As a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you will get up close and personal to some amazing animals. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. As a Peru wildlife volunteer, you will help care for a variety of different species of animals. Most noteworthy, animals who are endangered, poached or displaced from their natural habitat.
WILDLIFE RESCUE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN'S DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.15 – LIFE ON LAND
CARE FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES IN PERU
PROVIDE MUCH-NEEDED SUPPORT FOR THE LOCAL STAFF IN THE DAILY TASKS
ENJOY THE LOCAL CULTURE WITH SALSA CLASSES AND PERUVIAN CUISINE CLASSES
EXTRAORDINARY TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES TO THE SACRED VALLEY AND MACHU PICCHU
BACKGROUND TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE PROGRAM
As in many South America countries, Peru is home to an abundance of wildlife. The sad reality is that much of this wildlife is vulnerable to wide-ranging forms of mistreatment. Examples include more localised problems such as abandonment or a failure to properly feed and house animals. However, wider-spread systematic forms of cruelty are also prevalent. For example, bestiality, illegal trafficking and raising animals to fight.
In 2015, the Peruvian Congress has passed animal cruelty laws which mandates criminal penalties for animal mistreatment. For the reason that a series of animal-cruelty cases went viral. Naturally, this is not a good perception of Peru as a country or as a tourist hotspot. Such penalties for animal mistreatment range from fines to prison sentences.
However, many Peruvians would argue that more can be done and enforced by Congress and law enforcement in protecting Peru’s wildlife. Specifically, when it comes to wild animals, tourist traps and endangered species. Nowadays, there are many rescue centres and sanctuaries taking action upon themselves against animal mistreatment. The main mechanism to achieve this is through education.
Education is considered as the most important factor to contribute to wildlife conservation efforts. In addition, education is also the reason that justifies the existence of a wildlife sanctuary or wildlife rescue centre. Through engagement, information and communication, stronger respect and understanding for nature, wild animals and endangered species can be achieved. Not only this, wildlife rescue centres play a big role in recovery programs, animal rehabilitation and reproduction programs.
WILDLIFE RESCUE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE
Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary - PMGY have teamed up with a family ran wildlife rescue centre in Cusco. The centre is dedicated to rescuing animals that have suffered any forms of mistreatment. For example, rescuing animals from illicit trafficking or those that have suffered physical neglect from former owners or evil poachers.
The rescued animals are put under the care of the forest rangers at the wildlife sanctuary. As a volunteer in Peru, you will play a vital role in supporting the forest rangers. In the same vein, as an animal volunteer you will work alongside the rangers to complete core tasks at the project. Such tasks for Peru wildlife volunteering include:
• Taking care of the animals
• Assisting with cleaning and general maintenance
• Support with feeding the animals
• Helping with any medical treatments required
• Assisting in any educational programs
• Help build new houses on-site
Since 2007, the wildlife rescue centre has been sheltering wild species. Moreover, many species are endangered. The Andean Condor receives special consideration at the centre and is the primary focus of the program. Most noteworthy, because its population has been seriously decimated in recent years. This is all inflicted by human activity. More specifically, the feathers of the bird are sold as souvenirs for tourists. This activity stimulates illegal hunting for these magnificent birds. Efforts at the centre are being made to encourage reproduction in captivity with the aim being to release the young Condors.
There is a range of other animals at the centre that you as a volunteer in Peru will encounter during your time. For example, pumas and small bears that had been drugged and used for entertainment purposes can usually be found here. In addition, there are many special types of birds to be found at the centre. A hawk who last one of his eyes because of human hunting cannot hunt anymore in the wild and has been displaced to the centre. Other animals at the centre include foxes, turtles, monkeys, deers, alpacas, llamas and more!
On a broader level, the sanctuary has a range of programs that you as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer can support with. For example, educational campaigns at local schools, recovery projects for sick and mistreated animals and reproduction programs for endangered animal species as exemplified with the Andean Condor.
Our Peru wildlife volunteering project allows volunteers and interns to experience their love of animals during their time in Peru. Working at the centre of the project as part of your international volunteering, your daily tasks will make a positive contribution. Moreover, the care and wellbeing these rescued animals receive will greatly improve. The sanctuary cares for all types of wildlife animals. Ultimately, the long-term aim of the project is to liberate the rescued animals back into natural environments.
Peru wildlife rescue volunteer projects typically receive little to no government funding or assistance. Therefore volunteer support and contributions are a big help to the project that otherwise can receive limited help. By choosing to work closely with this wildlife project in Peru, your support as a Peru wildlife volunteer will be much appreciated by those connected at the sanctuary.
In short, if you have a love for wildlife, then this project is definitely for you when visiting Peru! We have availability from 1 week to 4 weeks on the project. Furthermore, you will volunteer typically across the morning periods Monday-Friday. At this project, all animals have had their required vaccinations. Older clothing for Peru wildlife volunteering is recommended as are shoes that you do not mind getting dirty!
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY
When you complete volunteer work in Peru at the wildlife rescue centre, you will be helping with the daily chores. As a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you will help with cleaning and feeding. Other activities include enrichment activities, medical assistance and general support for the local project staff. The volunteering hours are typically from 9am-1pm and/or 2pm-5pm.
