Karikuy Volunteer Program In Detail

If you haven’t already checked out the Perupedia project web site please head over to www.karikuy.org/perupedia. You can find more information on the volunteer program and an application form you can fill out if your interested in joining the program. I will now go ahead and explain the program in detail, including your jobs as a volunteer, the meal plan, boarding and explain a basic day in the life as a volunteer in Peru.

Volunteering Information:
-Free Room and Board
– $22 a week meal plan
-Monday through Friday workweek (3 day weekend can be set up for excursions)
-8 hours of work (10am to 8pm lax hours with meal breaks)
-Discounted tours for weekend travel
-Holidays off
-Stress free environment

Work Expected
-Information gathering
-Essay writing
-Web site layout
-Photo editing
-Video editing (not part of job requirement)
-Minor Maintenance (mostly personal cleaning, painting, etc.)

OK great! so lets say you have made the decision to become a volunteer, you fly out to Peru (you pay your own round trip airfare of course) and land at Jorge Chavez International Airport. You’ll find me at the airport waiting to greet you and help you change any currency, just as I would any of my customers who come to Peru on one of our tours. Here’s where your adventure volunteering in Peru begins. First stop is the bed and breakfast where I will show you around the house and how to use the facilities. I give you the rest of the day off to settle down and take you on a tour of the surrounding area. If it’s a weekend we’ll go out so you can experience Lima to see what you have gotten yourself into ha ha no joke really your going to have a lot of fun.

On your first workday you get up pretty much the time your use to, just remember you are expected to put in a good 8 hours a day into the project. I will discuss where we’re at in the project and give you a starting point from which to begin. For example I could say we need to catalog and write about popular hotels in Puno, you will then get on your laptop (required) and look up the top reviewed hotels in Puno and write a good description for each with location information, current prices and contact info. You have various options in obtaining this information, you can look on the web or call the hotels personally if well versed in Spanish and ask them yourself. This is what we mean when we say the project is looking for good information gatherers.

So back to explaining your day to day as a volunteer. After a breakfast consisting of some fresh bread, eggs, oatmeal, coffee and all that good stuff you head to work. At around 1pm lunch is served, lunch being the most heavy and important meal of the day in Peru, the meal is a bowl of soup and a main course accompanied by some freshly made juice, tea or more coffee. These meal are about an hour long usually depending on how fast you eat and then it’s back to work. Dinner is a lighter meal consisting of either the soup or main course from earlier in the day, if your hungry your free to have both. After dinner the clock is at about 8pm and you have an hour or so to wrap up and save any writing you have been working on. The work day normally doesn’t last any later then 9 although you are free to work longer if you wish. From the time you stop working until the time you go to sleep you can surf the web, watch TV or movie, and even go out, although I caution anyone from going out at night alone. That’s your average work day summed up in a nutshell.

It’s also very important to me to hear what you have to say about your experiences in Peru, for that reason I will reserve one day of the week for the volunteer to write a blog about a certain subject that relates to them and their time in the country. These blogs will be posted on a new site and not on this personal blog. That platform, which will debut as soon as our first volunteers join us with the project, will be hosted on the Karikuy web site using WordPress. This special blogging day will be Fridays unless I specify otherwise or there is a more important topic that needs finishing.

On the weekends you have the opportunity to travel throughout Peru, I would recommend visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu. For longer planned trips I am more then glad to give you a 3 day weekend and even a 4 day weekend depending on the location and the circumstances. I will also honor Birthdays and other Holidays that may be personal or religious. Depending on where you wish to visit, know that you will receive the lowest possible price Karikuy can get you for your travels. All we ask is that while you are away you always carry a notepad with you to jot down information on locations, transportation, prices and news. All this gathered information is extremely valuable in order to help the Perupedia project grow. When possible and if you request I can accompany you on some tours, giving you my expertise on certain locations and helping you with your information gathering.

I have described your work on the project above as information gathering, however at any time and depending on your qualities I could ask you to put a short video together, or to help with the layout of the Perupedia site and edit other sections. Remember that the Perupedia project is very open ended and that there will be other volunteers working from their own homes uploading information into the site from around the world. One of your jobs will be to review these additions and check for errors or misinformation. On occasion I may even ask you to clean your room ha ha if your not too neat that is, or maybe to help me paint a part of the Bed and Breakfast and do repairs, all of these being minor physical work. I hope I have given you a good picture of how volunteers can expect to spend their days in the country. I also want to add that parties and social events are very common so as to not make the program seem uneventful. Peruvians love to dance and have a good time and I am certain you will too.

Peru is a great place to volunteer and I really hope to have a great time with some of you who qualify for this project. Although this isn’t your more traditional Peruvian volunteer program, please understand that you are doing a great service to people around the world who wish to know more about Peru , its culture and people. This ultimate reference of Peru will have it’s place on the Internet as the most thorough database on Peru and has the opportunity of becoming a focal point on attracting more attention to the social and political issues that affect the country. Depending on the success of this project (which is entirely up to the volunteers, I could never do it all myself) I will choose to open similar projects for other South American countries that would have volunteers be boarded abroad as well. For now I will take it one step at a time and invite you to come to Peru to get to know the country and then share it with the world.

Julio C. Tello

Founder of Karikuy, an organization in Peru that brings travelers to visit and explore the country. Julio also runs the Karikuy Volunteer program and is the editor of this blog. Julio likes to write about his adventures in Peru as well as Peruvian folklore, mysteries and secluded locations.

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