START DATES

5TH JULY, 26TH JULY & 16TH AUGUST 2020

PRICED FROM

$1035 + $249 REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

3 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD

REAL PERU EXPERIENCE

Looking to immerse yourself in one of South America’s most talked about destinations? Then look no further and join us on an incredible 3 week volunteer, immersion and adventure experience in Peru. The land of the legendary Incas will be your oyster to explore with the cultural capital of Cusco being your base for the trip. Experience everything from taking in the seven colours of Rainbow Mountain and trekking the lost city of Machu Picchu too expanding your Spanish at the local markets; your time in Peru is sure to fly by!

 

Home to 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and thousands of years of history, your Peru experience will allow you to discover a taste of the Real Peru. The vibrant culture of this vast country is not to be missed and its world-renowned cuisine is guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. Secret cities, Inca ruins, the Amazon jungle, soaring mountains and sacred valleys, Peru really does have it all with so many experiences on offer!

 

This PMGY experience trip offers you the chance to take in some of these amazing experiences whilst making a positive difference volunteering within local community projects and improving your Spanish with lessons included along the way!

HIGHLIGHTS

1. Hiking through the iconic lost city of Machu Picchu
2. Cruise on Titicaca lake to the floating Uros Islands of Puno
3. Spanish lessons included building your conversation skills with locals
4. Learn about the history of Cusco during an afternoon city tour
5. Take in the spectacular views of Rainbow Mountain
6. Visiting the heart of the Inca Empire at the Sacred Valley
7. Enjoy cultural evening activities with Pisco sour & salsa classes
8. Relaxing in hot springs and rehydrating with a local coffee tour
9. Enjoying some of the renowned cuisines that Peru has to offer
10. Community volunteering in the city of Cusco

EXPLORING PERU

The ruins of Machu Picchu is often regarded as Peru’s main attraction that draws in thousands of travellers each year into one of South America’s most visited countries. But it is not just this famous site that sees the travellers flock to Peru. The floating islands dotted around Lake Titicaca, the soaring mountains of the Andes, the ancient capital of Cusco and the history of the Sacred Valley and its people are just a few more reasons people immerse themselves in this iconic country.

 

The real Peru lies within its warm, proud inhabitants and the thousands of years of history they leave behind them – much of which can be traced back to the Incas and the bloodshed that came with it. Peru was inhabited by various tribal peoples throughout most of its ancient history with the Inca Empire being the most notable. The Empire originated in the small city state of Cusco in the 12th century before going onto conquer Peru and parts of neighbouring countries. What better places to have as your Peru Experience base than Cusco as you get to learn all about the ancient history and Inca influence during your 3 weeks with us.

 

Get ready for iconic sites, spectacular mountains, picturesque lakes and plenty of history! Your group will travel together across a mix of public and private transport visiting some of the best destinations that Peru has to offer, as well as some of its hidden gems!

VOLUNTEERING

PMGY’s volunteer programme in Cusco runs throughout the year, so you will be working alongside existing PMGY volunteers. Over the course of the first two weeks, you will have an opportunity to join one of our community-based childcare projects in Cusco. This will be in a kindergarten setting working with younger children of the Cusco community. The majestic city of the Incas, while tourist based and thriving, is a city of the poor who come in from hungry villages hoping to sell their crafts, clothes and even pose for photos in the traditional dress just to make enough to eat.

 

In this indigenous culture, many children are subject to troubling home environments due to low income, addiction, violence and neglect. We work with local organisations to provide assistance to children with great need. The kindergarten programmes and those for working children are essential in restoring families and providing necessary assistance to ensure children are not abandoned. By volunteering on these projects you are contributing so that children can be fed, educated and guided in becoming a good citizen to their community and interact in sports or crafts as appropriate to their age.

 

The working hours for this project are typically morning based and lasting between 3 and 4 hours. You will assist the local project staff with different tasks including lesson planning, playing with the children, leading classroom-based activities and assisting in areas such as nutrition by preparing meals and hygiene like brushing teeth and washing hands. The more pro-active and enthusiastic you are will result in the most productive experience at the project.

 

Volunteering allows you to truly immerse yourself in the local culture, spending time in the community and learning about what life is like for the Peruvian children. Getting involved in our community project during your 3 weeks in Peru ensures that you’ll make a positive impact during your time with PMGY and contribute within the local community at the grass-roots level.

SPANISH CLASSES

Peru is one of twenty-one Spanish speaking countries in the world. This sacred country his home to nearly 32 million residents! It’s therefore important to ensure you know a few phrases to help you get by across your 3 weeks in Peru. During your first week on your Real Peru Experience, you will spend 3 hours of each afternoon enjoying a fun and informal Spanish lesson with the rest of the participants on the trip.

 

You will have a teacher that is personalised to your level of Spanish. This teacher will instruct you in a classroom setting and from time to time will also venture out into the city of Cusco to markets, museums and popular areas where locals hang out. This time in Cusco is to help you gain confidence in communicating with native speakers and also introduce you into a side of the country you may not see as a tourist.

 

The one thing that every visitor to Peru never forgets are the exciting traditions and intriguing culture of the local community. Improving your Spanish and furthering your understanding of the local language will certainly contribute to this. Whether that be exchanging stories with your host family, conversing with the local staff at the kindergarten project or immersing yourself in cultural activities, some extra Spanish lessons during your first week with us will help enhance these.

 

There is no better way to learn a language than to surround yourself in the culture interacting with its people and traditions.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco (airport code CUZ) on the selected Sunday start date.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Welcome to Peru

 

Welcome to Peru! You will be met at Cusco airport by your homestay parent(s) who will be holding a name sign. The journey to the accommodation will take around 15 minutes, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

 

Day 2 (Monday) Orientation & Spanish Classes

 

Your orientation will begin on Monday at the Spanish School which is also where our local teams offices are based.

 

Our local team will teach you about life in Peru, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and information provided about your 2 week volunteer project with us in Cusco.

 

You will also learn about the Spanish school along with details about the upcoming week of Spanish lessons included in your programme. Your first 3 hour group Spanish class will begin on Monday afternoon. The rest of the evening will be yours to rest and relax as a busy itinerary lies ahead!

 

Day 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering & Spanish Classes

 

You will start your volunteer work on Tuesday morning with an induction to your community kindergarten placement. Our local team will meet you in the morning, introduce you to the project staff and explain the bus routes to get too and from the project from your homestay.

 

Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Peru coordinators throughout the day at the Spanish School and from time to time the volunteer coordinator will pop in to visit at projects. The team are always happy to help.

 

Your volunteering placement will take place for around 3 hours each morning. Your lunch is provided to you by your host family. After lunch, you will continue your day with a 3-hour group Spanish class each afternoon.

 

The teacher will instruct you in a classroom setting as well as out and about in the local community as we venture out into the local markets to practise Spanish. We will also visit a Wayna Cancha (Llama Zoo) with the teacher for a cultural afternoon as not only will you practise your Spanish here and learn about the history of the different types of llamas in Peru. On Thursday night our local team will arrange a treasure hunt activity for all the volunteers to take part in Cusco city centre.

 

Should you want to continue your Spanish lessons into a second week to keep your afternoons occupied this can be discussed and arranged with the local team.

 

Day 7 (Saturday) Sacred Valley

 

It’s now time to explore beyond Cusco as we head to the Sacred Valley (known locally as Valle Sagrado)! The Sacred Valley, or Vilcamayo to the Incas, traces its astonishingly beautiful course from Pisac down towards Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and eventually Machu Picchu. Located about 30km from Cusco, it is a steep-sided river valley that opens out into a very fertile but narrow alluvial plain. The river itself starts in the high Andes south of Cusco and is called the Vilcanota, the same name as the mountain where the river emerges from. From here on down the river is known as the ‘Río Urubamba’, an energetic and magnificent river which flows right down into the jungle.

