Volunteering through Maximo Nivel in Cusco, Peru was an amazing experience. I taught English at an institution called Qosko Maki, which operates primarily as a shelter for homeless youth but also offers English classes to locals in the evenings. Students of all ages come in with varying degrees of English competence and choose the volunteer with whom they want to learn from. Attendance is not mandatory and on any given day I can have as few as one student or as many as 15. Classes are, therefore, quite informal and students usually dictate what is taught each night. I got lucky at my placement because my students were mostly adults and were already at an intermediate English level. Super convenient for me because I didn't know any Spanish. I was able to communicate with them outside of the classroom and most Friday nights we would go out to Temple or other nightclubs after classes. On Birthday's or when volunteers would leave, we'd always cut class short and have a mini party. I loved my students and miss them very much.
The beauty of Maximo Nivel is that they are SO flexible. I went on 3 major treks/trips during my 2 month tenure in Cusco without any issue. I went on the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu, to Arequipa to hike Colca Canyon and finally to Tambopata to experience the Amazon Rainforest. Just let them know in advance and there shouldn't be an issue with you taking time off your placement.
What else can I tell you...I lived in a homestay which was great because it forced me to learn Spanish. I loved my house parents and their adorable grandkids (although I think they only liked me because I kept giving them candy). I took private Spanish lessons at Maximo Nivel every morning for 2 hours and also had the unique opportunity to learn from a tandem partner; a mutually beneficial arrangement with a local, where I speak to him in Spanish and he speaks to me in English. That was a neat experience. My tandem and I would go out for breakfast, go to historical sites and even went to the bar a couple of times. Really interesting way to learn more about the local culture and to practice what I learned in class.
I recommend this program without reservation to anyone interested in travelling abroad and learning a different culture while having some fun. I love the friends I made in Cusco (volunteers and students). I want to go back!