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🌎 VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AMERICA 🌎

Volunteer in South America with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, volunteer abroad organisation with programs across the latin continent. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs overseas, with a wide range of volunteer projects in Costa RicaEcuador & Peru.

PMGY South America is located in the historic and bustling towns and cities of Coronado, Quito and Cusco. PMGY programs start on two dedicated start dates every month. Our projects in South America run across the year and volunteers can participate in our programs from 1-12 weeks. Volunteers in South America are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, in-country orientation, meals, accommodation and local support.

COSTA RICA CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Whether you wish to volunteer in a day-care centre or in a nursery, get ready to play games and sing songs with children of all ages.

FROM 630 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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COSTA RICA ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

You don’t have to go far to find children in need of education! The youngsters of Coronado are waiting to learn and play with you in the classroom.

FROM 630 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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COSTA RICA LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAM

Learn Spanish using modern methods. The classroom will be a fun environment that provides you with Instituto Cervantes Accredited lessons.

FROM 435 USD

1-6 WEEKS

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ECUADOR CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Be a helping hand to a beautiful child. There is little as rewarding as teaching them how to clean their clothes, speak English or even sing the hokie-cokie.

FROM 540 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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ECUADOR ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

Spend your days with a generation of inspired students. Incorporate English language lessons with historic influences of indigenous culture.

FROM 540 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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ECUADOR LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAM

What better way to learn a language than to surround yourself with the culture interacting with its people and traditions!

FROM 390 USD

1-12 WEEKS

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ECUADOR MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS

As a medical student, witness a healthcare system unlike your own. A new insight into traditional beliefs will leave you well amazed and cultured.

FROM 675 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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PERU CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Spend your time providing love and care to kids. Apply yourself on a program that gives you creativity to provide a fun project for little ones in need!

FROM 390 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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PERU DOG RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

Get up close and personal while helping create a better life for Cusco's street dogs. If you love dogs this is a great way to give back and make an impact!

FROM 240 USD

1-12 WEEKS

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PERU ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

Be the reason for young aged students to smile. The basic education provided in the local school system isn’t enough, the children need volunteers like you.

FROM 390 USD

2-12 WEEKS

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PERU LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAM

What better way to learn a language than to surround yourself in the culture interacting with its people and traditions!

FROM 300 USD

1-12 WEEKS

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PERU MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS

Get first-hand experience in both public and private clinics in Cusco! This project will provide volunteers an insight of the Peruvian healthcare system.

FROM 705 USD

4-12 WEEKS

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PERU WILDLIFE RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

Help care for a variety of different species of animals, who may be endangered, poached or displaced from their natural habitat.

FROM 290 USD

1-4 WEEKS

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REAL PERU EXPERIENCE

Take 3 weeks to immerse yourself in one of South America's top destinations. Improve your Spanish, indulge in Machu Picchu, Peru is your oyster!

FROM 1,035 USD

3 WEEKS

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REAL SOUTH AMERICA ENCOUNTER – CR, ECUADOR & PERU

Embark on this stunning trip across Costa Rica, Ecuador & Peru where you are guaranteed to experience all aspects of South American lifestyle and culture.

FROM 1,935 USD

6-12 WEEKS

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ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

An epic journey across 10 enthralling destinations and 4 breathtaking continents. If you are looking for the ultimate trip, then this is your Encounter!

FROM 5,775 USD

20-40 WEEKS

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WHY VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AMERICA WITH PMGY?

Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.

 

Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.

 

Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.

 

Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.

 

Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AMERICA PROJECTS

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS COSTA RICA

 

 

COSTA RICA CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

As a childcare volunteer in Costa Rica, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the Coronado community. Not only this, PMGY’s Costa Rica volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Combine your Spanish learning and enthusiasm for childcare projects to make the most out of your volunteer with children in Costa Rica experience!

 

COSTA RICA ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the schools in Coronado. Not only this, PMGY’s Costa Rica volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Combine your Spanish learning and enthusiasm for teaching to make the most out of your teach English in Costa Rica experience!

 
 

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN ECUADOR

 

 

ECUADOR CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

As a childcare volunteer in Ecuador, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the city of Quito. Not only this, PMGY’s Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Provide a helping hand for the children and local staff. Plan activities and games, help with meals times and be sure to improve your Spanish as you volunteer with children in Ecuador.

 

ECUADOR ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer teaching English in Ecuador, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the schools in Quito. Not only this, PMGY’s Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Incorporate English language lessons with historic influences of indigenous culture as you teach English in Ecuador.

 

ECUADOR MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS

As a medical volunteer in Ecuador, focus your time and energy into specific departments at the hospital. Our Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Delve deeper into the traditional healing beliefs of the local people. as a medical volunteer in Ecuador.

 
 

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN PERU

 

 

PERU CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

As a childcare volunteer in Peru, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the city of Cusco. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Provide a much needed helping hand for some of the most disadvantaged and underprivileged children in the local communities as you volunteer with children in Peru.

 

PERU DOG RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

As a Peru dog rescue volunteer, you will get up close and personal to these amazing animals. Create a better life for Cusco’s street dog population. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. If you love dogs, the Peru dog rescue volunteer project is a great way to give back and make an impact!

 

PERU ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer teaching English in Peru, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the city of Cusco. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. The basic education and English learning focus provided in the Peruvian school system is not enough. Hence, international support can make a big difference when participants decide to teach English in Peru.

