I volunteered in Cusco for 2 weeks in 2010. I have done 3 volunteer abroad trips and this was by far my favorite work placement. And my homestay was absolutely gorgeous with the comfiest beds and the coziest comforters ever (you needed them for the cold Cusco winter nights!). I signed up for orphanage work and I got placed at a clinic with disabled orphans. There was also a school onsite where the kids would attend along with disabled kids from town. These kids were - ARE incredible. So brave and so strong and so happy! There were about 40 of them living there at the time. Most of them were between a year old to maybe about 12, but there were some older teens there too.
I would typically start my work day at about 8:00 and the first half of my day would be spent as a teacher's aide at the school. I would help all the kids whenever I could, but there was one boy who needed a lot of special attention so I was his buddy most of the time. I would also be on bathroom duty when one of the kids in my class had to go to the bathroom. You really get to test your upper body strength and your gag reflex as you're holding a wheelchair bound tween over the toilet and then putting them back together when they're done! I'm not going to lie, I was not excited about that part of the job, but seriously after doing it once it's so not a big deal. Anyway! Around 11:00 we would start taking the resident kids back to the living area and get them all washed up for lunch. We would help feed the ones who couldn't feed themselves and when everyone was done we would wash them up again, brush their teeth, and then put them all down for nap time. Sometimes there would be time for a story, sometimes they would get to watch cartoons for a few minutes. After all the kids were asleep it was time for me to go across town to the volunteer office for my Spanish lessons. The office was great. There was a little cafeteria there, which was nice because some days I didn't have time to pick up lunch between work and class (breakfast and dinner were included in the program fee, but lunch was on your own). There was also free wifi in the building and a computer room with about 20, maybe 30 computers that were free for volunteers to use. My Spanish lessons were 2 hours every day and there were 6 of us in my class. Definitely the best language instruction I've ever had. The classes were an additional cost, but very reasonably priced. Something like $5 or $10/hour and worth every penny. After class I would wander around town a little bit. Cusco is full of life and beautiful sights everywhere you look. If I wasn't completely wiped out by then I would slowly zig-zag my way home. It would usually only take about 30 minutes to walk home from town and I always felt safe as long as it wasn't too late. If I didn't feel like walking I would just hop in a cab and it would be a set rate pretty much from or to anywhere within town. Dinner at home was always a surprise. Anything from pasta to chinese to veal parmesan. Sometimes we would get local dishes like arroz con pollo (rice and chicken) or potatoes and something. I think that might actually be the only slightly negative thing that I would have to say about my placement - I wish we got more traditional food for dinner. But whatever. It was always good, whatever it happened to be that night.
There were a few really fun clubs in town that would have a good mix of travelers and locals. One night we found a Brazilian club that was so much fun! I went there with one other volunteer and a couple local girls. The other volunteer and I were the only non-local people there. So cool!
Cusco itself is absolutely magical. There is always something new to discover in town or in the hills just outside of town. Not to mention the Amazon jungle is at your fingertips and then there's that little Inkan gem, Machu Picchu.
One last little tip - go to the Alliance Francaise for the best coffee in town and if you can't make it there, there's a burger chain in the main square (diagonally across from the McDonalds) that has surprisingly good coffee as well. The coca tea was great, but sometimes I just needed coffee!