Should You Learn Spanish before Volunteering in Peru?


If you were planning to visit Peru or volunteer at Karikuy, you might have wondered if you should learn some Spanish. The answer is, it would be great if you could speak a few words of Spanish. If you do not know at all, you should be able to get around just fine in Lima, and also in some other places frequented by tourists such as Machu Picchu and Cusco.

Lima Square

However, knowing a few words of Spanish will indeed help you to make friends with locals, understand the culture better and probably even venture out on your own into the Peruvian heartland.

What is Spanish like? What if you do not have time to learn it?

Spanish is a beautiful language that is closely related to other Romance languages such as French, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian. All these languages are derived from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire, and thus, they are known as ‘Romance languages’. It is easy to pick up a Spanish phrasebook, if you are not willing to spend a lot of time learning a new language before arriving in Peru.

Should you really learn Spanish?

While most people at Karikuy may be able to speak in English, you will still need to know a little Spanish if you venture outside on your own. This is something that you should be doing anyway. What is traveling to a new country if you always want a guide around, or if you need the help of people to translate every single word? Just a few basic words in Spanish will go a long way, along with using gestures, facial expressions and hand movements.


If you have traveled in Peru and have had experience interacting with locals in Spanish or no Spanish at all, do let us know in the comments section below. Meanwhile, if you would like to volunteer with Karikuy, contact now.

You can read more about the program, which is open now, right here. There is also a great video which acquaints you with the facilities.

Image 1: By Jimohagan

Image 2: By Johann Moritz Rugendas

Image 3: No machine-readable author provided. Manuel González Olaechea assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0,

Jude C

I am a travel enthusiast who has closely worked with different communities in India. My interests range from alternative rock to English literature. I also happen to love cats a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *