Volunteering is an integral part of what defines ProPeru’s programs.
The core of the volunteer experience is engaging in hands-on and collaborative development projects. All of our projects come from local communities’ assessments of their own needs so the projects have been remarkably successful. By joining ProPeru, volunteers become agents of positive change in the lives of others and themselves. ProPeru programs challenge volunteers physically, culturally, and intellectually through experiential learning, first-hand development work, and cultural immersion. Volunteers gain leadership, language, and cross-cultural communication skills and broaden their perspective of themselves and the world.
Previous ProPeru volunteers have participated in the following activities:
Clean Burning Stove Project
Most people in rural agricultural communities in the Cuzco area cook indoors over an open fire without adequate ventilation. Indoor air pollution is a serious health hazard, disproportionately affecting women and children. By installing fuel-efficient wood stoves with proper ventilation, ProPeru volunteers help reduce the amount of wood consumed by community members while simultaneously reducing illnesses related to smoke inhalation. ProPeru has installed more than 4,000 stoves since 2004.
ProPeru works with local school districts to identify classes in need. Volunteers have the opportunity to help teach English, art classes, computer skills, physical education, special education, and environmental education. The volunteers’ efforts help improve the quality of education, providing social and economic opportunities that facilitate the well-being of families, communities, and society at large.
Clinical and Public Health Internships
Health volunteers shadow nurses and doctors, observe clinic operations and learn how to perform certain procedures without the technology and resources available in high-income countries. Volunteers learn about Peru’s healthcare system, common ailments, and local procedures and remedies. They gain an understanding of hygiene, malnutrition, lung/eye health, teen pregnancy, family planning practices, sanitation, and other public health issues.
Orphanage Support/Social Work
Depending on their skill set, ProPeru volunteers offer support to an orphanage by helping the children with their homework, teaching classes, assisting in the kitchen, and in a variety of other activities including sports, painting, taking care of animals, maintaining the garden, and helping with construction.
Center for Adolescent Mothers
ProPeru volunteers are placed at a center for teen mothers. While the mothers are working or attending school, interns will take care of their infant children. Other duties involve teaching English classes, leading art projects, and preparing food in the kitchen. This support allows the young mothers to develop educational and vocational skills so that they may transition to supporting themselves and their children as adults.
Special Education or Speech Therapy Internships
Volunteers contribute to the growth and development of students with special needs in a primary or secondary school setting. They will assist in the classroom lessons, help students with their homework, and implement programs and activities. Volunteers may also assist physical, occupational, or speech therapists. Speech therapy volunteers will help the students improve their speech, Sign Language, and psychomotor skills.
Veterinary Clinic Opportunities
Advanced veterinary students have had the opportunity to assist the veterinarian during appointments, distribute medications, and perform lab-work. Veterinary volunteers may also serve as the receptionist, gather patient information and vitals, and assist with social media marketing.
Business and Microfinance Opportunities
Volunteers will support local staff in microfinance projects by visiting borrowers to gauge their financial management and business success, visiting companies that provide small loans, running education sessions on financial management, and assisting with administrative tasks and paperwork.
Multimedia and Communications Internships
Volunteers with skills related to website design, social media, and photography will have the opportunity to work on various projects supporting communities and organizations in the Cuzco area. Volunteers may organize photo shoots and incorporate multimedia content into websites, social media platforms, and product catalogs. Volunteers have also researched potential networking, promotion, and fundraising opportunities.