Volunteer Teaching in Peru
- Placement locations: Cusco
- Types of schools: Primary School or High School
- Age of students: 6 - 12 or 12 - 18
- Class sizes: 25 - 35
- Role: Teacher or teaching assistant (English)
- Requirements: None
- Extra-curricular roles: Sports
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Peru has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Latin America. Its potential for economic prosperity through its exports and tourist industry is doing much to improve the high unemployment and poverty levels there. Volunteering on a Teaching project in Peru with Projects Abroad is a way to help at some of the most poorly resourced schools. You can gain invaluable work experience teaching abroad, and TEFL training is not required.
At Projects Abroad, we are particularly proud of our Teaching projects in Peru. We are working with the Peruvian Ministry of Education on an eight-year initiative to update the English curriculum for 23 schools in Cusco. The standard curriculum, created in the capital city of Lima, is not always relevant to children in more rural areas, and local English speakers who would otherwise be teachers are often more tempted by higher salaries on offer in the local tourist industry.
Whether you want to volunteer as a teacher during your gap year, career break, over a vacation, or as a trained professional, you will have a vital role to play on one of our teaching projects. Volunteering as a teacher in schools in Peru will benefit the many children, teachers and locals within the different communities.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Peru
As a volunteer in Peru, you can teach at a primary school, a high school, and can be involved with our teacher training program if you volunteer during the Peru summer vacation between January and March.
If you are placed at a primary school you must be able to speak basic Spanish as you will be responsible for leading classes without the assistance of a translator. You will have a lot of freedom to explore and design your own teaching techniques and classes, and the local teachers welcome new ideas in their schools. You will be involved with the following:
- Run classes with the support of a local teacher
- Teach English. Only 5th and 6th grade classes have English lessons
- Plan lessons with the help of your teaching supervisor
- Plan and facilitate extracurricular activities
Volunteers who are placed at a High School will provide support to local teachers, and work off a national lesson plan formulated by the Peruvian government. You are encouraged to focus on conversational English instead of written assignments and grammar lessons. You do not need to speak Spanish to volunteer at a High School.
With worksheets and teaching resources available in our office in the town of Urubamba, you will be well supported. You'll also be able to see a full history of what has been taught previously in your schools and tips from past volunteers. We recommend that you bring your own resources that you can use as part of your lessons such as postcards, photos, magazines, stickers etc. It is always useful to have authentic material that the students can use to further understand the English language as well as Western culture.
Depending on your interests and skills, you may be able to teach other subjects such as physical education in Peru.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Peru Teaching Management Plan.
Teaching English to Adults in Peru
For volunteers looking to teach students over the age of 18, we also run an innovative teacher training program for improving local teachers' English skills during the long school vacation (January – March).
This program is supported by the Peruvian government and while it may sound challenging, our volunteers have been enormously successful and have loved this side of the work.
The teacher training is carried out by volunteers under the close supervision of a Projects Abroad staff member and the teaching supervisor. You will prepare interactive lessons for small groups that are divided up according to their level of English language knowledge. It is worth noting that most Peruvian teachers will have a basic level of English.
You will also have the chance to spend some time on local community projects if you volunteer during this time.
Both this project and our high school English program were designed and continue to be run by Projects Abroad staff with experience in education. If the new curriculum generated and implemented by our volunteers is a success, it will be applied to more rural schools in Peru.
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Peru with Projects Abroad
Our team in Peru organize monthly network meetings with the teachers for all Teaching volunteers and weekly workshops. The network meetings provide a greater insight into the educational system in Peru and the background of the placement where you are working. The workshops provide practical advice and suggestions regarding lesson plans and activities to carry out at placements.
The schools in Peru also have a break for two weeks around the end of July and start of August. During this time volunteers help with a variety of community projects.
Our teaching programs will provide an invaluable opportunity for two different cultures to learn from each other. Teaching in Peru is one way to build relationships and have a rewarding international volunteer experience.
You can join the Teach English & Other Subjects Project in Peru for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
While you’re in Peru, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our Rainforest Conservation & Environment Project in Peru page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.