Help Homeless Children Thrive in Peru

Video and Photos

Volunteer with Peruvian child
Volunteer with Peruvian child
Volunteering with youth in Peru
Volunteering with youth in Peru
Ancón, Peru
Ancón, Peru
Volunteering with youth in Peru
Volunteering with youth in Peru
Peruvian cuisine
Peruvian cuisine
Teaching conversational English in Peru
Teaching conversational English in Peru
Peruvian children
Peruvian children
Healthcare volunteering in Peru
Healthcare volunteering in Peru

About

Join Global Volunteers to help displaced children in Peru - for one to two weeks! Tragically, many impoverished children live on the streets of Lima and the outskirts-- abandoned, orphaned, or disabled -- and are some of the world's most desperate citizens.

But, thanks to our compassionate community partner, a loving and safe "community" gives vulnerable children in the district of Ventanilla a chance for a fulfilling future. Global Volunteers offers broad-based support to improve their living spaces, nutrition, health care, and education. You have a rare opportunity to offer a genuine service to "at-risk" children, while immersing yourself in a complex and colorful culture.

Projects available at this children's home in Peru include:
- English teaching
- Repair and maintenance
- Health care
- Early childhood education
- Classroom teaching
- Labor and construction

Visit our website for more details.

Highlights
  • Complete immersion in Peruvian culture.
  • Work with Peruvians to support children who need it most.
  • All logistics (except for international airfare) arranged by our staff, so you can focus on volunteering.
  • Global Volunteers' policy: safety trumps everything. Volunteers are well taken care of by their Team Leader while on a service program.
  • Discover ancient cultures of Peru.

Impact

Make a real difference in the lives of Peruvian children who need it most. Our host partner provides shelter, education, and social services to abandoned and orphaned children in northern Lima. Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) is truly compassion in action. Expand children's opportunities by providing essential services, playing with and guiding young children, assisting their caregivers, helping improve their classrooms and educational resources, and enhancing their health and nutrition. Thanks to volunteers such as yourself, the facilties at Sagrada Familia can be improved and the children have the nurturing space needed to grow and learn. Global Volunteers' commitment to work in partnership on long-term community projects enables you, in just a short time, to serve as a critical link in a chain of volunteer support spanning three decades.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

88%
based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 8.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
Kurt
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Inspiring Children in Peru

I loved my experience volunteering at La Comunidad de Niños Sagrada Familia in Peru. Sagrada Familia is a community that ministers to the homeless and abandoned street children in Lima, Cuzco and other places in Peru. It provides them with food, education, safety, homes, medical care and, above all, love. The children come from difficult backgrounds but I have never in my life experience such love and caring.

The community is based in a compound in the middle of a very poor neighborhood to the north of Lima. The poverty can be a bit shocking, but the compound itself is very safe and the local people were very warm and welcoming. Sagrada Familia is a relatively new partner for Global Volunteers and while we were there they were still discussing ways the volunteers who visit can help the community, but there is no question that we made a difference. As Miguel, the community founder noted, just the fact that we came to see them is inspiring to the children. I split my time between helping construct new classrooms and teaching English to a sixth grade class. The hand made thank you cards I received from the class when I left are something I continue to treasure.

We volunteers stayed in the nearby seaside resort town of Ancón in a comfortable family run hotel. It was the off season, so things in town were relatively quiet, but the food was excellent and we were well taken care of.

Global Volunteer begins all their trips with a day of training to help the group get to know each other and understand what kind of experience they can expect as volunteers in the community. I really appreciate the values of community partnership and service that they bring to their programs. This was my fifth trip with Global Volunteers and it was by far my favorite and the most rewarding. I will be going back.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
There was a tremendous variety of food in Peru and I really enjoyed sampling all the different choices. My most interesting meal was easily the dinner I had over the weekend in Lima at the ámaZ restaurant. They specialize in food from the amazon region. My entree of dorado (fish) cooked in a tree leaf was wonderful but the most unusual was an appetizer of river snails served over tapioca that was just amazing. That was a first for me.
Default avatar
Mark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An excellent adventure & meaningful volunteer experience with great support staff.

