Why do you charge a fee?
Well, we believe having happy, properly prepared, and well-supported volunteers is vital to our mission. We also know that our volunteers want to be as effective as possible at having a positive impact in the community. To help them do that, we have a small and hardworking team, including our Program Director, Estefanía, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer. To help cover a portion of these costs, we charge a fee to volunteers that we try to keep as affordable as possible.
But, as a volunteer or intern, what exactly do you get for $250?
- Personal service during application process and before arrival.
- Three induction/training sessions on arrival over three days before starting your placement.
- One-to-one mentoring (for interns).
- We run workshops for volunteers every month on key topics relevant to our project.
- Access to our office where you can plan lessons in our resource area, use the volunteer. computer, or hang out on our roof terrace!
- Our volunteer coordinator is available 24 hours a day as your local emergency contact.
- Support finding accommodation in Arequipa.
- Your very own HOOP t-shirt!
- A certificate and reference letter on successful completion of your placement.
- Lifetime HOOPster… Pay once and come back again for free, for life!
- Confirmation of your place as a HOOP volunteer or intern.
Unlike some volunteer programs, which charge per week of your placement, our fee is a one-off payment. We never use placement organisations that have their own fees, so 100% of your payment goes towards sustaining HOOP. We believe it helps us give you a good service, which in turn helps you have a meaningful and positive impact in the community.
Interested in joining us? Apply here.
What exactly do you teach?
What is Arequipa like? The weather, nightlife, etc?
See our Living in Arequipa page for what it is like to live here.
Where will I live?
There are a few options for accommodation:
There is a homestay option where you can live with a local family. This housing option is the best choice for those hoping to improve their Spanish skills. You can also stay at a hostel. We recommend: Home Sweet Home (relaxed hostel) or Soul Guest House. Please contact us for current rates. Otherwise, feel free to choose your own accommodation – you’re welcome to stay anywhere you like in Arequipa and we can recommend a number of other options!
How much previous experience do I need to have in order to volunteer?
How much Spanish do I need to know? Do you offer classes?
What is the minimum amount of time I can volunteer?
What do I do for food and other shopping?
What other costs are involved?
What is the dress code for HOOP?
What should I bring?
You should bring a copy of all your important documents (and these should be kept separate from any original documents). It’s advisable to email a copy of this information to yourself as well. You will be able to buy most things you need here in Arequipa.
In terms of clothing, in the winter and spring you will need a warm jacket in the evenings as it does get cooler at night. In the summer, waterproof boots and a rain jacket are recommended as it rains most afternoons. We would advise referring to a guide book/internet for clear information on temperatures and climate at different times of the year.
Is it safe?
We recomend that volunteers take registered taxis and we provide them with a list of these companies and ask that volunteers first check that the taxi driver has an identification badge and radio. It is always a good idea to stick to licensed taxis, particularly if you are travelling on your own.
Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing expensive jewelry and carry only the money that you need and leave your ATM/Cerdit card and ID documents in the hostel unless you need them. This is particularly important on bus rides as theft is more common. The buses are sometimes very crowded which makes it easy for thieves to pickpocket.
HOOP has a detailed health and safety policy and training for new volunteers. We also outline any risks of volunteering here, and we adhere to British Standard 8848 guidelines for volunteering or adventure activities abroad.
Do I need health insurance?
Do I need a visa?
Do I need immunizations?
How do I get to Arequipa?
The flight from Lima to Arequipa takes about an hour. If your international flight arrives during the day, you might connect with a domestic flight to Arequipa the same day. However, if there are no connecting flights available until the next day, we recommend booking a hostel with an airport pick up.
You can book your ticket online. Costs are approximately $70 USD one-way and up. Airlines in Peru are: LAN, TACA, Peruvian Air.
If you choose to take a bus from Lima to Arequipa:
In Lima, bus companies are located next to each other on the same strip in Paseo de la Republica in El Cercado de Lima. To get to the bus companies from the airport take a taxi. We recommend taking a taxi inside the airport as they are safer. The bus ride to Arequipa from Lima takes approximately 16 hours and costs 70-150 Soles ($35-$55 USD) soles. Most buses are quite comfortable with reclining seats and meals. Recommended bus companies include: Cruz del Sur, Oltursa or Enlaces.
How do I get to HOOP?
What is the average number of volunteers you have?
We usually have about 10-15 volunteers at one time, but this varies and we often have up to five interns as well. Our volunteers and interns come from all over the world with lots of diverse backgrounds. So far, we’ve had volunteers from over 36 countries! Our volunteers are university and graduate students, backpackers on their gap year, certified teachers, and professionals who are seeking a similar experience through volunteering.
Is there a phone or computer at HOOP?
Can my family and friends mail me packages?
It is possible. However, mail is often delayed or may take a few weeks longer than in the US or EU. It is strongly advised to never send valuables through the postal service.
What do I do about money?
Where will I work?
You will work in the outskirts of Arequipa, in a community called Flora Tristán. The Flora Tristán project is located just outside Arequipa.
Flora Tristán is a located in the district of Cerro Colorado near the airport. It is about a 40 minutes bus ride from the city center. Volunteers take a local bus to the school that costs 70 cents each way. Our interns work in our office, which is located in Cayma, a neighbourhood near the city centre.
What is an average day like at HOOP?
I would also like to maybe work in the office and do some of the organizational tasks. Is that possible?
Does your organization also organize free time activities?
Will I be able to travel?
We encourage you to either travel before or after our stay with us as to not disrupt the your time working as a volunteer with children. Arequipa is located about a 8 hour bus journey from Cusco so trips to Machu Picchu are possible during a 3 day weekend. We are also located about 6 hours from Puno. That said, there are holidays during the year and if you are a long-term volunteer or intern (over 4 months) you are able to request vacation time so you can visit the sights in Peru. There are plenty of other sights and outdoor activities within Arequipa that you can fit into one weekend, too. Feel free to ask our volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do I need a background check?
How can I be sure that HOOP is a trusted organisation?
Can I volunteer with a partner or friend?
Is there an age limit?
Can HOOP help me with fundraising?
If you’re planning on volunteering with us, and would like some ideas to help cover the costs of your time here, we’d be happy to guide you. Please drop us a line at: email@example.com
Where can I read stories from past volunteers?