Local Volunteer Projects in Peru
96% Rating
(102 Reviews)

Local Volunteer Projects in Peru

Maximo Nivel provides great volunteer programs Cusco, Peru. Maximo is a locally-based organization and you work directly with local projects, get involved, and make an impact!

University credit is available for our service learning programs from our official School of Record: California State University, Monterey Bay.

Volunteer placements include:

Locations
South America » Peru » Cusco
South America » Peru
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Language
English
Housing
Guesthouse
Host Family
Hostel
Starting Price
$500.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Volunteer Programs Include:

- Airport pick-up
- Personalized volunteer placement based on your skills and interests
- Safe, comfortable housing with breakfast and dinner included Monday - Sunday.
- In-country orientation, safety presentation, and walking tour
- Free access to high-speed internet and modern computers
- Free Office-wide WiFi
- Home-base facilities and multi-lingual team support 7 days/week
- In field support from our professional Field Managers
- Free Salsa lessons
- Free Cooking lessons
- Cultural and social activities
- A toll-free emergency hotline in the U.S.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    94%
  • Support
    97%
  • Fun
    93%
  • Value
    94%
  • Safety
    94%

Program Reviews (102)

Default avatar
Jinan
Female
18 years old
Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Kudos to Maximo Nivel-Peru

10/10

I LOVED my experience in Peru during this past winter break. From the moment Derek and Allison welcomed us to when we said our goodbyes, I truly felt cared for and appreciated by the staff at Máximo Nivel. I highly recommend going with this agency for your volunteering experience abroad. They not only helped us get to our clinics and show us around, they followed up with us throughout the week to make sure everything was going fine. Also, if you are looking to do some excursions while abroad, they have some great resources to point you to so that you have a fun and safe experience.

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Ashley
Female
20 years old
United States
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Cusco!

10/10

I loved volunteering in Cusco, Peru! Not only did I shadow many healthcare professionals, but I gained valuable experience and insight into a different healthcare system. Seeing another part of the world provide medical assistance was incredibly eye-opening and the relationships I formed with my fellow volunteers also made this opportunity worthwhile. Volunteering provided me with life-long friendships with wonderful people!

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Ahna
Female
20 years old
Alaska
Western Washington University

Teaching English

10/10

I´ve been volunteering with Maximo for the past two months teaching English to adults. At first when I arrived to Cusco and started teaching I was incredibly nervous but Allison and the office staff were always around to make sure that I was comfortable and answer any questions. At first I thought that I´d want to switch projects so that I could work with kids, but after a week of teaching at Qosko Maki I loved it. Even after the two months I´ve been teaching I haven´t grown tired of it at all. Getting to see the students progress with their English is amazing and their commitment to learning is inspiring. Teaching isn´t without it´s up and downs but I´ve had the best time here and I think Maximo is a great program.

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marie
Female
25 years old
Montreal, Canada
Pennsylvania State University

Thank you!

9/10

Hi,

My name is Marie Bedard and I am 25 years old. I volunteered in Cusco, Peru for 1 week and this was my second experience as a volunteer with IVHQ. During my time in Cusco, I volunteered at a house for moms that had kids when they were between the age of 13-18 that were typically abused by family members or victim of violence. Some of the moms either worked or went to school during the day so the volunteers (me!) and the other mothers spent our mornings feeding, cooking and playing with the babies while our afternoons were spent cleaning and selling Salchipapas (Peruvian poutine as I like to call it!) I seriously loved my time in Cusco and could go on and on about the program and volunteering opportunities but the best way to fully understand the extent of this program is to go ahead and jump! I can guarantee that you will not live anything similar anytime soon - hope you love it as much as I did!

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Ellen
Female
27 years old
Peru
Linfield College

What a time in Cusco

10/10

What a wonderful time I had in Cusco! The staff at Maximo was very helpful and supportive. My homestay was so comforting and welcoming. I cannot believe my time here is done thank you for everything Maximo! I would HIGHLY reccomend this program to anyone is new to traveling and would like the support of an incredibly caring group of individuals. You won't find a group of individuals like this at any other organization.

