourage anyone who at all feels they need a break from reality to go an spend some time volunteering. I have had an amazing three weeks working with the children, I wish the time wouldn’t have gone by so fast.

Friday night I took an overnight bus to the city of Puno.  Saturday morning I got on a boat and went to see the famous floating islands on lake titicaca. It was an amazing experience learning how these people live on these small floating islands for their entire life.  We then went to a large island where I met a family that I would spend the night with.  I really enjoyed playing with the children there and teaching them some words in english. We got to climb to the highest point of the island, which is on the highest navigable lake in the world, and watch the sunset. That is a moment I will never forget.  The absolute breath taking view was incredible.

After being woken up by the sound of donkeys and sheep outside my window, I got on another boat to visit another island. We hiked and had lunch their, before returning to the city of Puno.

Tomorrow morning at 9am I am moving onto my second volunteer project which is located in the Amazon jungle. I will be there for one week, working and exploring the jungle. I have no idea what to expect but I am extremely excited for this new experience.

Start of week three

 Posted by Natalie Klein at 9:46 am  Peru  Comments Off on Start of week three
Jul 202015

Although I am most definitely building much better relationships with the kids I am working with, I am still not able to take a ton of pictures of the activities we do.  I was able to get a few while I was with them this morning.  In one of the pictures you can see me with a little girl, her name is Yessica, she cannot talk but can understand a small amount of words if said very slowly.  Everyday when I go to the orphanage Yessica and I get to sneak away from the group and go up to the rooftop and sit in the tent that you can see in the picture.  In this tent we have four different activities that she can do for as long as she pleases, and many bright colored scarves and ribbons that she can touch and play with.  Although she cannot communicate it to me, I really feel that having some alone time without a bunch of other kids around really helps her stay happy and healthy.  This tent was a past volunteers idea and I feel it is truly a great thing.

Often the kids get to help prepare their dinners, which is some of their favorite activities.  This is a time where the kids can feel that they are being very helpful, while also having fun.  Today we prepared carrots, potatoes, and peas.  Some of the kids simply separate and sort the vegetables, while other kids get to peal or even chop them.  It is a day long process, but the room is filled with laughter and happiness.

Cusco is a city with so much interesting history in and surrounding it.  This weekend I took a full day tour of the Sacred Valley which allowed me to learn a ton while also seeing some beautiful sights.  Next week I move to the Jungle where there is no electricity, and I will be volunteering there to help conserve the jungle.

I cannot believe how fast the time is going, everyday I wake up and remind myself to take everything in slowly, and to make the most of every second.

Week two

 Posted by Natalie Klein at 12:43 pm  Peru  Comments Off on Week two
Jul 152015

I don’t really know where to start with explaining my past few days.  I am beginning to get closer relationships with the children I am working with which is an amazing feeling.  When I walk through the door I am greeted with excited yells and many many hugs.  I often wish I could do more for the organization, because it truly is an amazing one.  These kids are so lucky that they were placed in this home, although they have severe disabilities they are given three meals a day, kept clean, and always kept occupied.  On top of that, volunteers and the live-in moms constantly provide the love and attention that any child needs.

While here I have met people from all over the world and talked to some of them about their projects, they include: orphanages, after school centers, rehab centers, women’s shelters, pre-schools, working in the prison, and dog shelters.  Every volunteer here is doing something to try and make Peru a better place to live because it really is an amazing place.  It is very interesting to hear everyones stories about their projects, and to talk about how different our lives are.

I was able to get out and do some very fun things this past weekend.  On Saturday I went whitewater rafting and ziplining which was an amazing experience.  Going down the river through the Peruvian mountians was one of the coolest things I have ever done.  On Sunday I went to four different Inca sacred sites and walked around and took in more history about the city.

I am really enjoying my time here, meeting people, seeing a whole new culture, and doing what I can to improve the lives of the 21 amazing children I get to work with everyday.

