Volunteer in Lima, Peru: Responsible Volunteering, Low Cost, REAL Impact!

12 to 52 weeks
Min. 18 years
5 travelers saved this program

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Program Director

About This Program

Our volunteer program is a tight-knit family, made up of volunteers from all over the world. Our common goal is the Light and Leadership Initiative's education programs, increasing access to education to women and children in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. We take volunteering seriously and encourage you to read more about our ethical volunteering philosophy.


  • Join a close-knit community of international and local volunteers and staff!
  • Choose a placement that suits your skills and our needs. Win-Win!
  • Eat some amazing Peruvian Food :) all made fresh by our local chef, Dina!
  • Work directly with an ORGANIZATION, not a company. We're focused on the community, not making $$$
  • Have an impact! We're a grassroots organization that NEEDS volunteers to impact over 500 people a year!

Volunteers can join us from two weeks up to one year and typically receive a primary placement (20-30 hours per week) and one or two secondary placements (5-10 hours per week).

Volunteer work includes teaching English, art and music, chess, math, physical education, and technology to teens and children after school.

No previous teaching experience required and no Spanish skills required for our teaching English program, but extensive training materials and on-site orientation are given.

What's Included
  • Airport pick up
  • Volunteer placement in Huaycan
  • Accommodation with hot showers
  • Cleaning service six days per week
  • Three meals per day and bottled water
  • Cell phone and wireless internet
What's Not Included
  • International and domestic flight and transportation
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Laundry expenses
  • Transportation upon departure

Secure housing is provided for all volunteers.


Volunteers receive three meals per day in the form of prepared or provided food. We strive to buy from the local markets as much as possible as a means of investing in the economic development of our community.

We need volunteers to keep our education programs going and as such, make it a priority to offer valuable and ethical volunteer placements in a variety of programs and contexts. It’s extremely important to us that volunteering at LLI is positively impacting the community, and not harming it, which is an extension of our organization’s philosophy. We are careful to have the community driving the programs and are proud to host our volunteer program within the Huaycan community, investing not only in education, but its economic future.

Additionally, within our volunteer program we hold monthly Civic Reflection Discussions, in order to promote a safe, productive dialogue environment for our international and local volunteers to share experiences and learn from each other, and thus, enriching our understanding of what service to a community means. These dialogues will challenge volunteers to think deeper about community development and as a result, become better volunteers!

Video and Photos

Pricing and Availability


based on 5 reviews
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 8.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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Amazing volunteer experience!

LLI has definitely been one of the best volunteer programs that I have been part of! I really enjoyed my time in Huaycan volunteering because with LLI I felt I was doing something important. The programs really fill a need in the community and volunteers are really needed and appreciated. Huaycan is a good place to really immerse yourself in the peruvian culture and also work with people from all over the world. I got so many new friends and met amazing kids and teens volunteering with LLI. I would totally recommend this program for anyone interested in volunteering in Peru!

How can this program be improved?
I don´t really have any complaints about this program because everything worked so well and was so well organised. Only thing is that the house can be full time to times, so be prepared to share a room, however this can also be a great way to have amazing new friends.
Yes, I recommend
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One of my favorite experiences was when I was socializing with some of the teens in the teen center that LLI created. We were having a karaoke night and the songs we played were a mix of American and Peruvian culture. But everyone enjoyed it all! We were singing in Spanish and in English and having such a great time! Moments like that are so special and enjoyable and I always looked forward to spending time learning about culture and making new friends.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints--the program gave me so many opportunities to travel, make friends, learn, and teach. Everything I wanted in a summer adventure!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Life changing experience for you and those you help

I volunteered with LLI for 7 months in 2014 and came away from my time there with a lifetime of amazing memories, great friends, and the satisfaction that I made a positive impact teaching kids valuable knowledge that will help them going forward. The teaching experience there is unlike many others in that you have the opportunity to not only be a teacher to the kids but also to be a part of their daily lives outside of the classroom. I would routinely find myself playing games of soccer in the street with my students, at their houses for birthday parties, even taking a 10 year old student to the amusement park (which as a side note, was one of my favorite experiences there, just seeing the smile not leave his face the entire day, running from ride to ride). If you open not only your mind but your heart to the children you teach, I can assure you that they will teach you so much more about the human spirit than you could ever imagine.

How can this program be improved?
I would be nitpicking if I were to say anything negative. This program gives individuals so much freedom that if you don't get out of it what you expect, it would probably be more so on you than anything else.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Great Experience with LLI

I volunteered with Light and Leadership for six weeks this winter. It's an incredible organization, and I wish I was still there. I would go back in an instant, and would suggest LLI to anyone as a great organization to work with and a life-changing experience for all.

How can this program be improved?
Dormitory-style bedrooms can provide a nice bonding-experience with fellow volunteers, but if the organization is ever able to afford individual rooms, having a place to go to be alone could be very helpful, and especially important for those volunteers who are staying for longer periods of time.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar


Lived in a cute, clean apartment with the lovely, like-minded other volunteers. We ate delicious meals cooked by a local Peruvian woman, and could even put in meal requests.
The social scene was surprisingly lively. We made friends with local people; we would play volleyball and football with them, followed by a few beers in a local bar.
The culture was, however, refreshingly different. If you want to see what it's like living abroad in a place which is utterly devoid of tourists, then Huaycan is for you!
Above all though, I felt as if the work I was putting in - primarily as an ESL teacher to children and adults - made a tangible positive difference. This feeling is what drove LLi volunteers to give 110% and support each other in doing so every day. So it was a very sparky environment.

How can this program be improved?
This is starting to happen already, but I think volunteers need to share and discuss lesson plan ideas and resources more, in order to increase efficiency.
Yes, I recommend

Questions & Answers

Uh oh, we couldn't find the answer either! But that's a great question. Click here to contact the program directly: http://www.lightandleadership.org/childrensprogram
Yes! Our program hosts volunteers who come independently, without someone else. In fact, it's pretty rare that someone comes with a friend. Machu Picchu is a great trip, however we encourage you do to this either before or after your time with LLI, as not to miss out on the volunteer time with our programs. Thanks!
We certainly are, but we are careful to ensure that our programs are community driven--thus the new program must be something that the community is interested in. If you have an idea, please message us to discuss! Thanks!


Meet the Alumni
Meet the Staff

About Light and Leadership Initiative

Light and Leadership offers fun, amazing education programs in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. We offer before and after school activities for kids and special Women's Empowerment programs to our women's group. We believe that education is the long-term...