Multiple Locations +2
  • Portugal
    • Porto
  • Peru
12 weeks

Program Details

Host Family Hostel


Price Details
Our admin fee of US$250 will cover expenses related to your pre departure and in country training, and go towards organizational costs such as office rent, supplies and wages.
Sep 19, 2018
Jan 21, 2019
2 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Our English teacher volunteer positions enable some 100 children (3 to 20 years old) and 30 adults to learn English, a subject that is not taught at most Peruvian public schools, yet is a very important language to learn to enter a university or get a good job.

You will be teaching one of our seven classes from Monday to Friday. The classes are one hour long and are taught in the afternoons. After the English classes you will either supervise homework help with one of our Peruvian volunteers or playtime at a local playground for another 45 minutes.

Teaching in the Flora Tristan community is a rewarding experience, as all of our students are very eager to learn. Over the years we have managed to create a really good relationship with the whole community. As a volunteer you will not just give back something to the community but you will also be able to learn from them.

Program Reviews

4.70 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 5 rating 80%
  • 4 rating 10%
  • 3 rating 10%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.8
  • Support 4.5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.9
  • Safety 4.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My second home - Arequipa

For 2 and a half months I worked as an English teacher for HOOP. From the first moment on, I was welcomed to this incredible family and surrounded by motivated people connected with the same aim: helping to improve the lives of people living in the Flora Tristan Community. Apart from teaching English to kids, I took part in art and sport classes to encourage creativity and team building of the kids. Working with HOOP was definitely the most adventurous experience in my live. I learned a lot about myself during this time as well as about other cultures and traditions. HOOP was the perfect combination of volunteering abroad, getting in close contact to a new culture and travelling around to experience the incredible nature of South America. I would recommend volunteering at HOOP for all of those above mentioned reasons but most of all because of the love you get from your new family here in Arequipa.

What would you improve about this program?
It's hard to say because this organization was overall well-organized, provided subsequent training in advance as well as an welcoming atmosphere to work there. The communication was good, but sometimes a bit distributed on several social media platforms which could be more combined to one. They try to built a new school for HOOP which would be a great improvement because the actual building there the teaching takes place is rented and has limited amount of classrooms. Since many more families in Flora Tristan would like to join HOOP the capacity is too low for that.
35 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Yes, I recommend this program

A meaningful stay in a beautiful city in a wonderful team

I came to Arequipa to work with HOOP as a volunteer English teacher. I am in the middle of my teaching accreditation programme in Austria and needed a break from school and theory in order to actually step into the classroom and also see other educational realities around the world.
What I cared about was for the NGO to be close to where the impact should be made and for the staff and the volunteers to care most about the children and women in the community.

From the application process to the moment I arrived in Arequipa, the inicial teaching training and the ongoing support and supervision opportunities I received throughout my 4 month placement, HOOP has been nothing but professional. The volunteer coordinator is extremely concerned about the volunteers' wellbeing, while the academic coordinator helps out and gives useful advice whenever it is needed, as a lot of the volunteers came here without direct teaching experience. Every week, we have a volunteer meeting where we share our experiences and struggles teaching, get valuable input from the academic coordinator and help each other improve. There are check-in interviews to make sure everything is going well and the organization can respond to suggestions for improvement.

The children are a pleasure to work with and embrace you in their midst from day on, the mothers are just happy and grateful to be able to see their kids thrive. (Another pillar of HOOP are workshops for the moms on topics of health, legal issues etc. They also have an opportunity to finish their middle school/high school diplomas. But all of this is done by social workers so I can't go into detail about it.) One of my highlights was when we performed "The very hungry caterpillar" as a play - during project week we had learned the story, made costumes and rehearsed it. The mothers were very touched to see their little ones and the kids took it very seriously and were proud to show off their learning.

It was honestly one of the greatest things I've ever done, I was very, very happy with HOOP and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to offer their time to make a difference. It's a lovely team, you receive so much support, and the work with the kids is rewarding every single day.

