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
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 106 - 120 of 128
Default avatar
Lizzy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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

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!

What would you improve about this program?
The only improvement I would suggest is more prep before getting there.
Default avatar
Martin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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

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!

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Ann
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!!

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

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Brad
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
First Aid kit at building site. Jack was already on it.

Gabe needs to chill out a bit. Well intentioned, but chill.
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David
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CUSCO, PERU MEDICAL VOLUNTEER

I participated in the medical volunteer program through Maximo Nivel in Cusco, Peru. It was an amazing experience, and I got hands on experience in the clinic. It was a total cultural immersion; I got to try so many different foods, and I was also able to practice a lot of spanish. Also, the Maximo Nivel staff was so supportive!

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing I would change, is more concentration in what I wanted to do. Basically, it would have been nice to have participated more in my medical clinic. I admit, a large part was my limited spanish ability--so really, it was not the program's fault, but just my own limitations.
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Christie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good

We were placed in two houses. The first housing experience was great. In the second house, we were very concerned about our safety and hygiene and wished their housing was standard across the board. While the program says there is a vigorous housing application, it is obvious they let one slip by. All the staff are amazing and great except for one person who was very mean and rude despite our requests and needs. Overall, everything was great, but there will always be one or two things (or people) that slip through the cracks.

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

Exceeded my expectations

I didn't know what to expect from Maximo when I signed up online for their volunteer project and homestay with a family. I was quite comforted once I arrived by the capable and flexible staff who ensured I received all of the support I needed throughout my 11 week stay. When I had problems with my bank back home, they were there; when I wanted to change homestays, they were there; when I wanted advice, they were there...
The quality of teaching staff also exceeded my expectations. Although their classes are a bit more expensive, the value I received was worth every penny.

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend that Maximo staff do more regular visits to the homestays.
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Nora
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Would Re-Start Program Tomorrow!!

Maximo Nivel gave me more than I ever asked for. I had spent a fantastic 6 weeks in Cuzco participating in their Construction project. I chose this program because I wanted to build something, leave a little me in Peru. The project is in the morning, which means leaving home at 8:30am and start working at 9am. Sometimes people asked me if an afternoon project would be better? Honestly, it's a great feeling to enjoy your lunch break knowing that you already did something :) Good physical condition is not mandatory, but definitely helps to be in shape a little bit when you are mixing concrete on 3700 meters high up. But just take it easy, step by step and you will have a great time. I spent the afternoons by completing Spanish homework and taking classes. I did speak Spanish before I arrived, but still wanted to improve, to get more fluent and great to learn from a local Peruvian. If you have the possibility, definitely recommend taking classes, knowing the language, even a little bit gives you more confidence. About 3.5 weeks into my trip, my classes has ended and inquired about other options. Eventually I ended up volunteering in the zoo for about 2 weeks in the afternoons. It was a great way to explore another project and see other parts of the city. I know many volunteers actually changed their placements to try something different and Maximo is awesome on trying to assist any requests. I didn't want to miss any construction, therefore chose the afternoon addition.
Life in Cuzco!!! the volunteer house was awesome, food/accommodation absolutely outstanding. You will never be alone (unless you choose to). Project site/salsa night/ volunteer get together/ traveling - you always meet like minded individuals.
Go and do it!!

What would you improve about this program?
From experience, I would suggest that everybody takes at least 1-2 Spanish classes, just to know the basic 20 sentences.
Sometimes I felt that we could actually work longer days. I know it's a little hard sometimes with logistics, but some long days felt even better.
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Rose
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru Service Trip

I really enjoyed my time with Maximo Nivel at their location in Cuzco. I got to volunteer in a clinic in the pediatric center which mainly involved taking vital signs. I think it would be great if they could make some sort of program that is more "impact" focused because it was great to be there, but I wanted to help more.

What would you improve about this program?
The program could be improved by selecting more clinics so that there aren't 5 volunteers for 2 examination rooms.
Default avatar
Karen
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Genuine & Caring

Maximo Nivel ensures your well-being is considered at all times from the beginning, middle and the end of your trip. The staff are all alike - they are approachable, genuinely caring and and you can tell they really are out there wanting to make a difference in the programs that they are implementing. My placement took place in a government sponsored kindergarten ages 3-5 years old for two weeks. I would take a 20 min bus ride to the site where I would assist the teacher in lesson plans, arts & crafts, lunch and playtime. The greatest highlight, no doubt, were the kids - how sweet and loving they were. They would help me sweep, walk me to the bus stop and give me kisses and hugs every morning to say hello. Although the greatest challenge was the language barrier (because my Spanish is little to none), it was not a problem for them, although I did wish I was able to respond as they were quite chatty.

What would you improve about this program?
Longer program durations, it seems that most programs are 3-4 hours long, which made it feel like I didn´t do too much. I know that there were other programs offered in the afternoon if you wanted to take on two, but not many were available.
Default avatar
Pierre
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great fun working at the zoo!

Had a lot of fun working with the animals, its a little sad to see the poor conditions they are living in but great to be able to make a little difference in their everyday life, I was blown away by the variety of species they have and delighted to be able to interact with them. I wish I could have made a bigger difference by helping raising money but will do my best to raise awareness on the importance of wildlife conservation, would definalty recommend the program to any animal lovers!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish the tasks werent as repetitive, everyday is the same thing except from the occasional animal escape which makes the program even more interesting! I feel like eventhough our help is very much appreciated, more could be done to help the zoo such as organising events to raise funds or for example educating nearby schools about the importance of wildlife for the ecosystems or even getting volunteers with internet access to help set up a facebook page and that sort of things to increase outside help to the project.
Default avatar
klj
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Memoriable

Organization of the medical campaign was great. I felt useful and that I made a difference.

The early mornings made for an extra long day and also made it difficult to adjust to the altitude/environment/time change/flight/etc. Being able to meet a little later in the morning and maybe working later in the day could allow more time to adjust. Being ready by 7-8am is much more reasonable than 3-5am.

What would you improve about this program?
The early morning start times. And machu picchu was too early.