“This trip was one of the most eye-opening and humbling experiences of my entire life. I’ve never learned so much in one week. If you are determined to partake in an ISL trip the only recommendation I have is to keep an open mind, and be ready to have your perception of the world changed.”  –Thomas K., Truman State University

About Peru

The narrow desert belt of Peru’s Pacific coastline stretches the length of the country and harbors fishing villages, beautiful beaches, agricultural lands, and Peru’s major towns and cities, including the capital of Lima. The amazing Andes Mountains separate the arid coastline from the lush Amazon Basin. The ecologically rich tropical rain forests of the Amazon encompass some of the world’s most remote and least explored areas. The Amazon Basin is also home to millions of indigenous highland people, who speak the ancient Inca language of Quechua and live in traditional villages with steeply terraced agricultural fields and wandering herds of llamas and alpacas.

Lima is the capital and largest city in Peru. With a population approaching 9.5 million, Lima is the fourth largest city in all of the Americas. ISL teams work in developing communities in and around the city after taking seminars on tropical disease, vital signs, physical exams, public health surveys, and medical Spanish.

Communities We Serve

Communities of Coastal Route Teams: Líma – Pisco/ Paracas

Lima San Juan de Lurigancho community

San Juan de Lurigancho community of the ‘Cono Este’ slums on the east side of Lima, Peru (it is Lima’s largest barrio). Our volunteers aim to give support health to the families who live in this sandy mountain; and slowly turn it into a community. There are no roads up the hill to the communities we serve; access is via a series of long stairways. There are schools at the bottom of the hill, but many children are too poor; abandoned or at risk to attend, these are the children we are coming to help educate and provide medical support. Every day; our volunteers accompanied by the Peru ISL team, travel an hour from the housing to the communities; crossing the long way traffic of Lima Centre, just to see and play with their little buddies of the community.

Pisco community

After spending time working usually 5 days in Lima, our ISL teams travel by private transportation or a tour bus to areas in the south of Lima following the coast line arriving to Pisco city; located in the Ica Region of Peru. Every day, volunteers travel by bus usually 30 minutes from the hotel to the shanty towns in Pisco city to provide medical attention and visit houses of those people whom were affected by the earthquake in August of 2008; these people were relocated to areas where the poverty persists and lack of education. Peruvian government relied on its relocation but gradually were abandoned over the time. Our volunteers feel so proud helping people that receive us with a big smile every time arrive this community.

Communities of Machu Picchu route: Líma – Cusco

Cusco Communities

After giving health care to local communities of Lima; our teams of ISL take an hour flight from Lima to Cusco City. Then, our teams usually travel by bus from Cusco City to  communities of Ancahuasi, Mahuaypampa, or Paucartambo; rural areas of Cusco city, where we visit communities which habitants rarely receive health attention. These provinces are located in the Cusco Region in the southern highlands of Peru live mainly indigenous citizens of Quechua descent and Quechua is the language which the majority of the population speaks. Most of the time our teams need a local translator of quechua to help us during our clinic days and house visits. The thing that the volunteers most enjoy about the communities is the people, all little cute children and beautiful landscape.

Be aware that the altitude in Cusco is extremely high so it is important for our volunteer’s to understand the potential for altitude sickness. If you have asthma or any sort of respiratory issues, make sure to bring all necessary medication or equipment.

Communities of The Amazon route: Líma – Iquitos

Iquitos Communities

Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest and the fifth-largest city of Peru. It is also the capital city of the Loreto Region and Maynas Province. Located in the Amazon Basin. After that our ISL teams finish their health work in Lima; they fly approximately one hour and a half from Lima to Iquitos with the purpose to visit houses and provide health care in tribes or villages; such as Yahuas tribe or Santo Thomas located across the Nanay and Momon river. The kind of transportation we commonly use are motorcycles or moto taxis; then we take a bote locally named “Pequepeque”; a small public motorized boat, used to cross Nanay river and reach  at the village. Volunteers love this adventure in the jungle o Peru especially when they play with kids.

Logistics

Volunteers arrive in Peru via the Lima, Jorge Chavez Airport (LIM), which is Peru’s main international and domestic airport. It is located 7 miles from the historic center of Lima. After volunteers pass through customs, they will be met by one of our ISL staff members holding an ISL sign. They are then transported in an ISL van or bus approximately 9 miles (or 40 minutes) to their first housing location. Volunteers generally travel between 40 to 50 min every day from housing to work site. After two or three days of work in Lima, volunteers travel from Lima to their next work site, whose location depends on the program they have chosen. The team moves to a third housing site for Recreation Day, either to the mountains or to the coast.

Recreational Activities

After working in Lima, ISL teams may choose one of three additional locations in Peru:  the Amazon, the Inca Trail, or the Coastal Route.

Amazon Teams:  Teams spend time in the Iquitos area, including a night or two in the jungle at a lodge/camp.  Work includes time in a precario (slum), an outback field clinic, and with an indigenous tribe within the jungle itself.  A truly amazing experience!

Coastal Teams:  During the Peruvian summer (December to March), we work and play at Pisco and Paracas, two beautiful cities on the Pacific Ocean.  At the end of the work days, volunteers enjoy some beach time.

Machu Picchu Teams:  Teams spend time exploring Inca ruins, enjoying recreational opportunities in the Cusco city, and many visit Machu Picchu (the Machu Picchu tour is included in the program cost).

