Children’s eduation center

Cusco, Peru

Spend a few weeks in colorful Cusco giving the local kids a hand with their homework, boosting their creativity and giving them a much-needed sense of stability. Many of the children here lead tough lives, facing abuse from parents or having no homes at all. This project exists to give them a loving learning environment, a brief relief from their daily struggles and kit them out with skills to build a brighter future.

Started in 2004 by one incredible man with a burning desire to make the world a better place, the project is all about education through love. The idea is that the most beautiful gift you can possibly give others is opportunity – and that’s exactly what you’ll do here. In the process, you’ll learn just as much about yourself as you teach the kids. You’ll work with kids between the ages of 5 and 17 years, running theatre, music and painting workshops, helping to upkeep the library and teaching the kids about world cultures and ecology.  Not only this, but you’ll living in the magical Cusco and close to the Lost Kingdom of Machu Picchu.

Why join this project?

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Live in to the atmospheric and magical Cusco, the beating heart of Inca culture.

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Support children, given them tools to make something of their future.

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Explore the awe-inspiring Lost Kingdom of Machu Picchu, the secrets of the Sacred Valley in your spare time.

Want to inspire creativity and understanding in spirited local kids?

Created to provide peace and stability to kids in Peru, this very special project is uplifting and unique. The main goal is to support the local children and help them to build skills that will set them on the road to a brighter future. Many of these kids not being cared for or don’t have homes at all. The project offers a loving, kind learning environment during after-school hours and receives children between 5 and 17 years old from several public schools in the areas.

Established in 2004 by a young Peruvian guy with a big dream and no funding at all, the project is run entirely on the passion and kindness of people all over the world. It offers the children help with their school homework, as well as different kinds of creative workshops and seminars covering world cultures and religions and ecology. Today, the project has its very own cultural center and welcomes over 100 children every single day.

Volunteers come here to teach, but learn a whole lot about life at the same time. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to build a sustainable eco-village for the children and all of the income generated by the hostel, restaurant and volunteers go towards this cause, so you’ll really help to make a difference during your stay. It’s somewhere very special and an experience that will stick with you years to come.

You will need to have a good base of Spanish for this project. In case your Spanish is basic, we can set you up with a 2 week (or more) ~Spanish course of 4 hours a day prior to the project, but in case you want to improve your Spanish, you can also take classes while volunteering.

Project duration:

Min 1 week – Max 6 months (agos check)

Location of project:

Cusco, in the pitoresque San Blas, located at a walking distance to the main square

Arrival airport:

Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)

Activities:

  • Helping local kids complete their homework, reading stories and monitoring each child personally.
  • Getting involved in creative workshops focused on theatre, music, painting or dance.
  • Assisting with group sessions that discuss life issues such as a world cultures, religion, ecology and sexuality.
  • Lending a hand in the library.
  • Pitching in with absolutely anything else that crops up!

Working hours:

The School is opened from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm (depending on where they go exercise). The hours that the volunteer will have to help, depends on the exact help that the volunteer will provide which will be assigned upon arrival and considering the volunteer skills. Each working day however, has an average of 4 hours working hours.

Getting to the project:

The hostel where you will be staying is connected to the program and is a 10 minute walk

Requirements:

  • Minimum age 20.
  • Police certificate
  • Basic Spanish required.
  • Medical insurance.

What’s included

  • Volunteer fee for the project
  • Accommodation in a shared room at the hostel
  • Food: The hostel provides your breakfast
  • Airport pickup: Included on arrival date.
  • Support: Pre-departure helpdesk, local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support

What’s not included

  • Flights, insurance, visas, additional activities
  • Spanish Classes
  • Other meals
  • Return journey to the airport

Volunteering with the project can be perfectly combined with a local language school, giving you a chance to make a difference and brush up on your Spanish at the same time. Spanish classes are 4 hours either in the morning or the afternoon

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrive into Cusco airport (airport code CUZ)

Our volunteer coordinator will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to the hostal where you will be staying for at least 2 weeks. The hostel is owned by the project and located at a 10 min walk from the education center.

Day 2 (Monday) – orientation day

Your day starts with an orientation meeting at 11 at the center. here you will meet the other volunteers and you will discuss together with your coordinator in what tasks you will assigned to. This will depend on your level of Spanish and interests.

