RESPONSIBLE & ETHICAL TRAVEL:
Sustainable and ongoing development of local communities is always the primary aim of our volunteer projects and this project is no different. You'll take up where others before you left off and thus helping to continue making this project sustainable.
The love and care for Peru is the driving force behind this project's operations. To this end, they run conservation projects, community projects and related internships that leave you with a lifelong lasting concern for conservation and community.
Their vision is to help create and sustain a more prosperous, fair and healthy Amazon for present and future generations. Harmonising conservation initiatives, social welfare and economic stability in a consistent manner is their ethos.
The project currently protects over 643 hectares of forest in the most biodiverse place in the world. They finance a variety of conservation research programmes that involve both local and international students and they have created comprehensive registers of biodiversity. This year alone research undertaken with Glasgow University has led to the potential discovery of 5 new species of amphibians as well as 7 individual types of Jaguar - unheard of anywhere else in the Amazon.
They also currently protect 13 species of endangered animals on the reserve. During the last year our bio-camera trapping recorded 655 different species within the reserve.
They are extremely concerned to ensure that their impact is always positive and never damaging. They aim to bring benefit to local communities, especially the vulnerable and the poor, and to help sustain a healthy environment where both people and nature can thrive.
During your internship you'll learn to appreciate how the skills you gain can help you to sustain and perpetuate a concern for environments and habitats.
The Lodge in the Manu Biosphere Reserve where you'll live during your Internship has been verified by the Rainforest Alliance for their commitment to sustainable practices. It was designed using sustainable principals and all the materials used are from sustainable sources. They also initially offset all carbon emissions for the buildings. The designs are based on local Machigenga tribe’s building style and they have unofficially been recognised by the Ministry of Tourism as one of the best lodges in the Madre de Dios region.
The project also offsets all their carbon footprint. Locally they share transport with other local operators to reduce carbon footprint. They continually strive to improve their environmental sustainability, reduce their footprint on the planet, and support the flourishing of plant and animal life.
SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY:
Together with our partner organisation, we are passionate about mutually beneficial interaction with the local community. You'll be encouraged to take part in any extracurricular efforts to help the community in projects that will improve their environment.
To this end, information on how to leave minimal negative impact on the environment is given to you prior to your departure as part of your documentation from Travellers Worldwide. This is also highlighted in your induction on arrival.
This project's community-minded efforts include trying to minimise the adverse effect of poverty and poor resource management by local communities. To do this, they actively engage with local communities to come up with sustainable strategies that will change the lifestyles and quality of life of the indigenous people, the care and conservation of indigenous wildlife and plant life, and minimise or eliminate any negative impact on the environment.
Among many other efforts, the project employs local people, uses local partners who subscribe to positive environmental impacts such as encouraging the use of environment-friendly products, and creates and promotes sustainable agriculture and timber and carbon alternatives which reduce the human and carbon footprint in the rainforest.
Your work here contributes to, and helps to continue, the long chain of worthwhile achievements in this community. You'll also be directly influencing the local economy and supporting international tourism, an important part of the country's general economy. So, by living in the local area, you're bringing in income through tourism and education through cultural exchange!
The accommodation on this project is locally owned and all the staff are from the neighbourhood. Where food is provided, produce is purchased in nearby shops, helping provide authentic local cuisine. Where you've chosen host family accommodation (where available), families are selected based on their desire to provide real cultural exchange and at the same time a warm family environment.
Social Responsibility: The information we provide prepares you for your placement and how to deal with the local people. It also briefs you on the Do’s and Don’ts and makes you aware of the possible impact of your behaviour. However, you are also expected to do research on the country you're going to and their customs and culture. The research you do will help you to gt the most out of this exciting travel and experience opportunity.
Cultural sensitivity: Volunteers receive an induction and orientation on arrival which covers things like being sensitive to the culture you’re in, everyday processes which will be different to what you’re accustomed to, how to have the maximum beneficial imprint and the minimum negative impact.
We stress the importance of responsible tourism, cultural differences and acceptable/unacceptable conduct. Where appropriate, volunteers are briefed on local customs, particularly those that are different to the volunteer’s accepted norm.
Economic Responsibility: By living in the volunteer house provided by the project you’ll, again, be providing much needed income and employment to the local population. The house is simple and built from natural materials and you are actively encouraged to recycle, be efficient with energy and water usage and preserve the natural surroundings. All food is provided and sourced locally. Your transport to and from the project will usually be either on a bicycle or walking again contributing to green efforts.
For 25 years our volunteers have lived in local communities around the world, spent their money with local traders and brought funding to the projects they work with. Travellers employs local staff and works with local support staff. This helps to fund the project directly and through bringing money into the local community.
In general, the organisations we work with around the world often struggle to financially support and maintain the work they do, so every penny raised makes a real difference.
Our aim is to create always a Win-Win-Win situation in terms of the benefits for, (a) the local communities and institutions you work in, (b) our Volunteers, i.e. you, and (c) for Travellers. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to all three of these stakeholders.
The impact of pollution: Where transport to and from the project is required, it is left up to you to choose. Public transport is always recommended by us and all nearby public transport routes are shown to all new arrivals. If taxis are required, you'll be encouraged to share with other volunteers in order to lessen the impact of pollution wherever possible.
Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage you to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect
POSITIVE EFFECTS THAT TRAVELLERS HAS ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT:
We provide you with many tips on how to be a responsible traveller regarding the environmental impact you have.
We want you to be immersed in the culture, by living and working with local people. We work with local communities, local charities, local government bodies and local schools. We also often partner with local organisations whom we have vetted to ensure that they are committed to the projects they run, that they have the same responsible attitude to the local community that we do, that they are eco-friendly and have ethical policies.
In our projects and in our headquarters offices, we take an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme. Our volunteers are given pre-departure Information that encourages them to minimise waste and reduce their use of water and electricity, in other words, to live sensitively in the environment that they’re working in.
Travellers also give donations as and when required by projects. This is often done through our charitable arm, The Bridge The Gap Foundation. Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.