Volunteer in a Girls Home with Volunteers Peru

Location
Peru
Length
2 to 50 weeks
Housing
Host Family Hostel
Age
18 - 100 years
58 travelers saved this program

Who's Going

Go Overseas Associate Account Manager
When:

Hosted by

Project Director

About This Program

We are looking for caring and enthusiastic people with a passion for helping others to support at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte girls' home in Arequipa, southern Peru.

The Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte is a Christian home for girls and young women who have been removed from their families due to abandonment or abuse.

Highlights

  • Gain international experience volunteering in a girls' home
  • Volunteer your time and skills to help others, from homework help to playing volleyball
  • Improve your Spanish by working closely with the staff and the girls at Casa Hogar
  • Learn about the Peruvian culture and enjoy their delicious cuisine
  • Explore Peru on the weekends

In the afternoons, from about 1:30 to 6:00, volunteers will be at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte. Volunteers will take a bus from the city center to and from the project location (the bus ride is about 30 minutes long) and assist in whatever activities are being carried out at the home that day. During months during which the girls are in school, volunteers’ main responsibility will be to help with daily homework, but volunteers are also encouraged to organize projects and activities for the girls after homework is completed, or on days without homework.

The Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte also organizes field trips, and volunteers will occasionally accompany the girls on daily excursions to local attractions.

Volunteers are usually free to spend their mornings and evening as they wish: exploring the city; taking Spanish, cooking, or salsa lessons; helping with lesson planning, etc. Weekends are free for volunteers to take adventures and see other areas of Peru, if they wish.

We have a one-time Program Cost of $230.

What's Included
  • 24/7 support and assistance
  • Administrative fees
  • Volunteers Peru uniform shirt
What's Not Included
  • International and domestic flights and transport
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Visa fees
Housing

While accommodation is not included in program costs, living costs are relatively inexpensive in Arequipa. In addition, volunteers have the option of staying at Honey House, a hostel and family home owned by Marita, Volunteers Peru founder. Discounted nightly rates are offered for volunteers for a single or shared room, with bathroom and kitchen.

Our program managers provide assistance in securing a safe and affordable housing option of your choice during your volunteer placement.

Meals

Meals are not included in program costs, however, Arequipa is a culinary dream and countless affordable restaurants, markets, and street stalls crowd its white-stone streets. Peru is the home of ceviche, potatoes have always been a staple in the Peruvian diet, and if you like spicy food, try Arequipa's famous rocoto relleno.

Volunteers Peru is a small NGO based in Arequipa, Peru. We work in collaboration with several projects where volunteers can make a positive contribution to the community by assisting the children at each project to fulfill their personal and educational goals, and by promoting mutual cultural awareness.

Video and Photos

Pricing and Availability

Reviews

93%
based on 20 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
Default avatar
Caitlin
10/10

Loving Girls, Wonderful People, Beautiful City

If you have a true love for children and adolescents, lots of energy, and creative skills to share, you will thrive in this volunteer position. Come ready to give 110% to these girls!

My 3 weeks in Arequipa with Volunteers Peru was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I absolutely loved running up to the girls in the morning to give them a hug, sharing my entire repertoire of Disney songs with them, jumping on the trampoline, helping them with English, and having conversations with the older girls in the library.

Not only did I fall in love with the girls at Casa Hogar, I was totally enamored with Arequipa. The city is warm, light, and bright, with good food and friendly people, not too many tourists, and the center is a very relaxing place to chill out after spending the day with the girls. My room at Honey House was huge, like an apartment, and I had tons of room to cook, dance, and lounge.

I strongly suggest that you stay at least 3-4 weeks to get to know all the girls and have enough time to plan and implement any projects or workshops you want to do; that you truly love children; that you speak good Spanish; and that you wear bug spray to the park, because those little brown flies will eat you up!

Last but not least, the staff are superb. Megan, Sarah, and Marita go above and beyond to make sure you are safe, happy, and taken care of. They are genuinely kind and caring and helped me with my every need.

I would do this project again in a heartbeat and hope to return next year!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10

Loved my time there! Would highly recommend this program!

I spent 2 weeks volunteering at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte in October 2017 and my only regret is that I couldn't stay longer! The staff at Volunteers Peru (Marita, Megan, and Sarah) are truly amazing women and it was such a joy to get to know them. They are kind, friendly, and very knowledgeable about Peruvian culture. If you have any questions before or during your trip, don't hesitate to ask them!

As a first-time solo female traveler, I was a little nervous about safety, but I felt completely safe in Arequipa and especially staying at Honey House.

