YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.
Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.
THE CENTRE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT:
The Centre 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
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 to 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:
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 Centre 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 writing).
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.
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 programme (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 mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all
our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!