Week one: Day four

 Posted by Natalie Klein at 4:17 pm  Peru  Comments Off on Week one: Day four
Jul 082015

I finally went to my placement two days ago and it as the most overwhelming day of my entire life.  My work placement is an orphanage home to 20 children between the ages of 5 and 18.  I almost forgot to add that these kids have extremely severe disabilities, these disabilities are the main reason that they are orphans.  Often Peruvian parents realize they have a child with a disability and they decide it is too much to handle and pay for so they leave their child behind.  That is where the program I am working for steps in.  There are five “mothers” who are Peruvian ladies who rotate and live at the home with the children and feed, care for, clean, and love all of the children as if they were their own. So far I have just been getting the hang of things and watching how the kids work and what their routines are.  Today I helped prepare lunch, fed a couple of children who cannot feed themselves, then assisted in brushing all of the childrens teeth.  Later in the day we made jewellery with a few of the older girls who are able while the other kids played or colored.  I am able to work well without speaking Spanish because most of the children wither cannot hear or speak or they only know a few words in which case I am able to understand what they are trying to tell me.  This placement is going to be a very stressful and draining time but I can already tell that my four weeks of love and compassion that I can provide to the children will make a very big difference. On the touristy side of things, yesterday I took traditional Salsa dancing lessons then went out for dinner [click here to read more]

Week one: day two

 Posted by Natalie Klein at 3:14 pm  Peru  Comments Off on Week one: day two
Jul 062015
Week one: day two

Walking around with absolutely no plan has never been something I am very good at.  I love plans, times, and set destinations.  But today I woke up bright and early, and walked a half hour to my orientation which did not take very long and was not as informative as I had hoped.  I then had from 8am to when the sun went down to aimlessly explore the city! Luckily I have a roommate who had most of the day free too, and we quickly met other girls and started walking!  From colorful markets, to strange roads, to congested areas with people trying to sell you stuff in spanish Cusco is a very lively city.  I highly enjoyed the markets although the locals quickly catch on that I know very little Spanish and try to rip me off, but I’ve learned to be a good non-verbal bargainer. If anyone is actually reading this, then you would have realized I have been able to post both of the days I have been here… my host “family” has wifi which is very strong everywhere except my room.  I dont have a problem with it though, the wifi is very convenient and allows me to stay in contact with everyone! Tomorrow is my first day of work, I am very excited and don’t know what to expect at all.  That seems to be the theme of this experience, taking the unexpected, not having a clue what is happening and making the best of it!

Day One: Week One

 Posted by Natalie Klein at 1:48 pm  Peru  Comments Off on Day One: Week One
Jul 052015

Wow.  There are not a lot of other words I can use to describe my experience so far.  I am very quickly learning that a language barrier will have a huge impact on my trip, the almost fully Spanish speaking airport at 5am after an 8 hour flight, this morning was not the best start to a trip.  It is very hard to communicate with the locals such as people who offer you a thousand times for help when you really don’t know what you could need help with!  Either way I made it into the country and am absolutely mesmerized by this beautiful, poverty filled place.  I met all of my roommates and they seem like we will have a great time together! Looking out the large windows into the thousands of houses nestled into the mountians is like looking at a painting, it is unbelievable.  I will try to capture it in photos but I am very certain it is 100% better in person.  I cant wait to explore the city tomorrow and get my work schedule for the next month! Day one was a stressful, overwhelming, amazing day and I loved every second of it.


Fri. 11/14/14. Choco Museo in Cusco (Chocolate Museum) Well that was a bit rugged trying to sleep last night on a huge double decker bus over Peru’s rough asphalt highways, through cities with lots of turns and dirt roads, thru several major construction zones with bumps and potholes, stops and starts, and the many, many alertness bumps In the highways in series of three for this triple-axel bus.  Really loud little wake-up calls at about 15 minute intervals throughout the country everywhere that there are no giant speed bumps as you go through the towns.  So really didn’t get much good quality sleep on the way back here from Puno to Cusco.  And I waited for Freddy, the driver, for 25 minutes to pick me up from the bus station, but finally had to take a taxi back to Pilar’s.  Fortunately it is light enough, and I pretty much know my way around the central downtown and my neighborhood, to direct the taxi driver. So, bummer, no WiFi on the bus.  Got way spoiled Wednesday!  I read and tried to nap a bit, and not let my mind run away with me throughout the trip back.  Now I am back in iffy Internet-ville, so may or may not get emails again until I get to Lima airport tomorrow night. Gonna take it easy today.  I took some pastries to the Maximo Nivel staff, and visited them for the last time.  I don’t have anywhere that I have to be today.  Might try to find the chocolate museum that I have been hearing about.  Gonna go to the market one more time and get Pilar and volunteers some fruit.  And maybe cookies.  And then just have a quiet afternoon here, I think, or maybe a bit of souvenir shopping.  Haven’t done much of that yet. So I did go to the [click here to read more]

Th. 11/13/14. Lago Titicaca (Grey Puma)

 Posted by Stephanie Stellhorn at 10:01 am  Peru  Comments Off on Th. 11/13/14. Lago Titicaca (Grey Puma)
Nov 132014