 

Many tours in Peru require a ‘Boleto Touristico’ (Tourist Ticket). The ticket costs $45 and can only be purchased at the first tour location by each trip participant individually so you will need to budget additionally for this accordingly. Our local team guide will be on hand to help with the logistics of this process on the day. Please keep this ticket receipt with you for the remainder of your time in Peru.

 

Day 8 (Sunday) Maras Moray

 

Your Sunday will be spent exploring the Maras Salt Mines and the Sacred Site of the Moray. You will be introduced to some of Cusco’s most interesting Inca sites. Your day will begin with a visit to the Colonial town of Maras and its infamous church before we continue to the nearby Inca site of Moray. This site represents a magnificent series of terrace circles set into the ground that was once used by the Incas for experimentation with crops. The last point of call for the day is the salt mines which have been in use since Pre-Inca times. Water from a subterranean stream is channelled through pools where it evaporates and leaves behind pure salt crystals and stunning views of stark white pools to match.

 

You will return to your accommodation in the late afternoon time ready to unwind after a weekend exploring for the second-week community volunteering in Cusco.

 

Day 9-13 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Continues & Cultural Immersion

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday in the mornings. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Peru coordinators throughout the day at the Spanish School and from time to time the volunteer coordinator will pop in to visit at projects. The team are always happy to help.

 

Your afternoons will provide some leisure time to you to relax, perhaps take up more Spanish lessons or explore the Peruvian history within Cusco further on your own accord.

 

Just remember on Tuesday afternoon our local team will take you on a walking city tour of Cusco and learn more about the culture and traditions of the ancient capital of Peru. On Thursday evening, our local team will introduce you to sample the local exotic cocktail of the Pisco sour and give you a chance to put on your dancing shoes as you embark on a salsa class. On Friday evening, you will have a pre-trip briefing before you venture to your next trip base of Puno. On Friday night, we will take an overnight bus to Puno so be sure to pack your weekend bag!

 

Day 14 (Saturday) Lake Titicaca & Uros Islands

 

A trip to Peru is not complete without a visit to the impressive Lake Titicaca as we take a boat trip from the port of Puno to the floating islands of Uros. Part of the Titicaca National Reserve, these floating islands are home to the Uros tribe which existed before the Incan civilization era. You will spend your Saturday taking a tour of the Uros Island and visiting the Uros community as you learn about the history and traditions of this unique indigenous race. Be prepared to witness an extraordinary feat of engineering as to how the floating islands and houses are put together.

 

That night you will have the unique experience of staying as a guest with a local family as we take base on the islands overnight. You will spend the night taking in local music and dance rituals. Facilities will be basic and limited on the island for the night, but staying overnight on a floating artificial island is not something you will forget from your Peru experience!

 

Please note breakfast is not included on the Saturday morning so please budget a small amount for this.

 

Day 15 (Sunday) Taquile Island & Free time in Puno

 

We will take a morning boat ride from the Uros islands to the larger natural remote island of Taquile located in the middle of Lake Titicaca. The island is inhabited by the indigenous Aymara people who have their own special traditions and customs as well as a range of ancient sites and picturesque views to take in. On the island, we will visit the infamous plaza on the island and pop into some textile workshops for any traditional souvenirs you wish to pickup.

 

We will then make our way back to the hub of Puno as you will have some free time to explore this town before catching the overnight bus back to Cusco. You can take the time to visit the 18th-century Baroque cathedral or relax in Puno’s most central and attractive square of the Plaza de Armas.

 

Please note dinner is not included on the Sunday evening so please budget a small amount for this.

 

Day 16 (Monday) Free day in Cusco

 

You will arrive back to your homestay accommodation in Cusco on Monday morning. Today is a free day so you can take time to rest and recuperate after a busy weekend and overnight bus or ticking off anything you are yet to see in Cusco. Make sure you keep your evening free as you will have your Machu Picchu pre-trip briefing to attend with another few busy days in store!

 

Day 17-18 (Tuesday-Wednesday) Machu Picchu

 

Probably the highlight of your Peru Experience, it’s now the part of the trip where we make our way to Machu Picchu. Over the next couple days not only will we do some gentle hiking round these spectacular lost ruins, but we will also enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the hot springs located in Colcamayo and sample some famous Peruvian coffee during a coffee tour.

 

The stunning temples and views that Machu Picchu brings are sure to take your breath away. Machu Picchu is the most iconic symbol of the Incan Empire and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. No trip to Peru could be complete would visiting Peru’s most visited tourist attraction! It’s mysterious nature, cultural attraction, rich history and spectacular views are just some of the things you will embrace during your time in the lost city of the Incas.

 

Day 19 (Thursday) Rainbow Mountain

 

Be sure for an early morning rise, as we will depart Cusco in the early hours of Thursday to head to Rainbow Mountain to ensure we give ourselves the best opportunity to take in some of the views. Located in the southern region of Cusco, Vinicunca will satisfy the most adventurous of hikers and create unforgettable memories of breath-taking panoramas of high mountains, formidable glaciers, crystalline rivers, lakes, and peaceful pastoral scenes with herds of alpacas kept by Andean ranchers wearing colourful garments. This is a real adventure through a preserved and wild natural landscape, where you will meet with small communities of Quechua-speaking descendants. We will return to Cusco for our final Thursday evening activity for some artisanal ice cream making.

 

Day 20 (Friday) Souvenir shopping at San Pedro Market

 

After a few hectic and long days it’s now time to enjoy some downtime and do some last minute shopping during your final full day in Peru. Lucikly Cusco offers some of the best markets and shops for you to pick up some last minute souvenirs! A trip to San Pedro Market can take up a whole morning or afternoon but is definitely worth the visit! Spend your time haggling with a local Mami for food and souvenirs as you can tickle your tastebuds for one last time trying some local fruits, some traditional Cusco bread or a little bit of lomo saltado.

 

Day 21 (Saturday) Farewell Peru!

 

Unfortunately, your epic journey has come to an end. Saturday is your last day on the programme. It’s time to say goodbyes with the host families who have served you so well over the last 3 weeks as you head home or onto your next far away destination.

 

Your return airport transfer is not included in the fees. A taxi back to the airport costs $5 and our host family can help arrange this for you.

 

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A TRIP

What are the programme start dates?

The programme start dates are as follows –

 

5th July 2020
26th July 2020
16th August 2020

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.

 

Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.

 

You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

You should arrive into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco (airport code CUZ) on the selected Sunday start date. You will be met at the airport by your host family or a local team member who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure. If you wish to venture around the Cusco area you can request this from your homestay family.

The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

When is the best time of year to volunteer?

Volunteer feedback tends to suggest that joining us outside the European summer months is the best time to get the most out the experience from a project involvement and cultural integration perspective. The summer months tend to be our busiest times in-country where we have peak numbers across the projects and with accommodation.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 17-22 but this is by no means definitive.

 

There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

 

It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.

 

It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of $60 and is subject to availability.

 

You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However, we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).

 
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our International Team undergo an extensive routine when establishing the in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

 

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verify them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our International Team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

 

In emergency situations, we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our International Team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

 

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme, you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We also accept BACS transfers from UK participants. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

 

While our team will do their best to complete any paperwork we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university or college. In the event that your university or college do not accept the paperwork submitted by PMGY then you will be unable to be refunded for your trip.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on hello@planmygapyear.com to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course for teaching English abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.

 

As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.

 

The cost of the course is $150. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programmes and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.

 

We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding.

 

This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.

 

The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.

 

The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

 

100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.

 

There are three to choose from and it is well worth attending all of them:

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

 

The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones.

 

If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.

 

Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry, we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.

 

For peace of mind, PMGY holds an ATOL License (11262) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

 

If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.