Day 3 (Tuesday) to day 6 (Friday) – working with the children

Depending if you take Spanish classes your volunteer work will be either in the morning or the afternoon. Usually you will work the first 2 hours with the children in reinforcement of education (reading, computer, math, art etc). The last 2 hours are for workshops. Working times will be either from  08.30 to 12.30 Hs or in the afternoon  from 15.00 to 19.00 Weekends are free.

On Fridays there is a meeting with your coordinator to discuss the week end to prepare the next one

Day 7 & 8 (week end) free to explore Cusco and surroundings

Cusco has many many things to see and do. If you are a real adventurous there are many trekkings & mountainbike trips into the sacred valley, exploring tiny villages. Cusco itself also has many things to do and see. Sometimes during the week end the center organizes special activities, but this is usually not the case.

YYanapay magic hostalou’ll stay in a welcoming hostel owned by the project and packed with character, sleeping in dorm-style accommodation with shared bathrooms. Each dorm houses up to 10 volunteers and there are private rooms with shared bathrooms available at an additional cost. Breakfast and lunch are included on a daily basis. Breakfast is a healthy and delicious buffet affair featuring breads, jams, oatmeal, granola fruits and hot drinks.

With a playground for the neighborhood kids, the hostel is popular with the community as well as volunteers, giving you a great opportunity to get to know the local people. Home to beautiful green areas scattered with colorful hammocks as well as a restaurant and bar, it’s wonderful place to relax at the end of a working day. There are all kinds of conscious activities up for grabs, including yoga, drum sessions and massage circles. The hostel also organizes regular social events such as barbecues, karaoke, move nights and salsa lessons.

This project runs all year round, and always starts on Mondays. You’ll need to commit to at least one full week, but beyond that, the timing is very flexible. Simply let us know when you want to arrive and we’ll take care of the rest! If you’re staying for at least a month, you’ll be given more complex, trusted responsibilities. The longer your stay, the more rewarding your experience!

This project is on the lookout for…

Volunteers at least 18 years old dedicated to promoting peace, love and stability. You’ll need to commit to the project for at least one full week and be prepared to give 110% when you are working with the kids. You’ll need energy, consistency and a willingness to get stuck in to all kinds of activities, from teaching to sweeping or washing. A decent grasp of Spanish is recommended, but we can book Spanish classes alongside the project if you’re a bit of a novice.

About

Cusco

Cusco is the beating heart of Inca culture, nestled in the Andes near to the magical Lost Kingdom of Machu Picchu. With friendly locals, atmospheric cobbled streets and a constant carnival atmosphere, it’s a brilliant base for a volunteering stint. Encased by crumbling ancient walls, it’s a city where legend lingers in the streets and ancient traditions remain alive and kicking. The Incas called Cusco the ‘belly button of the world’ and as soon as you arrive, you’ll see why. It’s somewhere bursting with life and color that will get you right into the Peruvian thick of things. The only tricky part is leaving…

You’ll find shady plazas filled with dancers in local costumes, gorgeous colonial buildings, quirky cafés and lively bars perfect for a Pisco Sour (or two). As a crossroads for travelers coming to or from Machu Picchu, Cusco has a bohemian vibe and an air of real excitement. Not only this, but the scenery is simply to die for. Surrounded by snow-dusted Andean peaks, cloud forests, rushing rivers and tiny villages, there are all kinds of adventures waiting beyond the city walls. Suffice to say, it’s a really special place to call home.

Ideas for

days off

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No visit to Cusco would be complete without heading up to the Lost Kingdom of Machu Picchu, swirled in magical morning cloud. It’s the highlight of any trip to Peru, so you can’t possibly miss it!

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Cusco is home to a handful of local markets piled high with a colorful jumble of bright textiles, crafts and ponchos. At the end of Avenida el Sol, you’ll find artisan markets packed with handicrafts, while San Pedro Central is packed with vegetables, fruits, flowers and souvenirs.

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Cusco city centre – People watch in the central square and take in the churches and colonial balconies with the Andes as a backdrop. Check out the cathedral and its Cusqueña school artwork. Spot the guinea pig in the painting of the Last Supper, or the non-Christian images depicted on the main doors.

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Get killer views amongst the enormous stones of the Sacsayhuaman ruins up above the city centre. It’s a great spot for a hike (or jump in a cab if the altitude is getting to you!) and a place to really soak up the energy of the city.

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Artists and great views – Take a (slow!) walk up to San Blas, the artist’s quarter, where you can visit artists’  workshops. Don´t miss the Mendevil museum with the llama necked religious figures.

Drop us a line!