I have been on a number of volunteer trips, and, the Peru Global Volunteer program is far and away the best one that my family has ever been on. The organization supported (Sagrada Familia) houses, feeds and educates children in need. These children and the supporting staff are so loving and appreciative of the support provided that it makes for a meaningful and memorable experience. Global Volunteers provided training, support (including translators who accompanied the volunteers), and local leadership that ensures that there are focused, purposeful assignments. The transportation, meals & accommodations were excellent. We had a mix of volunteers ( college students, older retirees, families with young children ) that made for an exciting group. On a side note, Peru is an awesome place to visit. Most all of the volunteers traveled in the country after the service assignment. Our family went into Lima over the weekend and did some local tours, and, after our 2 week volunteer work, went up to Cusco for a week to see the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu ( a must see destination ). Volunteer programs are not all the same; I have been on ones with very unfocused or lack of meaningful assignments, some where the poor accommodations, food and safety concerns become a distraction to the purpose of the trip. This is NOT the case with Global Volunteers and Peru .... it was a fantastic location with an organized, professional staff that is engaged in supporting a group ( Sagrada Familia ) that needs and appreciated the volunteer efforts.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The first day of volunteering, there was a teacher out unexpectedly for the 7th grade class. They asked if a couple of us could run the morning class to provide coverage until they could get a substitute. Jake ( a college student ) and I jumped on in, and, along with the help of a Global Volunteer translator and some of the teaching materials they provided, we did just fine ( and had fun doing it ).
Default avatar
Najma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru

My daughter and I volunteered in Peru with kids in school which teaches 1400 hundred kids from PrK thru 12th grade. The school lacks resources in many areas yet the staff / teachers and kids remain resilient in their mission of education. Global volunteers in our opinion receive a genuine appreciation and affection for their contribution. We were treated professionally and well taken care of by the GV staff.
We visited Lima Cuzco and the citadel of Machu Pichu after our volunteer assignment ended
Peru is a great location for volunteers to visit a country which offers so much of fascinating history , culture and natural beauty. People are friendly and despite our language handicap we were helped whenever we needed it. Weather in general was very pleasant during our stay.

What would you improve about this program?
The GV staff and community partners can improve their partnership if they hone on the specifics of the volunteers tasks which will improve the goals of community partners. The volunteers at the same time can have a better understanding of their role while working with the community partners.
Default avatar
Timothy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Be A Part of the Change - in Peru and Elsewhere

I’ve been an on-going volunteer with Global Volunteers since 1998 and have participated on 16 programs in most all the locations where Global Volunteers serves. Most of my experience has been in teaching but I have volunteered with child care in Peru, Ecuador, and St. Lucia.

In Peru, at the Puericultoro Perez Aranibar in Miraflores, I helped the orphanage’s caregivers when the infants and toddlers were first getting up to start their day. I played with the children, read, sang, and generally kept them occupied until the caregivers completed the morning wake-up tasks. I also had the privilege of working with a pair of siblings who, because of their age and gender differences, didn’t get to spend much time together during the week. This assignment allowed the children to spend time together playing and strengthening their bond as sister and brother. I saw some behavioral challenges in the children diminish over the two-week period as they learned to interact positively.

One of the most important lessons I have learned through Global Volunteers is that my role is to contribute to the long-term continuity of the program. Quick changes aren’t usually evident in a one, two, or three-week engagement but, being a small part of the community as it realizes its goals is the beauty of the program.

I cannot say there aren’t challenges, interruptions, or last-minute changes during the course of a volunteer program – that’s just part of the equation when a group of outsiders come together and interact at the behest of the hosts. Flexibility is a necessary characteristic of a dynamic group. In my experiences, Global Volunteers’ team leaders, community hosts, organization leadership and staff continually strive to make the volunteer experience one that serves as a catalyst for change; to enrich the community and the individual. For me, it is the servant-learner aspect of these programs I find so rewarding.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be flexible, adventurous, and generous your rewards will come in the smiles, hugs, and gratitude of the children and adults you encounter.
Default avatar
Leslie
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Going to Peru with this organization harmed more people than we helped.

