Stay in indigenous village in the Andes Mountains

Cusco, Peru

Indigenous culture projects take place in a small village in the Andes Mountains outside of Cusco. This project provides an income source for small communities and promotes cross-cultural understanding. Volunteers support the community in various activities, depending on seasonal need, in the areas of agriculture, textiles, construction, and education.

  • Plant, harvest, store and transport crops such as potatoes, corn, and quinoa
  • Care for animals, which includes herding, pasturing, feeding, cleaning pens, and collecting food
  • Learn about and assist with traditional weaving and using natural dyes
  • Mix and form adobe bricks to construct homes and community buildings
  • Assist with local education, sometimes including English classes
  • Minimum age of 17 years

    In order to join the program, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.

  • A background check

    Background checks can be obtained from local police departments or online at websites such as SentryLink.com and BeenVerified.com. We accept background checks that have been made within one calendar year prior to your program start date. In lieu of a background check, we accept 2 reference letters from two different people such as an employer, colleague, or professor, but NOT a family member. Reference letters must include how the reference knows you, how long they have known you (must be longer than 1 year), as well as their contact details and signature.

  • Airport pick-up

    We can also arrange a pick-up at the bus station or at nearby accommodations instead of the airport

  • Accommodations

    While in Cusco for your orientation, you will stay with a pre-approved middle-class Peruvian family in a shared room. You will share with 1-3 other people of the same gender. The setting of this project is rural, and the houses are made of adobe bricks. Your hosts will be a typical Andean family.

  • Food

    In Cusco, breakfast and dinner are included. In the village, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included for the duration of your stay. The meals are simple and made from ingredients available locally.

  • Orientation

    The program begins with a mandatory 1- or 2-day orientation session in Cusco, where you receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site.

  • Transportation to and from the project site

    Indigenous culture projects are located approximately 1.5 hours outside of Cusco. Private taxi transportation to and from the project site is included at both the beginning and end of your program.

  • Airfare

    To get a better deal, please purchase your tickets to Cusco, Peru well in advance.

  • Travel insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing international travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses.

  • Language

    Please note that English is not spoken in this village, but it is still possible to have a full and complete experience even with a language barrier. The Andean people speak Quechua, not Spanish, though Spanish is spoken as a second language and can be helpful.

  • Getting around

    Local transportation is limited, and walking is the best way to get around. The nearest village is 15 minutes away by taxi, which should cost around $3 each way. From there, it is possible to return to Cusco in 1.5 hours via public bus for $2 or a taxi for $16.

  • WiFi and electricity

    There is no WiFi available at the project site, and electricity may be limited, if at all available. There is WiFi available in the nearby village.

  • ATMs

    There are no ATMs in the village. You should withdraw the cash you need in Cusco – our local team can help you to budget for the duration of your stay.

  • Hygiene

    Hygiene practices may be different than you are used to. We recommend bringing hand sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, and/or baby wipes for your own personal use. In the village, running water may be unreliable and hot water is typically unavailable. Bathing is sometimes done using a bucket of water and showers are not available.

  • Living conditions

    Temperatures can vary and accommodations are basic, so be prepared for the possibility of a runny nose or head cold. To make the adjustment smoothly, be sure you take care of yourself, drink plenty of water, and take your vitamins.

  • Laundry

    There are no laundry facilities available at your project. Please be prepared to hand-wash your clothes and dry them in the sun.

  • Water

    Tap water in Peru is not potable. Drinking water is provided for you in your accommodations, and bottled water is easily purchased throughout Cusco and the rest of Peru. Tap water is safe to use for showers and brushing your teeth.

  • Arrival (Sunday)

    Airport pick-up, accommodations and basic orientation. You can arrive earlier, and we can help arrange lodging for your stay, but the accommodations included in the price will be available on Sunday.

  • Orientation (Day 2)

    The indigenous culture program begins with an orientation session in Cusco, where you receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site

  • Transfer to project site (Day 3)

    You will be traveling to the village where you will meet your host family.

  • Working hours

    Working hours vary according to the needs of the project, but you can expect to work 4-6 hours per day, Monday through Friday. That said, the goal of this project is to participate in the everyday life of your host family and their community. This means that schedules can vary greatly.

  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Leisure-time materials

    Books, a journal, cards, games (keep in mind electricity is limited)

Price: $725 / 1 week

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