Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Cusco from $320

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About

Trusted by 90,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Cusco and 40+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 10 volunteer project options in Cusco and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a homestay, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Cusco, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Current IVHQ Volunteer Projects in Cusco:

  • Teaching English
  • Special Needs Care
  • Childcare
  • Medical
  • Jungle Conservation
  • Animal Care
  • Construction and Renovation
  • Andean Immersion
  • Spanish Service Learning Course
Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Cusco program is available year-round, offering a start date on every Monday
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $320 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 25 and 60 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Cusco each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 90,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 48 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 31 - 45 of 48
Lanjing Cathy
9/10

Great Experience!

I had a wonderful experience with IVHQ through the Holiday Program for two weeks in Cusco, Peru! Everything was planned out well before you got there and I never felt that I was lost in the country that I have never been before. I am especially thankful for the local staffs who were always there for us all the volunteers 24/7. During my two-week volunteer program, I was also able to sign up for some tours to places around where we were staying, the staffs were always willing to work with us to figure out the time if there were any conflicts. Everyone was super nice and helpful!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lanjing, Thanks for your review. We are happy to hear that you had a wonderful experience in Cusco, Peru and felt well supported by our local team. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
Katie
10/10

Time of My Life in Cusco

I recently went through some major life changes (not by choice), and I needed to do something for myself. When I was in high school I read a story about a girl who overcame her own challenges, and then escaped on a volunteer trip to Peru. Since reading this book I've always wanted to go myself to see Machu Picchu, explore the jungle, and to help make a difference. IVHQ gave me that chance. This was my first major international trip and the first time I'd ever gone anywhere on my own. IVHQ prepared me well and gave me everything I needed to have the time of my life while also keeping me safe and connected to experts at every stage of my trip. In only 2 short weeks I became a jungle-dwelling adventurer complete with machete and monkey friends. I had such a blast and met so many cool people, and I didn't feel like I was really on my own at any point. I loved it so much I'm planning another trip for this summer! The jungle conservation project with IVHQ in Peru was truly life changing, and I'm so grateful for the experience and I can't wait to discover more places and people around the globe.

How can this program be improved?
I only wish I could have stayed longer!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Katie, What an awesome review! We couldn’t be happier to hear that the program turned you into a jungle-dwelling adventurer, complete with machete and monkey friends. It is our pleasure to ensure that you are prepared for the program and it sounds like you really made the most of your two weeks volunteering. We can’t wait to have you back!
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Christine
10/10

A perfect fit!

My Son and I decided to go volunteer in a dog shelter in Peru. The most difficult thing for me was that, my best friend Pinotte (my dog), passed away just a week before I left to Peru. Just before taking the plane my Father told me ''Christine, now; do not come back home with a dog!'' I responded ''No way, no one can replace my Pinotte and I am done attaching my self... It hurts to much''. And up we went my Son and I.

As soon as we put my foot at the shelter, we knew that this program was the perfect fit for both of us. It was amazing! All the help we provided was appreciated.

Volunteers brings so much to this program it is unbelievable. Every minute was worthwhile.

Thank you IVHQ to have provided us this opportunity.

p.s.: We came back home, not with another dog but TWO! We call them Amour and Skyppy! They are both awesome dogs and they adapted immediately to the Canadian world!

Christine and Lorenzo

How can this program be improved?
This program wold really be improved if more funding would be put towards it. They need some much help: man power, financially, space, supplies, etc.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Christine, Thanks for sharing! Your story has made us so happy and we are thrilled to hear that the Animal Care program in Peru was the perfect fit for you and your son. We are so grateful to have had you both on the program and we wish Amour and Skyppy all the best with their Canadian life.
Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessica
10/10

Mother Son Peruvian Adventure

I had recently finished graduate school and had a career break this summer. Traveling internationally and volunteering abroad is something that I have always been passionate about. My parents had instilled this in me from an early age and I thought now would be a good time to instill this in my own son. After talking with a representative from IVHQ they assured me that volunteering with my son was completely plausible (and encouraged) and that we would be safe at all times. My six year old son and I decided to travel to Cusco, Peru for three weeks where we worked at a local preschool, part of a childcare program. It was absolutely amazing. It was a great experience for my son to be able to interact with kids his own age from a different culture. I loved working with the children as well! On weekends we had time to explore, hike, and tour nearby cities. We stayed with a host family that was a perfect fit for us. They had a four year old son that my son enjoyed playing with. My son even picked up a lot of Spanish just talking and playing with the children there. The local staff team was always kind and ready to help us if we needed it, but the organization prepared everything so well for us that we rarely ever needed anything else. I encourage anyone (child or no child) to travel through IVHQ. I was thoroughly impressed with all of their services and their support.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jessica. Wow, what an incredible trip to share with your son. We are so glad to hear that you had an amazing experience. It sounds like you made the most of your time by interacting with the children at the placement, getting to know your host family and exploring in your free time. We hope to welcome you and your son back on another IVHQ program again in the future!

