Education in Peru
About the Project
Unearth the World (UTW) has partnered with a nonprofit in Peru that works with women, children and teens to offer a wide array of supplemental educational programs. This organization has chosen to work in a town outside of Lima, Peru because most residents live below the poverty line and have little access to quality education. Their mission is to respond to the needs of the women and children in their struggle out of poverty by improving the availability and quality of education offered. Through free workshops and classes, children and teens learn the value of education and respect for one’s community. Women are empowered to better care for themselves and their families by improving both their physical and emotional well being, as well as advancing their skills in the workforce. In this project, volunteers are able to directly and significantly contribute towards this mission. Volunteers do a variety of things including teach English, Math, Science or Art and actively participate in growing the new Youth Center. When volunteers are not in the classroom teaching, they are reading and playing sports and games with the students. Spanish is not required for all opportunities but working within the community with locals offers a fantastic opportunity for both Spanish and cultural immersion.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age and undergo a background check.
Dates are flexible as volunteers are always welcomed to this project. Volunteers can spend anywhere from 1-52 weeks in Peru. A typical workweek is Friday through Tuesday with “days off” on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Due to the Friday-Tuesdays workweek, we prefer that volunteers arrange to arrive to Peru on Wednesdays.
Accommodations and Meals
Volunteers live in a dedicated and secure volunteer house and share dormitory-style rooms. The house has a large common area, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms and shower with hot water. A computer with Internet access and Wi-Fi is also available. Volunteer fees include three meals a day and unlimited bottled water. A local woman prepares traditional Peruvian cuisine in the volunteer house. Meals are native dishes like Tallerin Verde, Aji de Gallina and Escabeche… all delicious! Breakfast is considerably lighter than other meals and includes bread, butter, jam and sometimes cheese, juice, cereal, and eggs. Lunch is prepared seven days a week and dinner is prepared five days a week.
Volunteers will receive two orientations. The first is before you even leave home! Unearth the World staff believes in fully preparing volunteers for their travel experience. So, we will educate you about the country, customs, language, and project itself so you can have realistic expectations of the project prior to your arrival. Read more about Unearth the World’s global service-learning training curriculum here. Once volunteers arrive in Peru, the nonprofit staff will provide another full orientation in order to acclimate you to your surroundings, give you guidance on the current needs of the project, and discuss scheduling and safety. For volunteers within the English program, there will be an additional orientation to help lesson plan, use the curriculum, etc.
Peru is a complex, beautiful, and historic country in western South America. Thanks to the blending of different cultures and civilizations over thousands of years, Peru is a multiethnic country with enormous diversity of art, cuisine, literature and music. Peru is also an extremely bio diverse country with habitats ranging from arid plains, to the Andes Mountains, to the tropical Amazon. Home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites (like Machu Picchu and Cusco) and some of the most welcoming people in the world, Peru is an exciting and enriching place to visit. The U.N. classifies Peru as a developing country yet the country has one of the fastest growing worldwide economies because of an economic boom during the 2000’s. Yet, despite some of these positive indicators, the World Economic Forum consistently ranks Peru’s education system as being one of the worst in the world. The country is ranked last in math and science test scores and second to last in overall quality of education. This prevalent issue of poor education is the stimulus for this project focusing on reinforcing learning in Peruvian schools and supplementing education for women and children.
Typical Volunteer Schedule
The daily and weekly schedule varies for volunteers depending on their length of stay and timing of their trip. Work days are Friday – Tuesday and are very focused on volunteer responsibilities. The programs differ by day, but generally run from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm. Volunteers are given several breaks throughout the day, including lunch. On average, volunteers work 20 to 30 hours a week. Because classes are in addition to traditional school, volunteers typically have the mornings free, classes in the afternoon and early evening, and then have the later evening to relax. While each day will be different, volunteers are given a schedule upon arrival so they will know when they are expected to teach.
A typical day might look like this:
- 7:00 am – 8:00 am:Wake up and enjoy a light breakfast at the volunteer house.
- 8:00 am – 11:30 am:Free time to explore nearby towns, relax, socialize with other volunteers, or enjoy the local community. (*Note: On Saturdays and Sundays, volunteers will be leading programs from 10 am to 12 noon.)
- 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Enjoy a warm, home cooked lunch at the volunteer house and have time to lesson plan for classes and programs.
- 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Participate in various classes. Tasks can include teaching (English, Math, Science, or Art), working in the library, spending time at the Teen Center, or playing sports and games.
- 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Dinner is served and includes delicious Peruvian specialties.
- 8:00 pm – Bed: Bed, down time and preparation for the next day’s classes.
Typical volunteer week
Workdays are Friday – Tuesday and are generally quite full of volunteer activities. When volunteers arrive on site, they will be introduced to the volunteer schedule so that they know which classes they will be participating in. Volunteers are free to enjoy and explore Lima and around Peru during their free time on Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are SO many things to see and do! Unearth the World and our nonprofit partner are happy to help volunteers plan excursions and activities for their days off.
At Unearth the World, we pride ourselves on being financially transparent so the volunteer can understand exactly where their money is going. We have two different types of fees: a one-time application fee and general project fees.
Application Fee – $300 (USD)
This is the only money that goes towards Unearth the World. This application fee includes the matching of the volunteer candidate with the international program, volunteer education and orientation, an information packet on volunteer program and country of travel, 24/7 support from UTW staff, program marketing costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteer.
General Project Fees – Vary Based on Length of Stay
At this Peru project, these fees go towards accommodations, food, volunteer house salaries, operations and in-country transportation. A part of these fees also include a donation to the nonprofit.
Fees are broken down as follows:
Example of how your $200 for the first week is spent:
- Food and water (17%): $34
- Salaries to support Volunteer House staff (46%): $92
- Accommodations and housing utilities: (7%) $14
- Operations (Airport pick-up, house supplies, etc.) (13%): $26
- Donation (17%): $34
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