Light and Leadership Initiative: LOW COST Internship in Peru

12 to 52 weeks
Apartment Host Family
Min. 18 years
10 travelers saved this program

Hosted by

Program Director

About This Program

LLI offers a wide variety of long term internships that are fundamentally important to the development and sustainability of our programs, and also provide a hands-on learning environment for the intern.

Gain experience in a grassroots non-profit environment, making decisions that directly impact our programs and help shape you professionally and personally.


  • Have a REAL IMPACT. Don't just intern or volunteer, make a commitment to IMPACT with LLI!
  • We give REAL responsibility: Gain experience and learn what it's like in a grassroots non-profit. With LLI, you are needed and valued!
  • Eat the BEST food! Peruvian food rocks.
  • We're family! Our program is small and close-knit.

Our volunteer team is a close-knit team of international and local volunteers, working hard to provide participants in the Huaycan community free, supplemental education programs throughout the week and weekend. Without our volunteers, LLI cannot succeed! We have volunteer and internship placements available from 2 weeks to one year.


Kids' Program Manager: 12 months commitment.
Begins ASAP. Free housing and food.

Teaching English: No Spanish required; 8-10 week commitment (for internship)
Begins from the end of August 2018 onwards

Teaching Chess: Intermediate Spanish Skills Required; 8-10 week commitment
Begins August 29th preferably until December the 5th 2018

Women's Empowerment: Advanced Spanish; 12 month commitment minimum.
Begins February 2019- APPLY NOW!

What's Included
  • Airport Pick up
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Cell Phone
  • Wireless Internet
  • Cleaning Service 6 days a week
What's Not Included
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • Pre-paid minutes for cell phone (varies with personal use)
  • Laundry expenses

Secure housing is provided for all volunteers.


Volunteers receive three meals per day in the form of prepared or provided food. We strive to buy from the local markets as much as possible as a means of investing in the economic development of our community.

We need volunteers to keep our education programs going and as such, make it a priority to offer valuable and ethical volunteer placements in a variety of programs and contexts. It’s extremely important to us that volunteering at LLI is positively impacting the community, and not harming it, which is an extension of our organization’s philosophy. We are careful to have the community driving the programs and are proud to host our volunteer program within the Huaycan community, investing not only in education, but its economic future.

Additionally, within our volunteer program we hold monthly Civic Reflection Discussions, in order to promote a safe, productive dialogue environment for our international and local volunteers to share experiences and learn from each other, and thus, enriching our understanding of what service to a community means. These dialogues will challenge volunteers to think deeper about community development and as a result, become better volunteers!

Video and Photos

Pricing and Availability


based on 9 reviews
  • Growth 9.6
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar

A Humbling & Exciting Volunteer Opportunity

I am about three months into a year-long volunteer experience with LLI, and I already feel like I've grown more than I expected to before arriving. Personally, I am learning to be present and enthusiastically engage with people and circumstances totally different from those that I'm used to. And professionally, I am gaining so much from working with LLI! As the Teen Program Manager, I am developing my organizing skills, identifying and working to meet the needs of the community, and having the invaluable opportunity to work with a multi-cultural staff made up of people from various countries. The responsibility given to me could feel overwhelming, but since I've gotten here LLI has done a great job of finding the balance between giving me the space to make mistakes so that I can learn from them and support me along the way. I can't even imagine how much personal and professional growth I will have made after an entire year in this wonderful community with this exceptional NGO.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Life, love, change!

My experience at LLI is being wonderful. As the manager of the children's program, there are many responsibilities, but also opportunities to learn.
Sometimes it may seem difficult to live and work with the same people all week long, but it is much easier when it comes to people who are so professional and at the same time so valuable. The perfect combination of family, friends and co-workers
Huaycan can be a little overwhelming at first glance, but it is certainly a neighborhood that you can fall in love with easily. Its people, its community, the shops in the street ... everything widens your soul and teaches you something new.

How can this program be improved?
Everything can be improved somehow, but at the same time, there are people who work for all these ideas to be heard. Perhaps it is important to be able to connect with more Spanish-speaking volunteers, in order to successfully overcome the barrier that language often entails.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

A Unique Place and an Inspiring Organisation

My time at LLI was such a dynamic experience. I lived somewhere utterly unique, I gained english teaching skills, I explored Peru and I made life long friends. Best of all, I felt truly a part of the LLI family, that between it's working volunteers and the program participants themselves, made for the most awe inspiring of human environments. My 4 months as an English teacher was not without challenge, and you need to be prepared to work hard, but with the ever enduring support of Lara and the exceptional people you will meet at this NGO, you'll find yourself growing as a person exponentially. On a practical front, the housing is perfectly sufficient, the wifi luxurious, Dina's food is delectable and personal freedom is more than adequate. This is such an interesting corner of the world, and the relationship you forge with not just Huaycan itself, but the kids, the Lima region and broader Peru and your fellow volunteers will stay with you long after you return home.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Wish I could have stayed longer...