Maddie
Female

Maximo Peru

10/10

I've been in Peru for the past 9 weeks. My first 6 weeks were spent in Cusco volunteering in childcare and taking Spanish class with my amazing teacher Yenny. Then I spent two weeks working on a jungle conservation project at the Tierra Linda Reservation, which was an amazing experience that I highly recommend. For my final week, separate from volunteering, I went on the Inca Jungle trek and loved it! This program is wonderful because it allows to to feel at home in Cusco with great local home stay families(shoutout Yuri), and it is still flexible with typical tourist travel on weekends. I´ve met so many wonderful people, and gained experience and memories that will stay with me forever. Thank you Maximo!

How can this program be improved?

More funding

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Alexis
Female
20 years old
Florida
Other

Maximo Peru

9/10

I could not have been placed in a better project. Chris, the physical therapist and I really hit it off. We actually plan to keep in contact with one another. I have grown more from this experience than I could have ever imagined. The only thing I would say is a Maximo member promised my project she would bring in books for the kids and as far as I know never did. If someone could make sure they receive that offering would be wonderful, the kids were very excited about that. Otherwise I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my experience here.

How can this program be improved?

The kids have lots of toys, but no battery's for them to work. As well as all of the coloring books have been written on. So new supplies would be wonderful. Also from talking to Chris I have learned that volunteers have given maximo money specifically to fund Chris for physical therapy equipment for the children and Chris never received the money. I am not sure about all the technicalities but this concerned me. These kids have very very little, and their disabilities will only get worse if they continue to not have the equipment they need to improve their quality of life. So if we could make sure the donations go where they were intended would be wonderful, again I acknowledge I am unaware of how the process works. Just letting you know about my conversations with Chris.

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Matthew
Male
21 years old
Canada
University of Saskatchewan

Cusco Constuction

10/10

I really enjoyed my time in Cusco volunteering with Maximo Nivel in a construction project where I helped build a new children's hospital clinic for 8 weeks. I came to Cusco with an open mind because I knew it was going to be a different lifestyle than what I'm used to in Canada. I loved every moment and the people I met. The staff at Maximo nivel was always helpful. Advice I have for new volunteers is to be patient because there's a lot of hand tools and the progress of work can be slow, but it makes it more rewarding because you really can see the physical results of your hard work. Also be proactive and positive on the worksite. The hospitality at my homestay was amazing and my host mom was a great cook. Thanks again to maximo for setting up an unforgettable experience in Cusco for me.

How can this program be improved?

Perhaps to be more open about the budgeting for certain programs and exactly where the money we pay is going. We pay an extra $65 USD per week solely for the construction and renovation project, yet they couldn't afford to supply materials on a few occasions (windows, tiles, etc.)

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J.R
Male
Peru
Miami University

Cusco Construction

8/10

Huge shout-out to Maximo Nivel for providing me the opportunity to have such a memorable experience in Cusco. The team was always willing to help...whether it was first-day orientation, on-site visits, or just being there if I had a question...I knew I could count on them for any support I needed. My time in Cusco is drawing to a close, but the memories will last a lifetime. Thank you Maximo Nivel!

How can this program be improved?

More emphasis on different/new skills for most people (rather than mostly painting, sanding, and plastering, in the four weeks I was here)

Holly
Female

Loved My Experience Teaching English in Cusco for 3 Months!

