OCN Teaching and Social Work Volunteering



Time Commitment

Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)


Las Camelias 431


Fancy a career in teaching or as a social worker? We can offer you a variety of exciting opportunities for you to gain much needed experience in these fields while you immerse yourself in the cultural gem that is Peru!

HELP English

In Peru the English language is part of the government designed school curriculum. However, the schools in our area, like many others, are neglected and are not provided the resources or teachers to have English in their schools. So this is where HELP English comes in. The goal of this programme is to provide equal educational opportunities to students in local states schools as those who attend private school in the form of English classes.

We work with three local schools in and around Huanchaco. The first and by far the largest of these three is located in central Huanchaco with over 400 students, grades kindergarten-6th. The second school we work with is based just on the outskirts of Huanchaco. The school has grown into five classrooms to support 8 grades, pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. The final school in this area that we work with is based in a shanty town just before Huanchaco.

On top of the local schools in our area we also partner with the mountain community of Yanasara. More information can be found about this opportunity on our website.

For this project you can choose to work as either a HELP English Coordinator or an HELP English Teacher.

To learn about the roles and requirements for our HELP English positions go to: http://otracosa.org/projects/help-english/

HELP Youth Projects

The children living in Cerrito did not have access to a particularly stimulating environment, or much to amuse themselves with and as a result they tended towards misbehaving and acting up. However, our volunteers mobilised and built the Skate Ramp to offer a fun and stimulating environment for the children to play in. In 2015, thanks to a massive fundraising effort from volunteers and supporters locally and internationally, we changed location (two blocks away) and built an all-concrete Skate Park with a proper side classroom for non-skate activities for children in Cerrito de la Virgen to enjoy. The main goal of this project is to offer children a safe place to play, while providing the children with positive role models.

For this project you can choose to work as either a HELP Youth Coordinator or an HELP Youth Volunteer.

To learn more about the roles and requirements for our HELP Youth Project, go to: http://otracosa.org/projects/help-youth/

Assistant at the Music School

The main goal of this project is to coach children and adolescents with a creativity and passion for music, encouraging their individuality, musical values, and instilling in them the importance of practice and hard work. As the school is a public school, it has a very small budget. Despite this, all the staff at the school strive to give the best musical education they can to the students, as well as creating a pleasant environment to study and work in. With the aid of volunteers, they can reach out to more students and provide a more comprehensive education. So, if you have music running through your veins, come and volunteer with us here!

To learn more about the role and requirements for working in the Music School, go to http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#musicproject

Teaching Assistant at a Special Needs School

The mission of this school is to offer education and vocational training to those in need in order to ensure their participation in the socio-economic development of Peru. Now, the school opens its door to children with other types of disabilities such as down syndrome and autism.

The school offers primary school education and assistance with secondary and university school work for students who have moved on to higher levels. It also offers multiple workshops including music, handicrafts, typing, IT and others. Some older students also have the opportunity to participate in a unique program that offers training in massage therapy, reflexology and beauty treatments, and they’re always looking for people to practice on! Once they have completed the training and received a certification, they have the opportunity to work in a therapeutic centre in the city.

To learn more about the role and requirements for the Special Needs School, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#teachingassistantataspecialneedsschool

Working with children at a Kindergarten

The kindergarten project is located in a shantytown near Huanchaco. The poverty rate in this area is extremely high, and this is the only social project around for the underprivileged inhabitants of the area. For most, the reality hasn’t been easy: many haven’t been able to get full-time jobs and have little option but to work in agriculture or construction, receiving very little money to survive.

Most of the parents never completed their own basic education and they often are not able to support the education of their children. In 2010, the kindergarten started off in a little wooden cottage, hosting 8 children to develop their basic skills before going to primary school. As their parents are not charged any fees, the group of children is growing. Since then they have built another wooden cottage, a playground and bathrooms to offer a better environment for the kids.

To learn more about the role and requirements for working in the Kindergarten, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#workingwithchildrenatakindergarten

Assistant at a Children's Home

In Peru, two-thirds of children under the age of 5 live in poverty, and 2 out of 10 live in extreme poverty.

The boys who live at the children’s home (it is a single-sex facility, so there are no girls) mostly come from dysfunctional families with major economic problems, where they were often victims of abuse and violence, and are far more likely to drop out of school. Their personalities are often characterised by low self-esteem, frustration, irritability, deficits in self-control, distrust of others, problems with authority and exacerbation of sexuality and aggression.

Started in 2001, the children’s home is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to provide children and adolescents living in the streets and in extreme poverty an opportunity for a better future. It strives to generate the necessary means and resources needed in order to reintegrate the children into society. The house runs according to a very rigid schedule. When a new child enters the home he will learn the rules and regulations and have to adapt to living in a group, which helps reduce anti-social behaviour. The child’s integration into life in the home is aided by a multidisciplinary team of professionals – teachers, psychologists, social workers – as well as a varied programmes and activities.

