Location: Talara, Peru
Duration: Minimum 2 weeks, maximum 6 months
Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability
Cost: from $1180 USD for the first 2 weeks + from $423 for each week thereafter – see Costs tab for further details
- Gain personal hands-on experience working with a growing Peruvian NGO.
- Work in a local initiatives with passionate people making a real difference to the community
- Live and work in a north Peru surfing hot-spot.
- Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
This project is with a surfing-inspired sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability. We develop environmental, educational, infrastructure and socio-economic projects working hand in hand with local communities and international interns.
As a multidisciplinary academic team, we not only carry out our own social and scientific projects that we constantly need support with, but we also welcome interns from universities around the world to come and carry out their own bachelors/masters/PhD research with us in Lobitos. Volunteer interns are welcomed to develop their own research project as part of their application if it can be aligned with our work and focus. The benefits of carrying out a research project with us are:
- Enhance your CV and gain professional hands-on experience managing sustainable projects in an international development NGO, having a real and positive impact on a vulnerable community.
- Carry out a successful and impactful research project work alongside experienced & passionate people from a range of disciplines.
- Receive ongoing guidance throughout the research process from our experienced team; from before you set off for Peru, during your volunteer internship with us and when you get back to university afterwards.
- Live and work in a surfing paradise in northern Peru, the land of endless summer.
As a research volunteer intern, you will be given ownership of the research projects, working alongside members of the community and the team. The daily activities will vary depending on whether you are conducting your own research or supporting us with a current project. This may include but is not limited to:
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Impact Research
This research project aims to quantify the impact that we have on the local community in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Interns are needed to help conceptualise the methodology and carry out data collection via surveys with members of the local community.
As a surfing paradise with world-class waves, Lobitos attracts beginner to advanced surfers from all over the world. As a result, the tourism industry is growing rapidly and will need to be effectively managed in the future. As a result, Surfonomics studies work to determine the economic value of waves to coastal communities, so that these communities can make beneficial, informed decisions regarding coastal protection. Analyzing this data will allow us and our affiliates to put a quantitative value to the waves of Lobitos, which will better enable their protection and potentially have Lobitos be declared a World Surfing Reserve. Volunteer interns may be required to carry out data analysis using SPSS statistical software and report writing based on surveys conducted with tourists and surfers in 2018/2019.
- Groundwater research
After winning a research grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering-UK (RAEng) by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), we have been conducting groundwater research in Lobitos in partnership with UK universities. This study aims to investigate the extent & quality of groundwater resources in the region that could potentially be sustainably tapped into, managed and used for reforestation irrigation or potentially human consumption by local communities. Interns are needed to support the team in fieldwork, community workshops, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data that has been collected and report writing.
- Business Plans / Market Research
Developing a business plan for bird watching ecotourism in the equatorial dry forest, one of the most endangered forests in the world. The long-term goal is to provide an economic alternative to illegal logging of a poor settlement located in our zone of influence. The students would develop a business plan alongside the local community who are striving for greater equality and therefore lead the reforestation projects. This project will have a huge impact on the lives of the locals, the species that will be saved in preserving the forest and will help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Provide entrepreneurial and creative knowledge to local farmers running small farms and cheese production businesses. Volunteer interns will assist locals to consolidate ideas and create a business plan.
Conduct market research into how local fisherman can increase the productivity of their catch. Local fishermen use lines and nets so they don’t harm the environment but are at threat from trawlers and illegal fishing.
- Your own research: Dissertations (Bachelors, Masters, PhD)
Create an appropriate research methodology for your own academic research as a part of your university studies which would be applicable to Lobitos and the work that we do. We have received many interns from various world class universities who have carried out successful socio-economic and scientific fieldwork projects as part of their degrees with us.
Depending on the nature of your research, you may be required to bring certain equipment and resources to aid in data collection.
Travel & Accom.
It’s easy to get to here! There are daily flights from Lima to Talara where you will be met at the airport and driven directly to Lobitos.
During your volunteer internship with us, you will be provided with comfortable accommodation in the Volunteer House, including all meals (healthy and mostly vegetarian) and airport pickup/dropoff (all included in your financial contribution). Volunteer interns sleep in shared dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and access to a shared living room, office space, kitchen, internet connection, clean water and a garden.
Volunteer interns work between 9am to 5pm on weekdays but evenings and weekends are free for you to spend as you wish. The northern coast of Peru has amazing waves, beaches and towns to go visit, with lots of different activities on offer such as:
- Surf lessons with local instructors in Lobitos. Alternatively, rent one of our surfboards and head out to the waves by yourself.
- Yoga classes
- Swimming with turtles
- Fishing, sea-lion and whale watching trips with local fishermen
- Trekking and birdwatching in the native Dry Forest ecosystem
- Eat traditional Peruvian food at local restaurants
- Visits to other nearby beaches and towns within hours of Lobitos to explore more Peruvian landscapes, culture & history.
Please note that these activities are separate and are not included in the financial contribution you make as part of the volunteer internship.
This volunteer internship is open to all disciplines, but is most suited for those interested in or have experience in data analysis, research and international and sustainable development. Undergraduates, postgraduates, PhDs and/or professionals are all welcome. However, we do ask for:
- At least a B1 level of Spanish if you will be carrying out qualitative data collection (interviews/surveys etc) with the local community. Spanish is not a requirement for more quantitative data collection.
- Knowledge of, previous experience in research or be carrying out an academic research project as part of your university degree.
- Minimum age 18.
- Basic experience or strong motivation to work as part of a team away from home.
However, the most important thing is that you have an open mind, positive attitude and willingness to learn!
Accommodation with us is optional. You are also free to rent an apartment nearby if you do not wish to stay at our volunteer guesthouse. Enquire with us when applying.
|Cost per week||Total Project Fee|
|First 2 weeks||$465||$1180|
* Currency in USD
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** $250 admin fee included
**** 30% deposit required to confirm place.
Project Fee includes food, accommodation, local transfers, 24-hour in-country support, orientation and integration into the project.
What’s not included:
Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.
Premium Support Upgrade
We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.
We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.
Note: Map coordinates are approximate