Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you don’t find an answer to your question, do not hesitate to contact us!

General Program Information
+ Why does Paz y Esperanza have a volunteer program?
+ Who can participate in the Andemos Teams Program?
+ What are the requirements to participate in the Andemos Internship Program?
+ Who can participate in the Andemos Latino Program?
+ What level of Spanish is required to volunteer with Paz y Esperanza through Andemos?
+ How do I find out about opportunities for teams and individuals?
+ Where will I stay and what will I eat?
+ How long is the volunteer commitment with Andemos?
+ What about security?

Deposits and Donations
+ How much will it cost?
+ How do I make a deposit?
+ When do I need to pay my program fee in full?
+ How can I donate to a volunteer?
+ Can I do fundraising?
+ Does Andemos offer scholarships?

Internship Specifics
+ How much should I budget for additional spending during my internship?
+ Can I coordinate my own housing, transportation, and food for my internship?
+ Can I get class or internship credit through my internship with Andemos?
+ What does the orientation involve?
+ Is there any tourism or extra travel included in the program?
+ During my internship, will I have any vacation time?  Can my friends and family visit me?
+ What if I have to leave before my commitment is up?

Internship Life
+ What if the church that I’m attending is pretty conservative and I feel like I don’t fit in?
+ What if my homestay situation isn´t working out like I had hoped?
+ What if I get sick and I urgently need a doctor?
+ ;What if I feel like I am not fulfilling the job I came to do with Paz y Esperanza?
+ What if my work situation does not work out?

General Program Information

Why does Paz y Esperanza have a volunteer program?

 Andemos was created to connect people from around the world who are interested in doing justice in Latin America with Paz y Esperanza, a committed and experienced Christian human rights organization in Latin America.  As Paz y Esperanza’s volunteer program, Andemos exists to recruit volunteers, connect the right volunteers with the right work site, and coordinate the details.   

Who can participate in the Andemos Teams Program?

We are looking young people and adults who have a heart of service.  We welcome church groups, high school students, university students, organizations, professionals, and families of all ages, though some trips are more appropriate for older groups.  You must be older than 14 years old to participate, unless accompanied by a parent.  We typically receive Christians, but we are open to receiving people who do not identify with the Christian faith but share Paz y Esperanza’s values of justice, solidarity, and respect for other cultures.

What are the requirements to participate in the Andemos Internship Program?

You must be over 17 years old to participate.  Participants should have work or academic experience relevant to Paz y Esperanza’s focus and commitment in the areas of human rights and service of marginalized communities.  Many of our volunteers are Christian, but we are open to receiving people who do not identify with the Christian faith but share Paz y Esperanza’s values of justice, solidarity, and respect for other cultures. 

Who can participate in the Andemos Latino Program?

Andemos Latino is a six-week volunteer program specifically for Latin Americans between 20 and 30 years old.  Interns must have work or academic experience relevant to Paz y Esperanza’s focus and commitment in the areas of human rights and service of marginalized communities. 

What level of Spanish is required to volunteer with Paz y Esperanza through Andemos?

In terms of Spanish language skills, we ask for basic to intermediate level for short term teams.  

For long term participants in the internship program, we require an intermediate to advanced level of Spanish speaking and understanding. While we do not want to discourage any interested potential volunteers, we also seek to facilitate a beneficial and growing experience for our volunteers and for the Paz y Esperanza teams with which they work.  We have found that volunteers and Paz y Esperanza staff have difficulties and frustrations when a volunteer is not conversational in the language.  Following her internship, one volunteer said,  "I didn't know the language coming in, and it was hard to learn while working.  If I could do it again, I would spent the money and time to do an immersion course before coming.  Future interns shouldn't assume that they'll have time and energy to learn the language while volunteering."  Another volunteer commented, "I couldn't speak the language well when I arrived in Peru.  I would highly recommend volutneers to be conversational before they begin their internships."  Thus, for the sake of volunteers and the Paz y Esperanza staff, we require long term volunteers to have a conversational level of Spanish.  From there, without a doubt, you will improve your Spanish by leaps and bounds as you live and work in Spanish-speaking settings.  For those interested, Andemos can put participants into contact with tutors for those who want extra help with the language while they are volunteering, though the volunteer will be responsible for the extra expense.  

How do I find out about opportunities for teams and individuals?

