Trip Details

Volunteer on the Eco-Building project and help improve living standards for local families by providing Eco-friendly maintenance, renovation or construction, of their mud homes and community facilities.

Adobe structures are generally self-made through simple construction practices that do not require as much work. Skilled technicians (e.g. engineers and architects) are not required, hence it is described as “non-engineered construction”. Your efforts will improve family homes, community halls. No previous experience is needed, you can learn as you volunteer. During your time on the building volunteer program, you will use Eco-friendly Tapial or Rammed Earth construction methods. This green building project is good for the environment and good for the people who will get to use it. You’ll immerse yourself in Peruvian culture in a very unique way!

Life for women and children in Perú is harsh and at times they can barely afford daily expenses, so it is common for them to accept basic and or unhealthy living conditions such as open cooking fires, cold water showers or non, and living quarters left in bad conditions for long periods of time. This is also reflected in communal areas such as schools, churches, clinics, and common facilities. Even though 60% of the houses are built in the traditional low-cost adobe or tapial methods, maintenance budgets for these structures are rarely considered as a priority.

This volunteer building experience gives you an opportunity to engage with the local community and learn more about them firsthand, as you complete these construction tasks. It is a mutually beneficial exchange for both locals and volunteers.

Aims & Objectives

  • Assist the locals with construction and renovation efforts
  • Create cultural exchange opportunities through our efforts with the locals
  • Lend a hand to assist the local NGO in other areas including training delivery and marketing
  • Develop your teamwork and skills through hands on activity

Trip Itinerary

May to October
Volunteers may be engaged in segments or the mud house construction process in its entirety, depending upon the length of program service.

Under the supervision of the “maestro de obra” and local workers you will be “hands on” helping in activities such as:

  • Tracing the building lines in the property
  • Helping setting up the foundations
  • Digging on soil to mark foundations
  • Setting up of the first wooden clamps/mold frames
  • Mud filling and compacting of soil/mud into clamps/mold frames
  • Uncovering/unmolding clamp/mold frames

Volunteers will also be taught the ancient techniques of wall finishing with no paint. Instead they will be shown the process of using mud fine granite.

November to April
This is the rainy season, which means that you’ll likely to be taking part in activities to help this program through light restoration and indoor construction in the communal areas, such as schools, churches, health care facilities, and community centres.

Monday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project  2-3 hours
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project 2-3 hours
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Tuesday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project  2-3 hours
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project 2-3 hours
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Wednesday 

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project  2-3 hours
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project 2-3 hours
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Thursday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project  2-3 hours
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project 2-3 hours
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Friday 

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project  2-3 hours
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project 2-3 hours
  • Dinner
  • Free Time
  • Evenings Volunteers are free to sightsee around the local area, do some shopping, and/or plan for the next day.

    Weekends – Weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation with other volunteers or you can use this time to travel and explore Peru with your new friends.

    This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Accommodation

You will be staying in the district of Puyllucana which is a small village found in the east-northern part of Cajamarca.It is a beautiful location with great weather and friendly locals.

Located only a short distance away from Cajamarca city (Capital and largest city of Peru’s Cajamarca Region, enriched in culture and history), this quiet location provides a relaxing atmosphere after a day out. The accommodation has a beautiful view of the Andes Mountain Range and is close to the Amazon Rainforest, it will bring you back to South American nature!

Accommodation

You will be staying in our volunteer accommodation centre in Puyllucana, Rural Cajamarca countryside. The house is made with traditional materials such as adobe and stone, it also has a large garden. Wi-Fi will be available only in common areas. We recommend also using 3G data if staying connected is important to you.

All volunteers are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. Although rooms will be cleaned daily by staff, you will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep accommodation neat and organized.

Food Arrangements
The food will be typically Peruvian meaning lots of corn, beans, rice, chili peppers, potatoes, wheat, and other grains, all very vegetarian friendly. Keep in mind that some local dishes may be spicy!

Facilities
Eateries
Although there are many restaurants around this small town, “Menu centers” are a cheaper popular local choices. Known as a “Menu”, here you are offered soup and entrees before digging into your main meal and are usually accompanied by a drink, usually made from barley or tropical fruit. Menus have a smaller range of food, but are cheaper and more convenient. They act as the ‘fast food’ for the locals, who tend to dislike western fast food outlets.

Shops
Local shops are within walking distance. A short walk from our accommodation site will bring you to convenience local shops, for all your immediate shopping needs

Transportation

Our accommodation is about 3.10 Km from the main square of Baños del Inca. This is roughly 8 km, about 30-40 minutes away from the Cajamarca city center by public transportation.

“Moto-taxis” are also available for quick rides around town (up to 3 people round trip cost Banos del Inca 2 – 3 soles)

Internet use
There is Wi-Fi in your rooms as well as public areas at your accommodation, but there is also an internet cafe in the main township where you can access wifi from when you are not at the centre.

Money
There are numerous shops and ATMs in the center of town.

Medical
We will have a basic first aid kit on site, but there is a clinic available in Banos del Inca. A hospital and various clinics are in nearby Cajamarca for any emergencies or health issues that may arise.

Mandatory Orientation Day
On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day, to familiarize you with the surroundings as well as local culture. Your program will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule
Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
Peruvian Do’s and Don’ts, Peruvian Culture Lessons, and Spanish Language Lessons.
Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
Lunch
Small hike to ‘white crosses hill’ where you can have Thermal Baths in Banos (Optional) and a massage session (Optional).
Activities & Events
Cooking Lessons
Daily: Evenings
Join your cook as they prepare meals for you and other participants. Take notes, learn new recipes, traditional food preservation techniques and more! Try not to spoil your dinner as you learn!

