The Andean Village Volunteer Vacation Experience
In the mountains north of Lima, travel to the village of San Pedro de Casta, where the campesinos work the terraced land.
The Road Less Traveled high in the Andes
If you are looking for a truly "off the beaten path" experience in a community with real need, then you've found it! Your volunteer program will take place in beautiful San Pedro de Casta, a secluded and traditional village located high in the Andes, about 4 hours outside of Lima. The people of San Pedro make their communal living by farming the terraced land of the surrounding mountains, as their ancestors did for thousands of years before them.
Working Vacation: Volunteer Work Projects in San Pedro de Casta
Volunteers work on a variety of community development projects, from building repair, establishing irrigation channels for the schools, reforestation, and offering instruction in basic skills such as English, computers, hospitality, and first aid.
Volunteer vacationers also build simple Lorena stoves (which greatly reduce fuel consumption and increase the health of the home's inhabitants by reducing smoke), and work on other projects. Work projects are selected prior to your arrival based on immediate needs in the community.
Projects vary and depend on the number of volunteers; which projects were completed by the previous group of volunteer workers; what priorities have changed; weather conditions; which supplies are available; and often the interest and fitness level of the volunteers. For these reasons, specific projects are often not fixed until the week prior to your arrival and can even change upon arrival.
Volunteer Holiday Food and Lodging
Volunteer vacationers stay in the central village lodge. Electricity and modern bathrooms with running (not hot) water are available. Fresh Andean specialties with lots of fresh vegetables and beans from the surrounding hills will be served.
Leisure Activities During Your Service Vacation
Many enriching activities are offered throughout the week. All activities are planned, but participation is optional. You may choose to take a horseback ride to the ruins at Marcahuasi, visit the cheese or hat maker, learn to cook an Andean specialty, visit the mummies at the local museum, make Hualquies alongside local women (special pouches for carrying coca leaves) or explore the town at your leisure.
San Pedro de Casta is small and quiet, offering no bright lights or big city nightlife. Volunteers will feel they are living in ancient Peru. Click here for a sample itinerary.
Arranging Your Volunteer Vacation Airfare
You will need to arrange to be at the meet-up point in Lima by 9:30 am on the Sunday your program begins. The program ends at between 7:00 am and 9:00 am the following Saturday. It takes approximately four hours to return to Lima. The airport is one of the return drop-off destinations our driver will make. You should not arrange a return flight that departs any earlier than 3:30 pm. For more on flight tips, click here.
Safety and Security During Your Volunteer Vacation
Lima, Cuzco and immediate surroundings are considered safe in terms of political stability and health risks. Be aware that both Globe Aware Peru programs are at a high altitude, and if you have any sort of high blood pressure or respiratory condition, you should check with your doctor before deciding to go. More Safety and Security.