10/10

I have been volunteering with Maximo Nivel in Cusco, Peru, for the past three months and have absolutely loved my time here! I just graduated college and wanted to take a gap year before going back to school. I have several friends who took a similar break but spent it backpacking through South America instead of staying in one location for a length of time. Although there are definitely benefits to both, I seriously recommend spending time in one place volunteering through an organization like Maximo! In these past few weeks I have gotten to know the culture and people of Cusco in a way that is not possible if you spend your time quickly traveling through places or staying in hostels.
First, my volunteer projects have been an incredible way to meet locals and make a difference. My project is teaching English and it has been really cool to watch people who initially knew no English improve to speaking full sentences. Maximo Nivel comes by and checks on the projects every week or so to make sure it is going smoothly and is willing to work with you if there is ever a problem with the project.
About a month ago I approached the Maximo staff with an idea to start a new project in the area that is more directly related to my academic interests. Instead of dismissing this because it would be a difficult project to start, they went out of their way to make this new project possible and I am currently working with them to help start it! I have met many other people who are here on a gap year between schools as well and Maximo wants to make sure that your experience with them best prepares you for whatever job or school you are hoping to gain entrance to upon your return home. I had to take the Law School Admission Test while I was here and they were willing to work with my schedule so I had plenty of time to study and volunteer!
Additionally, I have loved living with a host family here in Cusco. My house mother is incredible and cooks great meals. I was a little worried about living with a family after living on my own in college but my house mom is always willing to help me with things while also giving us freedom to come and go. Maximo also offers Spanish classes to volunteers and can pair you up with a local so that you can meet up with them on your own time to practice speaking Spanish and English. My Spanish has improved a lot because of this!
If you are trying to figure out how to spend time abroad or where to spend it, I highly recommend coming to Maximo Nivel in Cusco. Whether you plan to be here for one week or six months, Cusco offers incredible sights to visit in your free time. I became really good friends with my house mates and was able to travel to various places with them on the weekends and during the day when I was not volunteering. The people of Peru are very welcoming and I guarantee you will have an incredible time getting to know both the people and city of Cusco!

Karim
Male

Fantastic Experience With Maximo Nivel Peru Teaching English!

10/10

I volunteered with Maximo Peru in Cusco for 3 weeks teaching English in October 2017 and what an amazing experience it was!

From the moment I arrived to the day I left I was given all the help and support I needed from the superb Maximo team on the ground in Cusco. My living accommodation was great and my host family were so hospitable I felt like a member of the family!

I was teaching English in an after school program to children between the ages of 6-12. They had an infectious happiness and willingness to learn that it made my time with them enjoyable and fun everyday whilst I was making a real impact to the quality of their written and spoken English.

I would highly recommend Maximo Peru for any volunteer program you´re thinking of doing!

Karim (London)

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Page
Male
10 months old
Redondo Beach
University of Southern California

Fantastic Family Volunteer Trip

9/10

We had a wonderful time in Peru with Maximo! We traveled with our two boys ages 12 and 14 and volunteered one week at the orphanage and one week at the zoo. All four of us loved playing with the kids and had a hard time leaving them after the week. We also enjoyed our time at the zoo and felt that we made an impact at both locations. We would love to return and work with Maximo in the future either in Peru or another location! Between the four of us we had four different Spanish teachers over the two weeks and all were super great! They have obviously garnered a stellar educational team. There were strikes in the city but we felt Maximo did everything they could do to ensure our safety. We did not miss any classes or volunteering time due to the strikes as we could walk to where we needed to go. Our Spanish parents were the absolute BEST! They could not have done more for us! American Inca Trail was very busy but very accommodating for all of our travel needs which we booked after we arrived. We highly recommend this experience!

How can this program be improved?

A bit more direction with what to do with the orphans upon arrival would be helpful.

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Jessica
Female
28 years old
Canada
Other

Childcare/Medical

10/10

I have no words to describe the experience I had in Cusco. The staff at Maximo Nivel are exceptional. I felt well supported and appreciated by them. My host family was amazing and I developed a relationship with them. I met so many volunteers from around the world and still keep in touch with them. The best part of my experience was spending time with the children in the hospital. Seeing their situations was tough but made me want to help in every way possible. It was an extremely rewarding experience and I definitely recommend this program to everyone who is looking to volunteer or give back. This program allows for the perfect balance of volunteer work and travelling.