Farm Animals
Daily: Mornings and Evenings
Watch the local farmers near your accommodation, as they tend to their animals in daily rituals like shearing and milking.

Sights & Surroundings
Chiclayo

You can easily reach Chiclayo, Peru’s fourth biggest city, by public transport which is cheap and frequent. Chiclayo offers shopping centers, a cinema and nightlife, but it is also a major traffic hub in northern Peru. This makes it easy to travel on the weekends or after your program.

There are plenty of small restaurants or shops around the area. There is an active surfing community and it is easy to make local friends, we can also point you to our Tandem Skydiving program and some other events.

Huanchaco
Only 12 km outside Trujillo. Once a quiet fishing hamlet, the town is now one of the best places for surfing.

Trujillo
Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1534, Trujillo has 709,500 inhabitants. It is the home of the beautiful Plaza de Armas and its glamorous colonial. 4 hrs from our accommodation, this city by the ocean is referred to as the everlasting spring, where temperature is usually 32ºC, and where the very important Festival de la Marinera takes place.

Chan Chan
Built around AD 1300, Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, and the largest adobe city in the world. You can visit it by taking a combi from C/España. The ticket (10 S) includes entrance to the Nik-An temple, the Chan Chan museum, the Huaca la Esmeralda and the Huaca Arco Iris.

A bit further from the city, the Huaca del Sol y la Luna is over 700 years older than Chan Chan and belongs to the Moche culture. The temple is filled with icons representing Ai-Apaec, the god of the mountains, feared for provoking phenomena like El Niño. To stop him from sending heavy rains, the Moches would offer him human sacrifices.

Kuntur Wasi

The ruins of a religious structure in Peru’s northern highlands only 2 hours from our accommodation.

Cajabamba, Huamachuco
Located 5 hours away is a northern Peru town, rich with history, politics, religion, culture and hometown of the international famous muralist Jose Sabogal. Here, you can also visit unspoiled archeology sites and old monuments.

Bambamarca and Chota
Located 3 and 4 hours away, respectively, these towns are known for their festive activities in the months of June/July.

Leymebamba and La congona
Six hrs driving up north, with a little more than 4000 souls, Leymebamba is the perfect, quiet place to try visit La Congona, it can be reached on foot by hiking uphill from Leymebamba.

Museum of Leymebamba is just half an hour walking from Leymebamba. Inaugurated in June 2000, the Museo Leymebamba displays more than 200 mummies and their burial offerings recovered in 1997 from the Laguna de los Cóndores by a salvage Project directed by Centro Mallqui. Once at risk from looters and vandals, today this valuable collection is housed in the Museo Leymebamba. An initiative of The Bioanthropology Foundation Peru-Centro Mallqui, construction of the Museo Leymebamba was made possible by a donation from a group of Austrian citizens, as well as by funds from other private donors.

Chachapoyas
Also known as the Warrior of the Clouds, the Chachapoyas were a pre-Incan civilisation who lived in the cloud forests of present-day Peru. Chachapoyas contains intriguing archeological sites to explore, however the drive is 12 hours away from our Center, so good planning will be required.

Kuelap: The second Machu Picchu
Famous fortress of the mystic “cloud warriors”. One of the very few places never conquered by the Incas. Visitors describing Kuelap indicate that it is “as impressive as Machu Picchu” while it is by far not as crowded or expensive.
The government just recently decided to invest heavily into tourist infrastructure around Kuelap. Be one of the last persons discovering it while it is still relatively unknown!


Gocta

The waterfall of Gocta (771m) is amongst the highest in the world. Although methods of measurement are debatable, it got recognized as the world’s third highest waterfall, right after Angel Falls (Venezuela) & Tugela Falls (South Africa). Combine your visit with Kuelap and pick Chachapoyas as your homebase to have an adventurous weekend!

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

Lambayeque (Chiclayo)
Huanchaco
Chiclayo

Trip Country Info

Peru

Capital: Lima
Language: Spanish (Quechua, Aymara)
Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone: PET (UTC -5)

Country Information
Peru is the third largest country in South America; a country known for its incredible cultural heritage such as the renowned Machu Picchu and the remains of the Inca Empire. Although the Incas are the most famous ones, there are other manifestations of pre-Columbian cultures and unexplored archaeological sites which can be located in the North of Peru. This magnificent land composed of a variety of landscapes, climates and biodiversity, is visited by tourists from all over the world.

In Peru, it is possible to enjoy a range of activities from surfing in the Northern beaches to hiking in the Andes Cordillera, from trekking in the humid and hot Amazon rainforest to visiting cultural sites, excellent museums, and enjoying traditional dishes. Peruvian people are very friendly, warm, and ready to help or to introduce you to their customs. You will find in these regions a great diversity of ethnic groups, festivities, handcraft, and gastronomy.

Peru is a country of contrasts where the crazy traffic is surpassed by the majesty of mountain ranges. You will find cities peaking at altitudes of more than 6700 meters, infinite beaches with beautiful sunsets, the magically diverse landscape of the tropical rainforest and let’s not forget about the llamas.

Climate
Despite being near the Equator, the presence of different regions of the Andes Cordillera and the arid coast along with the effects of the cold Humboldt Stream induce highly distinct weather. The climate in Peru consists in three main regions: Costa, Sierra, Selva (the coast, the mountains and the jungle).

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Rubber boots or waterproof shoes
Leather gloves (if rainy season)

Additional Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Departures/ drop offs
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa