Affordable Volunteering with Children in Peru

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

Video and Photos

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: english, art and music, chess, math, physical education, or technology
  • Eat amazing Peruvian Food - all made fresh by our local chef, Dina
  • Work with an organization that is more focused on the community than making money
  • Work with a grassroots organization where your impact will reach over 500 people a year

Typical day
Volunteers may teach two to three classes a day. Days here in Huaycán start at 10am leaving volunteers to have mornings to themselves. Volunteers may do yoga on the roof, hike the nearby cerro (tall hill), or simply rest. Mornings are typically reserved for lesson planning and preparation and meetings with fellow teachers and the Education Program Manager who assists volunteers in their classes. Lunches are communal and held at the volunteer house between 12 and 1. Classes typically start at 3pm (after school) and run through the evening and sometimes we hold special events on weekend nights! Volunteers then return to the volunteer house for dinner and may hang in the common room with other volunteers, play games. or go out to eat on the main road (called La Quince).

Volunteers work Friday through Tuesday with Wednesdays and Thursdays off as travel days or days of rest. Volunteers will sometimes plan trips to the many spectacular destinations Peru has to offer! Volunteers will additionally partake in a volunteer meeting every two weeks to discuss issues in the house, celebrate and recognize successes and learn of volunteers who are arriving and departing. We have a staff-wide “civic reflection” each month where volunteers and staff engage in a productive dialogue environment 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!

What's Included
Airport Transfers
What's Included (Extra)

Volunteer placement in Huaycan
Cleaning service six days per week
Cell phone

What's Not Included
Domestic Airfare
Travel Insurance
What's Not Included (Extra)

Medical Insurance
Laundry expenses


Volunteers are provided with a light breakfast (bread, jam, fruits, and butter). All volunteers share a communal lunch from 12-1pm which involves delicious home-cooked Peruvian meals from our chef Dina including aji de gallina, lomo saltado, papa rellena and much more! Vegetarian? No problem! Every meal we offer vegetarian and meat dishes with soy and egg alternatives. Dinner is available starting at 6pm and is a lighter meal such as soup or pasta. There’s always leftovers! We also do composting!


Accommodation: Volunteers are housed communally in secure dorm-style arrangements where they may have one or two roomates. Housing includes wifi, hot showers, potable water, a small kitchen and a communal space with our multilingual volunteer library, television for movies and shows, and plenty of games. Volunteers also have space on the roof to do some morning yoga or watch a sunset. Volunteers are responsible for their own laundry - we do have the means for volunteers to wash and dry clothes by hand but volunteers are responsible for detergent.

LLI has participants from every one of Huaycán’s twenty four zonas. In one year, LLI had 58 teens join in 33 Leadership Project meetings that generate service projects such as an animal vaccination, disaster relief and conservation programs all organized by the teens.

LLI provides free after-school classes to any resident between 7 and 17 years to aid their learning, expand their resources, and organize special events. Participants reported they are more excited to read given their access to our library, that they feel more empowered to start local businesses, and that they have a safe, productive, fun & social spaces to spend after school. Our Women’s Empowerment program held 140 educational workshops for 127 women last year.

Hosted by Light and Leadership Initiative

Light and Leadership offers services 2 different communities: women and children. With the kids, we offer before and after school activities for kids before and after school activities. For our women's group, we provide Women's empowerment programs....

Ian Craighead
Program Director
Have a question?
Send Ian a Message


2 Weeks
$460 USD
3 Weeks
$580 USD
4 Weeks
$688 USD
5 Weeks
$794 USD
6 Weeks
$897 USD
Show More
7 Weeks
$998 USD
8 Weeks
$1098 USD
9 Weeks
$1195 USD
10 Weeks
$1290 USD
11 Weeks
$1384 USD
12 Weeks
$1477 USD
13 Weeks
$1570 USD
14 Weeks
$1662 USD
15 Weeks
$1754 USD
16 Weeks
$1845 USD
17 Weeks
$1936 USD
18 Weeks
$2026 USD
19 Weeks
$2117 USD
20 Weeks
$2207 USD
21 Weeks
$2296 USD
22 Weeks
$2386 USD
23 Weeks
$2476 USD
24 Weeks
$2566 USD


based on 6 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6

Kid's Program with The Light and Leadership Initiative Peru

I want to thank The Light and Leadership Initiative for placing education for kids and teens in Huaycán Peru and for letting me be part of the teaching, playing and reading for some time as a volunteer! It is important to me to volunteer in a place where there is a positive impact on the community and I strongly felt and saw it happened with LLI. Children in program and their families get enormous help for their living and education that increases wellbeing in the community. This was reflected in their cheerfulness and happiness, enthusiasm and insights in classroom and in sport field and in participation in many activities and not to mention in encounters when exploring the community.

I was taken good care from very beginning and was given excellent information beforehand and was greeted so warmly. I was given a clear arrival instructions and was taken care on arrival. Orientation was warm and super good. LLI leadership members had always time to talk and advise with warm and unhurried way. They also gave feedback and excellent teaching tips and hints to provide quality teaching and creative and motivating games. Living in a volunteer house gives you safety, new friends, exchanging thoughts with staff members and other volunteers and possibilities to plan your free time together. The safety in a house, trips and classrooms were taking in consideration absolutely well. I was told clearly about program fees which was rather low comparing to some others.

My time at LLI helped me develop professionally more than I expected. With LLI I realized it's not a question me to be good at my work but it's important how students receive my input in teaching or how I pass the joy of motivation and learning. In addition I gained so much by learning new insights myself, improving my knowledge of the culture, following work of Artisans' handcraft and simply sensing a genuine caring of others - both volunteers and people in Huaycán. My favourite part about my volunteer stay was when students had an idea or a new insight how the math problem was resolved in homework hour and when they were describing a story or drawing a picture according a book when reading in a library!

I'm sure you appreciate the opportunity to explore the brilliant web sites of LLI in advance! I miss lively students - everyone has his own personality -, fabulous friends, lovely happenings and delicious food! Happy time, highly recommending volunteering at LLI.

Yes, I recommend this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program


Hi Catriona! Huaycan is an excellent environment to practice Spanish in as there are plenty of opportunities to converse with the kids and teens in our programs. Additionally, the Huaycan community is an excellent place to practice your language skill while out on the street, ordering food, conversing with neighbors and we can also try and link you with local teachers through our connections! Our...
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