Volunteer in Peru

Peru is a country rich in history; apparent in the many well-kept ruins and sights sprinkled throughout the land.  It is home to many of South America’s historical treasures such as Machu Picchu, the Nazca lines, Saqsaywaman, Huayna Picchu, and so much more. It is also a natural beauty containing everything from rainforest and snowcapped mountains to rural farms and bustling cities like Lima and Cusco. Many who travel there find that the local communities are extremely friendly and kind. However, it is almost imperative that you have a basic understanding of Spanish if you want to really immerse yourself and get around like a local. It is the perfect place to go if you want to learn or improve your Spanish! The majority of Peru’s history and culture comes from the Incan Empire, one of the largest empires in pre-Columbian America. The Incans are the ones who built and inhabited Machu Picchu, and the ones who spoke the indigenous tongue, Quechua. However, an eventual Spanish conquest of Peru left a deep mark on the indigenous culture. This is apparent, for example, in downtown Lima where there is an extreme concentration of Spanish-style architecture. The large, extravagant and colorful buildings are an unreal sight when compared to other more run-down parts of the city. This reflects the immense gap in the income, lifestyle and socio-economic status of the country’s population. The majority of the country’s inhabitants lack support in terms of good education, proper healthcare and sustainable community development. This is why volunteering abroad in Peru is so important and volunteers play a vital role in shaping the country’s modern society. Many who volunteer in Peru choose to work in the more rural communities to help with community development by building, planning and teaching skills to the locals. Volunteering in healthcare is also popular, as many Peruvians do not have access to skilled health professionals and care. Peru is also the perfect place for volunteers who are fonder of outdoor, environmental work than they are working with people. The country contains a variety of terrain that is always in need of eco-oriented people to will help with conservation. The beauty of Peru is that it is easily travelable. In whichever city you may choose to volunteer, it is easy to hop on a bus and travel the country. Mosey the cobblestone streets of Cusco, trek six days on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, go mountain biking, and visit rural villages. Make sure to speak Spanish with the locals; there is always another interesting story to learn.

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