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 alongside experienced & passionate professionals and local communities.
- Live and work in a north Peru surfing hot-spot.
- Ideal for those studying Engineering and Renewable Energy Technology
- Keywords:Engineering, field work, sustainable development, community development, serious internship.
During this internship, you will be working with a surfing-inspired sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability, improving the quality of life of their inhabitants. The NGO develops educational, infrastructure, environmental, social and economic productivity projects working hand in hand with local communities and with international volunteers/interns. They take a “shared value” approach, working with the private, public, academic sectors and other NGOs, to come up with relevant and lasting sustainable solutions. The approach towards sustainability consists of three pillars:
– Nature conservation;
– Social justice; and
– Economic wellbeing for all.
The NGO currently operates in a coastal northern town and surfing hotspot, which has seen an increase in uncontrolled tourism over the last 15 years. As a result of the town’s lack of infrastructure, lack of communication between stakeholders and lack of integrated development programmes, this tourism is giving rise to various environmental, social and economic risks to the town’s long-term sustainability and wellbeing. The NGO is working to change this through a variety of projects from distinct disciplines, but needs all the help they can get. The organisation runs many different initiatives and at times finds itself thinly stretched. This is an excellent opportunity for you to gain valuable international development experience on how to run an NGO in a developing region, turning you into an agent of change, in a time when you are very much needed.
The main proportion of inhabitants in Lobitos are fishermen or belong to fishermen families. Their income largely depends on their artisanal fishing activity. The idea of having this renewable energy setup at their Community Hall is to strengthen the Fishermen Association so that they can be more productive/efficient and add more economic value to their local fish catch, instead of just selling it right away to market middlemen as they catch it.
Early in 2016, we installed a state-of-the-art photovoltaic energy system at the Community Hall of the Lobitos Artisanal Fishermen’s Association, as one of the objectives after a successful crowdfunding campaign. The setup is made up of two solar panels of 600W (300W each), four maintenance-free deep cycle use rechargeable batteries of 12V and 100Ah (20 hours) and a smart multi-function inverter/charger of 2.4kW and 24/220V.
This system is currently powering the Community Hall in the middle of the Primavera neighbourhood, the main fishermen’s neighbourhood in Lobitos. In this way the Community Hall has turned into a centre where the inhabitants can access free, clean and renewable energy, especially during the occasional blackouts from the grid in Lobitos. It has also reduced the Fishermen Association’s electric bill, greatly reducing their operating costs and generating important savings for the organization. However, the installed system can handle up to 2.4kW of load and it is currently running with idle capacity (only 10-20% of power is used). This project can keep improving and there are several activities in which the intern could get involved with, including:
- Designing and implementing energy systems for use of this idle capacity in benefit of the Fishermen Association (eg: powering equipment that adds economic value to the local fish catch, powering a solar distiller for desalinization of seawater for the community, powering equipment that generates other revenue streams for the fishermen, etc.)
- Obtain energy-usage data from the smart inverter in order to calculate and produce CO2 emissions reductions reports from the use of clean energy instead of the grid.
- Designing and implementing any add-ons or improvements to the existing system
- Research into, scope, design and implement, a mixed system by adding a wind energy component (eg: wind turbines) so as to diversify the dependency on different renewable energy sources.
We are looking for someone with a passion for renewable energy (engineers, technicians, specialists, etc.). A university specialization or work experience is preferable. Someone who has minimum proficiency in Spanish and is capable of working as part of a team and in remote areas. Good communication skills and the ability to multitask will be essential.
Travel & Accommodation
You will be met at the local airport in Talara and transferred directly to the project location.
Throughout your placement you will be living in comfortable accommodation at the NGO headquarters with access to an office workplace and resources, fully equipped kitchen, shared bathroom and shared bedrooms, access to clean water, electricity and Internet (99% of the time). The house also has a shared living room/chill-out space with a DVD-player.
All meals are included during your stay (excluding restaurant meals). Peruvian cuisine is considered as one of the best in the world and is also generally very healthy, incorporating lots of fruits and fresh produce.
- Minimum age 18.
- Minimum 2-week commitment.
- Intermediate to fluent Spanish (proficiency is preferable but not required).
- Experience working away from home.
- Ability to be flexible.
- Positive attitude (this one is critical!).
- Willingness to learn and work as part of a team.
- Genuine interest in sustainable development & NGO Management.
- Relevant academic background.
- Determination, self-motivation and ability to work in a team environment.
- Travel & medical insurance.
- Necessary vaccinations and visas.
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.
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Note: Map coordinates are approximate