Yes, I recommend this program
Pía
10/10

The highlight of my summer

Traveling with IVHQ was a decision I decided to pursue because of a friend's recommendation. I had heard great things and found that the price was the perfect fit for me to make my desire to travel South America come true. It all happened very quickly but IVHQ's quick response to all the questions I had from travel insurance to homestay accommodations quickly eased my anxiety about committing to something so quickly. I followed all of their suggestions on how to prepare for the trip and it all really does make you feel like you're 100% ready to embark on a journey abroad.

Once in Peru everything worked out so smoothly, I had nothing to do but enjoy my experience there. From the moment I landed, I was meeting new people. I got a folder with all the information I needed to get ready for the two weeks I signed up for. My only regret is not signing up for longer because my time in Cusco, Peru was such a beautiful and surprising experience full of unforgettable moments with some of the most genuine people I have yet to meet. I was excited to travel abroad but what I experienced was far more than anything IVHQ could've prepared me for. It was full of adventure, love and most importantly volunteering.

My placement for teaching english allowed me to feel confident in my skills but also gave me so much room to grow and learn from the others surrounding me. I signed up for two weeks and felt like I had gained so much experience. I really cannot imagine what it would've been like if I had chosen to be there for a extended amount of time.

How can this program be improved?
I would love to get to know the in country staff a bit more before going. Maximo Nivel was absolutely incredible and I think IVHQ knew that but I wish I could've made connections a little bit earlier.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julie
10/10

Great way to get involved in the medical community

I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering in Cusco, Peru for the medical program. I worked at Centro del Salud en Chinchero for the month as a medical student and I learned so much about their healthcare including things that need to be improved on. The mentality of healthcare is very different than in the United States such as the importance of hygiene, sterility and preventive medicine. Many of the Quechuan speaking women live hours away from the clinic and wake up early morning to begin their walk. Many of them cannot afford medications. I remember I had donated some medications to this 78 year old Quechuan speaking woman and she was ever so grateful. It made me so glad that I decided to volunteer here because even though we did not understand one another, her smile resonated the room. In addition, watching the little toddlers walk around barefoot in the clinic broke my heart a little because providing shoes was not a priority to their families. There are so many diseases that could be prevented if they had the tools and resources to implement these changes. I am glad that I did this volunteering experience because I will cherish the memories and treat my patients with the top care necessary to prevent the illnesses I saw within my volunteering experience. I hope I can volunteer again because I want to continue impacting others as they have done for me. Thank you for the experience.

How can this program be improved?
Please donate more gloves, hand sanitizers and disposable bed pads because the clinic needs them desperately. The doctors need to protect themselves so that they can continue providing care to others.
Yes, I recommend this program
Ryan
10/10

Making big impact on community health with little to no training

I traveled with a group of 13 other friends from my university to volunteer with Maximo Nivel's medical campaign in Cusco, Peru. Only one of fourteen had formal medical training, and we were only going to have five days of volunteering ... so I wasn’t really sure how much of an impact we’d help make on the communities we’d work in.

Just in the first day of our medical campaign, however, that doubt was broken. Despite our group's lack of medical training and short time in country, our group took the initiative to learn from the doctor to provide screens of patients’ health statuses and support one another in running an efficient, educational, and impactful medical campaign.

We saw nearly 200 patients in just our first morning – many of whom would not otherwise visit the doctor due to lack of insurance and/or money to do so. By the week's end, we had seen around 1,000 patients. I had never imagined we'd be able to make such big impact, but we couldn't have done that without the awesome support and friendliness of the Maximo Nivel staff.

Especially if you'd be traveling with a group, the medical campaign is a great way to meet locals, practice your Spanish, get practice with basic medical screening, and make positive impact in lives of so many people. And the scenery, culture, adventures and people in and around Cusco are some of the best you'll ever meet.

How can this program be improved?
The campaign set-up runs very smoothly, but we found some rearrangement of the system makes it run most efficiently. We would recommend keeping one person at registration, one person at the hand washing station, two people at the dental hygiene station, another person at the height/weight measurement station, three people performing eye exams, two people monitoring heart and lungs, another two people taking blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and a final two people at the pharmacy following the doctor consult. The program could use one to two more doctors; as phenomenal as the doctor is that works the entire campaign, there's just no way to see the number of patients that arrive to the campaign for medical attention or check-ups.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ryan, it’s so nice to hear from you! We are so glad that you had another memorable experience volunteering with IVHQ on the medical campaign in Cusco. It sounds like you and your group had a very busy week! It’s great to hear you were able to work together to make the campaign as successful as possible. We love having you as an IVHQer and look forward to welcoming you on another program again soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lisa
8/10

Sick?