My family of five traveled to Lima Peru with Global Volunteers in the summer of 2018. One reason we chose this organization are the promises they make about ongoing programs in the host country and collaboration with local volunteers. This made me feel this organization was interested in sustainable long term progress and not short term feel good voluntourism. Boy were we wrong. Early on, we began to have doubts as to how we were going to help. As the week progressed it became clear that there were no ongoing community programs that Global Volunteers was involved with. Luckily we had a fluent Spanish speaking person on our team so we learned that the local high school we were supposed to be working at hadn't even heard of our coordinator let alone Global Volunteers. Bottom line is that the organization had a lot of problems that they were aware of and didn't try to fix them. Instead, they tried to trick us into feeling like we were helping. The four families on the trip all left after one week. We had not previously met but were all united in our feeling of being cheated. When we wrote a detailed account of all the problems, the CEO sent me a letter from a lawyer saying we have waived our right to sue for negligence. That tells you all you need to know. I regularly volunteer with medical organizations abroad and have had wonderful experiences. I highly recommend finding a more reputable organization.

What would you improve about this program?
There were not local charitable programs that the organization was supporting contrary to what Global Volunteers states. Additionally, there were no local volunteers at any time during our stay again contrary to what Global Volunteers promises.
Response from Global Volunteers

We greatly value all our compassionate volunteers, and respect criticism in every form that it’s offered. In fact, many of the improvements we’ve made over the past 35 years have come from volunteers’ suggestions. Further, and although rare, we always fully investigate whenever community partners do not effectively engage volunteers in work projects that meet our standards for ongoing partnerships. This is what we did in the circumstance raised by this volunteer. Top management immediately responded by phone when contacted by our local staff early in the program, and we listened to the volunteer’s concerns. After isolating the primary issue to a work assignment, and confirming no matters of safety were involved, we consulted with our community partners and agreed to the adjustments the volunteer requested. The work assignment was completely restructured the following day. Most team members agreed that the program changes significantly improved their ability to be of service, met their expectations, and provided the type of volunteer experience they had hoped for.

However, this never should have happened in the first place. Because our commitment to fully engage volunteers in meaningful community work is so important, we subsequently stopped working with this community partner who failed to fully engage the volunteers. After reviewing the volunteer’s service program evaluation, we responded at length to her additional questions, and offered her family another service program at almost no cost. We’re that confident that the difficulties the volunteer encountered with this one community partner on one week in one host community is so isolated that she wouldn’t experience it again in Lima, Peru or any of the other 60+ partner communities we serve. We stand behind our 35-year reputation and track record of genuine development assistance abroad and in the U.S. While the volunteer declined our offer, we continued to respond to her written correspondence until our pro bono legal counsel advised us to clarify her agreement with us. This is only the second time since 1984 we needed to communicate in that manner.

Each Global Volunteer has a unique opportunity to participate in the long-term vision of the partner community’s development. Each is one link in a long chain of volunteers extending over decades. Working always at the invitation and under the direction of local leaders, our in-country staff make adjustments in volunteers’ assignments wherever and whenever they can to maximize the team’s contribution in the short time they’re in the community. It can be a challenge to balance volunteers’ capabilities and volunteer goals with local people’s current needs. In this, our staff excels. We strive to confirm project expectations before the volunteers arrive in the community. But, at times, there’s a mismatch. We’ve concluded that in this volunteer’s case, our pre-program arrangements were inadequate. While we strongly disagree with the volunteer’s conclusions, we’re grateful she identified a community partner weakness, which we corrected within weeks of her service program. We continue to solicit honest and candid evaluations from all our volunteers in Peru and around the world in order to deliver exceptional service to our community partners while fully engaging volunteers in service to those community partners.

Default avatar
J
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Volunteers Makes A Difference!

I spent two weeks in Peru in 2005 working at the orphanage in Miraflores. I spent the morning on a work crew that upgraded the laundry facilities. I worked with three other volunteers and the work crew, who knocked down a wall, built forms, mixed and spread concrete (by hand) and painted the walls. We worked hard and, I believe, gained the respect of the workers for all that we did. (I have a feeling that they thought that we would not complete the project.)

In the afternoon I hung out with the kindergarten boys. They were energetic and spunky and a tremendous amount of fun.

I even had the opportunity to rock to sleep the toddlers!

I probably had a greater impact with the work in the laundry. I did accomplish what I wanted to do -- do good for someone else.

