Local Volunteer Projects in Peru

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About

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:

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 120 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.5
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 120
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Michael
10/10

Maximo is the best

This is a perfect opportunity for individuals to gain experience in any medical field they may choose. The hospitality and warm welcomes from the local people made this trip all that much better. I would recommend this to any group of students in our university. Our time here is something we will truly never forget; we will treasure the impact we’ve made on the local people forever. Hopefully I will be able to return as a fully practicing medical doctor!

How can this program be improved?
Everything is perfect.
Yes, I recommend
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Ally
10/10

Cusco, Peru

I had a very good experience in Cusco! Everyone was so helpful and I loved my projects and Spanish classes! My host family was amazing as well. The house was always so clean, and the food was amazing. If I ever had any problems, Maximo always helped right away. They always wanted us to feel safe, happy and comfortable. Cusco is an amazing place to volunteer. I would highly suggest coming to Cusco, Peru!

Yes, I recommend
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Adam
10/10

3 Months Volunteering with Maximo

We came to Cusco not sure what to expect from the volunteer project. 3 months later and I am so thrilled that we had the opportunity to volunteer with Maximo in Cusco. We spent the majority of our time teaching English at a project called Qosko Maki. Our time teaching was such an increidble experience. The students were beautiful people and we were always well supported by Maximo staff and the project staff.
We then spent a week at the Panthera jungle project. This was an experience like no other, to be immersed in the Amazon jungle doing work that matters. The project staff are super passionate and very supportive. Definitely a week well spènt.
Very happy overall with our homestay and the service of Maximo´s staff. Can´t fault them!

How can this program be improved?
My only issue was when we first commenced we were really thrown into the deep end. Not coming from a teaching background it was a bit intense. But the the Maximo staff and the Project staff were always very supportive.
Yes, I recommend
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Rebecca
9/10

Im Zoo arbeiten und Spanisch lernen

Von Februar bis Maerz 2018 habe ich mit Maximo Nivel 3 Wochen im Zoo in Cusco gearbeitet. Es war richtig schoen den Tieren so Nahe zu kommen- wir durften in die Kaefige rein und teilweise die Tiere mit der Hand fuettern.
Der Spanischunterricht war fuer mich richtig hilfreich, ich konnte vorher gar kein Spanisch und nun kann ich 4 Zeiten bilden und bin richtig stolz darauf.
Ich kann jedem der Zeit hat nur dieses Programm empfehlen.

How can this program be improved?
Marisa and Zoo Leader had to learn more english .... it was sometimes difficult to communicate
Yes, I recommend
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jordan
10/10

Amazing

I loved every minute of my experience with Maximo Nivel! They do an excellent job working with their community and volunteers! I did the construction program and learned so much. My project felt worthwhile and the coordinator was great. My homestay was the best part of my trip. The family and other volunteers were amazing and I truly felt like I was at home.

Maximo does such an excellent job and I highly recommend their programs.

Yes, I recommend
Claire
10/10

Amazing program!

I did the zoo\rescue center in Cusco for two weeks and it was amazing. Maximo Nivel did a great job to ensure our safety and made sure everything went really smoothly! Definitely would return. The staff was excellent, and offered great suggestions on what to do. The rescue center was amazing and I felt like I was really making a difference. Everyone was super supportive and I met tons of volunteers from all over. My host family was so amazing! They were really interested in our lives and really tried to make us feel at home.

Yes, I recommend
Libbie
10/10

Volunteering with Maximo Nivel in Cusco was the best experience of my life!

I spent a month in Cusco to do the medical volunteer project. Before this, I had never been out of the country. Maximo Nivel allowed me to feel safe and comfortable. My overall experience was amazing. Not only did I have a blast volunteering, I also enjoyed every second at my homestay. Without the resources that Maximo Nivel provided, my trip would not have been the same. I would highly recommend volunteering through Maximo Nivel and I will definitely continue volunteering with Maximo!