In order to reach the wildlife rescue project, you will need to catch the public bus and this takes around 30 minutes. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH WILDLIFE IN PERU
Spanish Requirements - As for all our volunteer in Peru programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.
PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. These are priced at 149 GBP for a 20 hour Spanish course. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Zoom and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.
We also offer a learn Spanish in Peru program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.
Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Peru. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.
Experience - If you are a veterinary student you may be able to assist in more tasks. Naturally, this will depend on your level of knowledge, experience and qualifications in this area. You may be able to help with the sick, injured or disabled animals. Furthermore, there may be more opportunities in advanced veterinary care such as vaccinations or neutering procedures.
Project Donation - With each volunteer, there is a donation made directly to the volunteer project you join us in Peru. This donation fee is included in the Program Fee you pay PMGY.
With that donation, the project is provided with increased financial support to improve resources, infrastructure and project environment. Such beneficiaries being the patients at the medical clinics, students at the schools, children at the kindergartens or the dogs at the dog shelter project.
Weekends - Your project work in Peru runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Peru Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Peru. We offer the Lake Titicaca & Islands Trip along with the Machu Picchu Trip with opportunities running every month.
CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP
Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to volunteer in Peru?
PMGY welcomes Peru wildlife rescue volunteers of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language.
For our programs in Peru, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.
As a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the Peru volunteer program?
For your volunteer trip to Peru, you should book your flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco on the Sunday start date. The airport code is CUZ. You will be met at the airport by a member of your host family, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
When is the best time of year to volunteer in Peru?
Feedback from Peru wildlife rescue volunteers often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.
Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer in Peru?
In order to join as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you need to be at least 18 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.
When should I apply to be a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes will carry an administration charge of 39 GBP.
What duration would you recommend to volunteering for?
Based on feedback from previous Peru wildlife rescue volunteers, we believe that 4 weeks is the ideal amount of time to volunteer in Peru. Consequently, this means you have enough time to integrate into the local community and really get involved in a project. For one thing, you will be able to make a positive impact on community development. Additionally, you will have a greater opportunity to explore during your weekends. Peru wildlife rescue volunteers who join us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that this was long enough and wish they had stayed for longer!
For those looking to potentially join us for a longer period, we recommend checking out our Encounter Programs that offer a 2-4 week stay across 3-10 destinations.
Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact with have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 45 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I use the program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to be a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that your time as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in Peru can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?
With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Peru volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that Peru wildlife rescue volunteers set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For Peru wildlife rescue volunteers looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide volunteers in Peru with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For Peru wildlife rescue volunteers who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?
It is possible that as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work in Peru. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to volunteer in Peru?
When you apply to be a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To become a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check, then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer.
For Peru wildlife rescue volunteers from the US, you can apply for a background check through Sentry Link. It costs 19.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All volunteers in Peru will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Zoom, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the Peru volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our Peru wildlife rescue volunteers.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers in Peru with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code at the projects?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in Peru.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 50-100 GBP per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer.
During your time on the Peru volunteer programs, you will live in our homestay family accommodation. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and located in the city of Cusco. You’ll be living with local families who will guide you in Cusco. Furthermore, they will help to improve your knowledge of the Spanish Language! It is important to note that the homestay families will usually speak no English at all.
The host families are located just outside of central Cusco. They are all within 30 minutes bus of your volunteer work in Peru. In addition, the volunteer homestays are usually walking distance from the local team's offices. Each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All volunteers will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.
Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is usually warm (although can be a victim to power cuts) to ensure you keep warm in the chilly nights of Cusco! The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. However, please ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance.
The host families will prepare all meals across your time on the project with us (including a packed lunch if you wish). The families of the homestay normally have a separate area within the house for their family, yet they love to interact with volunteers. Therefore they will be excited to hear about your days and experiences in Peru. Above all, the host family set-up ensures you have round the clock support and security. In addition, you will get the chance to improve your Spanish language skills.
Your host family location is usually linked to your volunteer in Peru project location. For the reason that it allows for more practical logistics to get to and from the project. Therefore, should you have requirements to be in the same accommodation as another PMGY application then be sure to highlight this on your online application.
During your volunteer trip to Peru, international volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are served at the homestay, whereas for lunch we provide you with a packed lunch (upon request). With notice, the local team can even provide pre-cooked meals for you. You can then store and warm the meals up at the Spanish school during your lunch. In addition, boiled and filtered water is also available at the homestay(s) for volunteers.
It is important to note that meals are traditional Peruvian dishes. In short, they can be very carb-heavy traditionally. Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of rice or quinoa and the meat is mainly chicken. Due to the altitude, you will notice that your breakfast and dinner meals are quite small and lunch is very big. Going to sleep with a full stomach is hard on the body. Therefore, at such an altitude it is difficult to digest large quantities of food. Consequently, it may take you a few days for your body to get accustomed to this as well.
The main meats are chicken, fish and alpaca. There are a number of western restaurants around a 10 minute drive from the accommodation. Therefore, home comforts are not too far away. In the same vein, there are also some vegan and Indian restaurants in Cusco. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.
* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
OPTIONAL LANGUAGE & IMMERSION ADD-ON FEES
* Longer durations available upon request.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 45 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME - 50 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in Peru works as follows -
Kenya - 60 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Peru and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
India - 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don't have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
USA - 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.