I am a young professional working full time and I participated in the Holiday Experience Program with Maximo Nivel in December 2016. The organization has a team of very supportive and friendly staff, as well as many meaningful projects.
With the Holiday Experience Program, we went to a local school which is in the underprivileged area. There we built a roof, painted the wall, and played with the kids. In addition, we were brought to a hospital that's located at about an hour outside of the city. While we were there, we helped out with the health check up process, such as measuring blood pressure and heart rate, distributing medicine, preparing the patients for the doctors and dentists, etc. We were given lots of responsibilities and hands-on opportunities to interact with the local Peruvians, which has been one of the greatest experiences I had in Peru.
At Maximo, volunteers were also given the opportunity to take advantage of the affordable Spanish classes. The price I paid for a week course is not even 1/10th of what I would have been paying if I were to take the class in the U.S. The outcome of the course was also impressive! I had zero experience with Spanish before going into the course, and after that I was able to hold a basic conversation with a local person.
The host family that Maximo placed me at was also phenomenal. The host's name is Monica Pilares, and she is such a lovely Peruvian lady! Despite the fact that she spoke almost zero English, I was able to communicate with her through Google Translate and my Spanish class at Maximo. She treated me and other volunteers as part of her family and we spent a wonderful time together. If I were to go back to Peru one day, I'd make sure I visit Cusco and visit Monica and her family.
The staff members at Maximo all spoke fluent English (many of them are native English speakers) and Spanish, and were extremely warm and welcoming. They will help you with anything you need help with, from recommendations for places to eat and hang out, to breaking large bills and navigating to a bank. It made me want to become a part of the Maximo staff team by the time I left.
All in all, I would highly recommend Maximo Nivel to everyone, whether you want to volunteer in meaningful ways to assist the local community like I did, or simply would like to just experience a different culture and language. You won't regret the decision of going to Peru and doing it with Maximo Nivel.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I'd love to share my experiences with you and give you my advises. Dream big and make your dream come true.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA