Homeland of the condor and the llama, Peru is the perfect destination for the inquisitive traveler who needs something more than just beautiful natural landscapes and breathtaking sights to be impressed.
One of the most visited countries of South America, Peru is also the one with the most remarkable disparities in wealth distribution and social development.
The Andes mountain range sloping down into the Pacific Ocean and dressed up with the Amazon rainforest treasure more than one bewildering jewel. Lake Titicaca, one of the highest lakes on earth, the enigmatic Nazca lines, the amazing Colca canyon, the Huacachina oasis; as well as the ruins of ancient cities that were part of the Inca Empire, such as Machu Pichu and Saqsaywaman, are some of these jewels.
Cusco is one such city and was once the administrative capital of that emblematic pre-colonial empire. Nowadays it is a perfect blend of that original civilization and the colonial influence, with its typical urban colonial architecture and expressions of religious art.
Many tourists come to this enigmatic city hoping to achieve some sort of spiritual initiation or enlightenment experience, and for this, they are ready to embrace the endurances of walking the Inca trail or to search for a local shaman to help them expand their consciousness. But most of these adventurous travelers go back home with a sense of disillusionment. They have probably been seeking in the wrong place…
Perhaps nobody told them that in order to have access to that sort of transforming experiences, one must first leave the ego behind and be willing to offer his or her best in a selfless and joyful way. And for this, Cusco is the right place!
With half of its population living in poverty and in a country where corruption is endemic, where women, children and disabled people are often victims of abuse, domestic violence, discrimination and abandonment; these poor people are entirely dependent on charitable and religious entities to help them out of marginalization and break away from the vicious cycle of poverty.
Although Peruvian economy has been expanding in the past years, this improvement is not being reflected in social policies to help those in greatest need and a relatively small percentage of the national income is destined to education and health services. So generous, empathetic and motivated volunteers are key to make the non-governmental organizations and religious institutions focused on this crucial issues achieve their goals.
Cooperating with these organizations and institutions in Cusco may sometimes be a very challenging and tough experience, but it is guaranteed to be a deeply transforming and wonderfully rewarding one that will not only change the lives of those in urgent need of care and assistance for the better, but also those of volunteers.
What’s included in our fair-cost policy?
All our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.
The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others.
The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community. It’s a fee which helps organisations that work in the country associated with the program at hand to move forwards with their projects and generate work opportunities for the local community.
Thanks to our fair-cost policy, the volunteer benefits from not having to pay high fees and our local partners benefit from being able to invest in their projects and keep things moving forwards. Connecting Worlds also benefits from keeping the costs of its programs as low as possible because we get the opportunity to support local communities and make a difference in our own small but important way.