Volunteer and Learn Spanish in Peru

Opportunities are available to volunteer in Peru, in the city of Cusco. You can join for 2 weeks up to 6 months volunteering with animals, and we have places available all throughout the year.

Individuals and students are all welcome.

Cost for accommodation, airport pickup, training & supervision from £335

Spanish students and volunteers having a local dinner togetherGroup Spanish lesson is the most popular choice for studentsVolunteers in the beautiful surroundings of the dog shelterCooking lessons is part of the extra free activities with volunteersMake a weekend excursion to the beautiful Rainbow MountainFruit Tasting Night with students and volunteersVolunteer helping out at the dog shelterLearn from your local host family when volunteering in CuscoLearn Salsa in your spare time as part of the free activitiesPrivate Spanish lesson

About the Project

Volunteers in Cusco are currently able to participate in the following type of project: 

  • Dog shelter project

The project typically doesn’t run throughout the day, which means that you can do Spanish courses in the morning, or in some cases in the afternoon after you have been on the project. 

Dog Shelter Volunteer project in Cusco

Volunteers at dog shelter Peru

At the dog shelter in Cusco there are several activities you can do as a volunteer. Apart from feeding and playing with the dogs in the woods, they also need help with improving the shelter itself, going out on the streets to rescue sick/pregnant street dogs, going to the veterinarian and even assisting in medical campaigns in the communities around Cusco and helping to educate people about how to treat their pets. The work is never the same and they are always looking for help from dedicated volunteers. 

Volunteers work on this project only in the afternoon from 2 to 5 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. It is optional to join any medical campaigns on Saturdays/Sundays. No Spanish skills are required, but the minimum duration is 2 weeks. It is recommended that volunteers bring clothes that they do not mind getting dirty.

Spanish Courses for Volunteers in Peru

Volunteers in Peru can add a Spanish course to their volunteering programme, either being taught privately or in a group. Group lessons of 20 hours per week will be a maximum of 4 people and are very suitable for beginners. The private lessons of 20 hours per week would be recommended for people with intermediate level, and if you already have a high-intermediate or advanced Spanish level, then the private lessons of 10 hours per week are recommended. 

Group lesson Spanish

Please note that your Spanish level will be tested with a Spanish placement test before starting classes. The placement test consists of 3 different components: an online (written) grammar test, a listening exam, and a personal interview. The last two are both held on the first morning of your programme in Cusco.

If you book a 20-hour per week group course and there aren't any other students starting that week, who have the same Spanish level (so we cannot form a group), you will have 15 hours of private lessons instead.

Special Spanish courses are also available for those who want to learn Spanish with a specific objective. This includes: Spanish for Tourism, Medical Spanish and Business Spanish. Please note that different fees apply for these courses. Please contact Charlotte@workingabroad.com for further details about this.

Dates & Costs 

Volunteers can join any of the projects in Peru for 2 weeks up to 6 months throughout the year.

23rd April to 21st May 2018
7th May to 4th June 2018
28th May to 25th June 2018
4th June to 2nd July 2018
25th June to 23rd July 2018
9th July to 6th August 2018
30th July to 27th August 2018
6th August to 3rd September 2018
27th August to 24th September 2018
3rd September to 1st October 2018
24th September to 22nd October 2018
1st October to 29th October 2018
22nd October to 19th November 2018
5th November to 3rd December 2018
26th November to 24th December 2018

Please note that the above dates are flexible, depending on whether you would like to join a Spanish course. If you join the Group Spanish course, you have to start the lessons on a Monday. The individual Spanish lessons can start any day of the week. You would need to arrive in Cusco at least 1 day before the starting date of your Spanish class. 

For staying in a private bedroom with a homestay family in Cusco (including full board + WI-FI) while volunteering the costs are £411 (2 weeks), £567 (3 weeks), £615 (4 weeks), £820 (6 weeks), £1,025 (8 weeks), £1,430 (12 weeks). 

For staying in a shared apartment with private bedroom in Cusco (including only WIFI) the costs are £335 (2 weeks), £400 (3 weeks), £465 (4 weeks), £595 (6 weeks), £720 (8 weeks), £980 (12 weeks). 

The project costs include your accommodation, 3 meals a day (only for homestay option), airport pick-up in Cusco, training and supervision by project manager, WorkingAbroad Projects backup and placement support.  

Your airfare to Peru, airport drop-off, travel/medical insurance, Spanish course and personal expenses are not included within these costs. It is mandatory for you to take out travel and medical insurance for the duration of the project. If you decide to take part in activities considered more extreme/adventurous, please add this to your insurance policy, as you will be required to demonstrate your insurance coverage before participation.

Spanish Classes for Volunteers in Peru

Group lessons in SpanishIf you would like to combine your time volunteering in Cusco with a Spanish course, you would add the following fees to the above prices:

Group classes 20 hours/week:  £95 per week
Private classes 10 hours/week: £77 per week 
Private classes 20 hours/week: £154 per week

All materials for Spanish classes are included in the price, and you can also request a course certificate with your final level on it at the end of the course. Group classes always start on a Monday and have maximum 4 students in the class with one teacher. The private lessons can start on any day of the week.

There are no Spanish classes on the following public holidays: 24th June, 28th July, 25th December and 1st January.

