Q: Can I choose where I volunteer?Absolutely, Makikita Quykuway Volunteer Program wishes to give you the best possible volunteering experience. Makikita aims to match your interests, skills, values and ambitions with a fitting volunteer position. Together, we will talk about your preferences and the specific requirements of each available position and nonprofit organization and make the best match.
Q: How long do I have to commit for?Makikita has found that one month is the minimum time to learn a new job, get comfortable with the host organization, get to know the people of the community and see some significant results. According to the volunteer feedback volunteers who stayed one month or longer were most satisfied with their volunteer experience. However, if you wish to volunteer for a shorter length of time, please contact us and we will talk about what opportunities are available.
Q: How many hours do I have to work per day?Usually, volunteers work 5 hours per day from Monday through Friday. Two hours in the morning and three hours after lunch.
Q: Do I need experience or qualification?This depends on the role you wish to have. Some volunteer positions require specific job skills or qualifications, while others entail only a willingness to learn. Volunteers at the community health center must be trained medical professionals (e.g. doctor, dentist, pharmacists, nurse, emergency medical technician etc) or students of medicine or another health related field. A certification is required as proof as they participate on hands-on patient care. In addition, right attitude, respect for local customs, an open mind and willingness to learn are important qualifications for all volunteer positions.
Q: Do I need to speak Spanish to work as a volunteer?
You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish. However, knowing some Spanish helps a lot and is required at the community health center. Makikita offers Spanish classes for all levels and taking classes is recommended. Studying with one of Makikita’s certified Spanish teachers helps beginners get started and intermediates get comfortable with the vocabulary of their specific volunteer position.
Q: Do I need Visa to work at Perú?
No, you don’t need a visa. You only need a valid passport to enter the country. In addition, all volunteers are required to provide copies of a passaport and private health/travel insurance as well as an emergency contact number to the Makikita staff.
Q: What kind of vaccinations do I need before travelling to Perú?
If you are planning to visit the rain forest or jungle, you must have yellow fever vaccination and take anti-Malaria pills. If you arrive and don’t have the yellow fever vaccination, it is possible to get vaccinated in Huancayo for free. Please talk to your healthcare provider and follow his/her instructions before travelling to Perú. In addition, all volunteers must have private health/travel insurance.
Q: How do I get to Huancayo?
Huancayo is situated just east of Lima and is connected with the capital by a well paved road. There are several ways of getting to Huancayo but by far the easiest is by bus, and for this we recommend the company Cruz Del Sur which runs a direct service from Lima, which takes around 8hours. Huancayo also has a train service which runs once a month directly from Lima. The Francisco Carle airport offers daily flights to Lima, however this is by far the most expensive option.
Q: How do I get to the volunteer house when I arrive in Huancayo?
We will meet you from the bus or train station and accompany you in a taxi directly to your new home. Here we will make sure you are fully settled in and show you where a few essential places are such as the supermarket, internet cafes and the Makikita office. We will also give you a short tour of the town, so you know how to find the best restaurants and the laundry service!
Q: Is there good healthcare nearby?
There is a wealth of health services in Huancayo. We have good doctors, dentists and pharmacies as well as both public and private hospitals. The office will help you should you become ill and all good insurance policies will cover your costs in an emergency.
Q: How safe is Huancayo?
Volunteer housing is in a safe residential area of Huancayo. However, as with all cities you must exercise caution. Petty theft can be a problem and volunteers are advised to leave their valuables at the volunteer house. After nightfall volunteers should either walk in groups or take one of the many number of taxis which are available for around $1.
Q: What is there to do around Huancayo?
Huancayo itself has many markets, shops, restaurants and bars. There are also several museums, churches and other sites of interest. The city is located in the Mantaro Valley which is renowned for its wealth of crafts and artesans. Many tours are run from Huancayo to visit the surrounding villages but there are also plenty of buses which you can take should you wish to explore independently. Further afield is the beautiful lowland town of La Merced where you can spend a weekend relaxing in the jungle. We are always happy to help you arrange any weekend excursions.
