Peru: Children of the Andes with Discover Corps

Video and Photos

About

The heart of the Andes is the town of Cusco, where remnants of a well-preserved historic civilization are abundant and Peruvian culture is alive and well. On this volunteer vacation, you will discover Peru through the local Quechua people and assist in building organic gardens, adobe greenhouses, and teaching English to the children of the community and developing educational games to be used throughout the school year.

Beyond volunteering, you will take a tour of some of the oldest Inca ruins in Peru, explore the Cathedral, San Blas Church and the Inca Temple of the Sun, and visit the lost city of Machu Picchu. You will stay in a hacienda-style 100 year old lodge located in a valley surrounded by the Andes Mountains where you will experience local hospitality and try the world famous Peruvian cuisine. Spend an afternoon taking a hands-on cooking class and learn to make traditional dolls with a local women and children's development center run by a local artist and his wife.

Highlights
  • Volunteer to improve the education of local Peruvian children
  • Explore the lost city of Machu Picchu
  • Visit key Inca archaeological sites throughout the Sacred Valley
  • Live in a 100 year old hacienda set amongst the soaring peaks of the Andes
  • Partake in a traditional ceremony with a Peruvian shaman

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 6 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Default avatar
Daniel
10/10

Unforgettable

The experience of volunteering in the community while staying with a local knowledgeable guide who is well connected in the community is priceless and totally unforgettable. I highly recommend it to any family or group of friends that want to have an experience of a lifetime. You’ll meet new lifetime friends and make a difference in kids lives. Excursions to various points of interest were thoughtful and well managed. Bring your hiking boots have a fantastic time!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Mary
9/10

Peru - Children of the Andes

I was the first to arrive so stayed at our host's family home. His family was very friendly and accommodating. As I got to know them over the days there, I found them to be very interested in trying to improve the lives of the people, especially for the children, in the community where homebase was located. I went over Christmas because I wanted to experience Christmas in another country. My first evening in Cusco we saw several churches and Nativity Scenes. The next day we went to Homebase. Our host had the children come to us there at homebase so we could interact and teach English in a relaxed setting. We were invited to a baptism and then invited to the family's home for a meal, which I found meaningful. Our host was very accommodating to us, frequently changing schedules based on circumstances and our limitations (I had trouble adjusting to the altitude). This was my first trip to Peru, so everything was new and exciting to me. I do plan to return to visit my "Peruvian family" again.

How can this program be improved?
I am not sure, because I went with no expectations having never been on a volunteer trip like this before. I went for the experience of experiencing Christmas in an other country.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Cindy
10/10

Amazing Trip

The trip to Peru was fantastic. I travelled with my 11 year old daughter and we both loved the experience. Our local hosts could not have been more welcoming, making us feel a part of the family from the minute we arrived until our last hugs at the airport. We stayed in their family home in Andahuaylilas which was magnificent and just around the corner from their home in Cusco so home cooked local fare meals were the norm for the trip. Our volunteer project centered around teaching English to children ages 8-15. The kids were on holiday the week we were there so it was as much camp as school and I am not sure who had more fun, them or us. Teaching conversational English rounded out just spending time together and getting to know each other. The trip to an orphanage was nearly as inspiring as the Andes themselves. We were guests in homes of local women who work in a doll “factory” with an affiliated preschool.

The experience was rounded out with the trip to Machu Picchu and other historic sites. The trip was a perfect mix of a little touring and a lot of local living. I hope to get the chance to travel with DiscoverCorps again and to make it back to Peru to visit our new extended family.

How can this program be improved?
Stronger project at the orphanage.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Trudy
10/10

I Love Peru

Upon arrival to Cusco I felt fully embraced by the host family. They welcomed us into their family and home. We immediately became immersed into the Peruvian culture, from the poorest of people to those who are working to make Peru a better place for its citizens. We managed to cover a great amount of territory in just two weeks time. Our host family made sure we saw all of the sites and never left our side without making sure we were taken care of.

How can this program be improved?
The school program was not as structured as I had hoped. However, we did get to know these children and their wishes to improve their education. Most wanted to learn English, which I understand is very important in getting ahead in Peru. I also wish we could have spent more time at the orphanage with the children.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Lola
9/10

Journey of the heart and spirit

I felt like we were embraced by the host family as part of their family circle. Our days were a mix of exploring cultural heritage sites like Saxay Waman and Machu Pichu, learning doll making skills and visiting a doll making factory project where the owners goal is to empower local women to make a living for themselves and their children. Profits of the project are used to grow the project and build a school for the children of the workers and the local community. We learned to bake bread with the family's grandmother. We hiked up the steep side of a mountain cliff with a local Shaman to make an offering to the mountain. The ceremony involved a bon fire to burn our offerings, giving the mountain an entire bottle of good wine! and then a sweet offering. Since we were all from the US, the Shaman chose Coca Cola! Even a Shaman can have a sense of humor. The size of our group was small, 5 of us; and that was perfect for this immersion journey of the heart and spirit. Each one of us left with a full heart and memories for a lifetime. One of the best experiences ever!

How can this program be improved?
Wish we could have had more time at the orphanage ...doing a concrete project with the children. They were building a new dormitory for girls. We could have helped with that in some way.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Suzanne
10/10

Discover Corps Peru was great!

Discover Corps Peru was a great program which went far beyond our expectations. It offered the unique combination of doing a service project in the community, lots interaction with the local people, as well as seeing some beautiful tourist sites, such as the famous Machu Picchu, Inca ruins around Cusco, beautiful cathedrals and

It took us off the beaten track to places not often seen in many overseas programs, such as walking up a mountain with a shaman to make an offering at an altar to Mother Earth, visiting an orphanage, or seeing the Q'ewar Project that empowers women through making dolls sold all over the world. The proceeds are used to fund and build a Waldorf School for local children.

Our hosts Miguel and Julio and their family were wonderful--flexible, accommodating and supportive.

How can this program be improved?
More advanced information about the the service project in which we would be involved.
Yes, I recommend this program

About Discover Corps

Discover Corps is a new way to travel. Our authentic, off the beaten track itineraries plug travelers into the daily lives of local people.

Our team of local Program Hosts gives you unparalleled access to the lives of people and the stories of...