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
Jumping photo
Jumping photo
Cusco Salt Mines
Cusco Salt Mines
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Dog shelter
Dog shelter
Team work
Team work
Construction crew
Construction crew

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 76 - 90 of 128
Default avatar
Amanda
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Cusco Peru

The amount of care we received from Maximo Nivel staff was absolutely amazing. I have never felt so supported! The children we were able to volunteer with were wonderful and so thankful to have us there. It was absolutely amazing and I would highly recommend it to everyone. The best parts of the trip involved volunteering with the adolescent girls who showed us an enormous amount of love and welcome. I also highly recommend this trip because we were able to experience the incredible sites of Peru!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe a little more structure in relation to exactly when to attend the volunteer site as not to interrupt the children's day.
Default avatar
Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Be the change

3 weeks. That's how long I spent working with Maximo Nivel at their Cusco facility. It doesn't seem like much, but in 3 weeks, with an open mind, a proactive attitude, and the immense support from the Maximo team we managed to make a pretty big impact at my project site helping some amazing kids get some of the basic supplies they needed. 3 weeks to explore the culture of Cusco, get immersed in its people, its sights, its food, its nightlife (which there is plenty of). 3 weeks to make some amazing friends. And 3 weeks to really dedicate yourself to do some good in the world surrounded by people who are so extremely passionate about making positive changes wherever they go. I cannot recommend Maximo enough and I hope to have the opportunity to join them again in the future.

Paschell
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Journey of Life

I had a wonderful experience in Cusco, Peru. It is a life changing journey that I would recommend to everyone who is seeking their purpose. The staff, people and other volunteers are so friendly and nice. I met a lot of great volunteers who are making a difference in the world and I am proud and lucky to have been a part of their journey while making my own.
The placement was an experience I will never forget. We tend to take things for granted in America and experiences like these opens your eyes to the rest of the world and the struggles people endure, but are triumphant over.
Thank you Maximo Nivel.

Ashley Louise
Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Phenomenal Experience!

I spent two weeks in Cusco with a group from my graduate school. I am studying to earn a Master's in clinical mental health counseling, and volunteering with Maximo Nivel was one of the best things I could have ever done. As a counselor-in-training, I often rely on language to work with people. The language barrier in Peru (I speak very little spanish) forced me to strengthen my nonverbal counseling skills. Not only am I so grateful for this experience, I am grateful to Maximo! They went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable, safe, and happy. If you are a psychology student or in a related field, check out what Maximo can offer you!

Default avatar
Bradley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Andean Cultural Immersion

Wow what an experience! I was only able to spent a limited amount of time on my volunteer project with Maximo Nivel but it was without a doubt a very humbling and rewarding experience. Two weeks out in a small farming community in the sacred valley near Cuzco, Peru was at times quite challenging but a great opportunity to be of service - making a real difference in the lives of the community for the long term - while at the same time being able to immerse myself in the language and culture of the locals. The host family and community were wonderful as were the staff at Maximo Nivel. Maximo also provided free Spanish lessons prior to my placement which was hugely helpful. Although I had already studied Spanish for several months the lessons were invaluable practice in training the ear to hear and understand the locals. Learning in your own country and conversing with locals are entirely different things.

Overall an amazing experience with great staff support in country.

Default avatar
Evan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hospital Antonio Lorena: Cusco, Peru

At the start of my time here, I was placed at Hospital Antonio Lorena. This hospital specializes in pediatric care, specifically Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. When I first received this news, I didn’t quite know what to think. I was excited, but also filled with trepidation. Of course, the opportunity to work in such a setting was an invaluable one, but I was also acutely aware of the potential difficulties that working with pediatric leukemia patients presented.

These were children that were sick. So very sick. Sick to a degree, that some of my days were spent simply sitting and talking, maybe reading, instead of playing active games that healthy children partake in. Some days all I could do was hold their hand as I sat by their bed. These were the days that I could literally see their energy flux, one moment high, and another gone, to be replaced by waves of nausea and exhaustion. But these were also the days in which unexpected laughter bloomed and spread from bed to bed at the smallest thing, filling the room and breaking the silence. These moments forever imprinting upon me the duality of the chemotherapy drugs coursing through their systems and the laughter filling the room. The dual state of strength amongst sickness.

I don’t think that words are fully capable of describing, with full accuracy, my experiences, or time in the hospital. With this thought in mind, I’ve included several photos, snapshots in time, that I think portray it a little better. My hope is that you, as you read this, will be touched in some small way by the enormous strength that these children have, and will choose to spend time with them. Your life will forever be changed.

