Villa El Salvador, Past and Present

Many CCS volunteers will work in the Lima, Peru, district known as Villa El Salvador with Peruvians who have been directly impacted by the Shining Path movement. In the 1980s, the political terrorism of the Sendero Luminoso, or “Shining Path” was felt throughout the country. The movement grew into a guerilla army responsible for the destruction of local infrastructure and ruthless in their killings and terrorist attacks. Although the movement saw its end in 1993, millions of Peruvians continue feel the residual effects of those dark days.

While Villa El Salvador was a main target of the Shining Path movement, the community has since evolved into a largely self-organized urban center. Largely in thanks to the efforts of its residents, the neighborhood that was once little more than a shantytown is now supplied with electricity, water, and sewage lines. In 1983, Villa El Salvador was formally recognized as an official district within the Lima province, and in 1987, the community received an award in recognition of its incredible progress and achievements over the years.

Peru Volunteer Opportunities

When you assist with the growth and development of children in Peru, you’ll support one of a variety of government run organizations and NGOs established to provide basic services to the most underserved sectors of Peruvian society. These organizations serve offer children a safe place to spend time, participate in enriching activities, and get academic support.

When you improve education for children, you’ll work helping to teach children in Peru in either a primary or secondary school classroom. While many of these schools are government funded or otherwise subsidized, they are often largely underfunded and deal with the constant challenge of poor attendance.

When you improve health and the sense of dignity among the elderly in Peru, you’ll volunteer with a very special population. Having survived the Shining Path, these are the people who established this community and had a hand in all of its progress, and its nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize. This organization offers a safe haven for this incredible generation; a place to interact, share feelings, receive health services, enjoy meals, and offer support to one another. As a volunteer, you’ll nourish, love, and support the elderly and the people that dedicate their lives to helping them.

When you improve the quality of care for people with disabilities in Peru, you’ll spend your time volunteering at a center whose mission is to serve children with disabilities from one of several nearby shantytowns.

Thoughts from Local Partners in Peru

"The families of our elderly residents are very grateful for the work done by volunteers. The attention and care that volunteers give our residents has visibly changed the attitude that families have toward their elderly relatives and has opened their hearts."

"CCS volunteers have helped to improve our students' social skills. Mothers of our students have also benefited from the cultural exchange with the volunteers."

"Help from foreign volunteers gives our students and their families more hope for their future. For staff, it has been an enriching experience and a chance to meet people from different cultures."