To learn more about the role and requirements for working in the Children’s Home, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#assistantatachildrenshome

Teaching Assistant at an Educational Day Centre

The educational day centre, tries to stimulate these children, firstly, to go to school – many families make the kids work during the school day, arguing that they need the money – and secondly to continue learning in order to give them some hope of a better future. This includes practical help with homework as well as providing fun learning activities and skill development projects.

With the start in life that these children have, they need a miracle to end up with a real chance of a good career and future. We don’t expect you to perform miracles, but volunteering here can help enable the poorest kids to have some chance in the future, rather than repeat the cycle of their parents as some of the poorest and most deprived families. This project calls for serious initiative. The families can be resistant to the help offered by day centre and the volunteers. In order to work here you need to be capable of communicating with the families, gaining their trust so they are comfortable and happy for their children to attend the day centre.

To learn more about the role and requirements for teaching in the Educational Day Centre, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#teachingassistantataneducationaldaycentre

The Dog Shelter

In Peru, sadly, thousands of pets are abandoned by their owners every year for various reasons. The luckier of these animals end up in a refuge or family shelter, where they wait to be adopted.

A refuge centre was established in a shanty town just outside of Huanchaco to minimise this awful situation: it looks after abandoned and sick dogs found on the streets, also has a sterilisation campaign in place to decrease the number of homeless pets. It can accommodate up to 40 dogs and volunteers are always needed to help with the workload. Make a difference for these poor creatures marauding about the streets, ill and starving. They sure will appreciate it!

For further information on the role and requirements for working at the Dog Shelter, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#dogshelter

Supporting a local health clinic as a doctor, nurse or medical assistant

In August 2011 the local government opened a Health Office in Huanchaquito, similar to “COPC” (Clinic for Outpatient Care), in order to look after the health of the population, as people used to have to walk a long way to Huanchaco for medical/health services.

The Huanchaquito Health Office only provides basic medical services and the very tight budget it works from (just 200 soles a month) allows them to afford only 4 part-time employees. This makes it hard for them to provide adequate healthcare for the local population. The mission of the Huanchaquito Health Office is to promote, protect and guarantee good health and life quality for the people through a great and warm service. They work according to human values, respect and trust, with their main objectives being to adequately serve the people as well as encourage community participation.

With the aid of volunteers, this Health Office aims to reach out to a larger population and keep more contact with community through family visits, outreach work and public campaigns. Volunteers will be involved with helping to promote and maintain the effective, warm and efficient services provided by the Huanchaquito Health Office.

For further information on the role and requirements for working at Local Health Clinic, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#supportingalocalhealthclinicasadrnurseormedicalassistant

Trainer with the Fair Trade Photography Project

The fair trade photography project is a social enterprise which produces fair trade photo products. The photos on the products are taken by teenagers from Peru. You see the face, name and age of the photographer on the back of each card. The project offers the young people involved photography training, a medical fund and guidance in making their future plans. The teenagers get 50% of the profits of the sale of their own photos to finance their housing and education. The other 50% is mostly used for investments in the company.

Your task as a volunteer is to contribute to guiding underprivileged teenagers in producing quality photos for the fair trade products, with the goal of personal development and income support for these teenagers. The activities consist of preparing and giving photography lessons and other training that contribute to the development of the teenagers their self-esteem, future plans and English language skills. This project has the potential to completely turn around the lives of the participating teenagers and already has some inspiring success stories of how these young people break the chains of poverty in which they were locked.

For further information on the role and requirements for working with the Fair Trade Photography Project, go to: http://otracosa.org/project-partners/#fairtradephotographyproject


To work in some of these positions we require an advanced level of Spanish: Supporting a Local Health Clinic and Assisting at a Children's Home. Other positions require an intermediate level of Spanish, such as HELP English and HELP Youth Coordinators as well as working with the Fair Trade Photography Project. All the remaining positions require a basic level of Spanish.

To work as an HELP English Coordinator or an HELP Youth Coordinator we require a minimum time commitment of at least three months (six months preferable). Working as HELP English Volunteer we require a minimum time commitment of 2 months. To work with an Educational Day Centre and with the Fair Trade Photography Project we require a minimum time commitment of 6 weeks. All the other remaining volunteer positions we require a minimum time commitment of at least 1 month.

For more information on what Otra Cosa Network is all about, go to: http://otracosa.org/projectpartners/#supportingalocalhealthclinicasadrnurseormedicalassistant

Fee Required


  • Housing Available
  • Language/Cultural Support Available


  • International Volunteers

How To Apply


For more information or to apply for the roles, please email us at: volunteer@otracosa.org

You can also submit your application at the following website: http://otracosa.org/volunteer/apply/