The Community Health project targets impoverished rural families who have children under the age of 3, pregnant mothers and vulnerable rural youth ages 12-17.
Community Health Facilitators work with rural health center staff, community health promoters, and other community leaders to initiate and sustain healthy behavior change in mothers and other caretakers by promoting appropriate nutrition, improved hygiene practices, and early childcare and stimulation.
This work is achieved by facilitating household visits for an average of 20-30 mothers who have children under 3 years of age and / or pregnant women.
Community Health Facilitators will visit the local health facility on a daily basis to coordinate household visits and monthly health education sessions to promote healthy nutrition with mothers.
Community Health Facilitators also collaborate with local high schools to form youth peer educator groups to help promote and sustain healthy behavior change, such as improved life skills and leadership, adolescent pregnancy and STI prevention, including abstinence and correct condom use.
In collaboration with high school teachers, Community Health Facilitators co-lead educational sessions for classrooms of 10-
25 students every week. They will use interactive and participatory training approaches to role model training on sexual reproductive health topics more effectively, while teachers and youth peer educators learn how to apply these training methods in their work.
Teachers and Community Health Facilitators also work together to identify and coach youth peer educator groups so that they take on leadership roles in supporting healthy choices among their peers.
Through their work, Community Health Facilitators have opportunities to develop public health monitoring and evaluation skills and facilitation techniques as trainers of trainers.
While the more specific daily work will depend on a Volunteer’s work site and the needs of the community, Community Health Facilitators will be working to improve the quality of life for Peruvians by partnering with local health staff, teachers, mothers, and youth to promote new ideas, skills, and practices.
While collaboration with local service providers is critical to ensuring sustainability of the work, Community Health Facilitators will at times work directly with beneficiaries (e.
g., mothers and youth) without the presence of a teacher or health promoter. Considering gender issues in project activities will be an important component of the job, including promoting equal access to services, training and other activities.
There will also be numerous opportunities to participate in secondary activities. These may include (but are not limited to), teaching computer classes, organizing summer classes, organizing environmental awareness workshops, developing a school gardening project, coaching sports, teaching English classes, or even organizing community-wide recycling projects.
Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in the health sector and one or more of the following criteria :
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following desired skills :
Required Language Skills
Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.
A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native / fluent speaker of Spanish
Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency.
Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).
All Volunteers learn and work in Spanish. Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate-mid level proficiency in Spanish after 11 weeks of pre-
service training in order to swear-in as a Volunteer. Some trainees may be placed in the Quechua speaking communities. Those trainees will receive 3 weeks of basic Quechua language training.
Geography and Climate :
Peru has three primary geographic regions : coast, mountains, and jungle. The climatic conditions in each of these 3 regions are vastly different depending on the time of year.
Coastal sites can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The mountain areas are often high altitude sites with cold weather, experiencing a wet and dry season.
Jungle sites experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.
Community Health facilitators are primarily assigned to the mountains (Andean Highlands) of Peru where there is greater need for public health education.
The project implementation focus is working in small, rural sites where there is a high rate of malnutrition and anemia, poor hygiene practices and traditional gender roles.
Most Community Health Facilitators will be assigned to small, rural communities with populations ranging from 500 to 2,000 people.
Some Community Health Facilitators may be placed at the district level to work with the health center network that supports the rural communities in that area.
Host Family :
All Volunteers are required to live with a host family during the 11 weeks of pre-service training and the first 6 months of service.
Couples will live together with the same host family. After the first 6 months of service, if appropriate housing is available, a Volunteer may request to live independently however, the home stay experience is often the most memorable and rewarding experience in a Volunteer’s service.
Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location, but in general will include a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) with an option of meat, chicken, or fish.
Host families will prepare meals based on what’s available in their areas and Volunteers should be prepared to eat with host families to show respect for their hospitality and culture.
All Volunteers will have access to regular / daily transportation options in their communities; some may be required to walk up to an hour to get access.
Volunteers typically take large, double-decker buses that provide for a comfortable experience on long journeys.
Internet cafés are common in Peru, especially in urban and semi-urban areas. Once a Volunteer is placed in their permanent community, they may or may not have access to internet.
International telephone service to and from Peru is also relatively good. There are various international phone cards and international phone plans available in Peru.
More information about communication options is provided during Pre-Service Training. A Volunteer’s ability to adapt to infrequent and inaccessible communication options is the key to a successful service.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Peru : Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety including crime statistics PDF in order to make a well-
informed decision about serving.
Peru cannot accommodate couples within the same sector. Therefore, your partner must qualify and apply for : Youth Development Facilitator
Couples will live together with a host family during Pre-Service Training but may be separated for certain field-based activities because they are in different project sectors.
During service, couples will live together with the same host family. Couples will be separated for workshops and conferences for up to two weeks at a time due to in-service training events.
Medical Considerations in Peru
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.