Q: Where will I live?
You can either stay in one of our two volunteer houses which house up to four people, or we can organize a homestay for you. Please see our Accommodation page for more information.
Q: What should I bring with me?
Huancayo is a major city and has a very good shopping centre where you can buy most things. The following are items which may cost more, or be harder to find:
Make sure you bring receipts for any valuables should you need to report them missing or stolen.
The children are always very excited to see things from other countries.
Q: Will I be able to contact home?
There are many internet cafes in Huancayo which cost around $0.50 an hour. A good Skype connection can be difficult to find, and it is recommended you buy your own headphones with microphone. These can be bought relatively cheaply in Huancayo. Wi-fi is available in the volunteer house.
Pay as you go mobile phones are available for around $15 which friends and family can then call cheaply through Skype.
The office is happy to receive any post sent from home. However, do bear in mind that sometimes things take longer to arrive than expected! Always have the tracking number for the parcel just in case it gets lost.
Q: How much will I spend?
Huancayo itself is cheap compared to western cities. A substantial lunch can be bought for around $1 and a standard supermarket shop for the week should not come to more than $10, depending on how much you buy! We provide low cost accommodation and the volunteer houses have kitchens where cooking for yourself will help to keep costs down. Taxis are around $1. The main costs you will encounter are weekend excursions.
See Costs for a list of costs for housing and administration fees.
Q: Do I need insurance?
Yes, it is always recommended that you have comprehensive travel insurance.
Q: Can I bring donations from home?
Yes! Please do. We are always looking for donations and gratefully receive whatever you can bring.
Q: Can I take time off for travelling?
Yes. We try to be as flexible as possible as we know that our volunteers want to explore Peru. However, we do ask that you respect the commitment that you have made and work as a team with the other volunteers.
Q: I cannot travel to Peru. Are their any other ways that I can help Makikita Quykuwal?
Of course! We are always grateful of any donations received through fundraising done in other countries. You can also help us as a long distance volunteer assisting with translations and answering any questions potential volunteers may have. Please email us through the Contact Us page for more information.
Q: What will be expected of me as an English teacher?
This role will guarantee you a truly rewarding experience, and the longer you are here the more you will see your students progress. As an English teacher you will be working in either the orphanage (one to one classes) or a primary or secondary school. In the primary school there are 6 grades with class sizes ranging from 10 -20. Our students love English lessons and are always very enthusiastic and willing to take part in whatever their teacher wishes them to do. You will be expected to look over the work done by previous volunteers, and carry on from where they left off in order to ensure that the students continue to develop their English. You will need to plan lessons for between 1 and 1 1/2hrs depending on the class. We have a lot of information in the office to help you and ideas left from previous volunteers to help you with lesson plan structure. You will always teach in pairs and so lesson plans will be written together. Due to the differing levels of the students you will generally need to plan 3 different classes a week. Class teachers always remain in the classroom to help with any communication or behavioural problems. We all work together at Makikita and recognize that sometimes teaching can be a daunting prospect. However we are here to help each other and any materials and support you need is always available.
For this role basic Spanish is essential and the more Spanish you know, the more you will be able to communicate with your students and so enjoy your classes.
Q: What if I do not want to work in the roles that you have listed?
No problem! There is always space for new volunteers and if there is something you would like to do in the organization that we have not thought of then please tell us! Go to Contact Us and we will do our best to create a role to suit you.
Q: What are the children like?
All of the children that we work with come from impoverished backgrounds. Despite the hardship that many of them endure, the children are all incredibly hardworking and love working with our volunteers. The children are all very cute and you will always be greeted by a chorus cheers with many kisses and hugs upon arrival. We do not require volunteers to speak Spanish, however it is an incredible advantage. Should volunteers struggle to understand the children, they are all very patient as well as being keen Spanish teachers! The children are all incredibly inquisitive and want to learn about the countries that our volunteers come from. For this reason we ask volunteers to bring something from home, if possible, which they can then show to the children.