email: volunteer@otracosa.org
Volunteering

Why volunteer with us?

No matter where you find yourself in life, volunteering is a great opportunity to be a part of long-term contribution to the community, while at the same time gaining invaluable experience and knowledge of the local culture. Volunteering with Otra Cosa Network you will work in projects answering to the local needs, side by side other people driven by the same passion and interests as you!

Why intern with us?

Are you looking for an interesting and hands on internship placement? All of our volunteering positions can work as an internship, with flexibility as to demand of hours and paperwork from your university. Contact us at volunteer@otracosa.org to enquire about positions and procedure, and you will be one step closer to adding a life-changing experience to your university studies.

How to become a Volunteer, Step-by-step!

Choose the project that best suits your skills and interests

 Projects

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Send us your application to get the application process started

Apply

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Finish the process by signing your contract and send in your contribution

CONTRIBUTION

Life in Huanchaco


Huanchaco is a coastal town in Northern Peru with strong influences from their 3000 year old fishing traditions and a growing backpacker culture due to its consistent surfing waves and relaxed ambiance.

Read more. 

Housing Options


We can arrange affordable, long-term housing in Huanchaco and Trujillo for our volunteers. Please have a look at the options below, ranging from the Otra Cosa Network volunteer house, family homestays, shared apartments and local hostels.
Read more. 

The support we provide for our volunteers


Our team in Peru is here to support you in all aspects of your volunteering, including during your application process and while you are volunteering. We also expect certain behaviours and attitude from our volunteers.
Read more. 

Cost of Volunteering

Otra Cosa Network relies on the donations from our volunteers to fund our operating activities. By asking each volunteer for a donation it makes it possible for us to do what we do. If you compare our prices and the variety of projects and the service we offer with what some other organisations charge, we think you’ll agree that we’re good value!

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Where does the money go?

Otra Cosa Network relies on the donations from our volunteers to fund our operating activities as well as two grants, fundraising efforts and donations to run our five HELP programmes. We have three full time staff members in Peru, who work for Peruvian living allowances, that together place volunteers in appropriate project, find their accommodation and look after them while they are here in Peru. They also manage and run our five HELP programmes, look after our partner relationships, do fundraising and grant research, and oversee our marketing and recruitment. Additionally, we have two part-time people in the UK, who work for UK minimum wage, looking after promotion to recruit more volunteers and develop links with international partners. Further costs come in the forms of IT, telecommunication and office expenses, legal and accounting fees, transportation, etc. Please have a look at our Annual Report for more detailed financial information.

The volunteer contribution

The volunteer and internship contribution rates are shown below. This volunteer contribution helps to keep our projects and services viable, but any additional support you can offer on top of the minimum payment by way of a donation is greatly appreciated!
You can pay at a discounted rate (circa 5-10% depending on latest exchange rates compared to the payment on arrival prices) paying the full amount online straight on the site. You can also pay in British Pounds at the same discounted rate (circa 5-10% depending on latest exchange rates) directly to our UK bank account upon confirmation of your volunteer placement. Our bank account is with the HSBC bank in Leamington Spa, England, and you can find the details below.
Instead of paying the full fee up front, you can choose to pay a deposit corresponding to 20 % of your volunteer contribution to secure your placement, and later pay the balance in Nuevos Soles upon arrival in Peru. However, we will not confirm any placement prior to payment, either full or deposit, to ensure that you are as serious about this commitment as we are.
Given the additional work involved, we do have to ask that participants pay more to complete an Internship program than for a standard volunteer placement. Please contact OCN at volunteer@otracosa.org with any queries about how to best arrange your internship.

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Spanish Lessons

Our volunteers generally find that the more Spanish they have, the more they get out of their volunteer experience. While volunteering, you may need or want to improve your Spanish. We partner with two different options for Spanish lessons, both of whom offer reduced rates for our volunteers, whilst also giving a small commission to Otra Cosa Network.

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Spanish Lessons Sam is an excellent teacher who has been highly recommended by previous volunteers. Sam is originally from the UK, but has studied Spanish since he was 18 and has lived in Peru since 2009. He has over ten years of teaching experience, and his love for the language is contagious.

“After taking Spanish classes in a school in Bolivia for a couple of weeks I was almost put off learning Spanish ever again! But after realizing how much more I could gain from my time in Peru if I knew Spanish, I commenced lessons again with Sam. His love for teaching, love of the Spanish language and his sense of humour made him the perfect teacher not only for me, but for everyone else with any level of Spanish.

“I can’t recommend him highly enough. He takes care and time to tailor your classes to what you want to learn, your level and how fast you progress. He thrives off seeing his students progress and loves to share his passion for the language with anyone who is willing to give it a go!” – Samantha Patterson, Melbourne, Australia

 

José & Rosa Photo José and Rosa are both native, Spanish-speaking Peruvians, with full command of the English language. They can provide Spanish classes for anyone from absolute beginners to more experienced Spanish-speakers, either in small groups or individually. Additionally, once a month they hold a social event or field trip for their students.

“Jose’s classes were a great mix of conversation with reading and writing skills. I really enjoyed the use of newspapers and comics to improve reading skills. The classes were well structured and tailored to individual learning styles.” – Amelia Martin, Scotland

 
You can check out prices and pay for your classes with Sam by clicking here. Please do not pay for any classes until your volunteering placement has been confirmed!

Payment for classes with José and Rosa can be made in cash directly to them. Prices range from S/.22 per person per hour for individual lessons, S/.20 per person per hour for a pair, S/.18 per person per hour for three people learning together and S/.12 per person per hour if there are four or more people. Just mention you’re an OCN volunteer in order to get these discounted rates!

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Doing a Gap Year?

This is an amazing opportunity to take full advantage of your gap year experience by spending 3-6 months volunteering in Peru and 3-6 months volunteering in Brazil, while supporting two fantastic NGO’s and the local communities they serve. You can either do your two placements back-to-back or there is also the option of taking a break between the two placements – to allow you to travel home between or to really make the most of your chance to explore South America.
The Brazilian side of the placement is offered by ETIV do Brasil, a small NGO located in Itacaré (near Ilheus), on the Atlantic coast of beautiful Bahia, Brazil. Their mission is to connect international travelers with meaningful volunteer opportunities to support environmental conservation and development in Brazil. With both organisations you can get involved in environmental conservation, youth development, teaching English, and women’s empowerment, as well as learning about NGO administration through roles such as volunteer coordination, marketing, and fundraising.

You can find our more about ETIV here :http://www.etivdobrasil.org/

Previous volunteer experiences

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

How do I apply?

Before you apply, please read through carefully about the projects you are most interested in. This application form helps us to coordinate your preferred volunteer stay appropriately according to skills, interest and availability. After you have carefully thought it over and you are ready to make the commitment, you can click here to fill out the application. We cannot place you without the completed application form. Please also feel free to include in an e-mail any questions you may have.
We look forward to hearing from you!

How much would it cost me to stay in Peru while volunteering?

Life in Peru is fairly cheap compared to living in most western countries. To give an idea, you could get by with basic accommodation and reasonable food at cheaper restaurants for less than S/.1,000 (€256/US$285/£200) per month with not much going out. For S/.1,500 per month (€384/US$428/£300) you can live somewhere nice, eat quite well and go out to the cheaper bars more regularly (but not afford to get drunk every night – remember you do have a project to work on next morning!) So, you can see that compared with almost all western countries, living is cheap here, once you get here, so longer stays do work out much better value and help the projects you volunteer at more.

How do I get to Huanchaco & Trujillo from Lima?