Typical Lodging

ISL has strict housing standards for cleanliness, safety and comfort.  Each volunteer shares a room and shower facilities, but has their own bed.  Housing locations are selected according to proximity to program sites.  ISL staff members stay with volunteers and are always available 24/7.

  • Internet is available at most housing locations. Volunteers are transported by their Team Leaders to an internet location periodically if internet is not available at their hotel.
  • Laundry services are provided at least once a week for a small charge.
  • If food or drug stores aren’t nearby, Team Leaders make sure volunteers are transported to shopping areas periodically or as needed.
  • ISL provides breakfast each day, unless otherwise specified in the team itinerary.

Meet the Staff

Cynthia Aguirre Alegre Peru Assistant Team Leader
Cynthia Aguirre Alegre
Team Leader Assistant

Cynthia has worked with ISL since 2014 as an Assistant Team Leader. “I noticed that since ISL volunteers came to help in my community, people’s lives changed a lot. The compassion that volunteers show is admirable. Every time I help with a team, I learn a lot about my culture and volunteers’ culture, and I enjoy every moment with the teams!”

Estefany Cahuas Vergara Peru Translator and Assistant Team Leader
Estefany Cahuas Vergara
Assistant Team Leader

Estefany has been with ISL since 2014, working as a translator and Assistant Team Leader. She says she is “proud of every team of volunteers”, because she knows they come here to help those in need and to learn about Peruvian culture—“which is not something everyone is willing to do.” When not helping with ISL teams, she is working on a degree in accounting.

Carla Martinez Julca Peru Team Leader
Carla Martinez Julca
Team Leader

Carla is a nurse who has been with ISL since 2012. Carla says: “Working for ISL has been one of the most important and amazing experiences I have ever had. ISL gives me more than a job; it gives me good friends [from other countries] and the opportunity to help people in need.” She loves sharing her abilities and knowledge with volunteers as well as… Read more

Lourdes Exebio Quintana Team Leader Peru
Lourdes Exebio Quintana
Team Leader

Lourdes, nicknamed “Lulu” or “Lulito” by ISL volunteers, has been with ISL since 2010 as a Team Translator. In 2013 she was promoted to Team Leader. Lourdes says that ISL teams accomplish “an awesome volunteer work for our country”. When not leading teams, she is a translator and interpreter.

Erika Gonzales Vergara Peru Team Leader
Erika Gonzales Vergara
Team Leader

Erika has been with ISL since 2010 as an Assistant Team Leader in Peru. Her excellent work led to her promotion as a Team Leader in 2012. She says that ISL programs benefit not only the underserved in Peru, but the ISL Peru staff and the volunteers themselves. She wants to thank ISL volunteers “for trusting us”. When not working with ISL teams, she is… Read more

Sandra Díaz Ruiz
Sandra Díaz Ruiz
Country Coordinator

Sandra has been with ISL since 2009 as a Team Leader and Country Coordinator. When not planning ISL programs in Peru, she works as an industrial engineer. Her excellent technological and organizational skills make her a valuable asset to our ISL family. Sandra thanks ISL volunteers “for giving their time and talents to improve the lives of the underserved in Peru”.

Programs with upcoming Peru Teams

19 teams found

#PERUMP56GH - Global Health Team in Peru: Machu Picchu from May 06, 2017 to May 19, 2017 for $2595

Volunteers will be working in partner communities in Lima and in the area surrounding Cusco to provide global health services to those in need. In addition to learning valuable skills, they will have the chance to experience the unique Peruvian culture and cuisine and visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUC513GH12 - Global Health Team in Peru: Coastal Route from May 13, 2017 to May 21, 2017 for $1895

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Global Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUMP520GH - Global Health Team in Peru: Machu Picchu from May 20, 2017 to Jun 02, 2017 for $2595

Volunteers will be working in partner communities in Lima and in the area surrounding Cusco to provide global health services to those in need. In addition to learning valuable skills, they will have the chance to experience the unique Peruvian culture and cuisine and visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Just 1 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUC527GH12 - Global Health Team in Peru: Coastal Route from May 27, 2017 to Jun 07, 2017 for $1995

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Peru they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 1 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUMPNursing - Global Health Team in Peru: Machu Picchu from Jun 01, 2017 to Jun 14, 2017 for $2495

Volunteers will be working in partner communities in Lima and in the area surrounding Cusco to provide global health services to those in need. In addition to learning valuable skills, they will have the chance to experience the unique Peruvian culture and cuisine and visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUC610GH12 - Global Health Team in Peru: Coastal Route from Jun 10, 2017 to Jun 21, 2017 for $1895

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Peruc they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUMP617GH9 - Global Health Team in Peru: Machu Picchu from Jun 17, 2017 to Jun 25, 2017 for $2295

Volunteers will be working in partner communities in Lima and in the area surrounding Cusco to provide global health services to those in need. In addition to learning valuable skills, they will have the chance to experience the unique Peruvian culture and cuisine and visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUC624GH12 - Global Health Team in Peru: Coastal Route from Jun 24, 2017 to Jul 05, 2017 for $1895

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Global Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUMP71GH - Global Health Team in Peru: Machu Picchu from Jul 01, 2017 to Jul 14, 2017 for $2495

Volunteers will be working in partner communities in Lima and in the area surrounding Cusco to provide global health services to those in need. In addition to learning valuable skills, they will have the chance to experience the unique Peruvian culture and cuisine and visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PERUC78GH12 - Global Health Team in Peru from Jul 08, 2017 to Jul 19, 2017 for $1895

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Global Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!