Field School Volunteers

On the Project and Apply

Interns will participate in the mapping of two proposed MOCHE Inc. Archaeological Reserves (Ciudad de Dios and Jesus Maria/Menocucho) and the survey of endangered sites in the Moche Valley. Over the course of the program, students will gain experience in: archaeological ceramic analysis, GPS-based site mapping, site recording, archaeological survey data digitization/management, GIS spatial database management/analysis, and lots of hiking!

MOCHE Staff 

MOCHE, Inc. only hires highly qualified staff to run our programs. Logistical support for our programs are provided by bilingual graduate students from around the US and Peru. Most staff members have spent years working in Peruvian archaeology and many have spent many summers working on the MOCHE-UNC field school. For more information email Alicia Boswell


Volunteers work in a variety of locations around the Middle Moche Valley on the North Coast of Peru. The specific projects are chosen each year after Dr. Billman, Dr. Briceño (co-directors of the Moche Origins Project/Cerro Oreja Archaeological Project) and their graduate students assess the current situation in the valley. Myriad variables go into the decision-making process in choosing a target site including: type of sites in danger, recent trends in the communities, type of site being threatened, composition of the nearby community, local community concerns and graduate student research interests.


Our Peruvian staff prepares three meals a day, six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Breakfast consists of juice, coffee, tea (regular and herb teas), fruit, yogurt, fresh baked bread, jams, and butter. In the field we have sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and chips. Dinners are typical Peruvian cooking and usually consist of three courses and fruit juice. The first course is either soup or salad. Some common main courses are lomo saltado (stir fried beef and vegetables), aji de gallina (chicken in a cheese and chile sauce), fish in various sauces such as ajo de mojo (a garlic sauce) or chorrillana (a tomato, chile, and onion sauce), and stewed duck (a north coast specialty). For those who wish to give it a try, guinea pig is available. The main course is served with white rice or potatoes or both. Peruvian food is not even remotely like Mexican food, so banish all thoughts of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. It is similar to Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Spanish cooking. Vegetarian meals are available; however, we can’t provide vegan meals. Dessert is served with dinner a few times a week. The project has a staff washes the dishes. Sunday meals are on your own, often crews cook together or try local restaurants.


Depending on the physical location of the selected site, volunteers will either be housed with the MOCHE-UNC Field School students in the beach town of Huanchaco, in the middle valley with our service-learning volunteers, or possibly in the upper valley towns of Simbal or Poroto. Due to the nature of this crew, specific types of accommodation cannot be guaranteed. In years past the crew has stayed in hostels or houses rented by MOCHE, Inc. We do our best to provide locations with consistent electricity, running, hot water and we always select locations with sanitary facilities. The safety and health of interns is our first priority. On weekends, there will be opportunities to go to Trujillo and Huanchaco along the pacific coast. Huanchaco is about 40 min away from the middle Moche valley.


The people of coastal Peru speak Spanish, and the Moche Valley is no exception. There is no language requirement for the program, as we have bilingual staff, however, if you would like to work to improve your Spanish skills we can arrange for tutoring with locals for a fee.


To apply to the MOCHE RRC Internship program download the application, complete the application and email it to Alicia Boswell

MOCHE RR Intern Application

Required Forms

All students should fill out the  release form and our emergency medical history form and submit them to Alicia Boswell and copy Dr. Brian Billman  when submitting the application.

MOCHE Release Form 2017

Emergency Medical Form 2017


Applications accepted through February 10. Space is limited to 12 volunteers throughout the summer due to the nature of this crew.


$2,250* covers all lodging for the duration of the program, 3 meals a day, 6 days a week, airport pick-up, orientation and educational workshops, guided tours, supplies for development projects, transportation to the work site and to local archaeological sites on Saturdays (including entrance fees) and trips to Huanchaco on Sundays.

Payment of deposit and fees

A $50 application fee is due at time time of application. There is a $500 required deposit. This deposit is due within 30 days of acceptance into the program, and will only be fully refunded if the program is cancelled.  The deposit will be put toward the cost of the program and is not an additional fee. The Entire Program fee is due April 1, 2017.

Checks can be mailed to:

P.O. Box 1032
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Or pay online using the Paypal link below.  When paying online, please be sure to include your name and program information.


More Information

You may also contact Dr. Brian Billman or Alicia Boswell with any academic questions.

* The quoted cost is based on prices and exchange rates as of September, 2015. The costs and details of the program itinerary are subject to change.

Archaeology Internship Program