At a glance
Do archaeology volunteer work as a teenager in Peru, and travel back through time to ancient South America. You’ll work at excavation sites in two national parks, and learn directly from experienced archaeologists as you dig up artefacts from the ancient Incan and Wari civilisations. This is a great way to get hands-on with history and add a unique experience to your CV!
We have an official partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture to uncover and protect ancient Incan and Wari structures and artefacts. With your help, we can protect their cultural heritage for future generations.
You’ll live and work with other teenagers in the city of Cusco, and stay with a local host family. When you’re not working, our staff will organise fun cultural activities and an exciting weekend trip to Machu Picchu.
Fixed dates during school holidaysSee Dates
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
Is volunteer archaeology for teenagers in Peru right for me?
Are you a history enthusiast? Do you want to know more about how the ancient Inca people lived? If so, this is the project for you!
This project is also ideal if you want to explore an interest in archaeology, history, or anthropology. The experience you get will add value to your CV, and a professional archaeologist will teach you what you need to know.
This project is available for teenagers in high school. You do not need any experience or qualification to take part. Our staff and archaeological team in Peru will guide you through all your work activities, and will oversee all your weekend activities as well.
What will I do on this project?
In Peru, you’ll join a group your age and take part in various exciting archaeological activities. Your project work can include the following:
- Work with professional archaeologists and help with their activities at famous dig sites
- Attend presentations to learn more about the ancient Incan Empire
- Help preserve and maintain national heritage sites
- Take part in community outreach days to give back to the local community
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Work with professional archaeologists and help with their activities at famous dig sites
You will spend a large amount of time working at archaeological sites. You’ll join our archaeological team, and they’ll teach you everything you need to know. You’ll gain experience with activities like:
- Cleaning and maintaining current sites
- Exploring areas for new sites
- Classifying artefacts
Attend presentations to learn more about the ancient Incan Empire
We also teach you a lot about archaeology outside of excavation sites. Our staff will organise presentations for your group to give you a deeper insight to local history and events. You’ll learn about the famous ancient Inca death cults, the Great Inca Rebellion and more.
Help preserve and maintain national heritage sites
As an Archaeology volunteer, you’ll become part of our efforts to protect and preserve natural heritage sites.
You’ll work at the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, the second most important site of Inca ruins in Peru. Unfortunately, some of the ruins here have been damaged by tourists in the past. You’ll help preserve and maintain these sites, so we can protect the country’s history.
Take part in community outreach days to give back to the local community
Aside from archaeological work, there will also be opportunities to help the local community. We will organise community outreach days in disadvantaged areas. For example, you can paint and renovate a play area at a local school.
Where will I work in Peru?
You’ll live in Cusco, the second largest city in Peru, and stay with a local host family.
Today, Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site near the Urubamba Valley in the Andes mountain range. The city is filled with beautiful architecture from many centuries of civilisation. You should definitely try local Peruvian dishes like ceviche (Peru’s national dish), rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy peppers), or lomo saltado (stir fried beef).
Most of your project work will take place outside of Cusco. We work in two national parks, Pikillaqta National Park and Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park.
Over the weekend, our staff will take you and the other teenagers in your group to visit other ancient wonders. These include Ollantaytambo, where the Inca fought their last battle with the Conquistadors, and Machu Picchu.
What are the aims and impact of the Archaeology Project for teenagers?
The main aim of this project is to advance research into the ancient civilisations of South America. We work with experienced archaeologists to do this, and we have an official partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture. This partnership allows us to uncover and protect ancient Incan and Wari structures and artefacts.
This kind of research is critical. By having a deeper understanding of the past, we can see how it has shaped our present. This is also a way to protect history and cultural heritage.
We rely on volunteers like you to help us do this. Travelling to Peru is also a way for you to gain experience and do something different and unique. It is especially valuable if you want to study history, anthropology, or archaeology at university. You’ll learn from professional archaeologists and do hands-on work at some of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.
Join us in Peru and work with other teenagers to continue to uncover the past, and explore your passion for archaeology and history.
Measuring Our Impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Meet the team in Peru
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