Team and individual volunteer opportunities can be found in the About You section of the website.  The actual volunteer program varies according to the interests and experiences of the volunteer(s) and the needs of the Paz y Esperanza office at the time.

Where will I stay and what will I eat?

The Andemos team will arrange safe housing accommodations for each volunteer that is close to the place of work.  Teams primarily stay in hotels or retreat centers close to the work site, and their meals are included in the program cost.  Interns will be placed with a local host family, where they will eat most of their meals.  The meals primarily will be delicious local dishes.  Any allergies or food intolerances will be accommodated for, but they must be indicated on the application and/or communicated to the Andemos Team.

How long is the volunteer commitment with Andemos?

Teams typically volunteer with Andemos for one week, though smaller groups of 3-4 members may volunteer in certain locations for up to 2 months.  Long term interns must commit 3 months-2 years.

What about security?

We take a number of steps to ensure the safety and security of our volunteers.  Teams will be accompanied by an Andemos team member throughout their stay.  Safe transportation and lodging will be arranged.  Before arriving, interns will receive a volunteer manual with safety tips and recommendations.  As well, upon arrival, they will have an orientation in which they will be briefed on security in their volunteer placement.  Interns are placed with trusted local host families who have received an orientation on receiving and taking care of volunteers.      

Deposits and Donations

How much will it cost?

Information on the program costs can be found in Costs.  Costs are subject to change, but the program cost for teams is approximately $750/person for one week.  Within the Andemos internship program, the program cost is approximately $3,200 for six months.  The cost includes the following: orientation, debrief event, in-country travel, accommodation, food, administrative fee, and a financial contribution to your project site.  Your trip cost does not include flights, visas (if visa required) or injections. You will however receive good advice and support about organizing these aspects.

How do I make a deposit?

Please carefully read the detailed information on how to make a deposit in Costs.  You have three options to make a deposit.  One is online at the Andemos Donation Page on Razoo.  When you click ¨donate¨, the following page will give you the option to ¨add a designation¨. Please indicate that it is for Andemos and the first and last name of the volunteer to whom it should be applied (example:  “Andemos – John Adams”).  When you have made your payment, please send a copy of your receipt to info@andemos.net.  Second, you can make a direct payment by bank transfer to Paz y Esperanza in Peru.  The third option is to send a check to Peace and Hope International (3400 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407) if you are in the United States with the designation of the deposit writtenin the memo line, for example,  “Andemos – John Adams”. 

When do I need to pay my program cost in full?

You will need to pay the full amount at least one month before you arrive at your volunteer site. 

How can I donate to a volunteer? 

Please carefully read the detailed information in Support a Volunteer.  You have the following three options to make a tax-deductible donation:  online at the Andemos Donation Page, by making a direct bank transfer to Paz y Esperanza in Peru, or by sending a check to Peace and Hope International (3400 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407) in the United States with the designation clearly indicated in the memo line.  Please remember that although funds given on behalf of a participant are credited to the participant's fundraising goal, donors should be aware that in accordance with IRS guidelines, tax-deductible donations are being donated to Peace and Hope International and not to the participant directly. Contributions are donated with the understanding that PHI has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds.

Can I do fundraising? 

Yes!  Many volunteers raise support to cover the program cost.  We can provide you with fundraising ideas and past experiences upon request.

Does Andemos offer scholarships? 

Andemos offers several partial scholarships each year. Priority will be given to those who are originally from or currently reside in Latin American countries and those whose financial situation would otherwise prevent their participation. Those interested should request further details.

Internship Specifics

How much should I budget for additional spending during my internship?

You should budget approximately $150/month for additional expenses, which may include souvenirs, extra travel, cellphone credit, internet, etc.

Can I coordinate my own housing, transportation, and food for my internship? 

If you do not wish for Andemos to coordinate the housing, transportation, and other basic expenses of your internship, but you still would like to volunteer with Paz y Esperanza, you can choose to pay the Andemos program fee ($350 USD), which covers the orientation and evaluation courses, the application fee, a financial contribution to the project you will work on, and the administrative costs during your time with our organization.  Then, you will handle all other expenses, and Andemos and Paz y Esperanza cannot be held responsible for the following expenses and arrangements:  housing, food, transportation, or other expenses during your time, unless further arrangements are made with the Andemos team to coordinate logistics.  

Can I get class or internship credit through my internship with Andemos? 

