As a volunteer you'll have plenty of questions: Where will I live? What will I do with my day? Do I need to speak Spanish? Here, hopefully, are the answers:
Do I need a visa?
At the moment we have written those lines, citizens of the EU, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand did not n. eed to apply for Peruvian visas before entering the country. You will have to fill in an Immigration Card (in the plane or at the airport. This Immigration Card covers the maximum time allowed—183 days. Keep this card; you may have difficulty leaving the country if you lose it. However, the immigration policies could change at any moment, in any country listed above. You must check in advance with the embassy or the consulate of Peru to be sure.
If you plan to spend an extended period of time in Peru, please you should apply for a visa at a Peruvian embassy or consulate prior to your departure. You should apply at least one month in advance as it may take some time to receive your visa. Once you are in Peru, you can get 30-day visa extensions once you are in the country, but you will need to travel to Lima to get one and the visa fee will cost about $30 USD (subject to change).
If you are from a country that does need a visa to enter Peru, you will need to apply for it at your local Peru embassy or consulate. As a small organization, we do not hold information on visas and do not have the resources to assist you with this.
How do I get to Huancayo?
You are responsible for all reservations regarding your flight to Lima and your transportation by bus to Huancayo. We currently recommend Cruz Del Sur for to come Lima to Huancayo by bus (at 7 to 8h trip from Lima). Alternatively Lonely Planet also provides good information on how to get to Huancayo by bus.
Once in Huancayo, we will pick you up at the bus station and will take you directly to our house in Ahuac. It is a 40 minutes with taxi.
What type of clothes should I bring?
In the Peruvian Andes, whatever is the season, the temperature changes a lot during the day, from very hot to cold. We recommend that you bring warm layers of clothing to accommodate those changes in weather conditions.
Do I need to bring money and how much?
There are ATM machines in the baggage claim area at the airport in Lima, and at various places to exchange money at the main square in Huancayo and Chupaca. However, the accommodation/participation fees must be paid cash in US dollars at your arrival.
Good news: you can find ATM machines in Chupaca (15 minutes from our house with a car).
Once you have paid for your accommodation/participation fees, there are not so many expenses. Potable water is supplied with the meals, but you will have to buy your own for the rest of the day. A 2.5 liters bottle cost approx. 3.5 soles (± $1.15 US). A combi-taxi to Huancayo costs 2.0 soles ($0.70 US). A private taxi to Huancayo costs 25 soles ($8.00 US).
If you expect to do some tours, check in advance with us. We can be your private guide for some and can recommend you some reliable and affordable tour operators for the others.
About the restaurants, you can get a good meal in Chupaca for less than 15 soles (± $5.00 US). In Huancayo, you have more choice, but the prices could be higher or even much higher, but never more than in your own country.
Can I support or participate in any of the projects that you are undertaking?
Of course, we will guide you through the process and you will see the results. Most of our work involves teaching, but we also have a good amount of community engagement, construction and development projects.
Do I have to be a professional or a specialist in a particular area?
No. However, if you are a professional it could be beneficial to help teaching children new skills that they can use in the future. It is most important for them to gain self-esteem, feel loved, and see smiles on your faces.
When I start working, will there be someone to support me?
Yes, of course. As soon as you arrive, we are going to dedicate a member of our family who will show you around the volunteers places and the work to be done. We will also give you maps to help you move around by yourself if you wish.
Do I need to know Spanish?
For sure but It is not a problem for us if you don’t speak any Spanish (you will pick up the vocabulary by writing it down and will learn very quickly the basics, don’t worry). However, knowing at the basics of Spanish will make your stay easier and more rewarding, as you will be able to interact with the children and local people. We also recommend that you buy a Spanish learning book and a dictionary, in order to learn and practice Spanish while you are here. A little bit of Spanish goes a long way here.
Depending on your level of Spanish we will assign you different tasks or projects.
Here are 50 basic words in Spanish that will help you for your communication at school, you can print and get prepared before you come.
What can I bring for the kids?
It is up to volunteers to decide whether they want to bring any materials, working tools or donations that would assist their work with the children and teenagers.
Every donation, material or money, is gratefully accepted, please have a look at our wish list.
What can I do in my free time?
You can enjoy your free time by immersing yourself in the local culture of our region. You could also read, use internet, take walks or eat out in local restaurants. We have optional tours for you. After your arrival, we will give you a lot of information about the region and will discuss with you the different options available so you can really enjoy your stay.
What are the requirements?
Planning your stay is demanding for us. This is why we have set one week as a minimum stay in order to do productive work. However, a longer period of time is much more useful for us to achieve the set goals, and it will allow you to contribute more efficiently and get much more from your Peru Luz de Esperanza experience.
What about the weather in Chupaca and surrounding?
It will change depending on rainy or dry seasons.
The rainy season is from December to April, and temperatures are generally between 3 and 18°. During the dry season, from May to November, temperatures will vary from 2° to 23°C.
How do I call home or send an email in Chupaca?
Public payphones can be operated with phone cards (widely available) or coins and are readily available on the street. If you have your own device, you can access Internet in our house (it is now included in your stay). You can use email, Skype, facebook and others. Should you need to make international calls from Skype to a standard telephone line in your country, you can buy some credits with Skype that will allow you to call anywhere in the world for approx. $0.03 per minute (see Skype web site for more information).
There are also several Internet cafés with Skype close to our house and “locutorios” from where you can make international (and local) phone calls..