• Peru
    • Lima
6 to 52 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Summer Winter Year Round
Host Family
Small Group (1-15)
Travel Type
Budget Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
We ask all volunteers to make at least a 6-week commitment to give you time to immerse yourself in the local community and to adequately train for and implement your classes. Teaching is a long-term commitment and we value volunteers willing to put in the time and the effort to get to know our kids and teach them valuable skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
What's Included
Accommodation Airport Transfers Meals SIM cards Wifi
What's Not Included
Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
Jun 07, 2021
Dec 21, 2020
53 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

LLI will help you gain experience in a grassroots non-profit environment, making decisions that directly impact our programs and help shape you professionally and personally. We provide a hands-on learning environment for you. We are looking for native or fluent English speakers to teach our kids valuable language skills that they can use for their professional development in the future.

English is by far our most requested class. Volunteers are trained by our Education Program Manager and former LLI participant, Yeni, to help kids improve their English language skills by providing immersion style teaching with a proven curriculum.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Have a visible impact on the communities of Peru
  • Gain experience and learn what it's like in a grassroots non-profit. With LLI, you are needed and valued!
  • Immerse yourself in local culture by living with an amazing host family
  • Our program is small and close-knit - we are family!
  • Get hands-on teacher training to feel confident and comfortable teaching your classes

Program Impact

In 2019, LLI taught 232 English classes to 40 of our most committed Kids' Program participants.
LLI provides free after-school classes to any child between the ages of 7 and 12. Our programs help to create opportunities, form leaders, and transform lives. Not only do we offer educational programs, but we also organize special social events throughout the year. Parents reported that their kids have improved their interpersonal skills through our programs, that they are more excited to read thanks to our 1000+ book library, and that LLI provides a unique service that cannot be found anywhere else in Huaycán.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 22 reviews
  • 5 rating 95.45%
  • 4 rating 4.55%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.75
  • Safety 4.75
  • Impact 4.95
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.8
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 22 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful organization!

I have volunteered with the light and leadership initiative on 2 separate occasions about 1 year apart. My experience there both times was amazing. Its very clear every day how much of a positive impact is made on the children and the community as a whole. The organization has truly pure desire to help the people of huaycan. They are very transparent about where your money goes when you pay to be a volunteer and live at the volunteer house. There are no inflated fees and hidden attempt to make profit as in some other organizations.
The people in the community get to know you after a while and frequently say hello and converse with you when you are walking around the neighborhood. Living at the volunteer house is also a great way to have a home base while getting used to exploring different areas of Peru. I made great friends at the volunteer house and we took several trips together to different parts of Peru on our days off. When my time as a volunteer was finished on my first visit, I spent the next month backpacking around Peru and felt very comfortable doing so because I had already spent several months living at the volunteer house in Huaycan and became very accustomed to how to get around and do things in Peru. There is definitely a lot of work involved in being a volunteer. Its not just a vacation, but there is plenty of time to have fun also. If you go with desire to work hard and give your best to helping the children and the community you will likely have, as I did, a life changing experience.

What was your funniest moment?
The kids calling me "tomatito" after a bad sunburn
75 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Un año como Gerente del Programa de Jóvenes

Translated by Go Overseas:

The community of Huaycán has a very interesting history, of which the Initiative of Light and Leadership has begun to be part. It has been 10 years since this NGO has been in the community and over time it has been able to educate children, youth and women in different aspects, empowering them to improve their quality of life and the community.
Being working for a year hand in hand with international, local volunteers and community members has been a wonderful experience. Seeing the impact of educational programs and volunteers in the community is very satisfactory, as well as seeing the growth and development of volunteers from their arrival until their last day is very rewarding, as well as being a great opportunity for cultural exchange.


La comunidad de Huaycán, tiene una historia muy interesante, de la cual la Iniciativa de Luz y Liderazgo ha comenzado a formar parte. Hace ya 10 años que esta ong está en la comunidad y a lo largo del tiempo ha podido educar en diferentes aspectos a niños, jóvenes y mujeres, empoderándolos para mejorar su calidad de vida y la comunidad.
Estar trabajando durante un año de la mano con voluntarios internacionales, locales y miembros de la comunidad ha sido una experiencia maravillosa. Ver el impacto que tienen los programas educativos y los voluntarios en la comunidad es muy satisfactorio, así como ver el crecimiento y desarrollo de los voluntarios desde su llegada hasta su último día es muy gratificante, además de ser una gran oportunidad de intercambio cultural.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
For non-Spanish speakers: do not be afraid to expose your self to the real Peruvian culture. Staff, volunteers and participants will be always willing to chat with you even if is by Google translate.
Volunteering ethically with LLI will make a real impact on the life of kids, teens and women in the community, be creative, supportive and have fun.
And do not forget to be part of the Saturday Events at the Teen Center!
73 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Very worthwhile

Huaycan is a developing economy whose residents have just as much pride in their homes, families, schools and community as anyone else in a wealthier part of the world. LLI understands this and works directly with the community, lives within the community, and deeply respects those within it, as well as the knowledge they hold. Their love for Huaycan is obvious, as is Huaycan's love for LLI. Volunteering with LLI is a very worthwhile experience for anyone who wants to step outside their bubble and experience what developing economies experience as their citizens work towards improving the lives of themselves, their families, their neighborhoods, and the community at large. If you're brave enough to question whether the world you see is but a subset of the larger world, LLI will help you appreciate how much bigger the world really is.

