Asociacion Incawasi

Asociacion Incawasi's picture

Asociacion Incawasi is a non-profit organization that provides educational, medical and nutritional support to some of Cajamarca, Peru's most disadvantaged children. All of the children enrolled in Incawasi attend public school either in the morning or in the afternoon, and come to the center for personalized tutoring, to participate in various creative activities, to receive two warm meals, and to benefit from psycological and medical support.

Our staff and team of dedicated local and foreign volunteers provide continued assistance to beneficiaries through the final year of their secondary studies to ensure that they complete high school. Incawasi understands that to ensure our students' academic success, it is necessary to adopt a holistic approach that addresses malnutrition and poor health so that the children have all the tools that they need to fully develop as productive members of society.

The children that attend Incawasi are all enrolled in public school, which they attend either in the morning or the afternoon. When they are not in classes, they come to Incawasi, a safe place where they can do their homework, participate in various activities, and eat two warm meals.

Volunteers, local and foreign, are vital to the operation of the organization's activities; we are always looking for enthusiasic and dedicated individuals interested in helping out! Under the guidance of our local staff, volunteers provide personalized assistance to students to help them improve their reading, writing, math and science skils. Volunteers are assigned a small class of about 4 to 6 students with whom they will work over the course of their stay at Incawasi. There are a number of activities built in to the day, including arts and crafts and trips to the playground, at which time volunteers have the opportunity to interact with all of the children Incawasi serves.

We also encourage volunteers to organize workshops, courses and excursions that are in line with their interestes and skills so as to stimulate the children's creativity. Given that nutrition and health are core components of our mission, volunteers who would like to get involved in these areas are more than welcome as well.

Incawasi is located at the heart of Cajamarca, a city located in the northern highlands of Peru that is the capital of the Cajamarca region. The city is well-known for its cheeses and dairy products, for its churches, and hot springs. It is also the Peruvian capital of carnaval, which locals and tourists celebrate with much fanfare. There are also several active mining sites in surrounding areas. The Peruvians remember Cajamarca as the place where the Inca Empire came to an end.

International volunteers are housed in the volunteer quarters within the Incawasi building. Depending on the number of volunteers at Incawasi at a given time, volunteers may have to share a room. The volunteer quarters is sectioned off from the rest of the center and is accessible only to volunteers. There is also a volunteer room on the first floor in which there is a TV and DVDs where everyone can relax after a long day of work with the kids!

Volunteers are welcome to use the kitchen outside of hours of operation (our cook is usually cooking up a storm for the children and staff during the day), but there is also a seperate volunteer kitchen with a fridge in which volunteers can store food and prepare snacks.

Volunteers will ideally commit to at least 2 months, as the children need time to build a relationship with the volunteers. Volunteers also find their experience more enriching if they stay for a longer amount of time. Based on potential volunteers' availabilities, we are wiling to consider interested individuals who can commit to a minimum of a month.

Incawasi operates year round and therefore accepts applications on a rolling basis. Other than short breaks during the summer and in the winter time, the center operates year round and always welcomes volunteers!

Volunteers work during the operating hours of Incawasi, open between 9AM and 4PM, Monday through Friday.

Program Requirements

  • 18 and older
  • Good health
    • Beginner-Intermediate level of Spanish
    • A passion for working with children
    • An interest in learning about a new culture
    • Good attitude and coordination with the organization
    • High sense of commitment, responsibility, solidarity, patience and motivation
    • Skills / former experience in working with children is encouraged, though not required
    • Backgrounds in social work, teaching, development or medicine and nursing are very appreciated -
    • Though not required
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Organization Type:
NGO (Non-Governmental Organization)