Volunteer in Peru with Maximo Nivel - Best Rated Projects

Video and Photos

Volunteers and I
Volunteers and I
Ashley Doherty, Pre-Medical Volunteer
Ashley Doherty, Pre-Medical Volunteer
Cusco Salt Mines
Cusco Salt Mines
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Jumping photo
Jumping photo
Team work
Team work
Construction crew
Construction crew
Dog shelter
Dog shelter

About

Peru is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural resources. However, its social development has not kept pace with its commercial development, and Peruvians still wrestle with illiteracy and basic social justice. Peru works hard at self-improvement, making it an ideal place for international volunteers to get involved, contribute to sustainable programs, and provide help to vulnerable populations. There is no shortage of things to get done in Peru and international volunteers can truly learn to serve here.

Maximo Nivel provides volunteer abroad projects at our institute in Cusco, Peru, both in and outside of the city center. Projects are also available off-site in the Sacred Valley (mountains), the Amazon region (rainforest), and Quillabamba (rainforest), some of which are rural areas and offer a more “off-the-grid” experience than the city of Cusco. Volunteers always have the opportunity to serve in both urban and rural communities.

Highlights
  • New volunteer programs start every Monday year-round
  • All-inclusive—shared accommodations, meals, and many extras
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Academic credit available
  • All-inclusive program fees from $645

Travel Grants Available for a Limited Time!

Ready to work as an English teacher abroad? Register today for our award winning TEFL Certification in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru and apply for a special travel grant.

Popular Programs

Homelessness and poverty have left many children in Latin America without access to proper education and a loving environment. Maximo Nivel’s childcare projects aspire to change children’s lives by providing caring and nurturing volunteers to work, study, and play with them.

Speaking English is a life-changing skill for people in developing countries, because the language opens both academic and professional opportunities, and provides a path out of poverty.

Your work may be focused on reforestation, organic gardening, wildlife and animal monitoring, trail maintenance, and educational workshops for local communities.

Maximo Nivel’s construction programs focus on community development. Construction projects may include building or repairing homes, adding classrooms to schools, or making structural improvements to clinics.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 128 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 16 - 30 of 128
Libbie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Alessandro
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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dominique
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

Taynara
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Courtney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!!

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Dawar
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Jay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Luzia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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 !

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Ryan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Story to Tell

When I arrived on Jan 21, the pick up service was amazing, Carlos was telling us about the history, and unique places to visit while in Cusco.

Accommodation was very hospitable, Ronald and Yenny is accommodating and comforting to talk to, they guided me throughout my stay. Very loving and understandable couple! I will definitely stay again with them if I have a chance to come back to Cusco!

Volunteering with the support of Maximo is exceptional. From my start to end they took care of me, the projects they support are very well maintained especially the one in Qosqo Maki. I´ll definitely come back and volunteer again with Maximo Nivel!

Maximo Nivel staff are very welcoming, great staff and friendly services!

Thank you so much and see you all soon!

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Maginnis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kusi Wasi with Maximo Nivel

I volunteered here for 9 weeks, and loved every day of it. The Maximo staff were super friendly and supportive, and gave me the opportunity to take responsibility for how I ran the volunteering shift. I felt trusted, valued and respected throughout. The local staff at Kusi Wasi were very kind and grateful, and the kids were cheery and playful, and really enjoyed my being there. Most importantly, I enjoyed the time I spent with them, and build some invaluable relationships that are very meaningful to me.

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Jinan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kudos to Maximo Nivel-Peru

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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cusco!

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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English

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
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thank you!

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!