In Peru, I was very scared to eat a lot of the food, especially outside of the house. I had a fear of getting sick by eating something bad. Well just my luck, even trying to be safe i managed to get a bad case of food poisoning. I had a fever for three days, i couldn't keep any food in my system for longer than five minutes, and i mainly stayed in bed for those few days. But this story isn't about me being sick it is about the treatment i received while i was sick. My program director Chelsey was in contact with me the whole time, she was sending well wishes, and contacting the teacher of the daycare that i was at. But she also arranged for the doctor to come and see me. He gave me a prescription and said i needed antibiotics to clear this up. I wasn't going to die but in a foreign country being sick is so much harder, and scarier. I appreciate everything that was done for me, and i didn't feel so far from home with the care i received.

How can this program be improved?
There is no perfect program, and my only criticism would be for the staff to accompany the volunteers home too. They take you to the placement, and stay for a while, but it is really hard to go back when the buses take a different route and it's your first days in a new city and country.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lisa, it’s nice to hear from you. There is no doubt that when you are abroad being sick is more daunting than if you were at home. We are glad that you felt so looked after by the team in Cusco and they were able to ensure you got the care you needed. Thanks for being an IVHQ volunteer and it’s great to know that despite getting sick you were able to have a meaningful experience volunteering. We hope to see you on another program soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alvaro
7/10

Volunteering in Cusco, Peru

I volunteered with Maximo Nivel, IVHQ's local partner in Peru.

Accommodation: I stayed in one of the volunteer houses. It had a good location, it was very comfortable and the house staff was lovely. Wifi was a bit slow.

Food: breakfast and dinner were provided. Delicious food!

Transportation to/from placement: I was lucky my placement was close to the volunteer house (20 min walk), but other volunteers had to take public buses to their placements.

Safety: I generally felt safe during the day in Cusco.

Volunteering: I taught English for a total of 10 weeks, for youngsters and adults. It was not what I had expected, since the students paid a fee to have classes, many of them were university students, had decent jobs, etc. The experience was good for me, whatsoever. Some volunteers were not happy with their placements as well (for example, teaching English at a private school).

How can this program be improved?
Cusco is a popular destination among volunteers, so my impression is that teaching at schools where students could afford paying is not something that I would like to do as a volunteer.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Alvaro, nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the comments on the program in Peru. I have passed on your feedback to the Program Manager. Great to have you as an IVHQer!

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

IVHQ programs in Cusco Peru through Máximo Nivel

My first volunteering experience abroad was this August. I booked a month with a special needs program through IVHQ and their partner in Cusco, Máximo Nivel. IVHQ did a wonderful job of getting me ready for the trip. My program coordinator, Dallas, was in almost constant email contact; answering all of my questions and making sure I had everything ready to go. When I got there, the Máximo Nivel staff were just as helpful and gave me constant support. I was never on my own, I was never lost (except maybe once when I got off at the wrong bus stop), and I never felt in danger (except when I experienced a freak whitewater rafting accident). Every moment I spent in Cusco was an experience I will take with me for the rest of my life. Through IVHQ and Máximo Nivel, I made wonderful friends from all over the world and really made a difference at my volunteer placement. Volunteers should remember that they will not change the world at their placement, but they may change the world of a few people. This is what it is all about: helping as many people as you can and being a positive influence. IVHQ helps you do this. My only bad experiences were not IVHQ or Máximo Nivel's fault but merely happenstance. Dangerous, dirty, or surprising things can happen but that is all a part of the experience and I would not trade any of it for the world. I must say I left my heart in Perú with the people I helped and befriended. I highly recommend both IVHQ and their partner Máximo Nivel.

