Water Sanitation and Hygiene Education Facilitator

The Peace Corps continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and internationally. The locations and timing of returning Volunteers to service will be determined on a country-by-country basis. The positions and projected departure dates listed below are subject to change.

Project Description

Peace Corps' Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) project in Peru began in 2008 after a major earthquake struck the country's southern zone. Water and sanitation is currently one of the six priorities of the Peruvian government, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Facilitators support the government's WASH priorities at the rural community level. WASH Facilitators work alongside local partners to support local government authorities and local water committees in developing Water and Sanitation Safety Plans and strong management practices of the water and sanitation services.

WASH Facilitators collaborate with the water and sanitation Technical Municipal Area (ATM), local health centers/posts, and schools. WASH Facilitators support the skills of ATMs responsible for water quality and services management. They have the opportunity, in collaboration with the ATM, to build strong working relationships with the local water committees and support their work in administration, operation, and maintenance of the water and sanitation services. At local health center/posts, WASH Facilitators collaborate with the environmental health personnel or the health promotion area to strengthen sanitation education training in households and schools.

Volunteers and their local partners may also collaborate on maintaining water treatment systems; teaching proper handwashing techniques; planning inspections to the water systems; conducting mitigation activities; and guiding sanitary education activities. Additionally, WASH Volunteers will work with school-based staff to promote environmental health and hygiene.

There are also numerous opportunities to participate in secondary activities. These may include teaching computer classes; organizing environmental awareness workshops, developing a school gardening project, coaching sports, teaching English classes, or even organizing community-wide recycling projects.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in hygiene education/sanitation and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years’ professional work experience

Desired Skills

Competitive Candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Civil, Environmental or Sanitary Engineering, or other relevant field
• Certification in water/waste water treatment plant operation
• Experience in teaching/facilitation with adults
• Experience in coaching adults in adopting new behaviors
• Experience in potable water/sanitation systems and health education
• Experience in construction, masonry, carpentry or plumbing or similar; home repair and remodeling, etc.
• Experience working with Habitat for Humanity
• Experience working with community groups and leaders
• Experience working on gender equity initiatives

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 of proficiency in Spanish after 11 weeks of Pre-Service Training in order to swear-in as a Volunteer.

Some Volunteers may be placed in Quechua speaking communities. To be considered for placement in a Quechua speaking community, Trainees must arrive to Post with a Spanish proficiency level of intermediate high or higher. While continuing to learn Spanish, these Trainees will receive 7 weeks of basic Quechua language training (equivalent to 40 hours of Quechua). Trainees studying Quechua should demonstrate novice-mid proficiency in Quechua after 11 weeks of Pre-Service training.

Living Conditions

Geography and Climate: Peru has three primary geographic regions: Pacific Coast, Andean mountains, and Amazon rainforest. The climatic conditions in each of these three regions are vastly different depending on the time of year. Pacific coastal communities can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The mountain areas are often high altitude communities with cold weather, experiencing a wet season and dry season. Rainforest communities experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.

Most WASH Facilitators will be assigned to the mountains in rural communities where there is a strong opportunity to support water quality and accessibility. Volunteers should expect to walk long distances on rough terrain on a regular basis.

WASH Facilitators will either be placed in the district capital or in a small district. They will work closely with the Technical Municipal Area (ATM), rural water providers, personnel in charge of environmental health in the health post, and personnel responsible for the environmental approach in schools. They will also promote sanitary education activities with local authorities (teachers and others).

Host Family: Volunteers are required to live with a host family during Pre-Service Training and in their assigned community for the full two years of service. Couples will live together with the same host family. The homestay experience increases safety and security, language acquisition, and overall integration, and it is often one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences in service.

Diet: Volunteers often come to love the food in Peru. Its cuisine rivals many, and Peru is known as the gastronomic capital of South America. Peru is famous for “lomo saltado” as well as many varieties of “aji”. While your daily diet may be more basic, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore traditional Peruvian foods.

The Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location, but in general it will be a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) and potentially include an option of meat, chicken, or fish. Host families will prepare meals based on what is available in their area, and Volunteers should be prepared to eat with host families to show respect for their hospitality and culture. Host families may not be accustomed to eating as many fruits and vegetables as Volunteers, and they are not expected to prepare special meals. Volunteers will need to adapt to a new diet and be flexible in their dietary habits.

Transportation: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation options for Volunteers will be regulated in accordance with the risk posed by community transmission. Peace Corps staff will monitor the COVID-19 environment closely and will advise on the safest approved options during training and throughout service. Peace Corps Peru expects that Volunteers will be able to walk or use a bicycle to travel to and from work, for shopping for basic needs (food items, personal care, household essentials, etc.), and for other personal errands in their assigned community. For official travel (training, health, or administrative reasons), Volunteers will travel in Peace Corps vehicles or other private transportation provided by the Peace Corps. Use of public transportation (buses, ‘combis’ [small buses], ‘colectivos’ [shared taxis], moto-taxis or ‘tuk-tuks’ [three-wheeled motorcycles]) will depend transmission risk levels, as determined by Peace Corps staff. International travel will not be allowed, except for emergencies and with approval from the Country Director and Peace Corps Headquarters.

Communication: Wi-Fi availability at restaurants and cafés is common, especially in bigger cities. However, Volunteers may not have regular access to the internet in their communities. Adaptation is the key to a successful service. International phone service is relatively good. There are various international phone cards available.

Serving in Peru

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Peru: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Peru cannot accommodate couples within the same sector. Therefore, your partner must qualify and apply for:

Community Economic Development Facilitator

Couples live together with a host family during Pre-Service Training, but may be separated for certain field-based activities because they will be in different project sectors. During service, couples will also live together with a host family, but may be separated for workshops and conferences for up to two weeks at a time due to in-service training events.

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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