I would recommend learning as much Spanish as you can before you go, but don't let your lack of Spanish prevent you from going. I do not speak Spanish but I was still able to play with the girls and make bracelets with them.

Casa Hogar is less organized than a lot of programs in the United States, so staying flexible is key. Volunteers Peru has some supplies (craft items, coloring books, etc.) that you can bring to the house, but if you want to do something specific you will need to bring the supplies.

Overall I would highly recommend this program. You have mornings and weekends free to explore Arequipa, and what better way to spend your weekday afternoons than impacting girls' lives? Not only will they be blessed by you, but you will be touched by them. Exploring the world and immersing yourself in other cultures will change, shape, and grow you. Do it!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Anna Magdalena
10/10

I wish I stayed longer !!

I really enjoyed the friendly and women only atmosphere of Volunteers Peru. I really appreciate how every volunteer can be himself, is accepted just the way they are ; nobody is pushed to do something they don't feel like doing. It's also a great opportunity to learn and practice Spanish in an easy going way with kids ;)
And of course I loved the girls at Casa Hogar, they are so giving and rewarding, it is a true exchange. Yes you give your time but you receive so much in return ! So if you're hesitating, don't, go for it, you won't regret !!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Karlee
9/10

What a Wonderful Experience

If you are trying to decide whether or not to do this program, I have two words of encouragement, DO IT!

The opportunity to practice Spanish, experience different cultures, and become a better global community member are just several of the opportunities you are exposed to when you volunteer with Volunteers Peru at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte.

I volunteered with this group for two weeks in September 2017. The entire staff is incredibly supportive and caring. Arequipa is a beautiful city. The girls you get to work with are kind and loving. I connected with and made new friendships with people from all around the globe. I couldn't imagine a better volunteer experience.

Thanks Volunteers Peru!

Yes, I recommend
Katie
9/10

Everything I wanted it to be

I stayed in Arequipa and worked with Volunteers Peru for two months in June and July 2017.
I had a fantastic experience in the girls home where I felt welcome from the first minute due to the enthusiasm and kindness of the girls.
When I started looking for programmes to go abroad with I was worried about finding the right organisation to go with, that would make me feel safe and I wanted a small organisation so that I wouldn't get lost in masses of volunteers.
Volunteers Peru was in that sense the perfect organisation for me. At most we were 7 or 8 volunteers and the whole organisation felt like a family environment. Marita and Megan, who work in the office, were always available for us to contact and we had a really close and good relationship with them which made it easy to settle in and feel comfortable throughout my stay.
When I went to Peru I spoke very little Spanish, which in itself wasn't the biggest problem as I was eager to learn more, but I think it is a lot easier if you go and speak a decent amount of Spanish as it makes it easier for you to communicate with people.
I have now been back home for a couple of weeks and I miss Arequipa and the project as well as the people I met durning my stay. It has been a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Pilar
10/10

Volunteers Peru en el hogar torre fuerte

Translated from Spanish:
My experience with working with the organization was beautiful.
At all times I felt accompanied and supported by the project workers. I felt very well.
My work or activities with the girls were beautiful. I felt very good developing with them.
My reflection throughout the entire process was "it is more what we receive than what we give" I felt very at ease. This experience is totally recommended. Would do it again if I could.
Girls have a beautiful energy despite their reality and give a lot of love

Original Review:
Mi experiencia con el trabajo con la organización fue hermosa.
En todo momento me sentí acompañada y apoyada por las trabajadoras del proyecto. Me sentí muy bien.
Mi trabajo o actividades con las niñas fueron hermosas. Me sentí muy bien desenvolviéndome con ellas.
Mi reflexión durante todo el proceso fue "es más lo que recibimos que lo que damos" me sentí muy a gusto. Es totalmente recomendable esta experiencia. Lo volvería a hacer si pudiera.
Las niñas tienen una hermosa energía a pesar de su realidad y dan muchísimo amor

How can this program be improved?
No noté ninguna falta en el programa.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Melanie
8/10

Fun experience!

I had a great time as part of Volunteers Peru! With a helpful staff, lovely girls and flexibility within the home, I was able to mold this experience to what I wanted to do (i.e. Tutoring, playing in the yard, etc.). It was nice to find that the girls are being treating very well at the home and are provided such a nice atmosphere. In addition, Arequipa is a beautiful city to spend your free time with the other volunteers and friends you meet along the way! Overall an awesome time spent!