Yes, I recommend
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Alessandro
9/10

Jungle conservation

A real funny and interesting immersion in the jungle (Tierra Linda) where I learnt a lot of things about reforestation. A perfect mix between work and fun!!! You can have the possibility of living a unique experience without internet and electricity. You will eat healthy a delicious dishes made by fruits and vegetables of the greenhouse. You will plant primary trees and help Tierra Linda on his goal to being a private area of forest conservation. My suggestion is to spend 1 month in order to really involve yourself in the project.

Yes, I recommend
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dominique
9/10

traveling and volunteering

It was my first time volunteering outside my country, and the experience was great!
It is really good to know a culture by volunteering and traveling around. I stayed only a week, and I wish I had more time to stay in Cusco and finish the project
My first language is Spanish so it was easy to know people we were working with.

I definitely would love to have this experience again in Cusco or in another country

Yes, I recommend
Taynara
8/10

Special needs care with children

Maximo Nível is really organized and provides all the information and support you need. The staff is always really nice and willing to help. They organize a bunch of social activities so you can meet other people here, like cooking classes and salsa dance lessons FOR FREE! Their Office provides a nice space for the students to use computer and eat , meet and chill.
The program is in an orphanage for special needs children, and the place doesn´t have much structure and organization so this is very difficult, but the project manager comes as many times as she sees needed for you to find your way in the program.
The host family I got is amazing, really nice people that make you feel very welcome.
It´s been a great experience

Yes, I recommend
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hannah
10/10

peru cusco

I thoroughly enjoyed the the whole experience even though I was only there for a week, I able to see the culture and I also got to volunteer in among the city of cusco with helping to build a roof and a fence at a preschool as well as dug out the surrounding dirt around the building for a future retaining wall.
Maximo Nivel made the trip stress free and unforgettable!!!!!!! The staff was extremely friendly, reliable, and helpful. The host family was very accommodating and welcomed us into their home with open arms! Overall, I would highly recommend participating on a missions trip through Maximo Nivel!

Yes, I recommend
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Courtney
10/10

Cusco, Peru

Having the opportunity to come to Peru was one of the best choices, I learned so much of their culture and having the opportunity to improve the lives of the children here!! I am so grateful of all the staff support from Maximo and everything went very smoothly at the worksite!! I would definitely recommend Maximo to anyone that wants to work hard but other want to experience the city and culture!!

Yes, I recommend
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Dawar
9/10

Fun times in Cusco

Volunteering in Peru sounds pretty cool for any foreigner I am sure, however, that experience is taken to a whole new level when done with the right team and the right people. Everyone at Maximo Nivel are truly loving, kind hearted people, and care about the work they are doing. I can't think of a better place to volunteer if you're looking to make a difference and still have a good time. I hope you find the experience to be the same for you!

Yes, I recommend
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Jay
10/10

2 Week Holiday Volunteer Project - Cusco

For my 2017 holiday plans, I made a personal decision to buck my traditional itinerary of going home for the holidays by signing up for a two-week volunteer project in Cusco, and I can honestly say it was a life-changing experience that I would highly recommend for anyone either interested in volunteer work or is interested in visiting Peru.

To give some background, I'm a 32 year old graduated & full-time employee and I was specifically looking for a holiday project to both coincide with my work schedule and because of personal desires to volunteer and give during the holidays. This was my second project I've done with Maximo Nivel, my previous project in the summer of 2017 which was teaching English for 2-5th grade students in Guatemala. Also, my project in Guatemala was my first truly legitimate volunteer project and my first time traveling to Latin America. I never took the opportunity to volunteer when I was younger, and was something I regretted and pursued to make up when I had the opportunity. I met someone that recommended me to Maximo from her experience, and that's what led me to Guatemala & I was so impressed with how well that project went that I decided to do another round with Maximo in Peru for the holidays.