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chelsey
Female
29 years old
boston
University of Massachusetts- Amherst

zoologico

9/10

I worked on the animal care project and was placed at the zoo. It was unreal. Maritza, the primary staff at the zoo is so caring and has such a great relationship with each of the animals. All of the animals had been rescued to some degree, and had varying needs, so we learned a lot about how to care for them. Maximo was very supportive throughout the entire experience, stopping in to see how we were doing, and providing other fun activities throughout the week. Our host family was so accommodating, friendly, and even made a cake and sang for my friend on her birthday! No matter where I go moving forward I would love to add a week of volunteering!

How can this program be improved?

n/a

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Maria
Female
19 years old
Colorado
University of Denver

Medical Internship in Cusco, Peru

10/10

Wow. Sure, it seems like such a small word, and maybe a cliche thing to say, but honestly, wow. The medical internship I did in Peru was absolutely amazing! I could not have asked for a better experience in terms of quality. Not only were the employees of Maximo Nivel incredible professionals, but they are also loving and kind people who you would like to get to know anyways. They do a fantastic job placing you somewhere you truly want to work. For example, one of my fellow volunteers didn't like her first job placement, and after speaking to Maximo, she was quickly transferred to the clinic where I was at. Maximo does very well placing you with a family as well. You always have the option of changing anything if you are not happy; in the end the experience is yours, and Maximo did all it could to make it the best experience for me. I was able to have large amounts of patient contact, and even saw sutures being put into someone's chest! Although my family was concerned about the safety in Peru, I honestly found it to be just as dangerous as any other city. Just be careful and everything will go well. There were so many opportunities to get to learn about the culture, travel, and eat good food. Cuzco is the center of Archaeological cites (aka ruins, but never say that to a native :D) and there is always something to do. Although finding places with wifi can be a little tricky, Maximo provided internet and a landline phone to make calls back home. I stayed a total of 5 weeks in Cuzco, and I wish to go back some day with Maximo again. This experience certainly encouraged me to continue with my pre-med track so I can one day become a doctor too. I hope many people continue participating with this incredible program, that not only provides medical internships but also a wide variety of other programs. I am certainly promoting it to all my friends at the University of Denver. Go Pios! And go Maximo Nivel!

How can this program be improved?

Tell participants that they can change families or job locations if they feel uncomfortable. I was too nervous to do this at first, and I could have had a better experience if I had done so.

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Gabriela

Cusco

10/10

When I landed in Cusco, I told myself, embrace ambiguity and go with the flow- so I did!! In the volunteer orientation, our program guide offered the best advise ever...she said this is your experience and you get what you put in! And she was 100% right! I was open to new experiences and new friendships and as a result this adventure changed my life forever. So I recommend to make this your experience!

How can this program be improved?

n/a

Cj
Male

Medical Campaign in Cusco Area

9/10

From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly face. Transportation was arranged and after nearly 24 hours of traveling it was a relief to coast into our host dwelling. The host throughout the week was very kind and hospitable. Breakfast every day and an authentic homecooked dinner in the evenings (along with different desserts). The house was serviced daily by a housekeeper, so we always came back to a clean house. Ellen, our field manager, was very well organized and very fluent in Spanish and along with the other contacts of Maximo Nivel, all of our campaigns were very well put together and fulfilling. I would come back and work with them in a heartbeat.

Chris
Male

Great program and experience!

10/10

The program staff was extremely helpful. Never did I feel unsafe or worried. We were given great recommendations on restaurants, places to shop, etc. The staff also booked us an amazing homestay in Cusco with a wonderful woman who cooked us breakfast and dinner every day! The actual program itself was also amazing. They kept our group busy the entire 3 weeks we were there, and always kept the schedule engaging, professional, and fun. My favorite memories include getting to really know the vibrant, big-hearted people of Cusco through medical campaigns and our fun excursions to Machu Picchu and other scenic areas on the weekends! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

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Anna
Female
21 years old
United States
Temple University

Cusco, Peru Program

10/10

My experience with Maximo Nivel was so amazing and enriching. The staff that they have in the office was helpful and willing to answer any of my touristy questions about the city and needs as a volunteer at their placement. Overall they were so hospitable and ready to welcome new volunteers, and work with them to provide help to the surrounding communities in Cusco. I couldn't have asked for a better team of people to work alongside during my volunteering. They really try their best to engage you in the beautiful culture and immerse you in different programs that they hold each week so that you can leave Peru, not only having helped the people, but learned about their history and traditions as well. Without a doubt, I will hopefully be returning and recommend this program.