 

When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.

 

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third-party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.

 

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to ensure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 65 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example, if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK).

 

This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook you receive once you are signed up for the programme.

 

For international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that affect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly effects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.

 

It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, a scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find $75-$150 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

 

Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.

ACCOMMODATION

Homestay

 

During your time in Peru you will predominantley live in our homestay(s). Across the itinerary volunteers will also stay with a local host family on the Uros islands for one night, sleep on overnight secure buses for two nights and guest house accommodation provided for the overnight stay part of the Machu Picchu
trip. The accommodation is basic but comfortable.

 

The main HQ accommodation for your three week Real Peru Experience will be our homestay format within Cusco. You’ll be living with local families whom will guide you in Cusco and help to improve your knowledge of the Spanish Language! The homestay families usually have very limited English.

 

The homestays are located just outside of central Cusco all within 30 minutes bus of your community volunteer project and usually walking distance from the local teams offices where you will complete your Spanish lessons. Each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All volunteers will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.

 

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is usually warm (although can be victim to power cuts) to ensure you keep warm in the chilly nights of Cusco! The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled; just ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance, The host families will prepare all meals across your time on the project with us (including a packed lunch if you wish).

 

The families of the homestay normally have a separate area within the house for their family, but they love to interact with volunteers and hear about your days. This ensures you have round the clock support and security along with the chance to improve your Spanish language skills.

 

Your host family location is usually linked to your project location for ease of logistics to get to and from the project. You will be placed with other participants on the Real Peru Experience. Should you have requirements to be in the same accommodation as another PMGY application then be sure to highlight this on the special requirements of your online application.

MEALS

Volunteers will be provided with three meals per day across most of the three weeks of the Real Experience. Volunteers will only need to budget a small amount for breakfast on day 14 and dinner on day 15 of the itinerary; all other meals are included in the fees. Most meals will either be provided at the homestay (lunch usually being provided in a packed lunch format) or included during the tour package when travelling further afield of Cusco.

 

Boiled and filtered water is also available at the homestay(s) for volunteers.

 

Most meals are traditional Peruvian dishes that can be carb heavy traditionally. Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of rice or quinoa and the meat is mainly chicken. Most meals will incorporate lots of carbs and vegetables compared to the UK so please be open-minded around this! Due to the altitude, you will notice that your breakfast and dinner meals are quite small and lunch is very big. Going to sleep with a full stomach is hard on the body and at such an altitude it is difficult to digest large quantities of food. It may take you a few days for your body to accustom to this as well.

 

The main meats are chicken, fish and alpaca. There are a number of western restaurants around a 10-minute drive from the accommodation should you fancy picking up some home comforts. There are also some Vegan and Indian restaurants in Cusco. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

FEES INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAMME FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

3 weeks
$1035
$249
$1284

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme, you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

VOLUNTEER IN PERU REVIEWS

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAMME FEE

  • ACCOMMODATIONYES
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UP (24 HOURS)YES
  • SPANISH LESSONS YES
  • CULTURAL ACTIVITIESYES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONYES
  • TRANSPORT ACROSS PERUYES
  • ENTRANCE FEESYES
  • VISIT SACRED VALLEY & MARAS MORAYYES
  • CUSCO CITY TOURYES
  • LAKE TITICACA & UROS ISLANDSYES
  • TAQUILE ISLAND & PUNOYES
  • MACHU PICCHUYES
  • RAINBOW MOUNTAIN TOURYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR UK-BASED EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • UNLIMITED EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • COMPREHENSIVE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION YES
  • INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • TOURIST TICKET ($45)NO
  • TRANSPORT TO PROJECT ($1.50 PER DAY)NO
  • FLIGHTS TO CUSCO ($300+)NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE ($25 PER WEEK)NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFER ($5)NO
  • VISA ($0)NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (VARIES)NO

 

 

UK: +44 800 321 3564

USA: 1-813-422-5109

hello@planmygapyear.com