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 for the in-person placement: from $1180 USD for the first 2 weeks + from $423 for each week thereafter – see Costs tab for further details
Cost for the online placement: Apply a 33% discount from the in-person placement
- Gain personal hands-on experience working with a growing Peruvian NGO.
- Work alongside experienced & passionate professionals and local communities.
- Live and work in a north Peru surfing hot-spot.
- Reforestation work in an area badly in need of help.
- Keywords: Nature conservation, Reforestation, field research, sustainable development, community development, serious internship.
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.
Reforestation/afforestation has been categorised, by the Global Climate Agreement signed in Paris, as one of two main calls to action to help fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. Equatorial/Tropical Dry Forest ecosystems are a conservation priority due to their many unique species and because they have lost over 95% of their former extent. Our reforestation project, “Lobitos Verde” in such an ecosystem was one of our first initiatives with the community of Lobitos. Initiated in 2013, we have been planting native seedlings with local women and their families to green the neighbourhoods of Lobitos. We are also doing this in the town of Piedritas, through our “Piedritas Verde” initiative. Not only has this empowered the women as leaders of the project, but it has also raised an awareness of environmental issues. It has encouraged people to reuse and save water using permaculture techniques, whilst increasing the extent of habitat for native bird species in danger of extinction. Together, we have planted and are currently caring for thousands of seedlings propagated by our project in both Lobitos and Piedritas, working with a total of around 90 families. Over the past few years, this project has branched out into community-led ecotourism, local ecosystem restoration, ecological/environmental education campaigns and endangered and endemic bird/wildlife conservation initiatives (Peruvian Plantcutter, Phytotoma raimondii), receiving funding from various international entities.
We need hard-working people with a strong interest, background knowledge or basic experiencing in reforestation, conservation, biology/ecology, and the like, to come and support us in these ongoing projects. The benefits of taking part in this volunteer internship 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.
- Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of ecological, environmental & permaculture techniques, reforestation and biodiversity/nature conservation of the Dry Forest ecosystem.
- Work alongside experienced & passionate people from a range of disciplines & backgrounds.
- Learn from our educational seminars given by our Directors on topics including but not limited to: international development, NGO/social enterprise creation and management, marketing and outreach, research techniques and more.
- Live and work in a surfing paradise in northern Peru, the land of endless summer (relevant to the in-person placement)
As a reforestation volunteer intern, you will be given ownership of the projects, directly co-managing our conservation and reforestation initiatives. Daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at of each project. This may include but is not limited to:
- Reforestation sites and permaculture garden maintenance
Volunteer interns carry out general upkeep in our community reforestation sites, the project garden and native seedlings & plant nurseries. This is done by planting trees, collecting & germinating native seeds, using drip irrigation and updating important reforestation tracking documents.
- “Lobitos & Piedritas Verde” reforestation projects
We currently work with approx. 60 families in Lobitos and 20 in the small community of Piedritas. Volunteer interns are required to conduct house to house visits in the communities, carrying out family & plant monitoring surveys, as well as planting/maintaining native trees with the local families. Volunteer interns may also have the opportunity to take part in environmental education workshops & communications campaigns, plan, design and undertake big reforestation activities, promote conservation & restoration of local degraded priority sites and get involved with ecological/environmental research projects with associated academic partners.
Our new conservation project in the local Dry Forest of Piedritas aims to provide local people with a sustainable alternative to illegal logging through ecotourism initiatives whilst protecting their native Dry Forest habitat. Volunteer interns may be required to support the development, promotion & improvement of this project, but will also have the opportunity to learn in-depth about the unique biodiversity of the Dry Forest ecosystem and its endangered flora and fauna.
Travel & Accommodation
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. For those joining our in-person placement, 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 reforestation, wildlife & biodiversity conservation, ecological/environmental restoration, habitat recovery, biology, geography, permaculture, international and sustainable development and the like. Undergraduates, postgraduates, PhDs and/or professionals are all welcome. However, we do ask for:
- An academic/basic professional background or personal motivation in environmental science, conservation, biology, geography, sustainable development and the like.
- Minimum age 18.
- Basic experience or strong motivation to work as part of a team away from home.
The most important thing is that you have an open mind, positive attitude and willingness to learn!
Below you’ll see the financial contribution required for the in-person placement. For the online placement discount 33%:
|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