Cusco, Peru

Music Institute

Spanish (High Intermediate)

This music institute offers music classes to kids, youth, and adults with the goal of bringing music into the lives of the local community. Participants in this role will have opportunities to learn about local musical tradition to spread the art of music to local youth, especially traditional Andean music of the region. Qualified participants may also be able to share teaching techniques and musical expertise with the students and teachers at the Institute and help in the areas of marketing and administration.

Childhood Education Programs

Spanish (Intermediate)

With one of the best education systems in Latin America, Peru is home to many of South America’s finest primary and secondary schools. Childhood Education Program placements are in various public and private schools and after-school centers. Participants placed in these organizations may have opportunities to assist teachers in Cusco with their classroom duties, help lead English classes, support students through mentoring, develop and facilitate activities and educational games, and assist with homework. Additionally, participants may have the chance to observe teaching techniques and assist teachers with lesson planning and preparation.

Veterinary Clinics

Spanish (Intermediate)

Centrally located in Cusco, this veterinary clinic is dedicated to providing high quality veterinary services to the local pets and service animals by focusing on preventative health, administering vaccines, performing surgeries, and conducting overall health assessments. Participants in the clinic may assist in various areas under the supervision of veterinary staff. Participants may have opportunities to assist customers, bathe and trim the animals, walk the dogs, clean the cages and exercise areas, and observe the veterinarians during procedures. Participants can also be a great asset to the clinic by translating for English-speaking clients.

Agricultural Animal Care Center

Spanish (Intermediate)

This organization has created an environment to care for the llamas and alpacas that are a historically vital piece of Peruvian culture. Raising these animals and harvesting their wool also leads to the preservation of traditional Incan spinning, dying, and weaving practices. These cultural values are promoted among locals and tourists alike through workshops and demonstrations held at the center. Participants will assist in caring for the animals and learning the traditions of Peruvian heritage. They may also assist with tours of the facility and weaving workshops. Depending on the season, opportunities may be available with planting and harvesting various vegetables that help to feed surrounding communities.

Special Education Center

Spanish (Beginning)

These organizations offer comprehensive services for children and young people with special needs in Cusco, Peru. Their services aim to improve the quality of life for these youth by teaching them how to better interact in their social and academic environments. Participants will serve as support for children with disabilities and may assist with feeding and skills exercises, as well as facilitating entertaining sensory activities through music and art. Opportunities to observe speech and physical therapists on site may also be available.

Youth Development Organizations

Spanish (Beginning)

These local, grass-roots organizations seek to provide a welcoming and safe environment in which high risk youth are able to improve their self-esteem, gain important life skills, and strive for a productive future. Participants can facilitate games, help with homework, and organize recreational afternoon activities. Depending on skills and training, participants may also help in classes or workshops.

Senior Citizen's Center

Spanish (Intermediate)

This Senior Citizen's home is dedicated to housing and caring for elderly who have been abandoned or neglected. They strive to provide stability and improved quality of life for residents. Participants in this organization may assist with mealtimes and daily tasks around the center, socialize with the residents, and help with other assignments as needed. Placements that may involve patient interaction are observation-based; participants are required to complete the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety (GAPS) workshop for eligibility.

Dental Clinics

Spanish (High Intermediate)

These dental clinics specialize in implants, orthodontics, periodontology, and radiology and seek to improve the oral health status of the population of southern Peru and reduce the prevalence of oral disease. Participants in dental clinic placements may have the opportunity to learn about dental care in Peru by observing and assisting the clinic’s dentists in Cusco as they perform their daily responsibilities. Example activities may include completing ondontograms, pouring molds, and observing extractions as well as cleaning and sanitizing dental instruments. Participants may also be asked to assist in taking x-rays, processing lab work, and performing certain administrative duties such as new patient registration. *Placements that may involve patient interaction are observation-based; participants are required to complete the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety (GAPS) workshop for eligibility.

Health Clinic

Spanish (Intermediate)

These private and public health clinics are dedicated to providing quality health care and promoting a healthy and productive lifestyle for the people of Cusco. Health clinic placements are best for students majoring in Pre-Medicine, Pre-Nursing, Public Health, and Health Science or for students interested in learning about foreign health care systems. Participants in these organizations may have opportunities to learn about healthcare in Peru through the observation of procedures and patient consultations, shadowing doctors and nurses, interaction with patients, and assisting with administrative tasks to maintain efficiency and organization. *Placements that may involve patient interaction are observation-based; participants are required to complete the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety (GAPS) workshop for eligibility.

Policy and Human Rights Organization

Spanish (Advanced)

This national organization began in 1977 with the goal of defending and promoting human rights in the Cusco region. Their mission is to defend men, women, and children who have suffered a violation of their fundamental human rights. Participants in this organization may work in areas such as Peruvian legal rights, mental health, and training individuals on the topics of human rights. Participants may also be asked to help create educational materials, translate documents, and assist with projects and workshops. * Participants interested in this organization should have very strong Spanish language skills and feel comfortable working with those who are underprivileged.