Located in Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the state of Jalisco. It’s a popular resort town well known for its beautiful beaches and palm-covered mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Apart from Puerto Vallarta’s beautiful natural scenery, it offers fantastic art and delicious cuisine from seafood to typical Mexican plates. Our project worksites are located in communities on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta.
The second-largest city with the largest population known as La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera (City of Eternal Spring) is located in the northwestern part of Peru. Trujillo is a culturally enriched city surrounded by colonial architecture and Pre-Inca civilization archaeological sites. The climate in Trujillo is enjoyable, with mostly sunny and warm weather all year long. The Capital of Culture is also nationally well known for its traditional marinera dancing and gastronomy. The culinary is delicious and is famous for its fresh seafood and other typical eateries such as duck, goat, and cow heart. If you need a break from city life, located just a few miles away is the famous surfing beach Huanchaco.
A rural town located in the highlands of the La Libertad, and is one of the ten districts of the province of Otuzco. It is approximately two hours from the city of Trujillo. The climate is cool and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 41°F to 65°F. It has a population of approximately 10,000 people and 38 villages. The primary economic source is agriculture and eucalyptus wood. In the rural town, you can find a small health center, primary and secondary school, municipality, police station, and Catholic Church. Surrounding the town is beautiful natural scenery, including the crops. Typical plates in this region are cuy frito (fried guinea pig), lamb stew, and pachamanca.
The second-largest city in the central Peruvian Andes known as the “Switzerland of the South” because of its beautiful glacier peaks visible from the center of the town. It is located in the central part of the Callejon de Huaylas Valley. Huaraz climate is warm, moderated weather of tropical mountain. During the morning it is sunny, and past the evening it is cold. Huaraz is a popular destination for tourists attracted by its winter sports, outdoor adventures, and biosphere park, Huascaran National Park. Its streets are surrounded by farmers’ markets with beautiful handmade crafts, silver and copper jewelry, and its famous delicious manjar blanco (dessert). The cuisine is recognized by its Peruvian Andes popular dishes such as the Picante de Cuy (guinea pig).
Volunteer placement depends on the number of participants per session. Volunteers will be either placed with a local host family or apartment with other volunteers. Usually, we will place 2-4 volunteers per home. Volunteers will have access to all necessary accommodations, including, hot/cold water, Wi-Fi, personal bed, and storage for personal items. Volunteers will also be provided with three meals a day at their lodging site.
Please include in your application if you have any food restrictions or allergies.
Volunteers will use the public transportation system, which includes buses or taxis for worksite and activities. The volunteers will be shown the routes and safety measures to take during in-country orientation.
Volunteers are responsible for flight accommodations to the indicated airport for Puerto Vallarta (Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport) and for Peru (Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru).
We want volunteers to enjoy the stunning scenery and emerge in the enriched cultures. Volunteers will take part in our different activities on weekends, depending on location. The activities are an excellent way for our team to bond. Cultural activities and excursions include orientation, visiting sandy beaches, sand-boarding, hiking, visiting museums and archeological sites, and more!
Cultural activities and excursions can change depending on the season. Volunteers will be provided with a schedule of events before arrival. If a volunteer does not wish to participate in an activity, they can advise their in-country coordinator. Volunteers will also be provided with a list of other excursions available that are not included in the project fee.
We strive to ensure that our volunteers have a safe and positive experience abroad. Our team and volunteers are required to collaborate to secure the safety of everyone in the organization.
Volunteers must consult with a medical professional and disclose any medical conditions. Including any chronic physical or behavioral health conditions and or disabilities to assure it will not interfere with their safety and ability to effectively participate in our projects abroad.
Vaccinations are essential to staying safe when traveling to a different country. Volunteers should speak with a physician or travel clinic before traveling in addition to consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to determine appropriate vaccinations. Volunteers are required to purchase Travel Medical and Evacuation Insurance. Proof of insurance is required before departure.
For additional health and safety information, you can visit:
Please note that IChange Volunteer reserves the right to decline applicants whom we believe are not a good fit for the project experience. We are happy to speak with any potential volunteer in more detail to determine if our projects will be a fit for you. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Must be 18 and over to participate in our projects.
Our projects are financed almost entirely by volunteer contributions. The project fee support community development projects and cover-onsite volunteer expenses. As well IChange will use part of your project fee to pay for supplies donated to schools and community being served.
On-site projects in Mexico and Peru are postponed until further notice.
Remote Volunteer projects no fee required! Apply now: https://ichangevolunteer. org/apply
We are flexible with late arrivals and early departures, accommodations will still be arranged, and the fee will remain the same. If the sessions above do not work for you, email us at email@example.com, we can discuss possible modifications.
The handbook provides essential information and helpful tips to prepare you for your trip. The handbook information will cover health, safety, visa, lodging, volunteer project worksite, activities, rules,policies, and payments.
You will be assigned a coordinator that will be available to guide you during pre-departure and during your volunteer experience.
