|CONSERVATION IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST||
BIENVENIDO! - Welcome to the Amazon Rainforest! You'll begin your project in the ancient Inca capital city of Cusco where you'll receive an induction and orientation before starting on the fascinating journey through the High Andes to the Acjance Park Guard Station where you’ll learn about the Cloud Forest. Then you descend into the Amazon via motorised canoe down the Madre de Dios River. The journey is spectacular, an exciting adventure in itself!
LATEST NEWS! This Project has been awarded Rainforest Alliance (RA) verification mark for high standards of sustainability. (Sustainability has credibility issues and RA sets tough standards, some 320 measurements to make sure everything along the chain is considered; from local suppliers, and building practices, to the education of staff and volunteers.) Congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement!
On your arrival (this is in the late afternoon) and after settling in, you'll have a short, informal welcome and orientation session. The following day you'll be taken on a guided walk into the forest. This will be followed by a half-day introduction to the rainforest and how it works. The project will 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 results.
As mentioned above, this is a multi-activity project. There are many different projects and 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. "When I arrived, all the volunteers were working on their own projects and they took great pride in showing me what they were doing. They all felt their efforts were benefiting the local community." (Paul White) 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 activities that are carried out at the Centre:
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ACTION
Volunteer involvement in these projects is an important morale booster for local people living in often difficult conditions.Education projects:
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 hours drive.
The Rainforest Centre 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!
START DATES FOR 2013:
THE CENTRE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT: 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.
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.
"I have visited rainforests a great many times and this is by far the best I’ve seen." Paul White
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 ecosystems).
It is through comparative studies between the old and new forest that conservationists aim learn more about the effect of human activity on biodiversity as well as the ability of forests to regenerate.
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 Centre:
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 Centre in the Amazon to Cusco is included in the cost of the placement and is arranged for you by the managers in Peru. Those wishing to do some independent travel after their placement can opt to stay in Cusco rather than going straight to the airport. If you do choose to stay in Cusco for a while, 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.
Rainy Season: The rainy season is between November and April with the worst of the rain occurring from February to March. Work at the Centre does continue through the rainy season because the arrays (working paths) are designed to be useable throughout the year.
4 Day / 3 Night Trek - Hot Springs OR
Got any questions? Please email us:
|ACCOMMODATION & TRAVEL||
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, handbasin 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 area.
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.
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.
"Some nights 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 Centre for the duration of their placement and visit Cusco at the end of their project.
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent Support
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.
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