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 121 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 91 - 105 of 121
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Abby
10/10

Another Great Experience With Máximo Nivel!

I just volunteered in the beautiful city of Cusco, Peru for my second time with Máximo Nivel! I decided to return to Cusco to visit and volunteer at the orphanage, Hogar de San Judas Chico, I worked at for two months last year. Cusco is an amazing city with so much to do and see; however, the experience would not have been the same had I not volunteered with Máximo again. It is extremely difficult to find an organization that not only caters to the needs of the volunteers, but also to the citizens of the country that the organization is based in, yet Máximo does exactly that. I was placed in an incredible home-stay, and felt completely comfortable and safe during my time in Cusco. While I loved the home-stay, Máximo makes it clear that if there are any problems or concerns, they are available to help. Having volunteers stay in home-stays allows for the Peruvian hosts to not only make needed extra money, but also creates an amazing immersion experience and gives the hosts a chance to practice their English. Additionally, volunteers are able to practice their Spanish and learn about Peruvian culture.

Working at the orphanage last year was the most eye-opening experience (not to sound cliché) that I have ever had. I immediately knew I would want to return, but still had some nerves about the experience not being the same the second time around. While the experience was different than last time, it was just as incredible. The smiles on the girls faces when we saw each other again for the first time reminded me of exactly why I returned. I came back to Cusco with a purpose: to spend the rest of the donation money that I had previously raised the year before. When I received news of a family emergency back home, Máximo was there for me in more ways than I could have imagined. I thought I was going to have 2 whole weeks to plan out and spend all of the donation money, but I only had one because I had to go home 10 days early. With the help of Máximo, I was able to buy each of the girls shoes, underwear, bracelets, and lotion. Additionally, I was able to pay for two of the girls to take four months worth of English classes at Máximo. I also was able to buy glasses for the girls who needed them, and I was able to pay for the dentist for the girls who needed dental work done. There was no way I could have completed all of this without the help of the amazing organization.

I am extremely happy that organizations like Máximo Nivel exist because they truly take the time to ask the places that they help what tools and things they need, rather than simply implenting their own ideas. Máximo also checks up daily on the volunteers and their projects, and they are always open to advice on how change things to make the help more efficient. I am proud to say I have worked with this organization twice, and hopefully I will be able to work with them again. At least I know my girls at the orphanage, and everyone else that Máximo helps, are in good hands.

How can this program be improved?
I would have monthly sit downs with the volunteers and the people who work at the site in order to make sure goals are being set for improvement.
Yes, I recommend
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Beatriz
10/10

Aponderamiento de las ninas

It's has been 2 months that I've been in cusco, Peru. I was there for 3 weeks, in the Arcopaa family, with girls from 6 to 12 years old in "aponderamineti de las Nina's", a place 1h ago from cusco where they can go after school for suport, attention and education.

It was absolutely te best time of my life. I miss it like crazy! It's amazin how giving a bit of us can give us back soooo much! All the girls that I've met they're still so special to me... Thank tou maximo nivel for all the support and accommodation! I had so much fun and I met so many amazing people in my house.. Besides cusco!! I truly recommend this city.. Try the "green point" ;)

I think there's no words to describe what it is to be 3 weeks (too little time!) to be volunteering.. Especially with my girls. Definitely have to try it. There's so many people on the world that need just a little bit of our time... It can just be a hug or teach them how to make a cake... So simple. And I don't know how you'll get so much more in return.

Thank you for everything maximo nivel!

Yes, I recommend
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Elena
9/10

Rewarding and well-organised experience

I did service work with my 13-year-old daughter at Kyuki-Do Wasi (the house for teen mothers and their babies in Cusco), mainly assisting the babies but also helping the mothers in different ways. I got involved with these mothers and babies in a special way and it was sad to leave them after two weeks. The stories these teenage mothers have already lived, at a very early age, are breath-taking but they shared them with me in the most natural way, with no special bitterness but rather a calm resignation. Given this, I was especially touched by the joy in the house, the friendly atmosphere, most of the time, among mothers, their babies and other volunteers and their kindness. And the generosity and good-heartedness of caretakers and psychologist Maruja, for me the real 'soul' of the house. A lesson for us to learn in our daily routine and comfortable lives in the Western world.
The house was well organised and we received perfect support from Máximo Nivel. In particular, Tanja's involvement was a great help and made our work there much easier and nicer. I liked her discrete and 'elegant' attitude.
The general introductions given by the local organisation (Máximo Nivel) were informative and useful; however there was some degree of repetition in the information in the safety and programme introductions. Also I noticed the information (about Peruvian culture, the programme, etc.) is mainly given from a US perspective, not considering other possible origins among volunteers (European, non-English native, etc.).
At the house I found that the volunteer planning could have been better organised. Depending on the day and week, at times, there were too many volunteers (among those who lived at the house and others, like us, who came from another organisation), outnumbering the babies (7). In my opinion, a better planning and knowing in advance the characteristics of the volunteers at the house would result in a more efficient help for the mothers and babies.
I would definitely recommend the international and local organisations (IVHQ and Máximo Nivel) and this programme as a reliable and well-organised one and guaranteeing a special and rewarding personal experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
10/10

Life Changing Experience

As a Graduate student, my experience with Maximo Nivel was not only enlightening but the value of the experience will be something I will treasure forever. Chelsey was an amazing Coordinator who actually used her day off to spend time with us!

Yes, I recommend
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Liliana
9/10

Childcare in Cusco

Cusco is an amazing city. Full of life, colors, tastes; filled with wonderful people and amazing landscapes. I volunteered the past month with Maximo Nivel in Childcare. Got to stay in a volunteer house with 16 other people who live across the world (Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, France, etc.) and they became my family for the month I stayed. We traveled a lot, everything is really cheap and the is a lot to do, it is a very cultural city.
My program was in Saylla, a municipality an hour far from Cusco. I worked with Corazón de Dahlia, an organization that helps children improve their skills after school and learn more while their parents are still working. I worked with 27 girls aged from 7 to 11, we read, did homework, played and we had the opportunity to teach them english (colors, greetings, animals...) or do arts & crafts with them.

It was an amazing experience!

Yes, I recommend
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Cathy
10/10

Maximo Nivel: Outstanding Organization and Amazing Experience

The staff at Maximo Nivel provided consistent, professional support to our group throughout our two week experience in Cusco, Peru. We had the honor of working with girls in a local orphanage. With Maxomo's support, we were able to provide both the girls and the group with an amazing experience. In addition to our volunteer work, we were offered support from Maximo in exploring the city of Cusco, visiting Macchu Pichu, and enjoying the local cuisine. Our host family was very welcoming and we were made to feel at home from the moment we arrived in Cusco. Maximo is a very professional organization and we are indebted to the staff at Maximo for making our two week stay a truly transformative experience.

Yes, I recommend
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peter
10/10

English teaching Maximo Nivel Cusco Peru

I have taught overseas in many countries before,and really enjoyed this placement.I taught with a Canadian girl,and had a lot of fun with my accent - the teenage girls we taught were extremely nice and polite and interactive - I was really pleased that they contributed so well - I think this shows how they liked the previous teachers and the contribution as a whole.
I don't speak Spanish,so the classes were all in english.,and we focussed on them speaking as much as possible.
Cusco is a stop off point for Machu Picchu which has minimum of 2,000 visitors per day!So a fair percentage of visitors would speak english and by helping these girls,I hope we help them with their success in a career where they can use the english.
I was well looked after by the staff,had Spanish lessons,and enjoyed the homestay.Overall it was great to be there and be involved with this project.

How can this program be improved?
I don't think the programme can be improved,but maybe a different method to help the girls would be good - I suggested they form a choir and sing native Peruvian songs as well as english songs.-this would probably an exciting activity for them,but it has to be balanced with their needs which I don't know much about - ie education/living at the home etc.
Yes, I recommend
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Nazmin
9/10

Policia de Familia - childcare in a police station

Volunteering in childcare programme in cusco was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. I was placed in the policia de familia which is a police station for children who have been arrested. Initially I was overwhelmed because my level of spanish was very weak and for that age group I felt it would be better if I could really communicate with the children. However I realised that even with a language barrier it is still possible to make a difference in a child's life esp to those who have had such terrible experiences and only need to realise that they can do better and that people are there for them.
Just a few hours a day playing with then can help to build a bond.

I would recommend this programme, often most people don't want to work in the cold dirty station with misbehaving children but there is a real need to help these children too. I would also strongly recommend you do brush up on your level of Spanish as it can be difficult to keep their attention if you are unable to speak and explain things to them.

Maximo NIvel were very helpful and available during my time with them and I would happily work with them again. Not only that but they also had events and outings for socialising too which was a good way to get to meet other volunteers.

The volunteers I met and shared my experiences with was what made my time in Cisco so amazing! I wish it didn't have to come to an end!

I

How can this program be improved?
I would try to place more advanced or better spanish speaking volunteers in this placement. There is a real need to be able to communicate and talk to children, particularly of an older age group. What the children here really need is someone to talk to rather than to play games with. Not being able to understand the full situation of what happened and why a child is in a police station can be fustrating when you are trying to help. Also I would try to get some cleaners in or communicate with the police that the standards need improving.
Yes, I recommend
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Lizzy
9/10

Teaching English in Cusco

Teaching English through Maximo Nivel was an unforgettable experience! I spent two weeks teaching young girls at La Recoleta. It was so rewarding to be able to see the girls make progress during my two weeks there. The volunteer house was very spacious and served two meals a day. It was nice to be able to taste the local cuisine made by a local! The staff at Maximo Nivel was also extremely friendly and made sure I was enjoying my placement. They were so willing to go out of their way to make sure I had a great experience. I would certainly recommend Maximo Nivel because they were FANTASTIC!