The Global Volunteer staff on site were knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. The hotel we stayed at was perfect -- locally owned with terrific food and accomodations. The food throughout was so good that as a group we felt guilty eating so well. The staff made sure we had opportunity to see other places in Peru and the city of Lima.

It was a wonderful experience. Had I not gotten married and had a family, I am sure I would have taken another trip with GV.

Default avatar
UK
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful children, share your love

The most precious children who need your care and love. If you love children, you will have a great work experience in Peru. Lima is a wonderful city, felt safe in the work environment and in the city. The host hotel is wonderful and provides all kinds of help for every team.

Default avatar
jean
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hugging Children in Peru

It's our first morning as volunteers at Puericultoro Perez Aranibar and the three of us have each been assigned a very small child to accompany to Tonito Silva, a neurological and physical therapy center. Before stepping on the plastic floor mats everyone's shoes must come off. My eighteen-month-old Fabien beams at me with a wide smile. He's been hospitalized for three months and doesn't walk yet, but seems rather pleased with the bright colored plastic forms and has no objection to being swung by his hands and feet. Janet's Rosa Christina wiggles her feet out of high-top white sandals and charges toward the huge container of plastic balls - a tiny bundle of energy. Don's charge Mariano has started howling the minute we entered the building and wants nothing to do with any of this. For more than an hour we follow their activities, down stairs in a room full of children crawling, rolling or climbing - then to a small dark room with lights that flash. "Rojo", "amarillo", "azul" the therapists point out. Mostly I have to carry Fabien - and he's not good at holding on, more like a limp sack of very heavy potatoes - but that goofy smile has me hooked, and I watch him stand and inch around the waiting room holding on to the walls hoping hard that all this will help him and he'll become adoptable.
This morning our team leader Edith has asked us to accompany her and the home's sociologist to check up on fourteen-year-old Darwin who left PPA six months ago and is not doing well. We drive out to the dusty outskirts of Lima where little shacks are hanging on the side of the mountain - no shade, no water, no plumbing or electricity. A discouraged-looking dog scratches in the dirt in front of the shack where Darwin lives with his grandmother. She's a dessicated. wrinkled and toothless woman who explains (in Spanish that even I can understand) that Darwin's mother has decamped and Darwin is more that she can handle. The whole area seems without hope, and I'm very relieved when we take Darwin to a recycling plant where he can work and a Catholic boys home where the social worker starts the paperwork for his acceptance.
It's a warm afternoon, and I've been instructed to pull a very large plastic wading pool out onto one of the courtyards. As we fill it with the hose, the caregivers from three of the "boxes" in Nino Jesus, the unit for children under two, bring their charges out in lines of bathing-suit clad cherubs holding hands and squealing with excitement. Thirteen children are helped into the pool, splashing and slipping and yelling. Carmen lets one timid soul hold the hose, and he becomes gleeful, squirting right and left. Then Sister Concepcion notices that Fabien is missing and charges back inside, wheeling him out in a stroller and lowering him into the water. When everyone is completely wet and exhausted, one of the caregivers comes out with a stack of clothes and towels, and each toddler is lifted out, stripped, wrapped in a towel and then dressed. Sister Concepcion explains that they are learning not to be afraid of water. I shake my blouse dry and go to work jigsaw puzzles with the three-year-olds.

Default avatar
Costa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Working with infants in an orphanage

This was my first global experience and it was excellent. We had a very
Experienced leader who was lovely. I was very impressed with the group. They represented every age level and some of them had been global volunteers for many many years. Each day we would be taken by bus to the orphanage where we were assigned to a group if children. I am a retired early childhood special educator and I was so pleased to be working with the very youngest group which is my love. The younger the better!
We would be taken to a garden setting every day for lunch and each evening our leader arranged for dinner at a different local restaurant We had lots of opportunities to explore the area. The waterfront was particularly interesting, especially on the weekend when families would come all to.gether to try the different foods and shops and watch outdoor
Entertainment there were also wonderful markets to visit exhibiting local crafts. On the weekend we took a trip to see the penguins many many of them making a great deal of noise!
All in all a very worthwhile experience which I would recommend highly.
If you have time before or after I would recommend an overnight trip to
Manchu Pichu, one of the wonders of the world and an unforgettable experience.

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Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984 - and trusted by 34,000+ volunteers. Volunteering for one to three weeks under...