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Geoff
Male
55 years old
Canada
University of the Witwatersrand

Family Volunteering - Construction and Animal Care in Cusco

10/10

We had a wonderful family volunteering experience with Maximo Nivel in Cusco - one week of construction and one week of working at the dog shelter. Both were very positive experiences for parents and teenagers alike.
We can´t say enough about the helpfulness and friendliness of the Maximo Nivel staff, they went out of their way to help us find our feet in Cusco and make sure we had everything we needed. The evening activities were also fun, we particularly enjoyed the Salsa lessons and craft sessions.
Our home-stay was also great, we had several interesting conversations with the family and learned a lot of Spanish in the process. We also enjoyed meeting and interacting with other volunteers.
The Holt Family

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Joyce
Female
Oakland, CA
California State University- San Marcos

Volunteering in Cusco was amazing!

10/10

We had a great time volunteering to teach English in Cusco! We were pleased with Maximo Nivel’s support and help during our month stay there. It was assuring to know we had a base to go to for help, advice, exchange money, make copies, get some supplies and coffee/tea and yummy sandwiches! Everyone working at Maximo was eager to assist us and always had a positive attitude. We really enjoyed our Spanish classes with Eliana and our program director Brittany. The most rewarding part was working at our school everyday and seeing how happy the kids were to see us as we were to see them. They were so eager to learn. We loved teaching them and doing some fun activities such as making slime! We also met some new friends during our homestay which was an added bonus. We also enjoyed all our adventures with America Inca Trail. Our overall experience was so rewarding and humbling and we thank Maximo Nivel for all their help. If you have a positive attitude, are proactive and flexible...any experience can be better than you ever thought. I hope to continue volunteering in different countries every summer break...

How can this program be improved?

Homestay food can be better!

Tabish
Male

Maximo allowed me to be the Curriculum Knight! 👨🏽‍🏫

9/10

I can't even begin to describe how amazing Maximo Nivel Peru has been throughout my volunteer experience!
From the moment I landed in Cusco, to the very last minute I took off, they have had nothing but smiles on their faces, and an eagerness to help and assist me throughout my volunteering experience and outside of it.
If you're looking to volunteer with an organisation, look no further. Adaptable, relatively economical, supportive and not to mention, absolutely incredible! I never expected teaching English to be as fulfilling or exciting as it was, and it was largely in part due to the care I received from Maximo Peru!
As a side note, huge shout-outs to the lovely faces who greeted me at the office every single day, specifically calling out Eveline (Thanks for being an awesome lead!), Brittany, Sylvia, Ninoska, Daniel & Angel (Last two not pictured cause they're too cool)!
In terms of my placement and opportunity, I was able to volunteer with a local school (Andino Bilingual) & Qosko Maki (A volunteer organisation) where I taught students the application of the English Language in addition to teaching them communication, teamwork, leadership and personality grooming! It was such an amazing experience and I had the ability to completely take ownership of and translate my efforts into real time sustainable impact for the people involved!
I'm leaving Cusco with a sustainable framework for implementing the functions I took ownership of to directly impact the community and I couldn't be happier!

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Nick
Male
27 years old
California
University of Adelaide

Awesome time teaching English to very eager adults in Cusco!

