We take every precaution to make sure volunteers are safe during their stay. As our programs seek to bridge cultural barriers, it is our goal for volunteers to have a positive and cultural experience abroad.
Has Vive Peru ever had any major safety issues?
No. Although we have had instances of petty property theft, they occur on the street and due to negligence of the volunteer. Our staff provides safety information to volunteers on two separate occasions, first during their pre-departure orientation session in the U.S., and again upon their arrival in Lima, Peru.
What if my flight arrives at 2am?
No matter how late/early/delayed your flight is, staff will be at the airport to pick you up personally as long as your flight is scheduled for the airport arrival dates indicated in the volunteer handbook. If you have a very early arrival, we will coordinate an airport pickup for you with a reputable driver. Most flights arrive in Lima late at night, so it is very common to book a flight with a 2 a.m. arrival time. Staff in Peru monitor flights in anticipation of delays or missed connections, and will be prepared to adjust their schedule as needed.
What if I get sick?
Staff are in regular if not daily contact with all volunteers. If a volunteer gets sick, a staff member will visit their homestay and provide assistance as needed. This could include talking with the host family about a change in diet, visiting the pharmacy, a trip to the hospital, etc.
How do you choose your homestays?
Most of our homestays have been working with our program for years and have been connected to us through personal recommendations of already established host families and community members we work with. Our host families have become accustomed to working with American volunteers. They value teaching our volunteers about Peruvian day-to-day life and culture, and enjoy including them as part of their own families.
What can volunteers do to maintain their safety?
As adults, volunteers are responsible for their own safety while abroad. Vive Peru staff will provide staff support and take measures to ensure volunteer safety at their assigned homestays and worksites. Evenings and weekends are free to the volunteers to explore their host city and Northern Peru. It is imperative that each volunteer be aware that mature behavior and the exercise of sound judgment will enhance personal security.
What if my passport gets stolen?
A staff member will accompany you to the U.S. Embassy located in Lima, Peru at the end of the program to complete the necessary paperwork to obtain a temporary passport for you to return to the U.S.
How often will I be in contact with program staff?
A typical volunteer is in contact with program staff daily, although depending on the independence and confidence of each volunteer, staff will be in contact a minimum of once a week. Most volunteers opt to purchase Peruvian cell phones which greatly assist them with staff communications.
Do I have to have travel insurance?
Yes. This is to ensure you are protected in the case of a flight cancellation, loss of luggage, property theft, etc.
How do I arrange safe weekend trips?
Weekend trips are some of the most memorable times for our volunteers. Since Vive Peru staff are familiar with weekend trip locations, they will assist volunteers with recommendations for reputable travel and lodging options in each city specifically.
As a parent/guardian how can I keep in contact with my volunteer?
Most of our homestays have in-home internet and internet cafes are widely available. Therefore, volunteers have found that emails are the most efficient way to stay in contact with their relatives back home. Volunteers also have the option of purchasing a Peruvian cell phone, which we highly recommend. To call a Peruvian cell phone from the US, dial 011 + 51 + cell phone number.
For additional information to commonly asked questions, please visit our FAQs page.