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Surf Voluntourism

Surf travel done better. Check out our current surf voluntourism & learning opportunities in Peru. Make a difference in the lives of youth while surfing great waves in Lobitos.

WAVES offers volunteering opportunities for Surf Voluntourists beginning the first and third weekend of each month of the year. Arrive in Lobitos for a weekend orientation before beginning your volunteering as assistants and instructors in WAVES Educational Surf activitis.

What Will I do in Lobitos?

Your involvement will vary based on the skills and experience you bring to Lobitos. Commonly, volunteers contribute to one or more of WAVES’ ongoing education programs in the following areas:

  • English Language Teaching
  • Environmental Education
  • Surf Classes
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Community Outreach

During your time in Lobitos you will have the opportunity to take part in each of the three program areas (Community Outreach, Environmental Health and Entrepreneurship Empowerment). Short-term volunteers (less than four weeks) attend most program areas in a general capacity. Long-term volunteers (four weeks +) spend their first two weeks attending most program areas after which time your interests and skills lead you to focus on one or two specific areas.

“After a few weeks of general involvement in classes, activities and jobs within the community, your interests tend to dictate the activities you find yourself involved in, e.g. alongside the surf lessons (my main attraction for coming) I have found myself heavily involved in craft and design tasks both on the compound and in preparation for English classes.”

-       Nicky Goodson, long-term volunteer, June-August 2013

Projects will vary based on your skills and interests and the needs in the community at the time of your visit. Past volunteer projects have included: community beach clean ups, construction of a skate ramp, a skate competition, music classes, participatory documentary film-making and photography, design and construction of a surf shack, environmental curriculum development, educational movie nights and a recycling art project.

Due to the nature of life and work in Lobitos our schedule is very changeable as we constantly adapt to changing circumstances. For this reason the above should be read as an outline only and not a strict schedule.

Where Will I Stay?

Lobitos is a small town on the desert coast of Northern of Peru, home to just under 1000 people. The town is frequently described by travelling surfers as one of the safest and cleanest places they have visited in Peru. Expect great surf and welcoming locals.

During your time here you will live in the WAVES house with other staff and volunteers, sharing cooking, cleaning and good food together as a community. Depending on the time of your visit you will share a bedroom with up to three other volunteers.

The WAVES house is spacious and comfortable by Lobitos standards. However, volunteers coming from elsewhere should be prepared for cold showers, water shortages (this does NOT include drinking water) and power cuts during their stay, all of which are commonplace in Lobitos and much of Peru.

The minimum stay is 2 weeks and this can be extended once you have arrived.

What does it Cost?

All WAVES Surf Voluntourists make two financial commitments to WAVES: A Volunteer Contribution and a Program Fee. We want to be really clear where your hard-earned money goes.  The Volunteer Contribution is a 100% tax-deductible contribution to WAVES International. See a breakdown of how those funds are spend here.  100% of the Program Fee is invested in Lobitos programming.

Volunteer Contribution: $595 per person minimum.

WAVES encourages volunteers to organize online peer-to-peer fund raising campaigns and activities to raise this money and spread the word about WAVES.  The reasons for this are two-fold: 1) it takes the onus of making a big contribution out of your own pocket; 2) it allows you to share your upcoming trip and WAVES mission with friends and family.

Program Fee: $395 per week. The Program Fee covers the following:

  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day
  • Health and safety management (risk assessments, emergency contacts, first-aid trained staff and first aid kit)
  • Project management from local and international staff
  • Contribution to local staff salaries
  • Access to WAVES’ wide selection of surfboards during your service
  • Internet access
  • Participation in one locally guided excursion every two weeks such as cave visits and camping surf-trips.

Food: Whilst the volunteer experience varies greatly depending on the time of your visit, it is always hungry work! For that reason emphasis is placed on tasty, balanced and nutritious meals.

WAVES provides a variety of foods for volunteers to prepare their own breakfast (coffee, tea, milk, bread, eggs, jam, butter, fruit, etc.). At times our lunches are prepared by a variety of women and families from Lobitos which gives you a chance to experience the local food. Evening meals are generally prepared in the WAVES house by the House Manager and Volunteers are welcome to assist in the cooking if interested. Many ingredients are purchased in Talara, while some foods, such as fresh seafood, are occasionally available in Lobitos.

Recommendation: Whilst it is possible to stay for just two weeks, we recommend staying for at least four. From past experience this has led to the most mutually rewarding experience for residents, volunteers and staff alike.

This will give you time to understand WAVES’ programs, adjust to life in Lobitos and integrate with the team and community. In fact, many of our volunteers to date have extended their stay once in Lobitos.


Contact our team at: volunteer@wavesfordevelopment.org

Complete your application today – available in the box the left or in downloads page.  Apply now.

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