One of the memories that I will forever cherish is getting to know the nurses. Initially, most of the nurses were fairly distant. Understandably so, with the nature of volunteers coming and going… Some never staying more than a day when they realized what the hospital actually was. Initially I found this indifference towards me to be disheartening, but eventually their outlook towards me changed. This change can be traced to when I asked them to write down their names for me. I simultaneously explained that sometimes, because I’m learning Spanish, it can be hard for me to translate names unless I see them. It was in this moment, that they smiled, wrote down their names, asked me to do the same, did the change occur. From that day on, they were friendly, kind, and always greeted me, as well as offering Spanish tips. Just another small memory.

My time in Cusco has been extraordinarily memorable. From my host family, to the hospital, to the people I’ve met, it’s been something that I’ll never forget. And as I prepared to leave for Lima, and then the states, I felt a pull in my heart to stay.

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Jill
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Volunteering Experience!

I volunteered at a home for teens moms in Cusco. I had such a great experience! Maximo Nivel kept in great contact before the trip and helped me prepare. The only feedback here is I wish I had known my placement before the trip so I could have prepared even more. ( I didn't find out until I got to the teens moms' home where I was volunteering!) Our host family was great! I am a vegetarian and they prepared the best meals for me! I stopped by the Maximo Nivel office in Cusco many days with questions or just to use the internet and they were always helpful. After the volunteering ended, they still helped me spend some of my donation money and continued to follow up with me about my experience. They were always responsive, caring and attentive. I would definitely volunteer with them again!

Default avatar
Feride
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience with kids in Cusco Peru

Dear all
I am Feride - from Switzerland.
Participating in volunteering program for kids at Maximo Nivel in Cusco/Peru was a unique experience. I was there in May/June of 2016 for 5 weeks.
I found Maximo Nivel on the internet by browsing and reading reviews like this one ;-)
I am very happy, everything worked out well. All employees were very friendly and helpful.
The place where I volunteered was PRONOEI Paraiso de Fàtima a pre-school, near Cusco city center.
The teacher Vilma was a great and very patient person. During my time there, I was continually
impressed with her energy, positivity, and dedication to the children she worked with.
All the kids were nice, cute and friendly.
Thank you for the great experience in Cusco/Peru. I had a great time with Maximo Nivel and would definitely recommend it to everyone.

Default avatar
Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best week ever

I went to volunteer to Cusco for just one week, I hope it would have been longer. The seven days I spend there where amazing. My program was childcare and I volunteered in the Antonio Lorena Hospital with kids with cancer. I had worked with kids in these conditions once before in Lima but these experience was completely different. The kids were the best of the best, they were always playing with you, watching movies, drawing, painting, etc. They were very lovely and always wanted to learn more, especially english words. The Maximo Nivel staff were very helpful to me, gave all the materials I needed, the scrubs and because the kids had a weak inmune system, they gave me closed new games for the kids. The house I went to was great too, the food and the room was excellent, and the family was very kind to me and the other volunteers. I also met volunteers from all around the world and we are planning to repeat these volunteer experience because of house great it was. I recommend these to everyone no matter if you can do it only one week, it is totally worth it! Go for as long as you can!

Default avatar
Amber
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hospital Antonia Lorena made my experience!

So I volunteered with through Maximo Nivel in Cusco, Preu for 8 weeks. As a working nurse going to volunteer, I expected a different experience. With that said, I did have a great time still. I think their program is perfect for students or people that are interested in being in the medical field. My first 6 weeks I volunteered at a clinic and was able to help them quite a bit. My last two weeks I was assigned to Hospital Antonia Lorena and worked in their pediatric oncology unit and it was the most amazing experience. These kids need someone who isn't afraid of what they're going through. They want to be seen for who they are and being a volunteer there will bring a whole new joy to your heart! The staff are all very appreciative to have the helping hand there! Request to see if you qualify for this placement.

What would you improve about this program?
Having recommended changes that can be lead by volunteers: clean up programs, painting places, building something needed, organizing a fundraising parade...
Default avatar
James
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

1200 patients in two weeks

Working with Maximo Nivel was spectacular! A team from NYITCOM consisting of 12 students traveled to several rural villages and provided free healthcare to the populations. We all took histories and completed physicals as well as other roles, such as teaching children how to brush their teeth and wash their hands. The experience was eye-opening and outstanding! The support staff that helped us in the field and in the office were all wonderful and a pleasure to work with! The host family/guest house Maximo Nivel organized was fantastic as well as the food they provided! Maximo Nivel made getting to and from the airport easy as well as from site to site. They were also very helpful with pointing out interesting stores, restaurants, and other spots in Cusco, Peru! All for a great price as well! I highly recommend volunteering with Maximo Nivel!