Volunteering with LLI was my first experience volunteering abroad, and it was nothing short of amazing. Although I was only able to stay short-term, I gained so much from my time there. Working with the kids is unbelievably rewarding, and I grew to love and appreciate Huaycan and the Peruvian culture. My fellow volunteers were wonderful humans from all walks of life who each brought something special to the table. From singing songs in English class, to playing soccer with some of the locals, to group dinners in the volunteer house, I cherish every memory from my weeks I spent with LLI. The program is extremely well run and does everything to make you feel comfortable, whether you're staying two weeks or a year. I hope I have a chance to go back in the future.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Wonderful experience

I worked for six months as the Women's Program Manager for the Light and Leadership Initiative from January through June of 2014. LLI is an organization where the focus is the work that the volunteers do as opposed to the money they spend to come volunteer. LLI truly relies on the initiative and enthusiasm of volunteers, which makes it a great experience for those who want to learn what it's like to work at a grassroots non-profit.

As the Women's Program Manager, I organized workshops on financial education, nutrition, and artisan skills, given by Peruvian organizations and students, to groups of women in Huaycán. I also managed LLI's artisan program, taught basic computer and literacy classes, and helped with the community gardening project. I loved the women I worked with and left wishing I could have stayed longer.

Huaycán is a developing community, meaning there are some challenges to living there, but LLI does a lot to make volunteers feel safe and is very responsive to volunteer concerns. Living in Huaycán is an important part of the experience, allowing people to be a part of the community they hope to serve. The volunteer coordinator does a great job making sure volunteers feel at home and providing organized opportunities to explore other parts of Lima.

I would highly recommend LLI to anyone who wants to have a real impact, meet amazing, dedicated people, and learn about life in an urban developing community in Peru. I will never forget my time there!

How can this program be improved?
As a young grassroots organization, LLI often lacks the resources that larger organizations have at their disposal, which can be frustrating. This means, however, that volunteers have the opportunity to have a greater individual impact on LLI programs.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Life Changing

My experience in Peru with LLI was one of the most wonderful, fullfilling experiences of my life. It met and exceeded all of my expectations and I am already looking forward to doing it again next year! From the moment I got off the plane and was greeted by Sarah the house manager I felt welcomed, comfortable and very much included as part of the house. All of the volunteers at the house were extremely helpful and inclusive in the actives. Some of the reasons I chose LLI were, the cost (it is very reasonable), the accomedations- it was great to live in a volunteer house where you could share your experiences with other volunteers and learn from them and the interaction with Lara (the founder), she is right there with you and you really get to understand her passion and what the organization focused on. Although we lived in a volunteer house it did not deter from being immersed in the community. The house is in the area you are serving, the cook is Peruvian (great food), and you are right in the center of it all and have the opportunity to interact with all of the locals. I highly recommend this program to anyone seeking a volunteer opportunity in Lima!

How can this program be improved?
The food is great but I am a meat eater, so the one thing I would change is to have more meat with our meals.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

LLI Highlights

The volunteer house includes amenities important for entertainment and communication (Internet access, television,DVD player, etc). There is a security guard every night to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Lunch is prepared fresh and shared with other volunteers. There are plenty of opportunities to get to know neighbors.

Students/participants are precious and genuinely appreciative of the volunteer staff. Teaching/working with them is by far the highlight of the experience.

Since the volunteer house is located in Huaycan, the list of fun things to do at night is pretty small. Chosica is close-by, however, where karaoke, Foosball and pizza can be found. Lima is a few hours away, and once a week the volunteers went there and explored. On the weekends there is a discotheque close by for dancing and social drinking. It's a good place to meet new friends.

If you don't know Spanish -- learn as quickly as possible. Make a friend while doing so!

How can this program be improved?
It is sometimes a bit boring during the weeknights as the nightlife is nonexistent in Huaycan. One thing I'd like to see improved are more scheduled events/holidays for the volunteer team to do if interested.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

LLI, Peru is great!!

This was a great first time volunteer experience for me. I spent one month working with the English, conversation, library and sports programs with LLI. It takes a few days to get used to the changes in your living accommodations, eating habits and day to day routine, but soon you will find your new normal and just roll with it. The support you get from the program director is incredible. She is helpful in every way and is always there to give help and advice. She goes out of her way to make the entire experience rewarding and fun. I always felt safe in our volunteer house and the food provided was plentiful and healthy. Best of all, the relationships that you get to form with other volunteers and the children you work with daily makes the experience awesome. They are a loving, appreciative population. You should definitely consider this volunteer opportunity.

How can this program be improved?
This is difficult because I had such a positive experience. However, some tracking to see if students are improving as a result of the initiatives led by the program might be helpful to volunteers. Leveling students by ability and improving attendance may also be an improvement; however, I realize this was more difficult when I was there because it was their summer and school attendance took a back burner.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

One of the best decisions I made..

When I thought about volunteering somewhere, I wanted to actually make a difference while being immersed in a new culture and also have fun! LLI went beyond my expectations in every possible way. Each day was filled with amazing times teaching and having fun in class with the students, enjoying delicious Peruvian foods, connecting with the other volunteers who felt like family after a week, and experiencing what life was like in a completely different part of the world. The community was very friendly and the views were amazing. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?
I don't know what I would change. It was pretty close to perfect.
Yes, I recommend

Questions & Answers


Meet the Alumni
Meet the Staff

About Light and Leadership Initiative

Light and Leadership offers fun, amazing education programs in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. We offer before and after school activities for kids and special Women's Empowerment programs to our women's group. We believe that education is the long-term...