Name of the project: Marcavale Prisión Juvenil


Location: Cusco



Not Included


Project Description: Marcavalle is a juvenile prison that incarcerates approximately eighty adolescents between ages twelve and twenty-one who have committed crimes such as theft, rape, assault or murder. The majority of the detainees will remain in Marcavalle between one and four years.  The main goal of the project is to transform the lives of these young men by teaching them self-worth and showing them alternatives to a life in crime and violence. Working within the project are social workers and a psychologist. In the morning the adolescents go to the prison school and in the afternoon they participate in workshops geared towards learning a profession such as shoe-making, making furniture or cooking.


Marcavalle is organized into levels. When the adolescents are new to the prison, they are placed in the “welcome group” which focuses on physical labor. The work incorporates mostly gardening and land cultivation. When they demonstrate good behavior and comply with the rules of the prison, they may graduate to a higher level group which offers the professional workshops. Every group has different privileges such as opportunities to go outside the prison on trips, to partake in practical courses, or the soccer team which participates in competitions.

Volunteer Responsibilities: What you can do exactly will depend on your level of Spanish and experience. In the morning you can help the teachers in the school. You can also work independently with a small group of children and teach them English. In the afternoon you can help with the workshops or offer your own activities such as sports, theater, dance, music and painting. The project is always open to new ideas and variety from the daily routine is highly valued. Furthermore, the volunteers can offer educative programs and help the juveniles prepare for life outside prison.


Minimum Stay Required: 4 weeks


Volunteers Needed:

• Psychologists

• Social workers

• Teachers

• Volunteers without specific studies


Required Level of Spanish: Basic to Intermediate


Typical Workday Hours: 8am –12pm or 2:30pm – 6pm





• Transportation from Cusco airport

• Introductory tour

• Welcome dinner

• 20 hours of Spanish lessons

• Introduction to project with in country coordinator

• First accommodation option in a volunteer shared apartment

• Second accommodation option in a host family (for an additional 50 dollars/week- three meals included)

• Salsa lessons, cooking lessons, game nights (once a week)

• Horseback riding or white water rafting excursions

• Teaching materials for the course

• Support / contact person in the project

• Emergency contact available 24 hours a day

• The support of our local staff and coordinators

• A T-shirt from our organization

• Certificate of your participation in the project

• Certificate of your Spanish level after classes

• Administration costs





• Airfare

• Travel insurance

• Vaccinations

• Personal expenses

• Tickets to tourist sites

• Extra tours or excursions


Option: If you would like our organization to arrange your flight from Lima to Cusco and an overnight stay in a hotel in Lima, the extra cost will amount to 327 dollars.





4 weeks

(Incl. spanish lessons one week)


8 weeks

(Incl. spanish lessons four weeks)


Extra week Spanish lessons

Extra week accommodation

  USD 1,019

  USD 1,414

  USD 229

  USD 190



If you would like our organization to arrange your flight from Lima to Cusco and an overnight stay in a hotel in Lima, the extra cost will amount to 327 dollars.


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