The Awamaki Service Travel Program is a three-to-eight week international volunteer opportunity that joins language education, cultural immersion and group activities with service work. Service Travel offers volunteers the chance to lend a hand and build their awareness of Andean culture, community development, and current Peruvian issues. Service Travel is more than just volunteering; participants are able to educate themselves through hands on community engagement, classroom based learning, and exploration of the unique sites of Peru.
What You Will Do
As an Awamaki volunteer, you will have the opportunity to connect with local people, get involved with a project you are passionate about, and learn a ton. The Service Travel Program aims to provide international volunteers with meaningful cultural exchange and empowering experiences that foster a passion for global issues and community-driven development.
We will work with you to develop a volunteer project based on your skills and interests. You could work at the local preschool, tutor English students, help out at the Awamaki Fair Trade store, or even lead day hikes to Inca ruins.
Every week you will take 6 hours of private Spanish Classes tailored to your speaking level. You will have the chance to participate in regular group discussions focused on Andean culture, community development, cultural sensitivity, and current Peruvian issues.
You will experience life with an Ollantino family while living in an Awamaki homestay. Local artisans will teach you the crafts of traditional Andean cooking and basket weaving. Women in an Awamaki weaving cooperative will teach you the traditional craft of Andean backstrap weaving. Together we will venture to a remote Andean community for four days where we will learn to weave on the Andean backstrap loom, live with local families, and explore the mountainside.
Where You Will Live
The core of the program takes place in Ollantaytambo where participants will be hosted by a homestay family. Our homestay families are mostly middle-class Ollantinos who work in the local economy as artisans, teachers, drivers, chefs, etc. Awamaki’s homestay program is one of our most successful endeavors. Our homestays enable visitors and locals to connect through intercultural and linguistic exchange while providing families with a direct and sustainable income through tourism.
Ollantaytambo is a great town in which to live and volunteer. Located in the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the tourist economy keeps residents busy, and ensures plenty of restaurants, cafes, and weekend activities. You will experience the benefit of a small and close-knit community, yet never be at loss for what to do.
Ollantaytambo maintains a strong sense of Andean identity. The town is nestled amid towering mountains. Historically Ollanta was an Inca administrative center, and today is home to some of the most impressive Inca ruins in Peru. The town is a UNESCO heritage site and boasts the title of Peru’s only “living Inca city”. Set on Inca foundations, many of the existing buildings are made up of original Inca stones.
Service Travel project placements are meant to ensure that individuals involved with the Service Travel program are given the chance to participate in areas of specific interest. The Service Travel program allows individuals to spend time working within multiple projects throughout their stay if desired.
Service Travel Program placements include:
- Teach english
- Teach computer literacy
- Act as a local pre-school aide
- Support disabled children in the Sacred Valley area
- Promote health care access and education in remote Quechua communities
- Teach with the Girls Dorm Project (for highly skilled volunteers)
- Help run Awamaki’s Fair Trade store
- Provide childcare during women’s cooperative meetings
- Assist with social media, blog and newsletter
- Provide graphic design assistance
- Contribute to photography and video projects
- Work on Awamaki’s WordPress site and act as a programmer or a WordPress pro
- Act as a translator (only for native or very proficient spanish speakers)
- Conduct research on various topics (possible areas of research include: academic, practical/local qualitative research and reporting or marketing and communications research and strategy
For three weeks of volunteering and cultural immersion the cost is USD $1250. This includes:
- Airport reception
- Homestay meals and accommodation
- Six hours of private Spanish instruction per week
- Volunteer project placement
- Bi-weekly group cultural discussions
- Four Day Weaving Immersion Workshop
- Peruvian Cooking Class
- Basket Weaving Class
- Welcome and Goodbye gatherings
Each additional week costs $200. This includes ongoing Spanish classes and homestay accommodations.
Awamaki is a 501(c)(3) non-profit in the United States. Half of the amount you pay is tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Awamaki can also arrange the following activities:
- Natural Dye Workshop
- Wood Carving Class
- Local Hikes
- Visiting local ruins
- Machu Picchu
- Salineras Moray Weekend
- Pisac Day Trip
- Chinchero Day Trip
For more information about Service Travel, please download our Service Travel Brochure below.
For questions or information, or to sign up to volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org