Volunteer

The success of Awamaki’s work is made possible by the generosity and commitment of our volunteers and interns. We rely on their fresh ideas and skills to constantly improve and expand our projects. Volunteers and interns are encouraged to take initiative and work independently and with others in in areas that particularly appeal to their interests and areas of expertise. Volunteers leave Awamaki confident that they made a tangible contribution to the organization and that their skills were used effectively. Volunteers have a choice of two programs. Our Service Travel Program is for volunteers who wish to stay 3-8 weeks. Our Classic Volunteer and Intern Program is for volunteers who wish to stay between 10 weeks and six months. Our Summer Program is for volunteers who wish to stay 10 weeks or more over the months of June and July. Volunteers for the Summer Program must apply to volunteer by early spring. Volunteers who stay six months or longer are refunded most of their program fees.

“Work side-by-side with our sewing, knitting and weavings associations.”
Is Awamaki the right fit for you?

There is no typical Awamaki volunteer or intern. Many are college students or recent graduates, while others are graduate students, professionals on a break, or retirees in search of an adventure. All volunteers and interns have a few things in common: they are self-motivated, committed to our mission, and capable of working both independently and in a team setting. While some positions require significant previous experience, such as fashion design skills or statistics and data management skills, other programs frequently accept volunteers and interns with more general skills, such as clear communication, creative writing, or retail experience. We work to ensure that a wide range of individuals are able to find a position within Awamaki that fits him or her, guaranteeing a unique and ever-changing combination of skills and ideas that will allow our organization to constantly grow and evolve.

Volunteer and internship opportunities typically fall into one of the following programs. However, we are a small organization and many volunteers assist in more than one program area. All volunteers assist in the fair trade store approximately nine hours per week.

  • Design
  • Tourism
  • Communications
  • Impact
  • Business

Assist our women’s cooperatives in the development and creation of products that adapt Andean textile traditions to international styles.

Use and improve your skills in fashion design, fiber arts, textile production and merchandising.

Work alongside cooperative members to develop product designs.

Support quality control and sourcing of supplies in Peru.

“Work side-by-side with our sewing, knitting and weaving cooperatives.”

Educate international travelers about sustainable tourism and work alongside community members by facilitating tours, homestays, weaving lessons, cooking lessons and more.

Guide visitors to indigenous communities on half-day tours and a three-day tour, and on the cooking and woodworking lessons.

Help manage reservations and emails.

Assist with special projects such as creating evaluation systems, improving marketing materials, improving the tours, and more.

“You can inform tourists about Awamaki, what we do and offer.”

Work with our Marketing Coordinator to gather and tell the stories at Awamaki, in writing and visually.

Use and improve your skills in marketing, graphic design, creative writing, web design, photography and videography.

Gather stories about Awamaki’s work and the women we serve. Write for social media, blog, newsletter and donor reports.

Create promotional materials.

Photograph Awamaki’s work and products. Shoot and create video to tell our stories.

Gather and tell the stories at Awamaki and of our women, in writing and visuals.

Help Awamaki’s team better understand the social impact of our work.

Use and improve your skills in Spanish, economics, statistics, data management, qualitative data analysis, and GPS.

Assist with surveys, focus groups, interviews, and data recording with the members of the woman’s business cooperatives.

Analyze collected data.

Assist with planning, attend, and document capacity-building workshops for the women’s artisanal cooperatives.

Prepare data that will be used for Awamaki’s grant reports.

Help Awamaki and beyond better understand the social impact of our work.

Assist our sales team in growing local and international sales of women’s products.

Use and improve your skills in international business, sales, retail, merchandising and marketing.

Analyze sales information and improve sales strategies in our retail store and online.

Create sales materials and conduct market research.

Support quality control, supply sourcing and product development.

Get involved with the creation of focused and saleable product pieces.

Weekly Schedule

Daily schedules vary based on department and position. In general, all volunteers work from 9 AM-4 PM Mondays through Thursdays, with an hour for lunch during the day, for a total of 25-30 hours per week. Volunteers and interns have Fridays off. Volunteers typically spend a large portion of their working hours in the office and not out in the communities themselves, although all volunteers have opportunities to visit the cooperatives on occasion or for specific projects.

Every volunteer and staffmember is required to work 2-3 shifts per week in our fair trade store, located within walking distance of our office in Ollantaytambo. Shifts last 3-4 hours and involve working the register, taking inventory, and tidying the store. Volunteers have Fridays off so that they may take advantage of the opportunity to travel and relax, with the understanding that they are expected to fulfill 2-3 weekend store shifts per month, or run an occasional weekend tour.

Monday-Thursday:
  • 8am: Breakfast with host family
  • 9am-1pm: Core office hours
  • 1pm-2pm: Lunch with host family
  • 2pm-4pm: Core office hours
  • 4pm-6pm: Free time—volunteers often stay connected to office Wi-Fi for personal use.
  • 7pm: Dinner with host family
  • 8:30pm: Free time—meet other volunteers for social events, call home from the office, read, etc.

Cost

Classic Volunteer and Intern Program: $2100 for 10 weeks, plus $100 for each additional week.

This includes full room and board for the entirety of your stay, including two weeks in a homestay and two months plus any additional weeks in our volunteer house. It also includes program and administrative fees, airport pickup, welcome and departure festivities, 10 hours of walking language class and tour of town, and a three-day cultural immersion weekend in one of the indigenous communities.

Service Travel Program: $1250 for 3 weeks, plus $200 for each additional week.

This includes full room and board for the entirety of your stay, in a homestay family or in our volunteer house. It also includes program and administrative fees, airport pickup, welcome and goodbye festivities, five hours of private Spanish instruction per week, bi-weekly group cultural discussions, the a three-day cultural immersion weekend in one of the indigenous communities, a Peruvian Cooking Class and a Basket Weaving or Woodworking class. Additional weeks include full room and board and ongoing Spanish instruction.

Awamaki is a 501(c)(3) and part of your volunteer fees may be tax-deductible as allowed by law. Please contact us at info@awamaki.org for more details about tax-deductible contributions.

Apply to volunteer

Potential volunteers who wish to come over the summer months of June and July must apply by early spring. For all other times of year, potential volunteers are encouraged to apply as early as possible, but acceptances are rolling and there is no deadline.

Group Volunteering

Awamaki arranges customized service trips for groups of students or tourists. Groups visit for any amount of time from a half day to several weeks. Awamaki arranges service projects, local accommodations, homestays, classes and other cultural immersion experiences for groups. These trips give groups a hands-on community experience that allows the group to learn about Andean culture, contribute to our work, and give back to the local community.

Recent service projects include building crafts centers alongside the women in our crafts cooperatives so that the women have a space to meet and run their businesses. Work can include clearing land, painting, making adobe, moving rocks and organizing activities for the children on the site.

Awamaki’s also arranges homestays or other accommodations, language classes, cultural tourism activities, educational speakers and outings, and hikes and Machu Picchu excursions for a visiting group’s trip. To explore whether we would be a good fit for your group, please contact us at info@awamaki.org.

Quechua word of the week: Imaynalla (Hello)