4 ene. 2009

A Day in the Life of a Volunteer in Amazonas, Peru


We arrange opportunities to teach English in the city of Chachapoyas and in surrounding villages. You can teach children, young people or adults in schools and kindergartens, or work with new programs being set up in the surrounding villages which gives a real insight in to the traditional life of the Andes.

English is not a part of the government curriculum but many schools include it. Our local staff work with the Peruvian teachers to arrange a timetable that gives you the opportunity to teach English and other languages, as well as providing clubs of your choice. There is a great sense of satisfaction in seeing the enthusiasm of the students and the improvement in their language skills and ability.

Placements include a detailed information pack, travel advice and assistance, being met on arrival and introductions, help with arranging local accommodation, as well as ongoing support from our local staff.We also offer a 4 week Ethical Holiday Placement - designed for people who do not have the time for a long term volunteer placement or have had enough of the usual package tours. It gives you the chance to give something back to the communities you are visiting whilst still having a great holiday.


A normal week will have around 22 hours of English or other lessons. When you include planning and preparation time as well, this is plenty. During lessons you may work with a Peruvian teacher,or if you have a TOEFL or TESOL qualification, you may have a class all to yourself. Your role is to focus on improving speaking and listening skills and building the students’ confidence to communicate with foreigners. This means lots of fun and interaction, including games, songs, art, sports and any other creative activities that get the kids using English.

The school day starts around 5pm and finishes around 10 pm. You are not expected to be in school when they are not teaching lessons but you are expected to ensure that you plan and deliver good quality lessons. In your spare time you can study Spanish at the school, get to know Amazonas better, explore the trekking regions of the eastern Andean cordillera, relax or study the history of Peru.
If you choose to work at one of our satellite village schools, during the week you would get to know the people of the village and have a rare insight into Peruvian culture and mountain village life. At weekends, it would only take 2 hours or so to travel back to Chachapoyas to catch up with emails, restaurants and nightlife.

The specifics of your day will depend on how you prefer to work – teaching children, young people or adults, teaching English, French, Portuguese, German, or Italian, but whichever one is chosen, there will be lots to do and plenty of opportunities to work closely with Peruvian children and adults and get to know them very well over the time they are there.

The city of Chachapoyas was never defeated by the Inca Empire until the Conquistadors arrived in the 1500s. Spanish colonial grandeur replaced the majesty of pre Incan engineering, and today both vie for dominance in the many Chachapoyan jungle fortresses surrounding this city alive with history. Chachapoyas is surrounded by some of the greatest and least explored archaeological sites in the world including Kuélap, the Gran Vilaya and the world’s third tallest waterfall at Goctá.
It’s a short hop from Chachapoyas to the southern cordilleras of Ecuador, to the northern surf coast, or to the source of the Amazon river, and waterway to Brazil.


Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.

Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.


Poverty is never very far away in Peru, and the wealth divide between tourists and locals is nowhere more drastic than in Amazonas. You just need to go a few roads away from the main square to find people living in tin shacks and cooking over dirt fires. You will also find a population of street children who make a living polishing shoes or even scavenging rubbish.

As Chachapoyas is one of the undiscovered tourist attractions of South America, an increasing percentage of income for the city comes from the newly established interest in tourism. This means that those with the best English stand the best chance of earning a living. As a volunteer teacher you can help to pass on skills which can lead to jobs.

Social responsibility - when volunteers arrive we provide them with a detailed information pack on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs and get involved with local communities. For Peru, this includes the need to learn some Spanish.

Economic responsibility – a significant proportion of the students that volunteers teach are studying on scholarship, in local programs. We always work with locally owned Peru businesses where possible and while volunteers are in-country, we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.

Environmental responsibility – one of the main negative impacts of our volunteers travelling, is the carbon dioxide created from flights. We work with a 'carbon neutral' charity to help ensure that an amount of carbon is sequestered through tree planting or the promotion of low energy technologies. While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment.

International Language Center

Jr Ayacucho 1041-1045, Chachapoyas, Amazonas

Tel 00 51 41 478883 Email ilc.chachapoyas@gmail.com

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