Volunteer and Learn Spanish Packages

The following combinations are the most popular among those who want to learn Spanish and do volunteer work during their stay. All of the Spanish classes below are group classes and start dates are on a Monday. Some find it too time consuming to do both Spanish classes and volunteer work in the same day, however, if you have a preferred combination other than the following, please don't hesitate to contact charlotte@workingabroad.com

Package on 4 weeks: 2 weeks of Spanish classes in the morning, while volunteering in the afternoon, followed by 2 weeks of volunteering (half day in afternoon). Includes pick up at Cusco airport and stay in shared apartment during the entire stay, costs £615

Package on 6 weeks: 2 weeks of Spanish classes in the morning, then 2 weeks of Spanish classes in the morning and volunteering in the afternoon, then finally 2 weeks of volunteering (half-day in afternoon). Includes pick up in Cusco airport and stay at shared apartment during the entire period, costs £915

Package on 8 weeks: 4 weeks of Spanish classes, followed by 4 weeks of volunteering (half or full day). Includes pick up at Cusco airport, home stay during the first four weeks, and then room in shared apartment during the 4 weeks of volunteering, costs £1,190

Lodging & Travel


Volunteers have two accommodation options when volunteering in Cusco. One is a homestay with a local family with private bedroom, WI-FI and full board. The other is a private bedroom in a shared apartment that includes only WI-FI and no meals. No smoking or pets are allowed inside any of the accommodation options.

Homestay with a local family in CuscoHost family Peru

A local guest family is the best option if you want to practice your Spanish and get a better understanding of Peruvian culture. The host families are middle class families. They can give you a good idea of everyday life in Peru in a nice and safe environment. You will have your own bedroom and you will share the rest of the house with the family. Mostly, the family do not speak English or only at a very basic level. So that way you will be ‘forced’ to practice your Spanish in this way. Normally you will eat three times a day with the family. However, you have the liberty to go wherever you want, and are not obliged to share every meal with the family. Please let us know if you have a preference (e.g. non-smoker, no pets, dietary requirements etc.), and we will try to arrange accordingly. Staying with a host family is the most popular accommodation option for short and medium term (2 weeks to about 2 months) stays in Cusco.

Shared Apartment for Volunteers in Cusco

Shared Apartment in Cusco

It is also possible to stay in a shared apartment while volunteering. The apartments are located in Lucrepata and Limacpama, which are both safe neighbourhoods close to the centre, where the Spanish School is also located.The apartments are completely furnished. The living room has cable-TV, DVD and a dining area and a fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, stove with oven, microwave, etc.). You will share the apartment with some fellow students/volunteers, but you will have your own private bedroom. The volunteers would be responsible for their own meals. Staying in an apartment is the most popular accommodation option for mid and long-term stays.

Free Time when Volunteering in Peru

Fruit tasting night with students

Activities are normally arranged for all students and volunteers every week. Sometimes you will learn something new, visit a new place or do a new activity, while meeting new people who are also studying and volunteering in Cusco. Some examples of the activities include; Salsa classes, Fruit sampling nights, Dinners, Cooking classes, Trivia nights, Workshops, introduction to Quechua (the original language of this part of the world), Walking tours or visits to any interesting events in Cusco, such as a football matches, a festival, a concert and so on.

The majority of volunteers opt to explore the beauty of Cusco and Peru in the weekends. You will have plenty of places to explore in Peru such as Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and the South Coast of Peru to name a few. These trips can be arranged directly with our project partner in Peru once you are confirmed on the programme, if you wish to do so. Please be aware that in some cases, like treks to Machu Picchu, the trip preferably needs to be booked well in advance to secure a spot.

Visa in Peru

Volunteers are able to arrive in Peru without a pre-arranged visa, and can obtain a free tourist visa on arrival which is valid for up 6 months (do ask for 6 months if you want it). Anyone staying longer than the stated visa expiry date granted on arrival in Peru will accumulate a daily penalty fine – this is not recommended. Please always check the latest visa requirements applicable for your nationality, as these might change without notice.

Health Information 

The altitude of Cusco can be an issue, as the city center of Cusco is located at 3400 meters. Most people don´t have any problems with the altitude, or just some minor symptoms. Few people get sick. If you have never been at higher altitudes, you don´t know if you will get altitude sickness. It doesn´t depend on your physical fitness, age or gender whether you will get altitude sickness. Most people have minor symptoms the first few days at height, like breathing faster, heart pumping faster and less energy. This goes away after a few days. If you get a headache, nausea or even vomiting you have altitude sickness. You can take pills for the altitude. You can get them in any pharmacy in Cusco. Best advice is to take it easy the first few days. Drink enough liquids as dehydration is an issue at high altitude, lots of water and coca tea can help as well. And if you remain sick, please let the local project coordinator know so they can help you.

Map & Background 


About Peru

Plaza de Armas in Cusco

Bordering Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, Peru is an archaeological hotspot riddled with ancient sights, from the renowned Incan citadel of Machu Picchu situated thousands of meters up in the Andes Mountains near Cuzco, to the gigantic Nazca Lines featuring kilometre-wide images of animals and mythical creatures in the driest desert on earth. The country receives around 900,000 tourists each year, of which most come also to admire the breathtaking natural wonders of the country, such as Lake Titicaca, the Ausangate peak, the cloud forests of Manu, and of course the mighty Amazon river, its tributaries and evergreen rainforest

About Cusco

Cusco is located in the Southern Sierras and used to be the capital of the Inca Empire. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of Peru's most visited cities, as it is the largest city from which travellers can begin visits to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and other Inca sites in the region.

The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst.

Text and photo taken from Wikipedia. Read more at: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Cuzco

How to Join Group picture of students and volunteers in Peru

If you are interested in volunteering in Peru, you will need to fill out the online application form (you can also print it out and send it to us by post) – to secure a placement on the project, please complete and submit the form and your application payment of £195. If for some reason, your application is not accepted, we will reimburse this payment fully. However, for those who are accepted, the full amount needs to be paid two months before departure. Once you have been accepted on the programme, you will receive an Information Package with all detailed information on your project, Peru, suggested items to bring etc.

Apply Now

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