Yes, I recommend
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Brittany
10/10

Peru -teaching english

I fully loved my experience in Cusco with Maximo Nivel. The staff was helpful and organized. My host Mom was so sweet and was a great cook! I loved my placement , the people of cusco and the people who were traveling/volunteering there. I will treasure the memories forever. If you can make a trip happen to Cusco. GO!

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I would suggest is more prep before getting there.
Yes, I recommend
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Martin
10/10

The greatest experience

Perhaps one of the greatest feelings one can experience is that feeling you get when you help someone in need. That´s the reason I decided to volunteer with Maximo Nivel. As soon as you walk into the building you know they want to help those suffering here in Peru and they are doing their absolute best to involve those who wish to help here. Never once did I feel ignored or unimportant in Maximo. I was constantly made aware of events that were happening here in Cusco and I was constantly being checked up on to make sure I was alright and whether there was anything I needed. I was put into a fantastic homestay, fed great meals every day and most importantly I felt like I was making an impact on Cuzco´s community. The people here are always ready to help you and will do their absolute best to accomadate you in any way they can. I will always remember my time here in Cusco and the compassion and love shown to me by the staff here at maximo nivel. I strongly recommend this program to anyone wanting to make a difference in this world.

Yes, I recommend
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Kory
10/10

Incredible program and experience

I just finished volunteering at a boys orphanage in Cusco for two weeks and I cannot speak highly enough of my experience. The Maximo staff is so friendly and helpful. They truly care about the individuals and communities they are working with, as well as making sure the volunteers have a wonderful experience. They can be reached 24/7 to help with anything at all you that you need.

My experience at the orphanage is one that I will forever cherish. The boys all came from backgrounds of abuse, so they were so happy to have people there to love and play with. Everyday consisted of helping them with homework, and then partaking in a variety of games and activities. They were an absolute delight.

Cusco is an awesome city to visit, as well. Theres lots of nightlife, lots of good food, everything is cheap, and lots of fun and exciting activities to do in and around the city.

Everything about this program is amazing. My only regret is that I didn't stay longer!

Yes, I recommend
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Ann
9/10

your little involvement can make difference in people's lives!!!!

I did my 4 weeks volunteer work in cusco, peru for teaching english. whats an incredible and rewarding journey with my chicas!!! They made me truly understand that the happiest people do not have everything, but they make the best of everything. They welcome me with open arms and say goodbye to me with the most genuine and squeeze hugs! I love them and miss my girls a lot!
And Maximal Nivel is just amazing organization!!! The staff are super nice and helpful and they are just like your friends. you can walked in to the office and talk to them anytime, anything! I had a great time working with them!!

Yes, I recommend
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Verity
9/10

Teaching in Cusco & Jungle Conservation

I had the opportunity to teach English to girls of varying ages who live and work at La Recoleta in Cusco. The programme was just being re-started after a break and there was lots of opportunity to really help shape the programme. The girls were really sweet and eager to learn. There were a few difficulties with scheduling, as the girls often worked long days and were available at different times, but once these issues were smoothed out, it was great. I think the girls really benefited from continuity in the teaching style.

The jungle programme was a completely unique experience. If you are looking for something different then this is for you. To live so remotely and without any mod-cons is very refreshing, and it was great to be able to really engage in the environment - planting and maintaining trails etc. Unforgettable.

How can this program be improved?
The teaching programme could really benefit from greater continuity. I.e. it would be helpful if volunteers who were committing to months rather than weeks were placed on this programme.

The jungle programme could benefit from better communication between Chonta Chaka and Maximo Nivel, and more structure, i.e. a clear weekly programme.
Yes, I recommend
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Brad
10/10

Very Well done

I did 2 volunteer programs with my daughter in Cuzco. We both got a tremendous amount out of it. We thought it was well organized and the leadership was outstanding in 1 program, ok in the other.

We definitely felt we were making a difference.

I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who asked.

Special kudos for Sylvia at the desk (beyond friendly and helpful) and Jack our construction project leader.

One thing we WOULD NOT recommend is the travel agency affiliated with Maximo. They were not well managed (Worldwide....). I would recommend a different agency for your excursions.

How can this program be improved?
First Aid kit at building site. Jack was already on it.

Gabe needs to chill out a bit. Well intentioned, but chill.
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...