Th. 11/13/14. Plaza Mayor Hotel to Lago Titicaca Got a really good night’s sleep.  My body needed that.  I feel like I am fighting something in my lungs, asthma keeps acting up a bit, but feel fine other than the coughing at night.  The hotel room reminds of one the little tiny ones that we had in Rome, really compact, but with everything you need right there, practically at your finger tips, especially with my long arms.  :-). Can practically flush the toilet while sitting on the bed.  And the hotel provided a nice breakfast, with plenty of fruit and whole wheat bread for toasting and to put my Nutella on–do I always talk about food?   So the boat ride is great!  The boat will hold 32 passengers and there are only 14 of us on the boat, and 4 of those are tour guides.  Yay!  Plenty of room to stretch out and move around.  Our guide is named Vladi (accented heavily with spanish), or Vladimir, and he likes his job!   The name Titicaca means grey colored Puma, and the people here have a puma god, and a condor god, and the lake people eat the local fish and birds as staples of their diet, in addition to potatoes, corn, quinoa, other seeds, reeds, and clay.  Yes, they eat the clay that comes out of the lake, after they have mixed it with water and stuff, and they eat the reeds that their little islands are made of.  I refrained from making jokes about the teenaged boys eating them out of house and home.   So, a bit of education:  the region of and surrounding Lake Titicaca is protected land by the government of Peru.  The indigenous peoples of the lake make their homes on islands that they [click here to read more]

Wed. 11/12/14. TourBus to Puno

 Posted by Stephanie Stellhorn at 12:28 pm  Peru  Comments Off on Wed. 11/12/14. TourBus to Puno
Nov 122014

Wed. 11/12/14.  Tour us to Puno via Andahuaylillas, Huaro, and Sicuani   Up nice and early and going already this morning, on the Puno/Lake Titicaca trip.  This should be another fun one!  Freddy, World Travel’s driver that stayed at the train station for so long on Monday night waiting for me, was really early this morning.  He got there at a bit after 6:15 and rang the “timbre” or doorbell to wake the whole place up.  I had wakened up nice and early this morning with plenty of time, but ran into a bit of a skid when I cut my hand on the metal bedpost, while I was making the bed, and then wound up in a mess of crazy-glue-like substance (glued my hand to my pajamas and a bunch of tissue) to get the bleeding stopped and band aids on.  Whew! So when the driver rang the bell this morning, early, I was just walking out of my room for some breakfast veggie quiche that Pilar left me special from last night, but I didn’t even make it into the kitchen. :-(.   So I ate nuts and a big oatmeal cookie with, you guessed it, peanut butter, for breakfast on the bus.  And I have snacks for the road.  :-))))).   Plus, we have WiFi on this bus and it is working better than any Cusco WiFi has worked for me yet! Maybe because of the mountains surrounding Cusco???  Don’t know, but this so much fun getting emails on the road! We are once again going into the Sacred Valley, where I have spent several days touring and traveling now.  It’s really big with lots of communities connected by the main 2 lane road that runs through them.  Also a bunch of much more isolated communities like the [click here to read more]

Nov 112014

Tuesday 11/11/14. Veterans Day in US Muchisimas Gracias to our vets!  Y a Dios por protegerme y por su cuidar. It has been quite an adventure these last few days, ending with a bit of a glitch with the train ride, but that was the only one for three whole days of trek and trip, and hiking, and wilderness, and the amazing ruins and the climb yesterday!  It really was a great trip!  I would recommend it to many!  Not all, because of the difficulty of the trek part, but it was a great experience! I had some trouble winding down last night, didn’t get to sleep til after midnight, because I kept getting up to add more items to the list for tomorrow.  I wanna get my laundry done and go to the Supermercado before my trip to Puno Wednesday, which involves more touring the countryside, so that we are not just in a bus for 8 hours for the drive to Puno.  So need snacks and water.  I need to recharge my camera batteries and delete a bunch of not-so-good photos of Machu Picchu, cuz on the climb I just kept taking random photos of the valley and surrounds that I’m sure didn’t really show the beauty that I was seeing. This morning I knocked on the front door of the little lavandaria down the way that I have been using, per Pilar’s recommendation, and he opened up to accept my super stinky dirty trek clothes that I didn’t want to pack in my suitcase without getting them clean first.  Ooooooh, huelen feo!  They really smell bad!  This was the first time that I saw into their little tienda a bit deeper to the home, that is similar in construction to Pilar’s with the Spanish Colonial architecture and [click here to read more]

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