From the moment I read the description of the "Cusco Holiday Experience Project," I was sold with it having a holiday theme and different projects every day. Overall, I really enjoyed the variety and exposure with my work and would get my strong recommendations. Everything Maximo promised was granted, as I got to volunteer on a new project every weekday (except Christmas & New Years Day), and did things such as supporting a christmas party for children, hands-on work with travelling to an Andean village to support a farm, a community center renovation project, and multiple medical campaigns for both human and veterinary work.

For those specifically interested in this project, I have a couple of caveats that you should be aware of. it is a bit challenging to do a different project every day in that you have to be prepared for new training and inherited challenges by doing volunteer work in this manner. Additionally, you should also be aware of the fact that you miss out on a stronger personal sense of impact of your work by having to do something new every day. With all that, Maximo did a fantastic job making me feel prepared every day for my new project, while being realistic with the work itself and allowing me to connect with the people I worked with and enjoy the variety of environments I was in at the same time. I do feel that I made an impact with my work and got a lot out of it on a personal level.

Outside of the volunteer work, I had an adequate amount of time to explore Peru and can't say enough how awesome of a country it is to visit. I had 2 free weekends, New Years & Christmas Day, and a third independent week without volunteer work to get to explore. While working, my shifts during the week were 4 hour shifts (not necessarily counting travel to/from the locations, which can add 1-2 hours), and I generally had good amounts of time in afternoons to explore. From my experience as well as other co-volunteers, I would recommend making efforts to have at least 1 week of your own time without volunteering, as the free afternoons can be shortened easily and you may miss out on activities that you thought you would have time for.

Activity wise, I did a lot with my time in Peru. I did day trips (Sacred Valley, Rainbow Mountain, Lake Humantay), afternoon activities (ATV's, Paragliding), and a 4-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. One highly valuable aspect with signing up to Volunteer in Cusco with Maximo is that they are partnered with "American Inca Trail," a fantastic tourism outfitter right next door to Maximo that has tons of activities at reasonable prices. What's especially nice about AIT is their service, particularly with understanding our volunteer schedules at Maximo, and they make substantial efforts to accommodate your activities with your schedules (such as holding shuttles). Everything I signed up for was all under AIT and I highly recommend them across the board, as they really enhanced my volunteer project to become a vacation as well.

For my living situation in Cusco, I was living with around 10 total volunteers at an excellent host family that was very warm and accommodating. One noteworthy thing that made my holiday special was that I got to share a delicious christmas eve dinner and party with them that I will never forget. While there are some things I had to adjust to (sharing a cramped room with four other people, small breakfasts, water shortages), none of that tarnished my experience in Cusco and a lot of these things are inherited with doing volunteer work, which you should be mindful of what you're signing up for. I can even add my house with my previous project in Guatemala with Maximo had a larger private room & better food, but I definitely did not have the same connection with that host family that I did with this one in Cusco and would much prefer living with a warm host with these "sacrifices."

I again, strongly encourage you to consider volunteering with Maximo. I've done two different projects now at different locations, and can not emphasize how much both experiences have changed me. I've gained so much by living with a family and co-volunteers with these projects on a mental, social, and spiritual level. I love having the opportunity to use my volunteer & vacation hours in this way rather than sitting in a resort, and Maximo does a fantastic catering to my desires across the board.

Yes, I recommend
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Luzia
10/10

Construction Project Cusco

Volunteering through Maximo Nivel and IVHQ i spent 2 weeks in Cusco on the construction/renovation project. This experience was amazing! i learnt so much about construction in its simplest form from laying tiles to simple framework of a roof. We were working on a school for children who needed a second level for more space. I would have loved to stay longer to see more progress but we all stay in contact with the next person and maximo nivel staff !

How can this program be improved?
The only improvements i can think of is the progress would have been much faster with more people on site. Although this is obviously just a factor of luck and cant be improved by the company itself.
Yes, I recommend

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About Maximo Nivel

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...