Is Archaeology volunteer work in Peru right for me?
Are you fascinated by history and discovering what life was like centuries ago? Do you want to get actively involved in digging up the past? Then our Incan & Wari Archaeology Project in Peru is perfect for you!
This project will take you directly into the world of ancient South American societies and cultures. You’ll learn from experienced archaeologists, who will teach you everything you need to know about the subject. This is especially useful if you are studying history or anthropology, and want to add hands-on experience to your CV.
You don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to join. We have archaeologists and other staff on hand to guide and supervise you. You’ll also attend regular workshops and lectures, and visit museums.
This project runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time from a minimum of two weeks. Please be aware that certain activities may not be available during different seasons. Most of our work at excavation sites takes place during the dry season from May to September. During the wet season from October to April, we focus on indoor research.
What will I do on the Incan and Wari Archaeology Project?
You’ll work with experienced archaeologists as they continue doing research to discover more about the ancient Incan and Wari civilisations. These are the main areas you’ll focus on:
- Assist with the discovery and registration of new archaeological sites
- Maintain archaeological sites through clearing and maintenance tasks
- Raise awareness about the importance of protecting cultural heritage in local communities
- Attend workshops and presentations to learn more about archaeology work in Peru
Our archaeological activities in Peru are largely determined by the weather. Dry season differs greatly from wet season, as some activities are prohibited by the rain. You will focus on these main activities during your project:
Assist with the discovery and registration of new archaeological sites
An exciting part of archaeology is uncovering the unknown. During your time in Peru, you’ll get involved with exploring and registering new sites. During the registration of new sites, you’ll use GPS and photography to record your findings. You’ll take part in the mapping of the sites to further current research, and you can also assist with returning artefacts to the ground after research, if needed.
Maintain archaeological sites through clearing and maintenance tasks
You’ll work alongside experienced archaeologists on-site. They’ll teach you how to perform various archaeological activities and supervise your work. They’ll also explain the importance of cleaning and maintaining current sites. You’ll help with this by clearing weeds and overgrowth on walls and pathways, and prepare clay for mortar used to restore ancient ruins. You’ll also get your feet dirty stomping around in mud! We use the mud to paint walls and paths, and to cap walls. The mud helps preserve and restore the old constructions.
Raise awareness about cultural heritage and importance in local communities
One of the aims of this project is to further research into the ancient civilizations of South America. We do this through talks and presentations. This will help local people have a better understanding of the way people used to live. It will also allow us to share knowledge about the importance of protecting their history for the next generation.
Attend workshops and presentations to learn more about archaeology in Peru
Our staff organise regular workshops and presentations for all of our Archaeology volunteers. In these sessions, you’ll listen and learn as archaeologists talk about topics like bones, and how to reassemble ceramic artefacts. We encourage you to ask questions and take notes.
Where you work on the Incan and Wari Archaeology Project
Our Incan & Wari Archaeology Project in Peru is based in Lucre, a town in the Lucre Valley which is a 40-minute drive from Cusco. Cusco was the capital and most important city of the ancient Incan Empire, and the Lucre valley itself contains many known and undiscovered ruins from ancient civilisations.
Our projects are based in the Pikillaqta National Park and in the Sacshayhuaman Archaeology Park. Through our official relationship with Peruvian Ministry of Culture, we are given exclusive access to the spaces where you can work.
Volunteering for professionals
This project is also perfect for qualified professionals. With your skills backing up our ongoing efforts, we can make an even bigger difference together. We'll match you to the placement where your skills are needed most.
This means you can share your training and and knowledge with others. You can work hand-in-hand with our partner organisations and local communities to support sustainable development.
If you have relevant skills or qualifications, read more about how you can make use of them with Projects Abroad.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Peru is a vibrant country with a mix of activities for every kind of volunteer. Whether you’re into arts, culture, history, or nature, there’s sure to be something for you!
One of the biggest attractions of Peru is the Inca history. There are awe-inspiring archaeological sites like Coricancha, Tambomachay, and of course, Machu Picchu.
Over a weekend, you can take a trip to the village of Pisac, where you can browse bright, eye-catching textile markets. Don’t miss out on seeing the llamas and alpacas too!
There are also lively restaurants, the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing and enjoying local cuisine, like ceviche.
We run a variety of projects in Peru so you’ll likely meet many other volunteers on your trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect and travel as a group. However, you’re welcome to travel independently if you prefer.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in Peru
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