 

PERU MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS

As a medical volunteer in Peru, you will gain first-hand insight and exposure into the Peruvian health care system. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. We support a range of public and private clinics across the city of Cusco. The better your Spanish, the more you can communicate and ask questions with the local doctors and nurses. As a result, more will be gained from your medical volunteer in Peru experience.

 

PERU WILDLIFE RESCUE VOLUNTEERS

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.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This 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. This means that we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you would therefore 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.

 

Your arrival airport and date is dependent on the PMGY volunteer opportunities in South America that you join us on:

 

🇨🇷 Coronado – To volunteer in Latin America on our program in Costa Rica, you should book your flights to Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose on the Sunday start date. The airport code is SJO. Volunteers in Costa Rica can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.

 

🇪🇨 Quito – To volunteer in South America on our program in Ecuador, you should book your flights to Mariscal Sucre International Airport iN Quito on the Sunday start date. The airport code is UIO. Volunteers in Peru can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.

 

🇵🇪 Cusco – To volunteer in Latin America on our program in Peru, you should book your flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport on the Sunday start date. The airport code is CUZ. Volunteers in Peru can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. It is therefore mandatory for all of our international participants to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. Although most of our participants experience a smooth ride during their time overseas, occasionally things may go wrong. Having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international participants 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).

 

If you’d like to purchase PMGY travel insurance, you can add this option on during your online application. You can also add this to any upcoming trips with us by getting in contact via telephone or email.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international participants with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your trip abroad.

 

We have Facebook groups for each of our destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future participants. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for participants to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time volunteering with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the organisation, our background, goals and opportunities overseas.

 

Teaching and childcare volunteers may wish to take their program preparation even further, through a 60 hour online TEFL course. This is the perfect introductory course for working with children and teaching English abroad. Participation in this course enables international participants to acquire key skills whilst working towards an internationally accredited certificate.

PROJECT LOCATION AND DURATION

🇨🇷 Coronado – Our Costa Rica volunteer program is based in Coronado, a very popular suburb of San Jose and home to nearly 60,000 residents. The city is located 10km from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. It is set at the foot of Braulio Carrillo National Park, virtually untouched and home to over 150-different species of animals. Coronado offers visitors an opportune ability to encounter both the city life and natural wonders of Costa Rica!

 

🇪🇨 Quito – Our Ecuador volunteer program is based in Quito, the country’s capital in the Andes Mountains. The city is the highest official capital in the world, resting at an elevation of 2,850 metres above sea level. Quito is classified as a UNESCO heritage site, still upholding many of its historical features that date back hundreds of years. This city’s location among the mountain tops leaves volunteers in Ecuador with majestic views of city life, wilderness and history.

 

🇵🇪 Cusco – Our Peru volunteer program is based in the south-eastern region of Peru within in the city of Cusco. Cusco was once the capital of the Incan Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage site rests at an elevation of 3,400 metres above sea level. The city now hosts more than 2-million tourists each year, many of whom are on a journey to visit Machu Picchu. A trip to this World Wonder provides individuals with an opportunity to learn about the origins of Quechua people. While visiting Cusco, you will feel an overwhelming presence of history and culture!

PMGY VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AMERICA LOCAL TEAMS

PMGY’s volunteer in South America program is run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams.

 

All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The community development network provides the structure for your stay with us as a volunteer in South America. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Whether you are teaching English in schools, working with children or interning at the hospital, our local team will support you. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique volunteering experience with us in South American countries.

ORIENTATION

Upon arrival into your specific volunteer in South America program, you will receive an orientation from your in-country team. This day will usually be broken down into two components. The first portion will usually be dedicated to all the theoretical aspects, from ‘dos and don’ts’, to safety aspects, project information and team introductions. The remainder of the day is usually used to introduce you to the local area. The local team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. They will also be able to help you arrange your money and a local SIM-card. Please note that the exact itinerary of the orientation will vary from country-to-country.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international participants (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee experiences to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, participants have various layers of support available to them:

 

• Volunteer in South America Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences. With the help of feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.

 

Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international participants for their time in South American countries. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips:

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

🇨🇷 Coronado – On the Costa Rica volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is not included in your Program Fee. Transport to your volunteer in Latin America project will be by local bus routes or walking. The bus stop is located just outside the accommodation and 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 in South America project.

 

🇪🇨 Quito – On the Ecuador volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is not included in your Program Fee. Transport to your volunteer in South America project will usually require a bus ride. The bus stop is located nearby to the accommodation. 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 in South America project.

 

🇵🇪 Cusco – On the Peru volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is not included in your Program Fee. Transport to your volunteer in South America project will be by local bus or walking. Your bus stop will be located either close to your host family 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 in South America project.

VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AMERICA REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome participants of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. All participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. We recommend that volunteers in South America speak a basic to intermediate level of Spanish. Volunteers in South America are only required to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level will greatly enhance your overall experience. English is generally not widely. Consequently, if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish, you may find it difficult to communicate. This may make your experience frustrating.

 

All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! Volunteers in South America on a medical project may be required to provide additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Your 1 USD deposit must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place on a volunteer in Latin America program. Program Fees will be due in full at least 60 days before the program start date.

 

Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join our volunteer projects overseas.