What would you improve about this program?
Expanding it (of course this depends on the financial means) is the only improvement I can think of - HOOP is very effective and conscientous in their work in my experience
25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Real Contribution to The Local Community

I was hesitant to volunteer with any NGO while in South America due to a lack of my Spanish language, however I did, and I found HOOP a great experience that had a real impact in the local community.
The children are encouraged to attend every day (Mon to Fri) and most do. The mothers of the children are engaged by volunteers who run health and other workshops during the kids classes. The smaller children who don't yet attend the English classes still come to the school and play and are involved, it's a great atmosphere with respect going both ways.
I lived separately from the hostel as I had already been in Arequipa some time, but found the volunteers living in the hostel and the HOOP staff were very inclusive of me even though I wasn't around as much outside of the school hours.
The great thing about HOOP is that you have responsibility here, they don't just give you a sheet and tell you to do it, if you notice that the kids are having trouble on a particular area of English, you have the leave to focus on that. You can teach how you want to for the most part, which for myself, who had never taught before, found this was great as I did what I was comfortable with. All the volunteers share ideas and talk about what they're up to, so ideas are plentiful.
Had a great experience here and so glad I did jump in and do it! Even with no teaching experience I found that I had support from the HOOP team to feel confident to command a class of 20+ hyper fantastic kids!
The great thing about Hoop is seeing physical progress, at the end of my time I had kids saying things that I had taught them in only the time I was there!

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

Unforgettable experience !

I've been an intern at Hoop for 4 months, and it was a really great experience.
Hoop has a real impact in the community it is implemented, and you can see that everytime you are going to the school.
As an in inten, you get the chance to learn about how an NGO is working, the staff is really friendly, and will let you work on what you like; I've learn a lot working at HOOP.
Arequipa is also a great city to live in, and live with volunteers from all over the world is an amazing experience ! Hoop is really becoming like a family the all time you are staying.

What would you improve about this program?
The NGO is still really young, there is a need of more organisation, but it is going to only improve in the future, and become more efficient. In 4 months, I already seen differences !
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer in Arequipa

The aim of HOOP is to break the cycle of poverty through education in Flora Tristan community: a shantytown located on the outskirts of Arequipa-Peru.
Flora Tristan is a place where almost 250 families live below the poverty line and children attend a public school that doesn’t offer adequate education. English is a requirement to enter many universities and children going to public school don’t start studying it until 10/11 years old.
Education is a way out of poverty and HOOP has six classes to teach English at children aged between 3 and 21 years old and offering after school homework to those in need.

Education is not the only activity that HOOP provides at this community. In the last few years HOOP developed kindergarten, health, English and business programs for the mothers of the children. In the next year the NGO is on the way to build a new fully furnished school and as well implementing a number of new activities. For example HOOP want to starts running maths and cultural classes. A lot of the families have socio-psychological issues, such as domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse. HOOP want to start a psychological session next year to assist the children and the mothers.
I volunteered with HOOP from October to December 2014. My duty was to assist the Director of Communication and Development on the fundraising strategy. As HOOP is a small NGO I was the first intern to work in the office together with 4 more interns. Day by day I got familiar with fundraising as I wrote two grant proposals and helped to organize few fundraising events and set up a contact list of potential partners. I learned the very difficult job to work independently.
I also reached some personal achievement: I made a partnership with a restaurants chain and I managed to organise my own fundraising event: a one day football tournament (it was not the Champions League organizationally speaking but at least a good start for my career), followed by a BBQ.
My supervisor was always present, very polite and patient with me. She was answering all the questions I had and, finally, in my opinion we developed a very good working relationship.
A very significant aspect of the experience was going out with the other volunteers. I made good friends and enjoyed my free time with them.

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

HOOP Peru -Work From the Heart

I really like this NGO's mission. Unfortunately, I did not have a great experience. I arrived in Arequipa with a newly fractured coccyx bone. I was in a lot of pain. In hindsight, I should have told the company that I wasn't fit to work for them and never started at all.
I found myself struggling alone in this new city and country, pushing myself to show up for the job before I was ready. The hostel that was recommended for me is geared for people in their 20's. As I am 60, it was not a good match for me. This all has led to a not happy time for me.
This company is small, and the volunteer teachers do not need to be native English speakers or University graduates. If you are young, willing to try new things, and are up for an adventure, this is the place for you! It is definitely doing good things in an impoverished community, and the help really does make a difference. I highly commend the work being done in this impoverished neighborhood outside of Arequipa.

