- Welcome to the Amazon Rainforest!
Get involved in
fantastic conservation and community development work on this
multi-activity project! You'll benefit from professional training
and actively assist in the environmental monitoring study at
multiple locations. The longer you participate on the project, the
more skills you'll develop.
You’ll also get involved in rewarding
Community Development work with the local indigenous families and
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your on-site accommodation
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
transfer to Cusco
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visa, food on the day of your arrival, Return
transfer to airport from Cusco.
Who can do
is open to all nationalities and all ages over 18.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
gaining overseas work experience or an internship for
university credit or requirement.
Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study abroad
and learn about the practice of Conservation and
Conservation strategies on an Eco Reserve overseas in
the Amazon Jungle.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
Professional Training: Become a productive volunteer learning
valuable field skills for career, degree or just for fun! (more
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Peruvian
The enormous satisfaction of knowing that you're contributing to
a worthwhile and necessary conservation project aimed at
protecting and preserving our world for future generations.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different
culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and
shoulders above most others in the job market
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
"The Travellers Worldwide conservation project
in Peru was exactly what I hoped it would be and exactly what it claimed
to be…It was also the best value for money I could find and encompassed
a broad range of skills, experience, and opportunities that other
projects lacked."Carys Hutton
PROJECT OVERVIEW You'll be involved in
fantastic conservation and community development work on this excellent
benefit from professional training and actively assist in the
environmental monitoring study at multiple locations. The longer you
participate on the project, the more skills you'll develop. You’ll also
get involved in rewarding Community Development work with the local
indigenous families and communities.
program in the Inca city of Cusco where you'll receive
an induction and orientation before travelling
through the High Andes to the Acjance Park Guard Station and the Cloud Forest. Then you descend into the Amazon via
motorised canoe down the Madre de Dios River. The journey is
spectacular, an adventure in itself!
In the first week
you'll be given a full induction and a brief look at all of the projects
the center is working on, after a while,
you'll be assigned according on
your interest and the requirement at the time.
“This is an
experience of a lifetime, one for people from all walks of life. Also
anyone who likes great food because the food is awesome here considering
where we are. Also, the bathrooms are heaven compared to places even
back in the UK. It has been an amazing experience for me in so many
ways. I’m even thinking of coming back to Peru to work in the future,
maybe in conservation. All in all, I’m becoming very used to this way of
life and not looking forward to going back home.” Lawrence
A productive volunteer knows WHY they are doing the work; they
understand exactly WHAT the work is and HOW to do it. Volunteer are
taught to be independent thinkers with skills to make a difference on
projects. Volunteers will be trained on the following:
On your arrival in the Rainforest (on Day 3 of your project) and
after settling in, you'll start a week-long training schedule which is
designed to introduce you to the rainforest and how it works. The
training will maximise your experience and introduce you to the various
projects that are running at the center. The center will try to match
volunteers to their interest, providing an exposure to all the projects
in the first week and then assigning volunteer to tasks they find
interesting and where they will have the most impact. This tailored
approach enriches the volunteer’s time and creates better overall
There are many different types of projects on the go at the same
time, but you will also be guided and encouraged to work on your own
projects as well.
The degree to which you'll run or assist on such projects will
depend upon your abilities. Below are some examples of the types of
projects and activities that are carried out at the Center:
Mammal Monitoring: The aim of this project is to prove the importance of
regenerating the rainforest as a habitat for different mammal species.
This is achieved through a combination of activities, such as the setting
up and monitoring of camera traps, tracking and setting up transects.
More than 37 species of large mammals have been recorded at the
center, including 13 individual Jaguar. The huge range of mammals living
around the main camp and in and off the trails makes it possible to
observe directly and indirectly the activities of different types of
monkeys, tapirs, peccaries, armadillos, pumas and more.
Forest Regeneration: Globally, and in the Amazon, large areas of tropical forest have
been replaced by agricultural land. The study of processes in these
disturbed areas is import. In Peru, the main cause of this is the
increasing migration of people to the forest. The area around the center
is ‘natural laboratory’, made up of patches of regenerating forest with
different human disturbance. These plant communities are not going to
undergo further disturbance and so this allows the center to study the
flora and how it has been affected by disturbance. Monitoring changes in
the biomass levels enables the center to gather information about the
regeneration rate of the forest and determine whether the reserves of
carbon in the forest are changing.
Volunteers set up ‘leaf litter traps’ to collect data within four
different forest types. Materials are collected weekly, studied and the
data recorded. Canopy photos are also taken, with data recorded to detect
seasonal and successional changes in the forest light. Volunteers
are also taught about phenology (to learn more about growth, flowing and
fruiting patterns of various tree species). Marked trees are visited every
4 weeks and the status of each tree is recorded and studied.
Avian Studies: Peru is home to 20% of the Worlds’ bird species. Species
composition and overall avian diversity can signify many different things
about the forest. The center has one of the only clay-licks (or
collpas) in South America visited by the rare and endangered Blue Headed
Macaw as well as many other species of large macaws, parrots and
Population surveys are also carried out; recording what is seen
and heard during regular walks in the jungle. Your ability to
identify species is enhanced by the use of recordings played to you in
training as well as in the field practice.
The center is also involved in an important Blue Headed Macaw
monitoring program. This bird has been classed as vulnerable and
threatened with extinction, due to loss of habitat and exploitation by the
pet trade. Volunteers monitor the clay lick every morning to record
numbers, activity and tourist impact. This ongoing program has
identified a correlation between decreasing numbers and increasing tourist
numbers. Long term, it is hoped this study will reduce disturbance
and help to make a positive contribution towards conservation of the
Amphibian & Reptile Studies: Amphibians are excellent indicator species as they are extremely
vulnerable to changes in their environment. They are often one of the
first groups of organisms to respond to changes in climate (or
microclimate) caused by deforestation and other human activities. Reptiles
are another important indicator group, as they are both predators and
prey. Any changes in the food web can have a knock on effect, making
reptiles an ideal group to study. Almost 30% of the worlds assessed
reptile species were listed as threatened and are greatly understudied.
Volunteers carry out various studies, including transect surveys.
This involves walking slowly along a 100m trail through the forest looking
for amphibians and reptiles on leaves, branches or on the ground. Any that
are seen are caught and brought back to be identified, weighed and
measured before being released back in the same habitat type. In the
last 2 years four species of frog which may potentially be new to science
have been discovered in the surrounding reserve!
Butterfly Study Butterflies are important in ecosystems as pollinators to many
plant species. They are good indicators of the quality of habitat and are
sensitive to any changes, which means that they are an ideal group to
study when looking at regenerating forest. The center is creating an
inventory of the butterfly species to gain an understanding of their
distribution between the 3 forests types that differ in their disturbance
Volunteers set up butterfly nets baited with fermented banana at
3 different heights in the 3 main forest types. The nets are left in
the forest for 6 days and are checked every 24hrs after they are set up.
Butterflies are retrieved from the net and identified against guides. They
are also marked so they can be recognised if recaptured. If the butterfly
is not in the guide, then it is taken back to camp and photographed so it
can be added before it is released. The traps are re-baited each day
except for the 6th day when they are taken down. There are currently 4
butterfly survey sites in each forest type and the nets are rotated around
each of these every time the project is run which is every 3 weeks.
TWO-WEEK PROGRAMME AND LONGER PROGRAMMES:
The two-week programme offers a snapshot and tangible life experience of conservation research and community development in the amazon rainforest. It is an opportunity to live and work alongside conservation researchers and community development staff and understand the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis and what their work entails. Please note this programme is not designed to provide an in-depth learning experience, because time does not permit this.
If you are looking for a more in depth learning programme then please consider doing the 4 weeks or more programme.
These dates are for the 2-week placements. Start dates for longer placements can be adjusted to include more start options (please speak to us if you need a different start date). 2016 Start Dates
17 October 2016
14 November 2016
2017 Start Dates
Monday 9th January
Monday 6th February
Monday 6th March
Monday 3rd April
Monday 1st May
Monday 29th May
Monday 26th June
Thursday 13th July
Monday 24th July
Thursday 10th August
Monday 21st August
Thursday 7th September
Monday 18th September
Monday 16th October
Monday 13th November
Monday 11th December
This project is Idyllically placed on the
edge of the Amazon Rainforest, on a hill next to a river. It has
a ’nice’ feel to it. It is relaxed and peaceful, and has been tastefully
constructed in keeping with its surroundings. At present the area has
six thatched buildings. Three are accommodation houses with a
classroom/workroom on the ground floor and a bedroom area above and
you'll be sharing a room with other volunteers. All buildings have open
walls and are fresh and airy.
The bathroom is a separate block consisting
of six cubicles, each containing a (Western) flush toilet, hand-basin and
cold shower. There are also extra washbasins and a large sink in which
to do your laundry.
There is a dining and relaxation area, with
tables and a few armchairs, as well as a library and covered hammock
Lighting is by candle (not allowed in
bedroom areas) and there is generally no electricity on the site. There
is, however, a generator which is run for a few hours every night in
order to charge camera batteries etc. We recommended that you take out a
portable headlight torch and a few other items, but we'll provide you
with a list of recommended items to take with you before you leave.
You will spend your first two
nights of the programme in a hostel in the centre of Cusco. You
will share your room with other volunteers.
Food: Food is provided and you'll have
three meals per day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is wholesome
and mainly vegetarian. Often pasta or rice, soup, fruit juice. Not 5
star (it’s the jungle after all) but very acceptable. There is always a
flask of hot water, tea, coffee and filtered (safe) drinking water
available in the dining room. The cook is able to cater for a number of
specialised diets, although choices may be limited.
Entertainment / Leisure:
This is the Amazon Jungle - unique and
exciting and wonderful and tranquil and awesome - but it isn't a placement for people who want to party the night away. There
are board games, books to read and other ‘quiet’ activities. At night this
has to be by candle light. Most people start their work early and get up
between 4 and 5 a.m., consequently people tend to go to bed early.
we watched a DVD on the laptop, (somewhat surreal, sitting in a jungle
clearing watching a laptop crawling with moths!) Occasionally we just sat
and socialised over a beer.
During the day there are activities such as swimming in the river,
complete with vines to swing from ("Hello Tarzan!"). (You can
only swim if supervised and depending on river conditions.) The manager is a keen climber and may be persuaded to teach you how to
access the canopy, (climbing trees using ropes). Some scientists use this
method in their work when studying birds. It is safe (when under
instruction) but can be difficult.
Although there are lots of places to visit in Peru, there are few
external places to visit while on your project. In the dry season Salvaccion is a 1¾
hour walk away (after
crossing the river) and it is a safe walk. In the wet season it may be possible to
reach another village by boat, but it would not possible to walk to Salvaccion. Sometimes it may be possible to
get a lift with other
volunteers or staff and perhaps spend a few days in Cusco. Generally,
however, volunteers tend to stay at the Center for the duration of
their placement and visit Cusco at the end of their project.
THE CENTRE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT: The Center itself covers 640 hectares
in a seemingly endless rainforest which stretches across Brazil and to
the Atlantic Ocean. This is the Amazon! Mammals in the area include
peccaries, puma, jaguar, armadillos and various monkeys. Tortoises and
lizards are also present.
Currently 365 species of birds have been
recorded in the area, including parrots, hummingbirds and the rather
bizarre Hoatzin. The resident bird expert, Claudia, is very enthusiastic
about birds and her knowledge is truly exceptional. As one of our people
said, "Working with her is a privilege!" Like any jungle there
are lots of insects and there are also tarantulas and snakes, but these
are not frequently seen.
There are many trails in the forest that
are very productive in terms of wildlife because they are not used by
tourists, but one of the main reasons the area was selected for study
was that within a reasonably small area there is land that has been
impacted by agriculture and human activity in the past. This is why
there are such a variety of forest types within the private reserve
(forests in different stages of re-growth as well as in different
It is through comparative studies between the
old and new forest that conservationists aim to learn more about the effect
of human activity on biodiversity as well as the ability of forests to
The environment is relaxing, with nice
weather, good views, excellent accommodation and very pleasant company.
Entertainment is very much home-made and there is a real community
spirit among the volunteers whilst still allowing for ‘personal space’.
Volunteers are well cared for whilst still having the excitement of
being in the jungle. All the staff are enthusiastic, helpful and caring.
There are some opportunities for engaging in leisure activities such as
swimming and climbing.
The trip from Cusco to the Center:
You will arrive in Cusco, where
you'll be met by members from the Project. You will stay in Cusco for 2
nights, before beginning your journey to the Rainforest. This journey
is by road and takes from 9 to 10 hours, so there will also be another
overnight stop on the way. Almost the entire
journey is along an unpaved road and the last few miles are very unmade
indeed! For some of the way it is a typical Andean road along the side
of a mountain but the road is relatively ‘quiet’ with maybe 6 -10
vehicles passing every hour.
The scenery is stunning, including barren
mountains, cloud forest, seemingly endless jungle, impressive valleys.
There are places of interest to stop every hour or so, either to take
photos or buy refreshments. The journey is very totally fascinating and
adds to the sense of adventure! The last part of the journey involves
crossing a river by boat.