What would you improve about this program?
The only two complaints I have are 1) I wish I was able to do more for the patients other than physical and histories and 2) Maximo could provide more information about fun activities when not volunteering like Rainbow Mountain and Sacred Valley.
Default avatar
Maca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Travel, grow and help

I love travelling, I love kids and I think helping people is one of the best things you can do in your live. So, what about doing a volunteer with kids abroad? When I had the chance to take some free days of work I decided to spent them visiting an orphanage in South America. I didn't know where to go but I knew I would like to visit a real place. Searching in the internet I found Máximo Nivel and I got in touch with them. A week after I was completing my inscription.

I spent two weeks in 'Aldea Juan Pablo II', in Cusco. It is one of the best trips I have ever done. Apart from visiting an awesome place, I met incredible people. The children of the orphanage where so cute and spending 15 days with them you realize the lucky we are. I played with them, I helped them with their homework, we spoke about diferent topics... It has been a really enriching experience.

I would love to go back to visit them. And to see Cusco again. t is a lovely place between mountains, near Macchu Pichu. The ruins mada me feel an inca. What more can we ask?

I really recomend to take a break of the rutine and to fly to Cusco to have an unforgottable experience with Maximo Nivel. You wont regret it.

Default avatar
Jamie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life Changing Experience!

Volunteering with Maximo Nivel was amazing! I worked as a medical volunteer during my time in Peru and was blown away by how much healthcare was lacking in many parts of the country. Through the efforts of the volunteer program, these medically underserved populations were given the opportunity to receive the healthcare and health counseling which they otherwise would not have free access to. The entire volunteering experience was extremely enlightening. Furthermore, as a current medical student, the experience provided me with unparalleled clinical experience in that I was able to assist a variety of patients from various age groups who presented with unique complaints. Thus, from this experience, I gained vast insight and skills in the field of healthcare which will follow me for the remainder of my career.
The leadership of the program was also magnificent. The leaders made sure the volunteering efforts ran smoothly with no major hiccups. They guided us through our services and made sure we got the most out of our time in Peru. The entire experience was well organized and lacking in nothing.
In regards to the living situation in Cuzco, all my expectations were exceeded greatly. The host family treated my fellow volunteers and I as members of their own family. From preparing our meals to joyfully greeting us every time they saw us, the host family went above and beyond in making us feel at home in a foreign country.
Overall, my experience with Maximo Nivel is one I will never forget.

Candace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my life

I am a Canadian nurse who went to Cusco in November, 2015. I cannot say a bad word about the Maximo Nivel experience. I signed up for a volunteer nursing placement and Maximo handled everyone once there. I was placed 10 minutes walking distance from the office. The accommodations were lovely. I felt safe, cared for, and comfortable. I had 2 room-mates in different volunteer programs and we became close instantly. My first day of placement a physician came to the office and took us by bus to the clinic so that we knew how to get there and back. We were given a full tour of the clinic and introduced to everyone. The Spanish language classes were extremely helpful and a great way to meet people from other programs. The staff were always available for tips and travel suggestions, probably the friendliest group of individuals you'll ever meet. The office is located 5 minutes walking from the plaza des Armes. I worked in health care and my two room mates worked in child care and we all left saying that as much as we helped them, they changed us for the better even more. Cannot praise this company enough.

What would you improve about this program?
I've got nothing.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

I was very overwhelmed when first going to Peru. I had never travelled alone let alone to a foreign country for 2 weeks. Maximo nivel eased most of my anxiety the first day there. Everyone was friendly and helpful. They placed me in a wonderful home where I felt safe and was very well taken care of. They offered a tour of the city the first day there and pointed out places I should try. This was really important because it gave me a sense of the city which made me feel more comfortable. It was also a way to bond with some of the other volunteer who months later I still am in touch with. My first day at the orphanage brought some more anxiety as I had no idea what to expect. Luckily I had Kristina. She showed me how to take the public transportation to my placement. She introduced me to the nuns I would be working with and showed me the ropes. My experience at the orphanage was amazing. It opened my eyes to so many things especially the treatment of those with special needs in countries outside of America. I met some amazing children and even more amazing nuns who take care of these kids given the limited number of staffing and supplies. Maximo nivel is definitely a program I would love to work with again! It was a great experience!