What would you improve about this program?
I see improvements every single time I return......
73 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

LLI Experience 4 Weeks

So there is a wide array of subjects that can be taught here, which makes the experience so much more than it already is. I study sports back home so I was able to help out in sports classes with kids and even teens. Therefore I learned a lot about how to set up lesson plans, how to structure them, how to communicate with kids and lastly how to conduct a sports lesson.
Another great thing about LLI and the volunteer house is it s a very dynamic environment. You have volunteers coming and going, with different backgrounds and cultures. You get to learn a lot about them and where they are from and everyone gets along really well. Plus on weekends if you re travelling solo you might find other volunteers that you could go do a weekend trip to Huacachina, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu or Paracas. Options are endless and these weekend trips can really make your experience more dynamic and fun.
I would recommend this program because you learn a lot, be it social skills, communication and teaching in fun ways that the kids love.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Getting my spanish to a level of communication. I couldnt communicate on the level I wanted to.
74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Had a great time!

LLI was such a good place to volunteer. Despite my basic level of Spanish, I still was able to do interesting and important work. The teens are so polite and welcoming and are great to have a conversation with. They are also well behaved and seem to enjoy being in classes with you, which makes it a lot easier to teach! The best part was being able to run my own event for the teens on Mental Health and Psychology, as it allowed me to incorporate one of my interests into the work I was doing. The food has been amazing and very accommodating for vegetarians and the accommodation was safe and clean. The other volunteers were all so welcoming, and while I didn't get much chance to travel personally as I was saving money, there was always opportunities to go with the other volunteers to explore Peru! I felt like if I ever needed help with anything I could get it. Thanks for everything!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Doing a few presentations in a language that I don't speak too well was difficult, but my fellow volunteers helped me through it!
78 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Art teacher placement

I volunteered for the Light and Leadership Initiative for one month as an art teacher. The experience was great and really rewarding, leaving me with the desire to continue voluntary work in the future. This organisation allows relative freedom with relation to teaching approach and style within their set guidelines. The result enables teachers to explore creative ways of teaching concepts, without having to follow rigorous and dull curriculums. Overall I had a wonderful time volunteering with the kids at LLI, though the organization is still pretty small, its positive presence within the community and amongst young people is easily noticeable. LLI's values, clear goals and sensitivity to those the organization works with makes it an admirable charity with a lot of potential to create waves in Huaycan!

What would you improve about this program?
One aspect of LLI that I felt needed strengthening in the Education Center was its role as a place of support and young children. To improve this, I believe that the amount of reading hours/ homework/ contact hours should be slightly increased. As of now I feel it is slightly difficult for children to get extra educational support outside of the lessons provided.
77 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Children's Center Volunteer

I had a blast teaching science classes for a summer camp with LLI! The children's center is a place that offers all types of classes from English to art and science. The kids are excited to learn and well behaved. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement working in the children's center, and I wish I could have spent longer here.

Not only is the organization focused on the education of children, but they also have programs with women and teens that blew me away. The organization offers cultural training, a welcoming (& fun!) volunteer house, and insight into a grassroots mission to lift a community from within. It was easy to adjust to life in Huaycan with the supportive staff and the daily meals shared together in the volunteer house. If you are looking to volunteer abroad, you will be extremely well supported here at LLI. The flexible schedule also gives you weekends where you will be able to travel and explore South America!

I cannot wait until I can come back to volunteer with the organization again!

79 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Teen Center Volunteering

I spent two weeks working with the Light and Leadership Institute (LLI) staff at the Teen Center and had a wonderful experience getting to know the teens and teaching science classes! The space itself is beautiful and empowering, and the classes offered a range from English & Science to Leadership courses. By providing resources and a supportive staff for the students, LLI creates a space for the teens to grow and express themselves in a safe, fun environment! Furthermore, the organization has other programs including a children's education program, a women's program, and a fair trade program, all of which share the same values. These programs are beautifully run and the tight-knit LLI community offers a lot of exposure and opportunity to collaborate and learn from other program volunteers and directors. Overall, I really enjoyed my time working at the Teen Center and interacting with both the staff and the students, and would highly recommend this group for anyone looking for an authentic, supportive volunteer experience in Huaycan, Peru.

74 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Catriona! Huaycan is an excellent environment to practice Spanish in as there are plenty of opportunities to converse with the kids and teens in our programs. Additionally, the Huaycan community is an excellent place to practice your language skill while out on the street, ordering food, conversing with neighbors and we can also try and link you with local teachers through our connections! Our...

Yes! Our program hosts volunteers who come independently, without someone else. In fact, it's pretty rare that someone comes with a friend. Machu Picchu is a great trip, however we encourage you do to this either before or after your time with LLI, as not to miss out on the volunteer time with our programs. Thanks!

We certainly are, but we are careful to ensure that our programs are community driven--thus the new program must be something that the community is interested in. If you have an idea, please message us to discuss! Thanks!