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 124 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 124
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Bradley
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Evan
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jill
8/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Feride
8/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Maria
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amber
9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
Having recommended changes that can be lead by volunteers: clean up programs, painting places, building something needed, organizing a fundraising parade...
Yes, I recommend this program
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James
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Maca
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jamie
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Candace
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
I've got nothing.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julia
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Val
10/10

Making a difference in an incredible city

I volunteered on the medical campaign with Maximo Nivel for one week and it was a phenomenal experience. The staff and my host mom made sure we were comfortable, safe, and getting the most out of Cusco with recommendations for where to eat, where to go, and what to see during our free time. The campaign itself was eye-opening. The program was set up very well and I feel that I made a difference even with no prior medical training or experience, and minimal Spanish ability. The patients we worked with were so kind and respectful and I am so thankful that Maximo Nivel has set up these programs to help people who really need it. I would highly recommend volunteering through Maximo Nivel.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sophia
10/10

Spring Break in Peru

Maximo Nivel is such a fantastic organization that is incredibly well organized. I volunteered with them for a week in Cusco, Peru for the Medical Campaign group and my accommodations were beautiful. Everything was well planned out so that we could actually help people and use our time wisely. I loved working with all of the families and seeing a new city. I would volunteer through them again in a heartbeat!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sheemap
10/10

My Adventure in Peru

Volunteering abroad was something I always hoped to accomplish on my bucket list. Im a social worker by profession and used to work for a county hospital. I love helping others but slowly began to realize just how burntout I had become. I realized I needed a change and something to bring that spark back into my life and bring back that compassion I once had for serving others. I began researching volunteer abroad programs. Once I had applied and got accepted with a volunteer agency, I bravely quit my job. The experience I had with IVHQ and Maximo Nivel was absolutely amazing. I cant pick one thing I liked most about volunteering with them in Cusco Peru because the whole experience was phenomenal. Loved getting to stay with our host family, meet the locals, meet other volunteers, explore the city, learn a new culture, volunteer and give back to the orphan children and all the other adventures we had in peru. It was a once and a lifetime opportunity and I was so grateful for our experience for bringing back that love for life and compassion I had for serving others.

How can this program be improved?
None :)
Yes, I recommend this program
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Zaira
10/10

Childcare in Cusco

Initially, I had planned to join a construction project in Peru after experiencing a similar project in Argentina. After a day at construction, I felt that my skills could add more value to childcare and after voicing my concerns to the Maximo staff on the same day, they immediately understood and found me a new project which was to begin the very next day.

I spent three weeks working at Kausakusun which was a 'casa' for single mothers that have suffered from domestic abuse. The mothers receive training on a variety of skills and assistance in looking for jobs and homes. Whilst the mothers were busy in the daytime, it was my responsibility to look after 6-8 children, aged between 2 and 14 years.

The staff at Maximo really took their time to explain to me what the project would be like and gave me lots of pointers on activities I could do with the kids. They also gave me access at all times of the day to their arts and crafts cupboard which was full of resources for my disposal. Coming up with different crafts projects each day was a challenge at times but Pinterest helped and the effort was worth it as the children and I had collectively managed to really brighten up the classroom with all of our crafts.

The staff at Maximo were constantly checking in on my experience and took their time to drop by the project at least once a week as well, which I appreciated.

I studied an hour of Spanish a day and cannot begin to express how happy I was with my progression from week 1 to week 3. My confidence in speaking really soared after just 15 hours!

I also really appreciated the fact that Maximo took their time to 'match me' with other students/volunteers that were of a similar age in my homestay. This meant that I could really enjoy my downtime with like-minded individuals that have most defiantly become life-long friends.

Overall, I found Maximo to be incredibly organised and support in all of my endeavours and I'm very excited about working them again on my next project in Costa Rica!

How can this program be improved?
Encourage host families to interact with their guests more
Yes, I recommend this program

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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...