What would you improve about this program?
There are other very accurate comments that I highly recommend reading. They include the dog problem near the school. I also found some of the office staff to be very unfriendly. While I was sick ( got sick from the food as well), no-one reached out to me. In fact, when I asked for help, I was told no. I felt very much alone and isolated for a full month. To be fair, the lead office manager did regularly ask me how I was doing some. She was the exception.
This NGO needs more donations, which I recommend if you can donate, as they really are an NGO making a big difference. This is a project with big goals, like bringing in water to this area. They not only teach and run an great after school program, but are teaching about nutrition and bringing in volunteer dentists. Only healthy snacks make it into this school. These are all important projects.
This is a very young organization -meaning that not only is it less than 10 years old, but also that the staff is all young in years and experience.
I wish them the very best of luck!
25 people found this review helpful.
Response from HOOP Peru

We at HOOP appreciate your kind words about our impact in the community. We are very excited to continue and expand our programming in order to give more help to the families. We are sorry to hear you had a bad experience due to previous health problems and we will take into consideration your suggestion for a different hotel for our older volunteers. We are a young and ambitious organisation of 2 years and our volunteers really feel like they are making a difference in the community. It is an exciting time to be apart of HOOP and we wish you the best in your travels!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

You won´t want to leave once you join the HOOP family!

HOOP has worked with this community for several years, and straight away when I arrived I could really feel the positive relationship that HOOP staff have with the community members. I think this is a great foundation that the charity has, and I found it really encouraging and impressive that the staff are trying to work with the families to find out what their opinions are and what types of programs they want HOOP to focus on for maximum impact in the community. For me, it was important to choose a charity that works in this way, involving the families and being guided by their views.

The families were such a pleasure to get to know, and it feels a real privilege to have been able to spend time teaching English / health&wellbeing / finance / business to the mums and kids. Whatever we all thought we could teach or contribute to the community´s development, I think we all ended up learning and gaining so much more ourselves through the experience of volunteering at HOOP.

During my four months volunteering with HOOP, among other things I was involved in doing the inductions at the start of their placement and the exit surveys at the end of their placement, and countless volunteers said to me as they neared the end of their time at HOOP "I don´t want to leave!"... Some stayed for longer than they had planned to, and others decided to come back to HOOP another time. I think this shows what a great experience it is.

In terms of what you can expect your day to be like... I´d say you´ll spend a couple of hours in the mornings getting ready for your classes and then you might want to have lunch with the other volunteers, and then you´ll spend the afternoons 2pm to 7pm at the school or travelling to and from the school, as the program is right on the outskirts of town. And then in the evenings we´d often have dinner together or learn salsa dancing or do fundraising events in the city.

I would really recommend staying for at least three months, as everyone who volunteered for one month during my time at HOOP told me that they were disappointed to be leaving at just the very moment when they had got to know the individuals in their class and had found the best ways of engaging them in the lessons. Those who stayed longer said that their second month was a great period of feeling you really know what you´re doing and you can see the progress that your students are making, and then the third month brought another level of closeness to the families and a tangible improvement in their level of Spanish.

In case you´re worried about the cost of staying longer, I´d say that it´s actually the flights that cost the most, so staying longer will add only marginal costs and could make you feel that you got better value out of the money you spent on the flights. The cost of living here is really low - in my experience, if you´re staying in long-term accommodation and cooking all of your own meals, you can get by on a budget of 30soles (10USD) per day!

What would you improve about this program?
One of the things I tried to improve while I was volunteering at HOOP was the induction process when a new volunteer first arrived. I think having a current volunteer come and welcome you on your first day and take you to the office for your induction is important, and we tried really hard to make sure there would be a thorough handover from the previous teacher of your class. I really hope this will continue :) One thing that I think still needs improvement is for volunteers to generally be longer-term if at all possible, as having a different teacher every month can´t be good for the kids - academically or emotionally.
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience at HOOP :)

I thoroughly enjoyed my time volunteering at HOOP! Getting to know the students and their families was an incredible experience for me. Also, really immersing myself in the culture and in the town of Arequipa and the people that live there really helped to make my time there unforgettable.

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend that some members of the staff have a more welcoming attitude for new volunteers. It's a little unnerving figuring out a new town and it would help if some of those on staff who had been there longer would have been more willing to help the new volunteers get acquainted with the town.
24 people found this review helpful.

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