When you embark on Gap Year in Peru volunteer program with Cross-Cultural Solutions, you'll discover a truly unique country. As you explore its ancient ruins, canopied jungles, and epic coastline, you'll understand, Peru is quite literally the stuff of legend. Once you've climbed Machu Picchu, descended into the Amazon Basin, and had every adventure in-between, you'll come to see that it's the Peruvian people that make these places so special. Peruvian culture is a melting pot, claiming Japanese, African, Chinese, and European influences, not to mention roots tracing back to the centuries-old, Pre-Columbian Incan culture. As a volunteer on your gap year in Peru, you'll be making a real and sustainable impact as you become immersed in a fascinating culture.
On your Gap Year in Peru volunteer program, you'll work to support grassroots efforts to provide necessary services to community members in need. In the 1980s, the political terrorism of the Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) which originated in the Andes, caused significant numbers of rural residents to seek refuge in Peru's more urban areas. Although the movement saw its end in 1993, the influx of migrants over the last several decades has resulted in a serious strain on social resources, leaving individuals with disabilities, children, and the elderly especially vulnerable.
Read more about the Peru volunteer experience on our blog!
Once enrolled, you will have the chance to select the volunteer opportunity that's most interesting to you. Volunteers will always receive their first preference. The only exception to this will be when there are national or school holidays, or there are exceptional circumstances.
Education unlocks opportunities, but with an estimated 50% of the adolescent population of Peru at work when school is in session, advancement and achievement by way of secondary school becomes an enormous challenge. Work with The CCS Education & Literacy Project and assist underfunded primary and secondary schools by sharing your love of learning with students, teachers, and community members alike. Your individualized classroom support and English language lessons will provide opportunities for future employment and bolster struggling attendance rates. The gift of your time and knowledge could give a child a much greater gift – the means to a brighter future.
At a fundamental stage in their growth and development, young children whose families face significant economic challenges often do not receive the support, attention, and education they need to thrive. Centers across Lima are greatly understaffed and caregivers are unable to provide the educational building blocks and individualized attention required for each child. Become a mentor, teacher, and hero when you work with The CCS Child Development Project. By leading and participating in enriching activities and games to inspire a love of learning, your efforts will be an inspiration for future generations.
In Lima, and particularly in the shanty town of Villa El Salvador, the elderly are among the most vulnerable in the population. Having fled the Shining Path to found a sustainable community for future generations, these brave individuals now find themselves ostracized, neglected, or abused by family and community members. The CCS Aging with Dignity Project works to improve the health and sense of dignity among the elderly by providing companionship, nourishment, love, and support to those who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Show the older and wiser that they are valued when you work to provide a safe space for interaction, sharing, meals, and basic health services.
Often abandoned by their families, the children and adults who reside at care centers for people with disabilities in Lima rely solely on a limited staff to fulfill their most basic needs. Whether you’re sharing a meal, assisting with exercise and physical therapy, or simply holding a hand, your work with The CCS Support for People with Disabilities Project will be impactful. You’ll provide the individualized attention that children and adults need to realize their full potential. By engaging with children to improve growth and development or providing care and compassion to adults, your work not only provides basic human needs, but contributes to larger community efforts to break down harmful stereotypes and stigmas faced by individuals with disabilities.
The unequal treatment of women and girls creates strong disparities that impact access to education, economic opportunity, and basic human rights and care across Peru. In Lima, as part of The CCS Girls' & Women’s Empowerment Project, your work provides education, resources, and opportunities for women in the most vulnerable situations. Whether you provide education opportunities for girls at risk of dropping out of school, support and care for victims of physical or sexual abuse, or compassion and love to elderly females who receive less attention than their male counterparts, your work will start a ripple effect that will strengthen the entire community.
In many communities, as in Lima, there’s a disparity in the amount of information, outreach, and support available to the population surrounding their healthcare needs. Help to bridge this gap by contributing to the social determinants of health, including education, access to resources, and care for the most vulnerable members of the community. Through The CCS Global Health Project, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the many components of health while making real sustainable contributions to community organizations. Join us in empowering healthier communities!
Reserve your spot today with a deposit of $350! Fees and start dates vary by destination and duration. Make selections below to get started. Did you know your out-of-pocket trip costs might be just a fraction of the below? Click here to find out how.