Naomi's Adventure to Teach in Cuzco, Peru!

Hola a todos! (Hello everyone!) Friends, family and sponsors: welcome to my fundraising page! 


This upcoming January 2013, I am embarking on a journey to Cuzco, Peru to obtain my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification to teach English in a school for a year in the highlands of South America. My father initially attracted me to Peru, with its ancient Incan cities, most notably Machu Picchu. After that, I did my own research on the country and found myself incredibly intrigued by the geography, history, music, food and cultures of the region.


I have registered with Máximo Nivel ( ), a language institute and philanthropic organization founded in Cusco in 2003. They offer a breadth of volunteer and language programs, including an internationally accredited TEFL course. The TEFL course completion certifies people to teach English in almost any country in the world! I have chosen this program because it offers the cheapest program fee (most cost up to $2000 for Cusco), while still offering support and many tools for a  successful teaching abroad experience. After completing this month-long course, I would begin the job search process, with Máximo Nivel's recommendation and help. The average time it takes to obtain a position is less than 30 days. Peru's school year begins at the end of January, so my timing is ideal for getting a position as quickly as possible.


Now you might be asking, what is the point of teaching English? It is currently the world's lingua franca and therefore, English is in high demand all over the world. Fluency in English improves both career prospects and educational opportunities. Conferences, business, technology and communication is largely done in English "“ for almost any field that a student might enter, knowing English is a huge benefit for them.


Your next question probably is, why do I need to fundraise money? The answer is simple: because going abroad is EXPENSIVE! Although I will acquire a paid teaching position, the most I am likely to make per month is $800. This is plenty for living expenses in Peru, but not enough to save up. This also does not account for any of the expenses that I must pay before my arrival.


Here is a breakdown of my expenses:




Máximo Nivel Program Fee


Spanish Classes

$100 - $135



Living accommodations during TEFL course


Flight to Peru

$1400 - $1600


$2000 - $2500




$5735 - $6770


* I need to have enough savings in my bank account to pay for my plane ticket home at the end of my position, as well as have savings in case anything were to happen. In the event that I do not get a job in the second month, I will still need to pay rent and a girl's got to eat! Additionally, other expenses (for example, visa expenses) are likely to come up and I do not want to be struggling with money during my time there.

* My laptop broke shortly after graduation. In order to study for my course in the first month and compile my lesson plans once I get a job, I will need to work from a laptop. Update 9.25: My aunt and uncle have given me a laptop - one of the best, most generous gifts I've ever received. This will help me so much with everything I'm working on and my future year in Peru. 

* These costs are what I am trying to cover myself, I mainly need help to cover the first five costs!


Why I Need Your Help:

Since graduating from the University of Maryland in May, I have not stopped working to make this dream come true. I am currently serving at Ruby Tuesday's and am working as an academic mentor for UMD's football team - I'm working about 40 hours and 6 days a week. I have crunched my numbers, and even working this amount every week for the rest of the year will still leave me short for the amount that I need to go to Cuzco.


Additionally, I am taking my GRE (graduate record examination) this November so that I can apply to graduate schools upon my return from Cuzco. I am also studying Spanish until my move to Cuzco to make the transition into a new culture that much more fluid. With ten "“ twelve hours of studying each week along with work, I have a very full plate! 


I have set my fundraising goal high because in the next year and a half, expenses will add up very quickly. It is most beneficial to have as much of the trip paid for as possible so that I do not have to tap into my savings account when I come back from Peru.


Any amount helps! $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 "“ anything and everything adds up! You may donate multiple times if you want or need to. I am also looking for people interesting in donating frequent flier miles; I would need less than 7000 miles to fly to Cuzco. Ideally, I would like to save over $1250 per month until the end of December, combining what I am making from my jobs and the contributions from you. I believe this trip would be wholly beneficial in a number of ways: I would be able to truly immerse myself in a culture by living there for a year, I would acquire a number of skills including fluency in Spanish, leadership and communication skills for my future career, and would be able to have a completely unique experience, helping both the students in that community and myself. I am also planning on volunteering long-term with a women's rights organization once I have settled into the city. I want to learn as much as I am planning to teach!


I am determined to make this trip happen, but I cannot do it without your help! Please consider contributing to my trip with any amount that you can give. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions about the trip! My e-mail address is [email redacted]. 


I offer my sincerest gratitude for any contributions made to my trip "“ it would truly mean the world to me to be able to make this dream come true. Muchas gracias!



  • Sarita Sethi 
    • $25 
    • 101 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $51 
    • 101 mos
  • Gerardo Benavides 
    • $15 
    • 101 mos
  • Saba Rahman 
    • $23 
    • 101 mos
  • Rathi Vinod 
    • $30 
    • 101 mos
See all


Naomi Kumar 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more