Peru's Challenge aims to develop sustainable schools and communities in poor mountain villages surrounding Cusco in Peru. We work in long-term partnerships with local communities to empower the poorest and most vulnerable rural populations. We achieve this goal through a series of development projects, social programs, and educational programs with the invaluable help of local and international volunteers.
Macquarie University| January 26, 2015
This was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was not 100% sure what to expect from the school but seeing how happy and caring all the kids are made me never want to leave. Seeing improvements not only in the construction (Which was tiring but a lot of fun) but within the children, who were more willing to wash their hands, faces and teeth everyday, as well as improvements in the condition of their skin made me feel like I was actually helping to improve the quality of their lives. The tours offered as part of this program were incredible and I learnt so much about Peru's History, including seeing Machu Picchu, and I have made lifelong friends along the way.
Sydney Macquarie University| January 28, 2015
The project is amazing , the organization is awesome they are so friendly, knowledgeable and they go that extra mile to make you feel so comfortable the entire time. The accommodation and food are five star, everyone who helps in the community are wonderful people and so welcoming. The community is so welcoming also the children and families are always willing to help out and are happy to see us.You are lucky enough to see the improvement in the community with daily.
SYDNEY Macquarie University| January 28, 2015
Working with Peru's Challenge has been a very memorable experience. The program is very well organised and the volunteers were very well looked after. The residence is fantastic and the community was very welcoming and warm. It was a pleasure to get to know this community and also to see all the wonderful work that volunteers with Peru's Challenge has done over the years. This is a very ethical and inspiring organisation.
Unforgettable! I will cherish this experience for a lifetime.
Nyah Fouad -
Sydney Macquarie University| January 30, 2015
I can see myself coming back and volunteering for Peru’s Challenge in the future, and I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in partaking and working with such an incredible organization. The co-founders Jane and Selvy are such inspirational people, it was incredible just to be there and witness their passion and their humility.
The one month project was very well rounded; they have allowed us to experience what it takes to work with a community such as Quilla Huata, we helped with the construction of a classroom, taught English, Sports and Arts to the amazing kids, and also had the pleasure of overlooking their hygiene, washing their hands and brushing their teeth. That was such a rewarding experience for me! The families also welcomed us into their homes, and into the mothers’ workshops, another outlet Peru’s Challenge is helping them with, teaching them sustainability. We also have experienced Cuzco and its amazing wonders through their tours that varied from the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco’s surroundings.
The volunteers are spoilt with the amazing accommodation, to the food provided by the awesome chef Ramiro and Angelica to Nico and Memo, who guided us every step of the way in terms of construction work.
I feel so lucky to have been a part of something so amazing!
An Opportunity to Create Social and Sustainable Change
Sydney Macquarie University| January 31, 2015
An incredibly heart-warming experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life. It's a wonderful feeling when you are able to see real and tangible change as a result of your own two hands. For anyone seeking to become part of a bigger movement to create societal progress and change, then Peru's Challenge is the program for you!
Sydney Macquarie University| January 31, 2015
Inspiring and Rewarding
The 4 weeks I spent with Peru's Challenge program is easily one of the best things I have ever done. Working closely with the community on essential construction projects and teaching in a foreign country, while also having the opportunity to explore all the sights that Peru has to offer, was an amazing combination. You are very well looked after, with all meals, transportation and accommodation provided. The co-founder, Jane and Selvy, were always present and keen to hear how your experience is going and help out wherever needed. The community members are equally as welcoming and such beautiful people. So sad to leave but so many wonderful memories.
Ashlee Millingham -
Sydney Macquarie University| January 26, 2015
I have had an incredible experience. I felt comfortable the minute I arrived as the accomodation and food was luxury. There was a great balance between community work/physical labour and sight seeing. The community work was challenging but very rewarding and worthwhile. Having the opportunity to interact with the community members and workers was so memorable as everyone I came across from Peru's Challenge was approachable and tried hard to know you by name. I have had an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone I came across.
sydney macquarie university| February 10, 2015
I had a wonderful time volunteering with Peru's Challenge this January. I volunteered with my university so the application procedure and my experience volunteering abroad may be different to yours.. I was very well prepared and well looked after by the university, as well as the NGO.
The program was well administered, however sometimes the NGO's staff didn't have enough time to help all of us - however I think this is just a reflection of how productive and busy they are (doing great things)!
The living situation was excellent and a highlight of the trip. We stayed in an absolutely beautiful house with a view of the surrounding mountains. The house could have been a museum with all the interesting artefacts it possessed. We were fed beautiful food 3 times a day by the wonderful chef Ramiro and his wife Angelica - we almost felt too spoilt!
Our group didn't have much of a social life but that's because we all knew the reason we were there; we had a lot of jobs to complete and enjoyed being so productive at home, working on administrative tasks for the NGO in our spare time, as well as working physically hard on the project every morning. There are plenty of opportunities to go out though if this is what you would like (hopefully it's not your main reason for volunteering abroad though!) - and Cuzco is a beautiful city.
Overall, the volunteer project was great and the community impact was beneficial - the model is a very good one. Peru's Challenge's volunteer program is well organised and well designed so that every volunteer group starts and finishes a specific project, and also recognises that their work is part of a much bigger picture. This does mean that the NGO has a heavy reliance on volunteers for labour and funding... so all the more reason to support them and go! The work is beneficial for the community as there are numerous integrated projects that are all primarily directed by the community's needs. Peru's Challenge's ultimate goal is to make themselves redundant - to leave a community once it is sustainable in more ways than one - so important!
I think the thing I love best about Peru's Challenge is the community I was welcomed into and the friendships I gained from the experience. Some volunteer abroad programs may, unintentionally, strengthen the divide between 'us and them'; between international volunteers and local staff. Peru's Challenge is quite the opposite - regular games of soccer were a beautiful activity that helped us have fun, make friends and have a break from all the hard work. I'm sure you'll also find it hard to say goodbye to the dedicated staff, other volunteers and local community members - and you'll most probably want to return very quickly!