Would you like to take part in discovering the history of Peru?
Most of Peru’s rich history is proudly on show above the ground; towering over your head in the shape of well-preserved colonial architecture or ancient Inca sites perched high on knife-edge cliffs. However, there is even more to be found under our feet and armed with a spade and a keen pair of eyes you could be the first person to see it for hundreds of years. The ceremonial sites of Huaca Huantille1 and Huaca Pucllana are two of Peru’s cultural wonders and date back to the 1st and 5th centuries. These projects are attempting to uncover and restore the sites, but lack of funding means volunteers are needed to get busy excavating, cleaning, registering and cataloguing archaeological material, restoring old tapestry/textiles and ceramics and producing material for restoration of ancient walls in order for the work to continue.
- An incredible opportunity for hands-on learning about Peru's rich past
- Exploring Lima - a fascinating city with incredible food
- Practising your Spanish and enjoying the Peruvian way of life
What's not included
Day 1 (Friday) - Welcome to Lima (Airport code LIM)
Today you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation. The friendly local family will welcome you into their home, help you settle in and even show you around! Depending on what time you arrive into Lima, you’ll have time to unpack and see some of the amazing sights.
Tonight, you’ll most likely be needing a good night’s sleep, so relax and we’ll check in with you in the morning.
If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get you into Peru on the designated arrival day then we’d recommend you fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pick-up for you including one night’s accommodation for an additional fee. Please call us for more information.
Day 2 (Saturday) – Orientation time!
Good morning! Welcome along to your first day in Peru and an orientation to get you started.
The orientation will take place at your in country team’s residence and will take you through what it’s going to be like at your project, do’s and don’ts, how to stay safe and it’s your prime opportunity to ask any burning questions that you haven’t yet had answered. After the orientation you’ll have some time to relax and see the sights!
Day 3 (Sunday) – Free time
You have a free day today before starting at your project tomorrow, so make the most of it! Attend church, take a bicycle tour around Lima, browse around the shops and don’t forget to call home to let them know you’ve arrived safely!
Day 4 (Monday) – Can you dig it? Yes you can!
Well here it is! The day you’ve been waiting for! You’ll be accompanied to the project by one of our team in the morning, and introduced to the staff at the project. Take time to get to know everyone talk with the staff about recent findings and what is expected during your time here, it’s your fastest route to getting settled in and getting the most out of your time.
By the end of today you’ll have made new friends and have learnt several new things and skills to take away with you; and it’s still only your first day here!
Following days (Tuesday to Friday) – Carry on at the site
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for the first few days; everything will fall in to place naturally over the time you are here and you’ll soon feel part of the furniture. You’ll fall very quickly in love with the place though!
Days 9 and 10 (Saturday to Sunday) – The weekend is here!
Yippee it’s the weekend! Time to get out and explore more of Lima! There’s obviously only a certain radius that you will be able to cover in two days but we recommend heading to Plaza Mayor - the center of Lima's historical area with a cathedral, palace, restaurants and lots more – just don’t forget your camera.
Miraflores is also well worth a visit - the neighbourhood that’s home to Lima’s wealthier residents and is a popular location for its beach, restaurants and clubs to dance the night away!
Make sure you also visit some of Lima’s museums as with such a rich history there is a lot to see and learn!
However long you are booked to stay here, the following weeks will pass by in a blur, so make the most of every day, every opportunity, and every person you meet and make lots of memories to keep with you, long after your trip has finished.
Your Last Day (Friday)
Your last day has come around already! We told you it would whizz by! We hope you’ve had the time of your life with us and wish you a safe onward journey from here, wherever you are heading.
Please note that the return airport transfer is not included but is easily arranged by taxi. A taxi to the airport costs around US$20 and will take around thirty minutes so please budget for this.
What does the project do?
Once upon a time in Peru in 1981, work started taking place to build in the city of Miraflores district of Lima. Builders began digging and discovered traces of small clay structures. Building work stopped as archaeologists were called in, and the great ceremonial centre, of Huaca Pucllana, shaped like a pyramid, was unearthed in the city centre! It is believed that the centre was constructed around the Vth century.
The adobe structure of the Huaca Huantille was built in around 800 or 900 AD by the Ischma, a pre-incan culture that occupied the Lima valley’s between 750-900 AD. When Lima`s growth bloomed the Huaca Huantille was surrounded by buildings and as time went by part of it was destroyed in 1960 then in the 1980`s makeshift shacks were built on the ruins themselves. Then in 2005 the way was paved for excavations and the illegal homes and families were removed and housed elsewhere. Apart from dozens of ceremonial vases, three intact mummies were found wrapped in fine cloth, while 10 other fragmented remains were found nearby.
What’s the project like?
The archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana is based in the centre of Miraflores, a district of Lima. There are always historians on the site working and new artifacts are unearthed frequently. There may be quieter periods on the site where site maintenance is carried out and excavation is continued without discovering anything but the thrill of being on an ancient historical site is second to none.
The Huaca Huantille is located in Magdelana Del Mar and has 3 archaeologists on site with a small number of additional workers.
Why does the project need volunteers?
Although the work would continue to be carried out on the sites without our volunteers; the sites will always welcome anyone with an interest in archaeology. No previous experience is necessary, but a healthy interest is vital as the work can sometimes be slow and arduous.
The government and the Ministry of Culture set targets and goals for the site and help is needed to assist them in reaching these targets.
Activities and schedule
Your help would be appreciated between 8am and 1pm Monday to Friday with weekends yours to use as you please. You will also have the option of working the afternoons 2pm to 5pm.
Typical activities will include archaeological excavation (based on time of year), cleaning, registering and cataloguing archaeological material, restoring very old tapestry/textiles and ceramics and producing material for restoration of ancient walls. You will also get involved in activities such as sieving, classifying collections, making bricks and cleaning archaeological materials.
Project resources and advice
The projects suggest that you bring a 4.5 inch Marshall Town trowell and a Munsell Table to define colours.
Everything you’ll need whilst on this project will be provided for you but dont forget your sun cream and a hat!
Semana Santa (Latin America Holy week) runs from March 30th to April 8th 2012 and March 22nd to March 31st. You will mainly find disruptions to the project for a few days during these times.
A Spanish phrasebook is also worth bringing to help you to get the most out of the trip alongwith the basics of Spanish already that is!
You will need to fill out a standardised CV/resume form before starting at your volunteer project which will be sent to you by email shortly after you book. Please make sure you complete and return it promptly to avoid any delays.
What type of accommodation will I be in?
Your accommodation in Lima is based within home stays with a local family. They are all comfortable and well equipped with electricity, running water and hot showers – it’s your home away from home!
You’ll have a shared bedroom with another volunteer. If we aren’t able to place two people together, we’ll make sure you’re as close together as you can be. Each bedroom has two single beds and storage space for your luggage. Basic bedding will be provided and we’d recommend that you bring your own padlock to keep your valuables secure.
There is a shared family living space so you might like to take items such as playing cards or books to bring in to the family space. Your new family will be keen to spend time chatting and getting to know you and we’d encourage you to get as involved in family life as much as possible. Volunteers have their own bathroom to share and have running water, shower and Western style toilet.
Breakfast and dinner are included; expect traditional (and delicious!) Peruvian meals such as: rice, beans, salad, meat, poultry, pasta, fish, etc.
Things to bring from home
Based on previous volunteer feedback, we’d recommend bringing the following items with you from home:
- A warm jumper during the cooler months as it can be quite chilly!
- Lots of Spanish speaking skills to get you settled in!
Where is the accommodation?
You’ll be based in Lima during your stay – the capital city of Peru! There’s so much to explore and see during your stay here that you’ll struggle to see it all.
You are within walking distance of every kind of amenity you’ll need; whether it is banks, shops, internet cafes, restaurants, bars or even hospitals, there’s nothing you’ll miss from home!
Lima itself is a beautiful city and easy to navigate. Don’t forget that you’re living with a local family who will also happily show you around and show you sights that you wouldn’t find in your guidebook, so throw it out the window!
How far is it from my project?
You have the choice between having a nice stroll in the morning or taking the public bus to your project. Depending on which project you're based at, the bus takes approximately 20-40 minutes and will cost around US$10 each week so please budget for this cost. You’ll be accompanied on your first day and will find your way around Lima easily!
What you get
What exactly do i to i Volunteering provide?
