The civilisations of ancient Peru were some of the oldest on Earth, yet also the most isolated.  Until the relatively late arrival of the Spanish in 1532, the Incas and the many cultures that proceeded them had a unique way of life; one that excluded writing, the wheel and many other ‘necessities’ of the Old World, but managed to build magnificent monuments and a stable society in a terrifyingly unstable landscape. (Hugh Thomson, Lonely Planet Peru).

Map 1: Peru is nestled on the West coast of South America just below the Equator. (Source: Lonely Planet)

30,444,999 (2015)
Total area: 
1,285,216 sq km
Capital city: 
Peruvian Sol
UNDP Human Development Index (HDI): 
0.734 (84th)
GDP per capita (International $, PPP): $12,300
Life expectancy at birth: 73 years
Literacy: 94.5%

*Source: CIA World Factbook.

Lonely Planet has a good summary and list of articles that participants will find useful.

Always check SmartTraveller before traveling to see any travel warnings and pertinent information for your trip.

Articles, blogs and videos:

This journal article is useful for pre-departure information as it gives an insight into gender inequality issues that are common in rural areas. 

A useful article to get participants thinking and reflecting on the motivations for wanting to volunteer.

A reflective piece that will make you want to pack your bags and go, now, today! 

This great article covers the fast-paced life in Lima. From the first paragraph you will get a sense of the action and lifestyle identity of the sprawling city of 8 million people.

This is a fun list of facts to get your mind buzzing.

This short article gives an excellent overview of Peru by one of our partner organisations, Peru’s Challenge.

  • Peru This Week‘ an excellent English-news website to stay informed about what goes on in Peru!

The HRW national report on Peru provides an in-depth analysis on the state of human rights issues including but not limited to, peaceful protests, government accountability and freedom of expression protections.

Partner Videos: