Immersion Service Community

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High School Service Program

Water Conservation &
School Expansion

with Spanish Immersion

Language immersion programs longer than 15 days require two years of language study or the equivalent in life experience.

Peru 1
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Peru 2
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Peru 3
July 23 –  August 3 | 12 Days

Work with indigenous Quechua people on water conservation and other projects that help protect their agricultural livelihood. Spend your days at the base of the Andes in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, where you’ll explore Machu Picchu and other ancient ruins. Transcend a tourist experience through artisan workshops, soccer games, hikes, music, a day stay with local families, and deep learning.

  • Spanish Immersion & Indigenous Cultural Insights
  • Andes Mountains, Hikes to Ruins, Artisan Markets
  • Irrigation Canals, Adobe Construction, Time with Kids


“Going to Peru and becoming part of the community was eye opening and fulfilling. We didn’t just build irrigation canals, we built a family. I took home with me an experience and inspiration that will forever push me to do greater things.”

—Liz Hassel

Living among Quechua people who are direct descendants of the Incan Empire, one embraces ancient heritage, time-honored traditions, and enduring spirituality that resonate through this breathtaking landscape.

Friends Become Family

In Urubamba, nestled within the Sacred Valley, your journey unfolds against a backdrop steeped in rich heritage and profound connections. More than 25 years of collaboration between VISIONS and the community have woven a tapestry of shared experiences, thereby enhancing your immersion throughout the program. You’ll be embraced by the warmth of local residents who await your arrival for projects and activities alike.

Each day has a familial ambiance, from communal meals to accomplishments at project sites, shared goals and incredible outings.



“I had a great time with the afternoon and weekend excursions and the adventures surprised me in many ways. My mind and body were kept occupied and I thoroughly enjoyed learning and seeing new things. There was beauty in every aspect of the trip.”

—Andrew Zhen

Snow-capped Andean peaks, indigenous cultures and vast ruins—your Peru home away from home offers endless opportunities for exploration.


The connection to ancient culture is palpable, both in local traditions and in the physical landscape. You’ll explore the heart of Inca civilization, Machu Picchu, where we walk to the Sun Gate as the first light breaks over the peaks. You also will visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo and tour the Salinas de Maras, ponds where Peruvians still harvest salt.

You’ll spend time in the old capital of Cuzco, which is peppered with cathedrals and incredible architecture. Visit Pisac market, where artisans have been selling wares for more than four centuries, and wander highland villages, where life is lived in ways that have lasted through centuries. In the process, you may view your own place in history with new eyes.


  • Learn Pottery, Weaving & Chocolate-Making
  • Explore Moray, Chinchero & Machu Picchu Ruins
  • Walk Through Ancient Salt Flats
  • Shop At Vibrant Artisan Markets
  • Play Soccer With Locals & Explore Town
  • Immerse In Rural Life During A Day Stay With A Family
  • Stargaze Under The Darkest Sky You’ve Perhaps Ever Experienced
bee keeping, high school peru volunteers with children


“I loved how while helping build the canals I got to know the people who would benefit from the work VISIONS was doing. It made the work personal and gave me even more incentive to do a great job.”

—Eleanor Haworth

Service Matters

For more than two decades, VISIONS has worked in the Sacred Valley on projects that have had an extraordinary impact. Miles of concrete irrigation canals are testament to the success, and VISIONS high school volunteers are credited with helping to preserve the livelihood of several farming communities that have been dealing with a decade-long drought and are in need of water conservation initiatives. The work is hands-on and provides insight into traditions of this ancient civilization.

Also learn the most common form of historic construction in the Andes—adobe—during construction projects at local schools, which is another common initiative.


The Urubamba Valley was first settled in the 14th century by the Inca, who were drawn by the fertile river basin that became the breadbasket for their people. Today it bustles with activity and an array of indigenous traditions.

You’ll be amazed by how quickly the cobblestone byways of Urubamba become as familiar as the streets in your hometown. Our relationships in the community run deep and strong, and you’ll be part of it.

On this foundation of mutual trust and respect, you’ll make connections by hanging out with locals while shopping at the farmers market, working with maestros on service projects, making traditional foods with our dinner cook, Neyda, learning Incan history from project manager Nico, and playing soccer with “Urubambino” kids. We live right in town in a rented home that has multiple bunk rooms, bathrooms, kitchen and common area. Read more about your Peruvian home away from home.




Nico Jara

When VISIONS began working in Peru in 1999, one of our first connections was with Nico Jara. He began as our professional driver that first year, but he quickly proved himself so talented and capable on many fronts, he became our project coordinator. He’s also a close friend whose knowledge about the Sacred Valley runs deep.

Read More

Nico is with our program every day the kids are there, and digs in alongside us at worksites. He’s eager to laugh, joke around, and as a great soccer player, he spearheads plenty of games during the summer. Of Quechua descent (the indigenous people of the Andes), Nico speaks fluent Quechua and Spanish, but he knows only a few words of English, so there are ample opportunities to practice a lot of Spanish when they become his friends.

Nico’s favorite part of the VISIONS summer is helping the rural communities in Yanahuara, where we do many irrigation projects. He is particularly passionate about our work with irrigation and water conservation, which helps farmers keep their crops and livelihoods.

Nico loves to say, “Everything is possible.” His tireless physical contributions are matched only by his relentless optimism and positivism. It’s infectious. So much so, there are now countless VISIONS students and leaders who during their time in Urubamba came to share his belief, and have carried the idea that everything is possible out into the world.

Read more about Nico Jara.

Peru Blog Posts

Your Impact Lives On

Your Impact Lives On

Since our inception in 1988, VISIONS continues to offer some of the best volunteer opportunities for high school students there are. Projects are ambitious and real, and have an impact that lasts on the community. And you—our alum—are part of that legacy.

Local Dish in Peru That You Need to Try—and Make!

Local Dish in Peru That You Need to Try—and Make!

Neyda Rivera, VISIONS long-time cook and community partner, has a favorite dish—and we want you to try it! Learn how to make Lomo Saltado, an authentic Peruvian dish and a VISIONS summer favorite.

VISIONS in The New York Times