Are you a nature loving person who enjoys working with his hands? Are you eager to increase the livelihoods of vulnerable communities while experiencing a totally different lifestyle and culture? Then join us in Peru as part of the Otra Cosa Network team!
About Otra Cosa Network
Otra Cosa Network is a well-established UK Registered Charity and Peruvian registered not for profit (NGO),addressing the educational needs of children and vulnerable adults in an extremely impoverished area of Northern Peru. We work in informal settlements where many community members have been displaced by climate change, disaster and political instability. They live in precarious circumstances, few have running water, sewage provision and there is only sporadic electricity. Additionally, many children are forced to work instead of continuing their education, in order to boost family finances and there are no community-based facilities for learning and developing new skills in a safe environment.
Our dynamic range of activities address language skills, environmental awareness, women’s entrepreneurship, youth, employability and gender empowerment. we are seeking volunteers to work in project implementation in our new Recreation and Education Centre as well as our field office. Projects will restart as soon as the community is safely able to come out of isolation, post coronavirus. Our range of activities are implemented by national and international volunteers, allowing them to express solidarity whilst boosting their field experience. We also partner with organic farmers in the tropical hills of Peru.
About the Agriculture Volunteer position:
The main goal of this project is to help improve the quality of life for the people of Sicchezpampa, assisting with tasks relating to fair trade initiatives and organic agriculture. You will be helping with the cultivation of crops and the facilitation of farms located in the lovely small town of Sícchezpampa, located in the hills of Ayabaca Province.The lifestyle here is based on an Incan socio-economic model of community strength.
This village and the community are both good representations of the way indigenous people lived prior to colonial contact. The farmers in this village need volunteers to aid in day to day operations as climate conditions and lack of funding for employees make their work difficult. Volunteering here also contributes to the awareness and promotion of sustainable social development, a vital element in this remote mountain community. If you are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern day society and seek an experience where you have a sense of accomplishment every day then this opportunity is perfect for you.
Due to weather conditions in the area, this role is only available in the dry season, from June to December.
Please note that all volunteer positions are also available as Internships. With this add-on you will receive an extra level of mentorship and where necessary all appropriate liaison with your academic institution to ensure compliance with internship placement requirements. Please see our separate internships listing for further in-depth information or check out our website.
This position includes tasks such as:
● Maintaining and preparing the land for cultivation.
● Helping out with the eco-garden (huerta) and the domesticated animals on it.
● Harvesting and processing the coffee and sugar.
● Bringing new ideas about how to improve the growing of coffee, sugar and other products.
● Setting-up extra activities for community empowerment.
● Assisting with marketing of their Fair Trade, organic products.
What you can expect from us:
● Personal pick-up upon arriving and walking tour through Huanchaco
● Thorough introduction to the organization
● Certified training in First Aid and Child Safeguarding.
● 24/7 emergency support
● The satisfying feeling of committing your work to a good cause whilst gaining insight into a new culture.
● Certificate of completion detailing your role, the project(s) you participated in and the dates you volunteered in.
● Current background check from your home country.
● Spanish Level: Basic - Intermediate (required for communication with hosts and community)
● Time Commitment: 1 month
● Must be physically capable of doing manual labor.
* We can arrange Spanish classes for you in advance, if you have no/minimum Spanish or want to improve your Spanish before arrival.
● Generally, 25 – 45 hours per week, depending on the agricultural season
Skills and Competencies:
● Both physical and mental preparedness to work in an isolated community up in the hills with basic living conditions.
● Prepared to be partly vegetarian, as meat and cheese are very scarce. Former volunteers advise to bring vitamins and medical supplies.
● Have a sense of empathy and responsibility.
● Highly motivated to work hard in what can be long, tiring days, working at a relatively high altitude (1900m above sea level).
● Experience working with isolated communities is a plus.
Related Fields of Study:
● Agricultural sciences & Technology
● Organic & Sustainable Agriculture
● Farm Management
● Food Business/Engineering
● Environmental Sciences
● Community Development Studies
● Social Work
● International Relations
Whilst there is a lot of variety in this role, tasks and activities vary greatly, depending on the stage of the agricultural year that you are in and on climatic conditions. When weather allows there will be labouring on the land and picking coffee. Other activities include testing quality (cupping) and also processing sugar cane. To make sure that those products generate income for Sicchezpampa’s people you can think about good ways to promote and market them. At the end of your day you can enjoy the peacefulness of the country whilst reading a good book or going for a hike.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.