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Living Heart

Living Heart supports communities living near to the Sacred Valley in Peru. There are many vulnerable children and elderly men & women in the impoverished highlands of the Andes, Living Heart works to provide them with a better quality of life developing sustainable, long term solutions.

Sonia Newhouse founded Living Heart in 2007, five years after she moved to Peru, from the UK, and started working voluntarily with the local people. Having worked closely with some of the Sacred Valley communities Sonia realised that she needed to raise awareness of their issues in order to raise funds to help them. She established Hearts Café in Ollantaytambo a place for tourists to visit, learn & contribute towards helping the community, and a place where local women could work & meet. With the help of Hearts Café, Living Heart was formed.

As Living Heart’s work expanded many other communities soon approached with requests to receive help and Living Heart found itself with a mammoth task at hand. Since 2007 Living Heart has helped to brighten the futures of over 2000 disadvantaged children, and to this day continues to seek to develop new community projects to support the remote, highland Andean families most in need.

Meet Us
Our website • Us on Facebook • Us on Twitter

Our Organisation

Hearts Café continues to be a focal point for Living Heart providing up-to-date information on the Andean communities & the projects that are in progress, goods for sale from some of the families (they receive 100% proceeds from sales) and all sending all profits directly to Living Heart.

Living Heart focuses on key projects:
Nutrition – for children & abandoned elderly to receive a hot breakfast and lunch every day of the school year.
Health – for every vulnerable child, woman & man to have access to basic medications, regular treatment and a warm set of clothes.
Contraception – that every woman who wishes to, can gain the knowledge and opportunity to take control of their own family planning.
Education – for every primary school child to have a pen and paper and enough energy to benefit from a full education.
Agriculture – that every member of the community who wishes to learn how to cultivate fresh, healthy food is given the know-how, tools and training to do so.

Long-term goals
Living Heart are keen to work with even more of the communities in the Sacred Valley, and to work more closely with the communities where they already have relationships. Many of the existing projects have been successful enough to be replicated in other areas and Living Heart would like to have the chance to extend these projects to touch the lives of more Andean people.

What you can do
Living Heart believes in recruiting experienced, skilled volunteers to help achieve their goals and energise their projects. There are many projects taking place and new things launching frequently so be sure to explore all the possibilities:

  • Teaching
  • Living Heart needs fun, active teachers with an imagination to run supplementary classes alongside the national curriculum in its schools and to support the teachers in their everyday activities.

  • Marketing
  • Volunteers can help with the marketing, social media, fundraising and promotion of Living Heart. Whether it’s to help in the office with marketing development or on the computer designing new publicity materials, Living Heart will keep you busy!

  • Medics
  • Medical and dentistry professionals can carry out itinerant medical visits in the communities.

  • Multi-Media
  • Are you creative, experienced in professional photography, video production, audio production or post production? Have you set up a radio station? Living Heart wants to better communicate with its followers and donors to increase the support for its projects.

  • Cafe Waitstaff
  • Living Heart needs friendly, committed people with a passion for development and a talent for networking to help out in Hearts Café. Not just a hospitality job – you need to be knowledgeable and willing to promote, publicise and present Living Heart’s projects to the general public and visitors to the café.

Visiting Us

Living Heart has a strong preference for volunteers who can commit to six months minimum stay. This is for the benefit of the projects, the people and the volunteers.
Intermediate conversational Spanish is fairly essential.
Please do get in touch for more details.


USD 100-199 per week
More details available upon request.
This payment is in fact a deposit of USD 400, of which USD 350 is refunded on completion of the project.

Rural; the organisation is based in the heart of the Sacred Valley and at the gateway to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.

Living arrangements
There are no travel or living arrangements included in the volunteer placement with Living Heart. The organisation will provide guidance upon arrival, help to find accommodation, orientate around the town for shopping & transport, and provide support in the project work.

Get involved

Interested to volunteer with this programme? Get in touch using the little form a the top of the page, through our social networks or on

We can provide you with further information about the programme, put you in touch with previous volunteers, help you plan your trip and answer all your questions - big and small.

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