You can get to Trujillo from Lima by bus or plane. Once in Trujillo, Huanchaco is a short bus or taxi ride away.
The bus journey from Lima to Trujillo takes around 9 hours and costs about 50-100 Soles. We recommend ITTSA bus company which had proved safe, reliable, and punctual. You can travel by day or overnight on comfortable and spacious sleeper buses. You can buy your ticket online on https://www.ittsabus.com/
To contact ITTSA bus company call Lima (++44) (0) (1) 3321665. (ask us if you need any assistance with booking this).
Alternatively other safe, reliable companies, but in our experience not so punctual are Cruz del Sur or Linea. Their web-sites are http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe/inicio_2.php and www.transporteslinea.com.pe/
To reach Trujillo from Lima by plane, it only takes 45 minutes, but will usually cost US$100+ one-way, although you can sometimes get some good offers on line with www.lan.com. You need to decide given your budget, but most volunteers find the bus OK especially if you get a comfortable seat.
Once in Trujillo we will pick you up with our trusted taxi driver. Please let us know your arrival details a week in advance so that we can arrange for your pick-up.

Where can I stay in Lima and can someone pick me up from Lima airport?

There are lots of places to choose from in Lima. We recommend Flying Dog Hostel in Miraflores (http://www.flyingdogperu.com/), which is an affordable backpackers hostel in one of the most central and lively neighborhoods of Lima. They also provide a pick-up service from the airport in exchange for a small fee.

Do I need to speak Spanish to be able to volunteer?

Not necessarily, it depends on the project you will be working at. Each project has its own demands on Spanish speaking skills, from none to fluent. Check your preferred project for details. Also, if you want to or need to improve your spanish level, Otra Cosa Network can help arrange affordable 1:1 Spanish lessons with a local spanish teacher.

What is the difference between the HELP projects and the partner projects?

The partner projects are independent projects run by other organisations or governmental bodies that are in need of the support of volunteers but may not be able to find enough qualified volunteers on their own. The HELP projects on the other hand are projects that Otra Cosa Network started running after seeing a certain need and demand in the local communities, and are managed and run completely by OCN staff and volunteers.

What fees do I pay (and why) and what do I get for this?

Otra Cosa Network relies on the donations from our volunteers to fund our operating activities as well as two grants, fundraising efforts and donations to run our five HELP programmes. We have three full time staff members in Peru, who work for Peruvian living allowances, that together place volunteers in appropriate project, find their accommodation and look after them while they are here in Peru. They also manage and run our five HELP programmes, look after our partner relationships, do fundraising and grant research, and oversee our marketing and recruitment. Additionally, we have two part-time people in the UK, who work for UK minimum wage, looking after promotion to recruit more volunteers and develop links with international partners. Further costs come in the forms of IT, telecommunication and office expenses, legal and accounting fees, transportation, etc. Please read Support we provide for our volunteers to learn more about what you receive in exchange for the fee.

What documents do I need to get to Peru?

That depends on where you are from. At this page by the british consulate you can see wether you simply need a passport, return ticket, and some money to survive (and will receive a stamp and tourist visa upon arriving in Peru), or if you are required to file any paperwork for a special tourist visa: http://www.conperlondres.com/Html_Files/VISAS/tourist_visa.htm. If you are from a country that is required by Peru to have a visa, you must obtain one. This is your own responsibility to check and prepare.
Peru has no special visa for volunteers. Travelers planning to volunteer in Peru enter the country on a tourist visa and are allowed to volunteer (without receiving payment) at a charitable organization or institution for a maximum of 183 days (source: http://www.limaeasy.com/peru-info/peruvian-visa#volunteer-visa-peru Please do remember that since visa requirements regularly change, we strongly recommend that you double check the appropriate government’s visa requirements as well).
From January 2009 citizens of the EU, USA etc (see the link to the british consulate above to see the extended list of countries) can normally get a 183 day tourist visa on request upon entering Peru. There’s no charge for this, but you MUST request it when presenting your passport otherwise you will only get the standard 90/60 day visa, and once this is entered into the computerized system and your passport has been stamped, this cannot be changed.

Contact us if you have any other questions

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