This amazing conservation project was created with the goal of helping to preserve the ecologically diverse Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. The aim of the program is to work on research and education projects that will ultimately help to protect this magnificent environment. Volunteers on the Amazon Conservation Program work at a Biological Station carrying out field research and education in the tropical rainforest region of the upper Napo River in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The station includes a reserve of 2,000 hectares, of which 70% is primary forest and the remainder secondary growth. Although its principal objectives are the conservation and protection of the natural environment, the centre also works on improving the health, nutrition and livelihood of the surrounding communities. Volunteers could work on a variety of research projects, one of which is the researching of non-timber products to provide alternative sources of income and developing of reforestation models.
Goals of this Project:
- To preserve the beautiful Amazon jungle
- Work on projects to protect the rainforest and improve the long term prospects of the communities who live within it
- Educate the local people and the rest of the world on the rainforest’s importance to the world
- Enable inter-cultural exchange between international volunteers and the local indigenous communities.
Volunteers play an integral role in achieving the goals of this project. Like many conservation programs, funds are greatly lacking, and a willing volunteer labor force is essential to its success. Volunteers on this program are involved in a multitude of research, conservation and education activities. This could include; experimental silviculture, botanical garden and agro-forestry extension programs, working at an educational farm for local communities, assisting on a handicrafts extension program which includes weaving and Tagua nut carving, delivering natural history courses, constructing rural schools, and developing fish farms, native fauna production, as well as fruit and vegetable horticulture. Accommodation in shared cabins and three meals per day are included.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Assist with garden and forestry programs
- Assist on educational programs
- Assist with constructing rural schools
- Assist with research projects
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Upon your arrival in Quito, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your temporary accommodation. On Monday morning, after making your way to the local project offices, you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then take a local bus to your assigned project location, where you will be met by a member of the onsite project team and settled into your new surroundings. Easy!
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador (Code: UIO)
Volunteers on this project are accommodated onsite in shared dormitory-style cabins, right in the heart of the rescue center and among the animal enclosures! Cabins generally have 2-4 bunk beds per room and storage for personal belongings. A separate toiletries block is provided for volunteers to use, which includes hot running water and flushing toilets.
A large communal area is provided for volunteers and staff, which includes full kitchen facilities, a large dining area, comfortable couches and hammocks to relax on. Wifi is also available though may be limited at times. This is a wonderful environment to volunteer in and past volunteers have raved about how cool it is to be able to live within the rescue center itself!
Three meals per day are provided at the project and are included in the program fee. Volunteers are expected to help with cooking and cleaning up (using a roster-based system), so everyone contributes at meal times – bringing a wonderful ‘family’ feel to this project. Volunteers are able to make trips to the local town to purchase any additional food items/snacks they may desire.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect the natural environment of Ecuador. This ‘hands-on’ project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in conservation/environmental studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
Project Location: This wonderfully intrepid program is set in Pastaza Province in the Oriente of Ecuador and amidst the wild Andean jungle. Projects sites can be somewhat isolated and though travel offsite is often not available to volunteers every day, the local project team will assist volunteers who wish to visit the local town for supplies or to simply get out and explore for the day, which is usually left for their rostered days off. This is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and work in the heart of the Ecuadorian rain forest!
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.
A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:00am Breakfast in the communal area
8:15am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
8:30am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.
4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
Evenings: Free time to simply relax, hang out with your fellow volunteers, have dinner together, then relax some more!