Volunteers will have access to all basic accommodations, including, hot/cold water, Wi-Fi, own bed, and storage for personal items. Volunteers will have their private bathroom or share with others.
Three meals a day are provided for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Volunteers are responsible for their snacks and meals during weekend activities are not included.
In-country ground transportation to and from the airport, public transportation to volunteer worksite, and activities.
Weekend activities are included but vary depending on dates and locations. For more information: Locations/Accommodations
Orientation upon arrival and 24/7 in-country support throughout your volunteer project.
IChange t-shirt, prepaid cell phone, and materials for volunteer worksite.
Upon request, we will provide you a letter for your participation in our volunteer projects. We do require 2-4 weeks for your letter to be completed.
Payment methods accepted include checks (made payable to IChange Volunteer), money orders, or credit cards through Paypal. Cash is not accepted by mail.
To initiate the enrollment process to become a volunteer, you will complete the application form and submit your non-refundable processing fee of $25. Once you are accepted into the project, you will need to make a $250 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot. The $250 non-refundable deposit will be credited toward your total project fee. The remainder of your fee is due at least 30 days before your departure to your project country.
As a non-profit organization, IChange projects are financed almost entirely by your contribution. The fee will cover volunteer expenses, including lodging and accommodations, transportation, excursions, and donations to the community being served.
We don't offer scholarships and financial aid to our volunteers. This is due to not receiving any outside financial support for the organization. The project fees you pay help support impactful projects and provide you with everything you need to volunteer abroad. We're also happy to help with suggestions and ideas on fundraising for your trip.
The amount you will be spending depends on your activities outside our projects. We usually recommend $300-$500 extra for miscellaneous spending money.
Deposits and payments made to IChange Volunteer non-profit are considered donations. Due to this, all payments are non-refundable, no matter if you participate or not. If you have already secured your spot and made any payments, we will hold it for a year. You can participate in future projects within a year using any payments made. After a year, any payments will be considered as a donation to IChange Volunteer.
Spanish is not a requirement for most of our projects, but we do recommend to learn basic phrases before your arrival.
Our coordinators do have an intermediate level of English, but the staff at worksites do not speak English. Some host families have a basic level of English, but most likely, you will need to communicate in Spanish.
We are not affiliated with any university. Still, if approved by your advisor, you can email us any forms that need to be completed to get internship hours or college credit.
Vaccinations are essential to staying safe when traveling to a different country. Volunteers should speak with a physician or travel clinic before traveling in addition to consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine appropriate vaccinations.
The schedule varies depending on your project, but volunteers are required to volunteer 5 hours a day Monday through Friday. Usually, all weekend activities are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday is a free day for volunteers.
If you get sick while overseas, the team will know where the most suitable medical care can be found. You will receive information on this during your orientation when you first arrive. You can also reach our team by phone 24 hours a day if you get sick.
In the unlikely event that you are seriously ill, all volunteers are required to get traveler's insurance that covers evacuation and medical costs.
For U.S. citizens, a tourist visa is free and allows you up to 180 days in Mexico and Peru. For more visa information, visit Travel.State.Gov
Our former volunteers are more than happy to share their experiences with you! You can provide us your email, and a volunteer will contact you to share their experience. You can also check out our social media (Facebook and Instagram) to read volunteer reviews on our projects.
Due to varying airline prices, we do not arrange or cover the cost of flights to and from the project worksite country. Volunteers should arrive 2 days before the project start date to Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta or Lima Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru. We will arrange transportation to and from the airport.
You'll be greeted at the airport by our IChange team. When you walk through the arrival gates, a team member with a sign will be waiting for you. All transfers to and from the airport are paid for and arranged by us.
To initiate the enrollment process to become a volunteer, you will complete the application form and submit your non-refundable processing fee of $25. Once you are accepted into the project, you will need to make a $250 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot. The $250 non-refundable deposit will be credited toward your total project fee. The remainder of your fee is due at least 30 days before your departure to your project country site. Payment methods accepted include checks (made payable to IChange Volunteer), money orders, or credit cards through Paypal. Cash is not accepted by mail.
IChange Volunteer strives for volunteers to have a successful positive and impactful experience. To succeed in this, we provide the necessary support for our volunteers. Volunteers will be provided with support before departure, including handbook and coordinator support. In-country support consists of 24/7 availability from our team, including host family or lodging, accommodations, meals, transportation, activities, and excursions. As a non-profit, the project fee will only be used to cover the necessary cost to provide a successful volunteer experience abroad and to support our projects.
We attempt to be flexible and understand that your plans to participate in our projects can be interrupted by unforeseen events. If you need to postpone your trip, any fees paid to us will be held for one year from your original departure date. If you decide to participate in the upcoming year, all funds will be credited to your project fee. If you do not reschedule your participation within one year of your original departure date, any fees paid are non-refundable. Any fees paid will be used as a donation to continue supporting our charitable projects.
As a nonprofit organization with 501 (c)(3) status, all processing fees, deposits, and payments made to IChange Volunteer are non-refundable and considered donations. Due to this, all payments are non-refundable, no matter if you participate or not. If your selected session no longer works for you, please refer to our Postponement Policy above.
IChange Volunteer will make all the arrangements for services and accommodations in connection with the undersigned participant project. This includes lodging (host family or shared apartment with other volunteers) and three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for the period of your session. If you have any diet restrictions such as allergies or food intolerances, let us know in your application. Please be advised that the host family will try their best to meet your dietary restrictions, but this does not consist of purchasing any particular foods for you.
Depending on the number of participants per session, you will be either placed in a host family or shared apartment. Accommodations consist of hot/cold water, Wi-Fi, private bed, and storage for personal items.
You are not allowed to invite guests to stay overnight at your lodging. If you fail to adhere to this condition, there will be disciplinary action and will be dealt with according to the Code of Conduct below.
If you would like to extend your session, we can make arrangments for you if you ask in advance, but you will need to pay the project fee for an additional session.
We shall be responsible for providing the services and accommodations to you, except to the extent such services and accommodations cannot be supplied due to delays or other causes beyond the control of IChange Volunteer. In this case, IChange Volunteer will make every effort to provide comparable services and accommodations. IChange Volunteer reserves the right to withdraw, alter and substitute project services and accommodations, or modify itineraries at any time and without notice.
Volunteering hours will vary depending on country and projects. Still, you are required to volunteer five days a week for five hours daily from your selected session. You should never be required to work more than eight hours a day and a maximum of six days a week.
You are entitled to one day off for 4-5 week sessions and two days off for the 10-week session. You will need to arrange with your on-site coordinator a week in advance to get approval for anticipated days off.
Our team and volunteers are required to collaborate to secure the safety of everyone in the organization. We prepare our team, volunteers, and communities with emergency procedures and health and safety education. You are required to follow all measures to keep safe while volunteering abroad.
You MUST disclose any medical conditions, including any chronic physical or behavioral health conditions and or disabilities. Disclosure of any medical conditions assures that it will not interfere with the safety of volunteers and the ability to effectively participate in our projects abroad.
Vaccinations are essential to staying safe when traveling to a different country. You should speak with a physician or travel clinic before traveling in addition to consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to determine appropriate vaccinations. Volunteers are required to purchase Travel Medical and Evacuation Insurance. Proof of insurance is required before departure.
At IChange Volunteer, we aim to lessen the risk by how we manage our projects, train our team and volunteers, and follow protocols in case of any emergency situations.
We are not responsible for the actions or omissions of third parties involved in our projects with whom we have no direct control. This includes employees of airlines and any other transportation services. IChange Volunteer is not liable for any loss, injury, damage, delay, or accident that may be caused by a defect of any vehicle or other equipment excluding our own. We are not liable for negligence or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out or performing any of the services involved, other than our own team. We are also not responsible for the loss or expense of third parties such as natural disasters, war, strikes, terrorist activities, riots, or bankruptcies.
Your participation in any other recreational activities in your free time is at your own risk. It is your duty and responsibility to understand the benefits and restrictions covered under your travel insurance policy.
Your participation in our projects is accepted on the understanding that you are voluntarily participating entirely at your own risk.
You will be required to sign a Liability Release form before departure.
IChange Volunteer code of conduct for volunteers in the project is intended to protect all volunteers, host families, communities being served, and IChange Volunteer itself. You will be required to sign the Code of Conduct agreement for participation in our projects.
We will attempt to make all reasonable efforts to resolve any disciplinary matter before it turns into a difficult situation. However, we reserve the right to take immediate and appropriate action in the event of behavior offense and safety concerns towards fellow volunteers, host family, team members, community members, including students, teachers, and health professionals. This includes behaviors such as hostile attitude, severe intoxication or rowdiness, failure to attend volunteer work, or leave work without being excused from a coordinator.
A first written notice will be given to any disciplinary problem and will be delivered to your accommodation address. If the problem still persists after five working days (or a shorter period if urgent) of receiving the first written notice, a further termination letter would be delivered. The termination letter is effective as soon as we can make arrangements. If you decide to stay in the country after being dismissed from the project, IChange Volunteer will not be held responsible for any accommodations ( food and lodging), transportation, safety, or travel arrangements.
If either the volunteer or host family fails to satisfy any of the terms listed in the Host Family-Volunteer Agreement, and the difficulties cannot be resolved with mediation from the In-Country Coordinator, the volunteer, or host family may elect to terminate the homestay placement. It may be necessary to provide you with hostel accommodation for a short period, including money for food or place you with another host family.
In the rare occasion, a volunteer is asked to leave the project due to not complying with one or more rules listed in the Code of Conduct contract, the project fee is completely non-refundable.
Please note that IChange Volunteer reserves the right to decline applicants whom we believe are not a good fit for the project experience. We are happy to speak with any potential volunteer in more detail to determine if our projects will be a fit for you. You can contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revised: January 2020