Volunteering in Peru
There has been a lot of criticism on voluntourism and rightfully so. Still, many long-term travelers dream of leaving a positive impact on the places they visit. We believe that it is still possible to contribute to the local communities as a volunteer in Peru and to have a meaningful experience.
Here are 5 key points to keep in mind when looking for a volunteering opportunity in Peru.
Share your specific skills, experience, knowledge…
There are many examples of voluntourists who try to help people in faraway countries, but actually don’t know what they’re doing. Some volunteers build crooked walls during the day, which are secretly being straightened by professionals at night. Others go help out at an animal shelter, but the employees have more work looking after the volunteer than if they would do all the work themselves. Everyone has a skill, experience or some knowledge to share! Think about what you have to offer!
Communicate directly with the local organization
Once you have found an organization to which your skills could be of use, make sure to communicate directly with them. Even if you have found out about them through some bigger volunteering organization or website, ask for the local contact details. If the bigger organization is really about helping out, then why should they object?
Contact previous volunteers
The best information about the honesty and usefulness of the project will come from former volunteers. Ask them about the work, living conditions and impact they had in the organization. No one wants to give you the contact details of previous volunteers? Then you can ask yourself the question if they are hiding something.
If you make a donation, find out exactly where the money goes
Many bigger volunteering organizations are being accused of making enormous profits out of volunteers’ donations, with little money going to the actual good cause. Ask for transparency in money issues. Again, if they are an honest project, truly trying to help out, they have no reason not to answer you in detail.
Think about impact
Once you have found a volunteering position and have more information about the specific work you will be doing, think about what impact your presence and work will have on all the people involved. Are you working in an orphanage for some months, helping out with the daily routine of the children? Well then, think about what impact this will have on the children, who might have a change of “parent-volunteers” every couple of months? And what about your impact on the local community? Isn’t there anyone else in the community that needs this job more than you do and would even do it better?
It might seem very difficult to find the right volunteering position for you in Peru, but believe us, it IS possible. Make sure to write a lot of e-mails to a lot of NGO’s, introducing yourself to them and asking if they could help you find the right place to volunteer in Peru. Many of them will be willing to help!!!
We work with some of these NGOs that welcome long-term volunteers. Let us know if you need a hand finding information.
See you soon in Peru!!!
Don’t have time to volunteer but still want to visit some positive projects in Peru? Find out about our Local Communities Tour HERE!
Are you already volunteering in Lima and are you looking for cool things to do in your free time? Check out our blogpost about 5 day trips from Lima….