How can this program be improved?
I would only change IVHQ's partner organization in Cusco, Máximo Nivel's recommendation for the travel agency in their building. I booked my excursions prior to arriving with this company and discovered after arriving that they were far over priced. I should have waited to book after I got there with another agency.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Branden, Thanks for sharing a little from your volunteer abroad experience in Cusco. It's great to hear you felt well prepared for your trip by Dallas your IVHQ Program Manager and that the support continued while in country by our local team. We couldn't agree with you more - being a positive influence is a big part of IVHQ volunteer trips. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another IVHQ program soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Mac
10/10

Wonderful Summer

I am starting college in the fall, so I decided to do a program over the summer before I left for school. I was in Cusco for five weeks, working on a medical project. I had the opportunity to work at two different clinics, one in the city and one in a rural area. My time is Peru was so wonderful! I learned everything from basic medical procedures to how to get along with people who are difficult to get along with. I learned how to keep children calm and how to deliver bad news in the softest way possible. I learned that I really do enjoy working in medicine, and still want to pursue it as a career. I was nervous going into this program, but I loved it!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Mac, thanks for the wonderful review! We are so happy that you learnt so much valuable expertise while on the IVHQ program in Peru. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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

Transformative Experience in Peru

Our group worked at an orphanage in Peru for two weeks. We received all of the support we needed (and more!) from the moment we arrived in Cusco until we were dropped back off at the airport two weeks later. The experience with the girls at the orphanage was truly transformative. Our group was so moved by their openness and joy. Our accommodations at a homestay were outstanding; our host, Eddy, was very friendly and went to great lengths to accommodate our groups many dietary needs. Chelsea, the volunteer coordinator, provided a very thorough orientation to Cusco and to the site, and answered every question that anyone in our group had throughout our trip. We were lucky enough to fit in a weekend trip to Macchu Picchu and a four hour horseback riding excursion in the mountains outside the city of Peru. Both excursions are HIGHLY recommended. IVHQ and the local team took care of all of the details so we could thoroughly enjoy our experience.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Cathy, thanks for the review. We are so pleased that you had outstanding support from the team and that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experience in Peru! Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope that you can join us on another adventure in the future!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Pegah
9/10

Great Program for Cheap

I loved my experience with IVHQ. Throughout the whole process, they were extremely helpful and accomodating. They answered my emails quickly and even managed to sign up my friend less than a week before our departure. One we arrived to Cusco, we were welcomed by their local partner, Maximo-Nivel, who took care of us throughout our stay.
I went to Cusco with two of my friends for two weeks. I wish we could have stayed longer! We lived in a host family with about ten other volunteers. The family was extremely nice and the meals were good, although they sometimes forgot about my dietary restrictions. We lived ten minutes away from the Plaza de Armas, the most touristy place in the area and 15-20 minutes away from the Maximo-Nivel office. Cusco felt really safe and we were never afraid to walk alone at night, even if we were only three girls. However, we prefered to be with guys when we came home after midnight.
We were in the Childcare Work program, so we volunteered in a christian school for children from difficult backgrounds. We were two volunteers in each class and we helped the teachers with whatever they had to do that day. Most of the time, we prepared the supply needed for the artwork the children would do that day, but we also helped with homework and discipline. Our shift was from 8:00 AM to noon and the bus we took to get there cost us less than a dollar per day.
Overall, I loved my stay in Cusco. Since we worked in the morning, we had the rest of the day to visit the city and we took the weekend to visit Pisaac and Machu Picchu. One afternoon, we also booked a horseback riding tour to the ruins around the city with Loki Travel.

How can this program be improved?
Sometimes, I felt that I was not helping in a concrete way or making a big difference. I know that there is not much I could do in two weeks, but it would have been more rewarding if the teacher sollicitated more help. Also, if I had to do it again, I would learn Spanish! I know a little bit of it, but communication at the project was still hard.
Yes, I recommend this program
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nicolette.rae
10/10

Wish I could have stayed longer!

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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afreshchapter
8/10

IVHQ in Cuzco

From the moment I signed up for the IVHQ volunteer program in Cuzco, Peru, I was impressed with the communication and level of detail from the head office. Jamie answered all of my questions and sent me more than enough information for me to feel comfortable arriving in-country.

When my TACA AIrlines flight was overbooked and I couldn't make it to Cuzco on the correct day, the local partner (Maximo Nivel) made me feel instantly at ease and promised to arrange an alternate orientation time for me.

The Manager of PATAS, the affiliated travel agent, was on time to greet me at the Cuzco airport and helped me get acclimatized to the altitude and a new city. From there, the Maximo Nivel staff (the local partner) did everything in their power to ensure I had a wonderful experience.

This included a comprehensive in-country orientation, an introduction to my project, and getting me settled into my cramped, but cozy shared accommodation. Although my project working with street kids at the local police station was emotionally draining, the staff at Maximo did their very best to support me by providing ideas for activities and checking in with me regularly.

The team at Maximo and Patas helped me sign up for Spanish lessons, find cafes to access wi-fi and work, and plan for my trip to Machu Picchu. The IVHQ/Maximo partnership provides excellent value to volunteers and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend IVHQ Cusco to anyone looking for a meaningful and reasonably priced volunteer experience.

Yes, I recommend this program

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About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...