It may seem like a strange concept to pay for your volunteer experience. You'd be right if you think you shouldn't and the truth is you actually don't! Your placement is free; it's the benefits around it that you pay for. It's important to note that i to i Volunteering is a travel company and not a charity. We provide a professional travel service. We are responsible for finding and assessing worthwhile projects across the world, preparing you for the volunteering experience and supporting you whilst you're there.
Project sourcing and assessment
We work with hundreds of locally run partner projects around the world and are constantly sourcing new opportunities. We visit all projects to check that they are worthwhile and legitimate and we also conduct a thorough safety assessment before we'll send volunteers there.
Almost everyone who works for i to i Volunteering has traveled extensively or worked overseas. This means we're a goldmine of information; we're always available to offer support and guidance before, during and after your trip.
Thorough project briefing materials
Once you book on to a project you'll receive an online account that contains loads of general information about volunteering, about your chosen country and how to have fun and stay safe. We'll also give you advice on visas and inoculations.
It can be pretty daunting arriving in a different country for the first time - especially after a long flight! If you arrive on your project start date, there'll be a welcoming face at the airport to pick you up and take you to your accommodation.
Soon after you arrive you will attend a thorough orientation with our in-country team. This is to cover important safety and security information. You'll also get some tips about sight-seeing options for your time off and maybe even learn some of the local lingo!
Accommodation and meals
Accommodation is included with all projects and meals are even included with some. We only use locally-owned and operated accommodation so that part of your placement fee is filtering back into the local economy. Most projects offer homestay, guesthouse or shared volunteer houses as standard accommodation, but some offer the chance to upgrade to a more comfortable living standard.
Local in-country coordinators
Your in-country team will arrange a pick-up for you at the airport and will conduct your orientation upon arrival. All coordination teams are English speaking and are locals of your destination country. They won't be at your project every day, but will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need them.
24/7 emergency support
Aside from the local support from your in-country team you'll be given access to a 24/7 emergency phone line manned by our response team in case any problem should arise while you're overseas. We also hire crisis management professionals to be on hand in case of a situation that requires additional expert support.
The safety and security of our volunteers is paramount. For this reason we provide ongoing crisis management and emergency response training to our local teams around the world. We also fly in our in-country coordinators to the UK regularly for thorough training to help them offer the best safety to the thousands of volunteers they support each year.
Supporting our projects
We don't fund our projects directly from the project fee that you pay us. Instead we choose to support a number of projects through our Helping Hands Foundation to provide resources to those projects that really need it.
Recruiting people like you
We make no secrets of the fact that part of your placement fee is reinvested in to recruiting volunteers just like you! The volunteers recruited in one week will typically deliver over 2000 man-days of service. The difference this makes to projects overseas is immeasurable. Many of our overseas projects rely on assistance from international volunteers, so it's necessary for us to put together brochures and websites to find the people who can support them. This recruitment process is vital to ensure programs have a constant stream of reliable volunteers.
Please note: You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us.
What we will do after you've booked:
- Once booked on you will instantly receive a welcome email confirming your booking with access to your online account
- Community Development and Teaching customers will be requested to complete a police check (where relevant)
- We will contact you if we require anything else e.g. CV/resume for some projects, doctors note for medical conditions etc.
- We will prepare for your trip and you will receive all information required to prepare yourself in your online account
- We will ask you to complete personal information and pay your final balance if they are still due when required
- We are available for any questions you may have on firstname.lastname@example.org
What you need to do after booking your place with us:
- Book your flights
- Arrange suitable travel insurance
- Fill out your personal details through your online account
- Complete your police check if requested
- Make final payment at least 90 days before you go
- Make sure you have a visa for your trip if it's needed
- Visit a nurse or travel clinic for advice on inoculations and malaria prevention
- Read all details and prepare as much as you can for your trip
- Take contact details of the in country team and where you're going in your hand luggage - just in case!
- Get on the plane!
Flights & insurance
It's important that you get adequate travel insurance for your i to i Volunteering experience and as many of you will be working this often means standard policies won’t work. The good news is that no matter where you're coming from we have already found a policy to suit you.
The best time to get your insurance is when you book your project as this means you can get a fully tailored policy exclusive to i to i Volunteering, just ask your consultant for further details at the time of booking.
For prices, policies and key facts click here
As with insurance we advise you get these booked as early as possible to avoid high prices and to make sure you arrive on the right day. The i to i Volunteering team is right up to date with the best deals no matter where you’re flying from; their insider knowledge could save you some time and money.