10/10

After teaching English to young children in Bolivia(who were lovely but also a little too rambunctious at times!), it was a delight to teach such studious adults who were also so relaxed and enjoyed a good laugh. Classes varied between 6 and 8 students and many had worked long hours before class so it was inspiring to see how hard they worked so that they could improve their English and eventually improve their career opportunities down the line. Most classes are focused on speaking and listening which made it more fun and we shared a lot of good times. Thank you to Maximo and thank you to all the great students who we worked with at Qosko Maki!

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Michael
Male
21 years old
Chicago
Loyola Marymount University

New Experience for me

10/10

My experience at Qosko Maki made me certain that I will pursue a degree in education in the future. The opportunity to teach adults in the community were specifically great to work with. The people at this project were so grateful to have us there and I felt like I was making such a great difference in their lives. These are people who will benefit so much from having this skill and I was glad to provide whatever I could. Thanks for the great opportunity Maximo!

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Federico
Male
27 years old
Italy
Gonzaga University

Construction through Maximo Nivel

10/10

I was very happy that we got to work on a clinic and help the sick people in the community because I wasn't sure whether to do the medical volunteering or the construction and this gave me the opportunity to do both! We were given the opportunity to see how construction differed in Peru than it does back home and this is something that fascinated me. I want to come back at some point maybe to another Maximo location, to do more construction work or maybe child care.

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Christopher
Male
20 years old
Orlando
University of Florida

Practical Medical Opportunity

10/10

I was so pleased with the medical work that we were able to do in for different parts of Peru. Throughout the time, we were able to see patients, do basic diagnostics, administer shots and even prescribe drugs (with the assistance of a very knowledgeable doctor). This is something that I never would have been able to do back in the United States as merely a premed student. What a cool opportunity this was for all of us. Thank you to Maximo for providing us with an experience which brought all of us closer together in a great way which helped many people in need.

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Magdalena
Female
18 years old
Florida
University of Florida

Maximo Nivel in Cusco

10/10

I was initially very nervous to travel to Cusco and participate in the medical project that I had signed up for through my school in Florida. But the Maximo team made our stay so comfortable. When I got sick, our campaign organizer Dominic went with me to the clinic and made sure that I was taken care of. He was always there to help us with any problems we had and I really enjoyed getting to help the people in the community as well. I am excited to keep traveling after this experience!

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Katie
Female
20 years old
Gainesville
University of Florida

Cusco Medical

10/10

A special shout out to our group leader, Dominic, and our medical campaign organizer, Dina, for making this such a special experience for our group. We all felt that this experience deepened our desire to become healthcare professions and we are hoping to do a similar program in Guatemala through Maximo Nivel next year. I also hope to return to Peru some day because I fell deeply in love with the culture and the people throughout my time.

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Eliana
Female
19 years old
Florida
University of Florida

Medical Campaign with Maximo Nivel

10/10

The other volunteers and I were able to complete upwards of 30 hours helping over 500 people in 4 communities around Cusco. This was such a great experience! We were able to provide healthcare to people who, otherwise, might not have been able to afford it, and we were able to gain more practical skills in the medical field which, the majority of us hope to go into one day. I am very grateful to the entire staff of Maximo which made this such a memorable experience for all of us. Thank you!

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Eric
Male
26 years old
United States
Colorado State University

Maximo Nivel Cusco Spanish Classes

10/10

I took two classes a day of Maximo Nivel's native Spanish program for three weeks. The teachers were excellent as were the support staff and I was able to notice a large improvement in my ability to comprehend and speak Spanish. I think this class is a great way to learn a new language and help navigate Cusco and Peru! Even though I wasn't a volunteer there the facilities were great and the staff were always available to answer questions I had about classes, the city, and exploring the surrounding region.

How can this program be improved?

More examples are always great!

About The Provider

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Máximo Nivel (Maximum Level)—The Intercultural Center of Latin America

Máximo Nivel is a family-owned, social enterprise founded in 2003. Our three intercultural centers are locally-based organizations focused on international education and cross-cultural experiences. Our programs include: Volunteer Abroad, International Internships, TEFL Certification, and Spanish Language

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