How can this program be improved?
I think having more time at the home would be better for the volunteers although it's difficult to find the time since they are at school. I think more organized activities with the girls should be taken on and encouraged as well!
Yes, I recommend
my last day
Miryam
10/10

Amazing experience!

I have no words to convey what an amazing experience I had with Volunteers Peru in Arequipa!
Since the very first day I arrived at the Volunteers Peru's office I felt at home. My first weekend in Arequipa, Marita (the founder) invited me and the other volunteers to her home to meet her family and to teach us how to prepare a delicious Peruvian dish. We had so much fun! We not only learned how to cook "Rocoto Relleno" but she also taught us how to dance with traditional Andean music.
It was really convenient to stay at the Honey House Hostel because the office is right there and I knew I could count on Marita's and Megan's (director) help and advice at any time. This hostel is located downtown, just three blocks from the main plaza. You can walk everywhere(shops, restaurants, tourist sites, etc.) because you live right in the middle of everything, which makes you feel part of the life of Arequipa, not like a tourist.
I did not know what to expect from the girls at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte. I only knew that they came from abusive situations and extreme poverty. I prepared myself for the possibility of meeting children with issues of anger, distrust, etc. I could not have been more mistaken! The very first moment I arrived at Torre Fuerte I was surrounded with smiling girls hugging me, holding my hand, asking me to play with them, to help them with their homework, with so much love to give and so much joy to share! It was amazing. It brings tears to my eyes even now to remember how much more I received from them than I was able to give.
Every single volunteer that I met at Volunteers Peru had a life changing experience, me included. I recommend this organization with no reservations and convinced that if you decide to go, this experience will surpass whatever you are hoping for.
I am coming back next year, hope to meet you there! :-)

Yes, I recommend
Line
9/10

“Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress”.

I spent two unforgettable months volunteering at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte girls’ home in the outsides of Arequipa, and as an intern at Volunteers Peru‘s office in Cruz Verde in the center of Arequipa. As an intern, I assisted the manager, Eva Paterson, in various administrative tasks at the office during the morning. These tasks primarily included marketing tasks; promoting and creating better awareness of the organization. In the afternoon I worked as a volunteer at the girls’ home, where I mainly helped out the girls with their domestic tasks and homework . Other tasks included organizing activities and games with the girls and to create a safe and stable environment for the girls at their home.

The Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte is a loving place, where the girls’ are treated well and feel safe. As a volunteer you feel like being part of the small family.

Not every day is alike and not all days are easy at the girls´ home. The girls come from a very different environment and they all carry heavy experiences with them. In other words, there are ups and downs. It is not easy not to get attached to the girls and get a special bond with them, but it is very important to try to keep it professional and take good care of your own feelings while volunteering. If not, it can be quite heavy emotionally. Moreover it is important that you are able to take initiative on your own, since no one is really “guiding” you at the girls’ home. You go on your own and take action on your own. Show initiative and motivation – and the girls will follow.

Volunteers Peru is a small NGO and you therefore become close with everyone involved rather fast. During my first weeks, we were only two volunteers at the project, but during my last weeks we were four volunteers. You easily get new friendships with the other volunteers with whom you can hang out with during your free time.
Moreover, I really enjoyed living in the beautiful city of Arequipa and in general I felt safe in the city. Just take precautions, take care of yourself and use common sense.
As a volunteer you have plenty of time to enjoy and discover the city, due to the fact that you only work part time Monday to Friday. I decided to spent my mornings learning Quechua before going to the office in order to get the most out of my stay.

I highly appreciated the preparation material from Volunteers Peru and the good and fast communication with the manager, Eva Paterson. Any volunteer should read the material and if any questions or in doubt, contact Eva, who has years of experience in Peru and is more than happy to help out.

My experience as a volunteer and as an intern at Volunteers Peru made me grow both personally as well as professionally.
“The best way to find your self is to lose yourself in the service of others”.

Yes, I recommend
Mara
9/10

My experience at Casa Hogar

I spend 4 weeks in Arequipa volunteering at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte with the organization Volunteers Peru. Every day i spent like 5 hours in the house with the girls. Somedays i choose to go in the afternoon with the younger girls (3 -11 years old) where i used to help them with their homework, with the cleaning of the house, and then there was always time for playing! In the morning with the older girls (12-18 years old) i used to help them with their maths and english homework.

Casa Hogar is a really nice place, the girls there are very well treated and as a volunteer you try to help them and give them as much love as possible as it is what they are really missing because of being away from their families.
The girls are very thankful and they give so much love to all the volunteers. As a volunteer you get to know them really well and you create kind of a big sister/brother relationship which is very nice!

