Our ultimate three month adventure. Join our team for three weeks intensive Spanish training in Sucre, Bolivia, before going to the Inti Wara Yassi wild animal sanctuaries in the Amazon for 3 weeks. Then take on the Andes and Amazon in an adrenaline filled expedition through Peru and Bolivia stopping off at our Villa Maria project in Lima half way through to help build a new house for a vulnerable family!

Overview
Inti Wara Yassi

Since 2002, Quest has been working to support the Inti Wara Yassi wild animal refuges in the Bolivian Amazon. These refuges exist to give a home to animals rescued from captivity in circuses or for sale as pets, returning them to their natural habitat with a quality of life that they deserve. The majority of the animals cannot be released as they could no longer survive in the wild, so thanks to the efforts of our teams we are helping to buy up more land and construct the infrastructure in which to house them, as well as giving them the daily care they need.

Your role

Your team’s role is twofold, helping to construct enclosures for new arrivals, as well as supporting the local staff in the daily care of the animals already in the refuge. The construction of a 40m x 40m puma enclosure for example is tough work, carrying rocks, sand, cement and fencing into the middle of the jungle. Without your help though, these centres will not be able to reach out to the many animals still in serious need of a home.

Alongside this, each member of the team will be given responsibility for the care of one animal in the park, anything from a monkey to a hawk, or an ocelot to a puma. While some animals are being prepared for release into the wild, many just need care and attention to help them settle into their new home. Building a bond with a wild animal is something words cannot describe.

Spanish Language Training

To help you get the most out of your time on the project, the team begins this expedition with a three week intensive Spanish course at our dedicated institute in Sucre, Bolivia. Four hours per day, Monday to Friday tuition in groups of 2-3, will give you the opportunity to either get an excellent grounding in the language, or if you already speak some, the chance to perfect your skills.

Expedition

Following your project, head off for three weeks on a breath taking expedition through Bolivia and into Peru. Go sandboarding down the dunes of Huacachina, sea-kayak across the highest navigable lake in the world and complete a hidden route into (and out of!) the famous Colca Canyon.

Villa Maria Project

Quest has been working in the shanty town of Villa Maria on the outskirts of Lima since 1997. What started out as a simple programme of games and activities over the Peruvian summer holidays (Jan-Mar) has now grown into a year round project, with schools, house construction and community outreach all being supported by our teams and local project staff.

With a population of over 750,000, Villa Maria is a text book example of rural urban migration. Communities from all over Peru have settled here, often without any support from the government, building their homes with anything they could get their hands on. With parents often both working long hours throughout the week, children are left to fend for themselves, with the risk of falling into bad habits such as drugs, gangs and crime a real and present one. Our aim here is a simple one, to help give the younger kids a focus for their time – sport, art, dance, music – so that when they do grow up, the risk of being led astray is reduced.

Your role

Our gap year team is in Villa Maria in the Peruvian Spring, what better time to build a vulnerable family a new house. We can think of no bigger impact we can achieve in 10 days that providing a struggling family with 4 strong falls and a reliable roof. Mix this with entertaining hundreds of children left to the streets: Sports tournaments, stages shows and children’s fetes are just some of the things that can this a time they will never forget. Be a human climbing frame, a clown, dress up as Mickey Mouse and arrange a 50-a-side tug-o-war all in the same day! Living in the heart of Villa Maria, you will become part of the community and experience a life so far removed from your own. At the same time, you will be giving genuine support to the children in the district.

Expedition

Head north from the project up to the famous glaciers of the Huayhuash circuit, Huaraz, try surfing on the steady waves of the Pacific ocean, white water raft through the Andean valleys and finish it all off with the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – an assault on the senses!

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Itinerary


Time Location Activities
Weeks 1-3 Sucre, Bolivia Three week intensive Spanish course in Bolivia's capital. Also opportunities to explore the city during the afternoons, and further afield at weekends.
Weeks 4 Park Ambue Ari, close to Guarayos in Bolivia Construction of essential infrastructure for for the park (enclosures, extension to vet clinic, quarantine area)
Weeks 5-6 Park Ambue Ari, close to Guarayos in Bolivia Daily care of the animals in the refuge (pumas, jaguars, monkeys and parrots)
Week 7 La Paz and the Apolobamba range Trekking through little known mountain valleys with jaw dropping views
Week 8 Lake Titicaca Sea kayaking across the highest naviagable lake in the world
Week 9 Arequipa and the Colca Canyon Trekking through the second deepest canyon in the world, home to the mighty condor
Week 10-11 Peru's Coastal Desert and Villa Maria Jump into Quest's children's project for 10 days in Lima, as well as sandboarding down some of the highest sand dunes in the world.
Week 12 Huaraz and the Huayhuash Mountains Trekking, climbing, bridge swinging, followed by some surfing on the Peruvian coast!
Week 13 The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu White water rafting down the Urubamba river, followed by the iconic trek to Machu Picchu
Dates and Costs

 

Team Name Start date End Date Quest Overseas Payment Quest4Change Contribution
South America Three Month Exped 2018 10th Sept 2018 13th December 2018 £4,650 £850

 

The dates below are the dates each expedition begins and ends in country. Do bear in mind you may need to begin your travels from home the day before the start date (and may arrive home the day after the end). We will give support and advice on recommended flights once your place is confirmed on the team.

What’s included

All food and accommodation
Activities throughout (and any specific technical equipment needed)
Transport in a combination of public and private transport

Project Contribution

You will see that there are two payments to make, one to Quest Overseas and one to our charity, Quest4Change. The payment to Quest Overseas covers all your costs on the ground – meals, accommodation, activities etc. The project contribution is kept separate to your trip payment because every penny of this goes directly to supporting the project you will be working on. This not only ensures we have the materials needed to get the work done, but also makes sure that the project can continue after the team moves on. For more information on this, please check our Costs Explained page.

Not included

International flights
Personal travel insurance
Personal equipment
Personal expenses (nights out, souvenirs, internet, laundry etc.)

Early Application Discount

For all places confirmed on a team 12 months before departure, we will give a 15% discount on your payment to Quest Overseas. Places confirmed 6 months before departure receive a 10% discount. Contact the office for more details.

Who is this trip for?

Team members who join this expedition are typically recent school leavers on a break before university, or taking a break during their higher education. We do accept applications from all ages, however the typical age is between 17-23. Applicants come from across the world.

On the Villa Maria project you will be working with children between 5-13 years old on the whole, so the more experience you have had working with this age group the better. Likewise we do not expect extensive experience with animals in order to volunteer with the animals at Inti Wara Yassi- their professionals will be on hand to make sure you are fully trained and confident in what will be asked of you. We're always looking for new ideas of activities and things to do at both projects, so come armed with as many tricks up your sleeve as you can.

It is also important to have at least some grounding in Spanish to take part in this project. Whilst the Spanish course will give you an excellent boost, you will be working with local project staff at both projects both you and they will get a lot more from the experience with a bit of a foundation in Spanish.

The expedition route is a combination of trekking and time in cities. Whilst you don't need extensive wilderness skills to take part in these treks (again, our expedition staff are there to support you), it is important that team members are in good physical shape.