The third largest South American country, Peru is a living example of natural diversity and wildest landscapes - from the frozen Andean peaks to the dense Amazon Forests.
There's apparently nothing in this country that won't surprise you - whether it's the love and warmth of the people or the delicious Ceviche that would be served to you, or scarlet macaws and the timid Llamas and Alpacas!
While Peru has been a favorite destination for the travelers for years due to the ruins of Machu Picchu, the recent trend of voluntourism has sidelined conventional travel style and hundreds of millennials are traveling to Peru for not just visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but also to contribute meaningfully towards the developing Peruvian society.
If you aren't yet sure about why you should volunteer in Peru, then take a look at the following reasons - and who knows, maybe you'll have to start packing your bag soon!
9 Reasons Why You Should Take A Volunteering Trip To Peru
1. You'll get to live like the Peruvians!
While travelers will never get this opportunity, being a volunteer, you'll be accommodated with the natives and share the life that they live!
Peruvians are known to be extremely warm and welcoming, and while staying with them, you'll get to know how their daily life looks like and also learn more about their culture and heritage. While there are a lot of places that travelers might skip, you'll have the privilege to explore all those hidden gem destinations with your hosts!
And above all, it's always great to have a family in a distant land, with whom you have no kinship bonds, yet you would feel the love and connections throughout your life.
2. Learn Spanish while volunteering.
Perhaps you've always wanted to learn a foreign language but things never worked out well enough.
But no worries, it's never too late to learn something! While volunteering in Peru, you'll automatically be exposed to the Spanish language, and eventually, you'll have no other option but to learn it. Surely, learning a language from the natives is way better than pursuing a regular academic course! Since Spanish is spoken widely across several Latin American and European countries in the world, it will surely work as a booster in your CV.
And if you already know Spanish, then you still have chances of learning Castellano or Quechua!
3. You'll be able to make some real social impact.
No matter which volunteering project you join - your work will definitely be appreciated.
Peru is a developing country and there are still several underprivileged sections in the society who would need your help for a better life. There are Medical Clinics with inadequate staff and you can be a medical volunteer, treating patients for free. Or you can choose to teach English at the local schools, where the teachers aren't well versed with the language. Volunteering opportunities are also available at the Day Care Centers and Orphanages. If you are a nature lover, then you can be a part of the Conservation projects and spend some quality time amidst nature, in the Amazon Basin.
Your little contribution can indeed make a big impact.
4. Discover the delicious tastes of the Peruvian cuisine.
While living with your host family, you'll get to taste some authentic Peruvian delicacies.
While the list of what to eat while in Peru may just go on and on, I would suggest you to be a little careful before digging on that plate of Cuy (which is nothing but fried guinea pig)! But never hold yourself back - everything they serve you is edible! From Ceviche to Pachamanca, you might just find your favorite dish in Peru. Whether you are in Lima or Cusco, you'll have too many options to try the finger licking food.
Since a volunteering trip will provide you a considerable stay in the country, you can take your own sweet time to explore the restaurants and cafes!
5. Enjoy the independence of solo traveling.
Surely, traveling with friends and family has a charm of its own - and mostly, those trips come with certain flavors of luxury and everything is usually extremely well planned, to cater the needs of all.
A volunteering journey would be a more unplanned, raw and not-so-smooth endeavor.
You'll face challenges at your work, you'll have to share your room with your peers, you'll have to adjust yourself with the host family, so on and so forth - but eventually, you'll realize that every incident will teach you something new. You'll slowly start enjoying the independence of solo traveling and find out what intrigues your interests while you are on the road. Perhaps you never knew how much you love the mountains, before you went for a trek to the Rainbow mountains. Or you may just fall in love with the archeological grandeur of Machu Picchu.
Traveling solo will endow you with a feeling of empowerment, and don't be surprised if you rediscover yourself!
6. It's not just Machu Picchu but Peru has 12 UNESCO Heritage Sites!
And I'm not kidding!
Peru has an extremely significant history and culture, and thus, there are 8 Cultural Sites in Peru that include the City of Cusco, the Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, the City of Arequipa, the Sacred City of Caral-Supe and much more. Apart from these, there are 2 Natural Sites - Huascarán National Park and Manú National Park, and 2 Mixed Sites, which comprise of Río Abiseo National Park and the famous Ruins of Machu Picchu. Therefore, you can well imagine why covering it all might be quite a task for travelers, but not for volunteers who have ample time at their dispense.
You can make good use of all your weekends, and tick off all the places from your checklist.
7. A hub for adventure sports.
If you are an adventure junkie and absolutely love the adrenaline kick - they Peru will just make you go crazy!
While the country has an extensive beach in the West, there are several options for snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking. You can also go for surfing classes and become a pro! Just like the beach lovers will never fall short of adventures, the mountain lovers, too, will have a lot to do! You can go for snow treks at the Cordillera Blanca (White Range), in Áncash, which is the second highest mountain range after the Himalayas. You'll also have other tracking options in the smaller mountains of the Andes.
Take your native friend along with you, and you might just grab a better deal while booking your spot for your favorite sport.
8. Make friendship bonds that would last a lifetime.
During your journey, you'll meet several like-minded people from different parts of the world.
They have all come together to contribute in the same way as you wish to do. While they would initially appear to be strangers, you'll later develop the best friendship bonds with these people (trust me when I say this!). Together, you can find the most effective ways to help your host community and travel to places, far and near. They'll be your favorite travel mates! And, you'll have a chance of visiting them in their country as well.
Together as a group, you'll create memories in Peru that would last forever.
9. This will be an experience of a lifetime!
Traveling to a foreign country, doing something to improve others' lives, making friends out of strangers and most importantly, stepping beyond your comfort zone will surely convert your volunteering tryst into an experience of a lifetime.
No matter what you'll do after this, you'll always want to return back and relive those days. This journey will change you as a better person - you'll learn to value little things in life, be more grateful for what you have and there will be a sense of satisfaction that you probably can't express to anyone.
It'll be something that'll fetch you immense happiness in the days ahead - and who knows, you might just end up inspiring someone to follow your footsteps!
Are you still wondering why you should take a volunteering trip to Peru?