About the organization, Volunteers Peru, i can say that it is very well organized and Eva, the project manager, is very nice and looking forward to help you with everything.

During my stay i coincided with other volunteers which was also great as we became very good friends while sharing this incredible experience.

I definitely recommend Volunteers Peru, for anyone looking for a volunteering experience abroad!!!! :)

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Emilee
10/10

Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte - Arequipa

Having spent 7 months working for Volunteers Peru with the girls at the Torre Fuerte Home, it seems almost impossible to describe how incredible of an experience this really was for me. There were many days filled with jokes, laughter, piggy-back rides, games in the courtyard, turns on the swings, homework happily completed and chores willingly done. But there were also times of great challenge. And I think that might be the most important thing for any potential volunteer to know - that because these precious little ladies have come from such tumultuous situations in life, there are bound to be moments and even entire days in which they will test the very fiber of your being with their sometimes unpredictable behavior. But the days and the moments in which you can share a laugh, a smile, a victory, big or small, a hug, a high five, a sweet story or even a cuddle will be much more frequent, and will instantly turn your heart to mush. From the moment you walk through the door and they call you hermana to the moment they beg you not to go, and demand to know when you will be back, you will likely find yourself as smitten as I was.
Devote at least 4 weeks, if you can. Give yourself a chance to really get to know these girls and ample opportunity to love on them. It's a decision you will not regret and you may find yourself a bit different of a person when you leave. :)

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Britta
10/10

A great volunteering experience!

I spent 4 unforgettable weeks working for Volunteers Peru at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte Girls' Home. The Casa Hogar is a great institution giving home to girls aged from 3 to 17. As a volunteer you will mainly work in the afternoons and thus, spend more time with the younger girls as the older ones have classes until the late afternoon or early evening. The girls are welcoming you in a lovely way, taking you by the hand the moment you arrive at the Casa Hogar and asking you to play with them. This gives you an easy start and is a great experience especially if you are planning to only stay for some weeks and not several months. During holidays we played a lot with the girls and often brought some nice games or puzzles from our office. Eva as the current project manager of Volunteers Peru is very helpful and whenever you have a good idea of what could be done with or for the girls she is more than willing to help you with the realization.

I also really enjoyed living in Arequipa and you can use the mornings and weekends to explore the beautiful city or go on trips. Working for Volunteers Peru means to be part of a great team and spending time with other motivated volunteers at the project. I highly appreciated the great preparation I got before I came to Peru by receiving a pre-departure guide and being able to ask Eva as many questions as I had. I can only recommend Volunteers Peru as a great NGO and the Casa Hogar as a valuable project that is more than worth to spend your time with.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Danielle
6/10

Good experience if not slightly uncomfortable at times

I worked at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte for about two weeks; this is a very short time and because the girls are very accustomed to people coming and going, I don't think this was the proper amount of time to fully bond with the girls and feel like I was an integral part of the project. I would suggest participating for at 4+ weeks. The girls have various social, mental and sometimes developmental issues which I don't think I was fully prepared for either. I wouldn't recommend this project to anyone with thin skin or who genuinely isn't interested in helping girls. This project is also run by a very conservative religious organization which might be a problem for those with more secular lifestyles.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps better preparation and training as to how the girls truly behave and act around the volunteers.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Stephanie
10/10

Wonderful Girls Home With KInd and Caring Staff

I volunteered at the Torre Fuerte Girls' Home last year and the experience was wonderful. All the girls were amazing to work with and the staff was very helpful in creating a memorable experience in Arequipa. My last day of the program coincided with one of the girls' birthday parties at the home and I felt completely overwhelmed with joy to be a part of it that day. I would definitely recommend this program and do it again in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?
We were there for a week when the school was shut down so it's hard to say because the schedule was very different than it otherwise would have been.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Judith
9/10

Experience of a lifetime

It was an experience of a lifetime. You get to discover the beautiful Peru and at the same time really feel like you're making a difference for the girls. You're also practicing your Spanish in a fun and useful way. I would seriously recommend this to everyone ! The staff is great, you feel really at home and you get to discover an amazing country and meet amazing people !

Yes, I recommend

Questions & Answers

Yes. Volunteers Peru requires that all who volunteer with us be at least 18 years old by the time they arrive in Peru.

Interviews

Meet the Staff

About Volunteers Peru

Volunteers Peru is a small grassroots NGO based in the city of Arequipa in the Andes of southern Peru. We are currently working in partnership with two projects where volunteers can make a positive contribution to the local community. The first is a...