Volunteer for Animal Care in Peru

Cusco, Peru

208 People are researching this program

Maximo Nivel

(397 Reviews)
  • From $645 USD for 1 Week

  • 1 - 12 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 17 And Older



Travel to Peru and volunteer with an animal care program. Through this placement, you will have the chance to work with a dog shelter or at the Cusco University Zoo.

At the dog shelter, you will be able to provide assistance at a center that cares for strays and street dogs, and finds a loving home for them. At the zoo, you will help to care for rescued and injured animals, or those that have been confiscated from people who are keeping wild animals illegally.

You must be at least 17 years old to sign up. This is a great program for volunteers who are flexible and hardworking, physically fit, and willing to take on lots of different tasks depending on the program needs. You do not need to know Spanish in order to apply.

Arrival and Orientation

With locations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, you’ll get a unique taste of Latin America--literally. Upon your arrival to your chosen country, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver--they will be holding a big yellow, smiley face flag so you can’t miss them. Depending on the time of your arrival, your driver will either take you directly to your homestay or to the Maximo Nivel institute. Either way, you receive a thorough orientation at the institute where you learn the details about your project, tips about the local neighborhood, safety guides, culture, expectations, and project rules.

You also will take part in Maximo Nivel’s ESL Crash Course to learn about basic ESL teaching practices and strategies - you’ll be provided with materials, books, and lesson plan ideas to help get started on this program.


Volunteers have the option of living in a homestay with a local family. Homestays are typically middle class households. All homestays are equipped with electricity, hot water, and wifi. You may share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Volunteers of different programs are sometimes accommodated in the same homestay.

Families provide breakfast and dinner 7 days per week, and it is during these meal times when volunteers and families get to learn about one another. Lots of laughs are shared and cultural exchange is fostered.

Other accommodation options include dorms, hotels, and private apartments. Meals are not included with these options.

Field Conditions

During this project, which lasts one week minimum, you can expect to work 3 to 4 hours a day Monday through Friday, in morning or afternoon shifts depending on the project needs. As a volunteer, you can expect to help out with lots of different tasks alongside a local veterinarian and other team members to care for animals, maintain the facilities, and assist visitors.

At the dog shelter, you can help with exercise, grooming, medical treatments, walking, and providing obedience training. You also can help out with education programs, spay and neuter services, and fundraising.

At the zoo, you will help out with animal care and treatment, including feeding, cage cleaning, light construction, and basic conservation. Because the zoo focuses mainly on caring for and rehabilitating animals, rather than exploiting them for tourism, there is a low visitor turnout and funding is limited - so your efforts as a volunteer will go a long way toward helping these animals.

Your Impact

Through your volunteer work in Peru, you will help make sure that abandoned, injured, or abused animals have a healthy home. Because pets are not seen as family members in Latin America, dogs and cats are more likely to be abandoned and left to roam the streets - programs like Maximo Nivel help to provide veterinary care and rehabilitation services for these animals, and to rehome whenever possible.


Cusco, Peru
  • Where you will be volunteering
    Cusco, Peru

    Volunteers on this program can work with a dog shelter or with the university zoo.

  • Where you'll be staying
    Cusco, Peru

    Volunteers can stay with a host family or in other accommodations.

  • Nearest Airport
    Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport


<p>This program starts from $645 for your first week in Peru. Each additional week after your first four costs $150.</p>

1 Week
12 Weeks
1 Week

$645 USD

What’s Included

  • Program management

  • Emergency contact number 24/7

  • Institute is open 7 days per week

  • Free coffee and tea and onsite snack bar

  • Free cooking classes

  • Free Salsa dance classes

  • Free office-wide wifi and computer lounge

  • Free Tandem Conversation Program

  • Letter of recommendation

  • Official certificate of volunteer service

  • Walking tour

  • Program and safety orientation

  • 3-4 hours per day of volunteer work

  • Breakfast and dinner 7 days per week

  • Host family accommodations (shared room)

  • Airport pickup

What’s Not Included

  • Personal spending money

  • Airport drop-off

  • Travel and tours

  • Daily transportation

  • Travel insurance

  • Flights

Project Start Dates

Project start dates are every Monday, year-round.


Maximo Nivel is dedicated to providing an unforgettable travel experience to students, volunteers, and adventure seekers. Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been assisting international clients with coordinating their vacations and gap-years in Latin America to include study abroad and volunteer opportunities. More recently, the organization has added internships, adventure and culture programs, scuba and yoga certifications, and more. Over 4,000 participants choose Maximo Nivel every year for their local, in-country presence, exceptional client support, community outreach and volunteer projects, and their free tandem-language exchange-program. Maximo Nivel has been featured in the Washington Post, Matador Network, and Huffington Post.

Reviews (397)


Aug 10, 2018

I spent my summer volunteering in Guatemala with the medical project. I was given the role of running the medical clinic in San Miguel Dueñas to work with the elderly and care for them during my time there. I organized the clinic and made sure all of my patients ... +more

Tamara Hathorn

Aug 03, 2018

Maximo Nivel was a great company to go through for volunteering. The staff is very helpful and understanding, and the facilities provide both at the main building and the homestay was much better than I was originally expecting. The value of the volunteering was a little disappointing, but the other ... +more


Aug 03, 2018

they were really welcoming and informative, they made me feel at home. I will remember this for the rest of my life

mihrab randhawa

Aug 03, 2018

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