Frequently Asked Questions

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[accordion-item title=”Why do you charge a fee?”]Volunteers are crucial to helping us realise our vision of breaking the cycle of poverty through education. So why would we charge a fee to someone who is already willing to work for a worthy cause for free?

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, Yves. 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?

  • PBut, 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.


[accordion-item title=”What is the difference between volunteering and interning?“]Volunteers work directly at our school as English teachers and focus on providing children and mothers with both English classes and other community development workshops. Volunteers plan and deliver English classes, monitor student progress, build relationships with parents, and help lead additional HOOP workshops for the community. Volunteers focus on the day to day progress of individual children and mothers and build meaningful human connections with the community. They are the on the ground HOOP staff that help drive our core impact. Meanwhile, HOOP interns focus on the larger picture, working alongside our office staff to sustain and grow HOOP. Our internships are a great chance to grow your professional skills and gain valuable insight into the nonprofit sector as you are mentored by a supervisor with years of experience in their respective fields. HOOP is happy to work with both interns and volunteers in order to obtain academic credit for their work with us. We are also happy to provide a reference for your work with us. [/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”What is Arequipa like? The weather, nightlife, etc?”]Arequipa is a beautiful city of about 1 million people. It is known as ‘The White City’, because of the distinct white volcanic rock called sillar that was used to build Arequipa’s historical buildings. The city is very beautiful and is surrounded by Misti, Pichu Pichu and Chachani volcanoes. The weather is very sunny and pleasant all year-round. The altitude is high, over 2,328 metres. The climate is warm and dry, and there are 300 days of sunshine per year. Arequipa is a popular tourist city, so the nightlife is active. There are many markets, bars, restaurants and cultural sights to explore. People from Arequipa are known for being friendly and it’s a great place to learn or practice Spanish.

See our Living in Arequipa page for what it is like to live here.

[accordion-item title=”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. 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! Check out our recommended accommodations



[accordion-item title=”Where will I work?

Volunteers work in the outskirts of Arequipa, in a community called Flora Tristán. 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 30 cents each way. Our interns work in our office, which is located in Cayma, a neighbourhood near the city centre.

[accordion-item title=”What are the requirements to qualify to be a volunteer or intern?“]Volunteers must be fluent in English. Basic or intermediate Spanish spanish skills are preferred, but a willingness to learn is also acceptable. Experience working with children and experience living or working abroad is also preferred. [/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”How much Spanish do I need to know? Do you offer classes?

We encourage all volunteers to have a basic level of Spanish as it will make it easier to communicate at the project. As teaching English is our main objective, we encourage our teachers to speak as much English as possible while at the school. If you don’t currently know any Spanish but you’re enthusiastic to work hard to learn before and during your stay, that’s fine as well. If you are interested in Spanish Classes in Arequipa, please check out this page about spanish classes or contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”What other costs are involved?
“]You will be responsible for all costs incurred while you are here including accommodation, food, travel and so on. This includes the cost of travelling to and from the HOOP school each day (totalling around $3 per week). Living costs are relatively inexpensive in Arequipa. As a minimum budget, we would suggest around 900 – 1,000 Soles per month including accommodation ($270 – $300 USD). You will need more money if you want to take trips to see tourist attractions and partake in other activities[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”What is an average day like at HOOP? What exactly do you teach?

”]Teachers prepare their classes in the late mornings for an hour or so, before leaving at 2:00 PM from the city centre to get a bus to the project. We start English classes at 3:30 PM. Classes are 1 hour and 15 minutes. After class, those volunteers with Spanish help students with their homework from school or attend art class on select days. Students without homework go to cancha (playground time, which we supervise). We leave the project at 5:45 PM – 6:00 PM and return to the city centre between 18:45 – 19:00. This leaves mornings and evenings free to do other activities like Spanish classes, salsa classes, or just hanging out in Arequipa.

Our primary educational program focuses on teaching English in an impoverished community in Flora Tristán. We introduce the English language to those who do not have access to it otherwise. Our goal is to get them excited about a new language and the possibilities for it to improve their future. English can be intimidating to learn, so our job as volunteers is to make the language accessible for the students to understand.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Can HOOP help me with fundraising?

”]Absolutely! Check out our fundraising page here.If you’d like to help support one of our projects through a fundraising project, we’d love to hear your ideas. We can offer support, guidance, and material – please email

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:[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Can I receive academic credit for my time at HOOP?

”]We are always happy to accept applications from students who want to volunteer or intern at HOOP as part of their academic course. Please check with your institution if your work here will be eligible for academic credit. We are happy to discuss this with you and your course supervisor. If you have further questions, please email


Do you have more questions? Feel free to email our volunteer coordinator at Or you can fill out our Application Form to get involved at HOOP!

Apply Now!