Return transfer from the Center in the
Amazon to Cusco is included in the cost of the placement and is arranged
for you by the managers in Peru. At the end of your project, you will
stay for 1 night in Cusco, and after some end of project administration,
be free to depart after 9am. Those wishing to do some independent
travel after their placement can opt to stay in Cusco rather than going
straight to the airport. Either way, you’ll need to make your own
arrangements to get to Cusco Airport, which is about a 15-minute drive
away and costs about $15-$20 by taxi (prices correct at time of
Rainy Season: The rainy season is
between November and April with the worst of the rain occurring from
February to March. Work at the Center does continue through the rainy
season because the arrays (working paths) are designed to be useable
throughout the year.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of staff who
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
You will have weekends free and this will also allow some time for travelling
and sight seeing.
Conservation in the Amazon Rainforest
ABOUT THE RESERVE: BACKGROUND
The Project takes place at a
research center in a large reserve located in the corner of Peru. It
consists of various types of rainforest (The Amazon) and is rich
in diversity. The importance of the Reserve was recognised in 1987 when
it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It achieved this
largely because of its renown as an area of abundant wildlife and high
species biodiversity, many of which have not yet been documented.
The park is approximately the size of Wales (20,000 sq km). Some of the
area is being opened up to limited ecotourism (and tourists pay up to
US$300 per day to stay in the ecolodges!). The closest city is Cusco
which is approximately 8 to 10 hours' drive.
The Rainforest Center that we work with lies within the Reserve near to
a road and river. It is about 45 minutes drive from the nearest village.
The design of the facility complements its surroundings using a fusion
of traditional thatched techniques with modern design, while utilising
the latest in natural resource management to maintain the site. As an
added bonus, there is a waterfall that borders the site!
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ACTION (Community Project) The
center works with local communities to create sustainable livelihoods that
meet the challenges of poverty, malnutrition and loss of forest that have
been caused by the destructive mining, logging and agriculture. The land
has become bare and infertile and the lack of resources forces people to
live on as little as $2 a day, with 25% of children suffering from
malnutrition. A major aim of the center is to improve the health and
economic wealth of families living in the reserve, through practises that
also protect and help recover the rainforest. So far, the center’s
community projects have positively impacted the lives of more than 600
people (24% of the local community).
Some of the community work that
you can be involved with
Biogardens Working with local mothers to combat malnutrition by providing
resources and knowledge to build biogardens that produce nutritious fresh
food for families, and provide extra income through surplus crops. So far
volunteers and local mothers have turned abandoned wastelands into 52
family biogardens, and have helped build six institutional biogardens
(four of which provide healthy meals to more than 360 children at the
local school). These activities have resulted in an annual increase in
income of 35.28% since 2009 for the direct beneficiaries of biogardens,
and an increase in child nutrition and health.
Agroforestry Agroforestry plots are planted with local farmers, and provide
both short and long-term income using sustainable wood and banana
production models. This is an environmentally sustainable alternative that
protects the surrounding forest from illegal logging activity, encourages
species diversity, increases soil nutrition, and creates carbon credits
that can be sold to further support the project.
Volunteers have helped
turn 17 hectares of abandoned and degraded land into agroforestry plots,
which have subsequently seen increased biodiversity, help plant over
10,000 plantains and 3,000 trees, and created the first program in Peru to
ever commercialise carbon credits on behalf of a local community.
As you can see, there is a lot of scope here to develop new ideas
and/or projects. This is a placement where you can really make a
difference, particularly if you have initiative.
While on your placements, you can also book some Optional
Add-Ons to do before or after your Placement to make the most of your Travel Experience.
project can also be combined with a second project in a different country, thus
doubling your adventure and enjoyment!
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country.
is a magical little island of colonial architecture.
Many of the buildings are built on, over and around
Inca walls, arches and doorways, and many of
the narrow streets in the center of the town are lined with
original Inca stonework. Cusco was
once the capital of the vast Inca empire
Trail and Machu Picchu:
This 3-5 day journey is widely considered to be the most
spectacular trekking experience on the continent. Its route passes through
a 13,000-foot Andean Pass beyond which lie some of the most astounding
artifacts of the Inca civilization. Most of these attractions lay completely undisturbed
for hundreds of years.
The trail ends at the astonishingly well-preserved sacred
city of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is probably the
best-known and most spectacular archeological site on the continent. Apart
from a few locals, no-one knew of the existence of the "Lost City of the
Incas" until Hiram Bingham stumbled on it almost by accident in 1911. It
was certainly a complete city, perched on a saddle connecting two high
mountains, with residential and agricultural sections and terracing around
TRAVEL: To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellentSupport
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.
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