Definitely!  Participating in the Andemos program is a great way to get practical experience in your area of study.  We receive undergraduate students desiring to practice Spanish, learn from experienced professionals, gain work experience, and have research opportunities in their area of study.  As well, masters and doctorate students, particularly law students, volunteer with Andemos as part of practical internship programs.  The Andemos program attracts many recent graduates as they seek practical work experience in the area of justice work in Latin America.  If you desire to apply your Andemos volunteer experience towards a class or to get internship credit, you need to indicate that in your application and contact an Andemos team member with your university supervisor.

What does the orientation involve? 

As part of the program, Andemos provides an orientation to incoming volunteers which involves sharing about Paz y Esperanza and the project you will be working on, learning about the culture and your specific placement site, going through the volunteer plan, and explaining important details.  Your orientation will be individual or in a group, depending on arrival dates of interns, and will take place on your first full work day.  Don’t underestimate the importance of an entry orientation and exit evaluation! 

Is there any tourism or extra travel included in the program? 

As a team or short-term intern, extra travel (beyond basic city tourism) will need to be planned and paid for by you.  If you are doing a 6-12 month internship, as part of the program we include a 4-day retreat, in which you and other interns travel with an Andemos team member.  This retreat is meant to be refreshing and encouraging to you in the middle of your internship.  You will see new parts of Peru, as well as have a time and space to reflect, rest, and evaluate your time thus far.  A favorite retreat location is Machu Picchu, though the trip has an extra cost of approximately $800.  Volunteers often find the mid-point retreat to be rejuvenating, helpful, and very memorable.  

During my internship, will I have any vacation time?  Can my friends and family visit me?

During a six-month internship, you will have two weeks of vacation, in which family, friends, and/or university supervisors can come and visit you!  Or, you may choose to take the time to travel and see a little more of South America.  It's up to you! 

What if I have to leave before my commitment is up?

Obviously we will do everything possible to avoid this situation. If, however, the circumstances are beyond our control, we will define on a person to person basis all issues such as the possibility to return at a later date, refund, etc.

Internship Life

What if the church that I’m attending is pretty conservative and I feel like I don’t fit in?

You may find yourself in this situation if you are attending the same church as your host family. This is a tough situation and often a pretty sticky one. We’d encourage you to be as sensitive and understanding as possible. While no one expects you to suddenly agree with everything that’s expected of you, please do your best to understand what effect your decisions will have on those around you. Sometimes pushing limits is healthy, but please look for constructive ways to engage those around you on whatever topic is at hand. Feel free to contact us in any specific situations if you’d like to talk through things. Try to visit a few different churches during your stay in Peru to get exposed to the variety of expressions of worship here.

What if my homestay situation isn´t working out like I had hoped?

As is the case with all family situations, nothing is perfect. All families have dirty laundry that you will see. It is important to keep realistic expectations and to accept less than perfect. That said, we also realize that there can be situations where it is unhealthy for you to stay with a particular family. We do as much as we can to avoid that type of situation, but recognize the very real possibility of this happening. Please talk to your point person at your office. If for any reason you are uncomfortable talking with them for any particular reason, please contact Andemos.

What if I get sick and I urgently need a doctor?

You are required to have insurance in order to participate in the Andemos program, so the answer to this program will vary from one person to another. Peru has good medical services in most places. If you get sick, you should contact your office. We will decide on whether you should see a doctor where you are or come back to Lima (based on the severity of your illness and the availability of reliable medical services).

If you take medications regularly, you should bring a supply of them with you (such as any specialized headache medicine, etc.). If you’re wondering if you’ll be able to get something specific here, ask us specifically.

What if I feel like I am not fulfilling the job I came to do with Paz y Esperanza?

Keep in mind that nobody integrates perfectly into a new work environment or becomes an expert at their job in a short period of time. It is very normal for it to take many months to start to feel like you understand how you fit into the work of your host organization, or to feel like you are making a difference with your work. Remember that one of the objectives of Andemos is to learn from the people at your host organization, so take the transition process as an opportunity to grow. Look for opportunities to serve in ways that may seem menial, but could be a great help to your host organization.

What if my work situation does not work out?

Transitions tend to be a little rocky. We´ll do everything possible to be sure in advance that your placement is good for you and for the office. If problems come up, you should keep the Andemos team updated and along with your host office, we´ll try to figure out what needs to change. In extreme cases we could look for another available placement for you. Please keep in mind that these transitions will require give and take from both sides. Come with an open attitude ready to learn.