Volunteers can make important contributions and we attempt to provide opportunities for volunteers who share our goals and objectives, but we do not have the capacity to place all potential volunteers. We believe that the person-to-person interactions of volunteers with the people of the Amazon are valuable, and an important key to promoting awareness of the Amazon and appreciation of its natural and human riches. Volunteers might serve as field assistants for research, for projects involving maintenance and upgrading of facilities, or assist with the implementation of conservation, community development or educational projects. Unfortunately we frequently have more volunteer offers than we are able to accept, or we are unable to accommodate volunteers at certain times due to other circumstances. Volunteer requirements are:
It is essential that volunteers have a working knowledge of Spanish as our Peruvian staff and the local people speak only Spanish and/or a native language. In many cases, volunteers may be alone (apart from field station staff) for some length of time at one of the field stations, so being able to communicate effectively in Spanish is a must.
Citizenship, age, insurance and liability
Citizens of any country are welcome to apply. With few exceptions, successful applicants will be 18 years of age or older (medical and dental volunteers must be 18 or older). All volunteers are required to sign a waiver of liability; if under the age of 18, a legal guardian (parent or other) must also sign the waiver. It is strongly encouraged that volunteers have health and travel insurance to cover the time period of their volunteer activities.
Length of Volunteer Service
The minimum length of volunteer time that we will consider is a two week commitment. In general, the maximum length of time will be 3 months (after three months you will have to leave Peru to renew your visa, or you will need to apply for a visa extension.
Volunteers make their own travel arrangements to and from Iquitos, Peru. We will be happy to recommend a travel agent for this purpose, and work with volunteers to coordinate schedules and river transport, but we do not book actual travel.
Funding and Expenses
Volunteers are responsible for travel expenses to/from Iquitos, and also need to cover basic living expenses while in Peru as well. We work to keep costs at a minimum, but are not currently able to offer stipends volunteers. In Iquitos a wide range of accommodations and meals are available, and living expenses can start as low as about $20 (at the lower end). At Project Amazonas field stations, volunteer costs are $20/day plus any transportation costs. We can work out lower rates for longer-term volunteers willing to do their own cooking. Food and fuel costs are the two primary costs that we have when accommodating volunteers. We attempt to coordinate river transport to/from Iquitos to minimize or eliminate river travel costs.
Prospective volunteers should send a current Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume, a statement of their interest in volunteering, and the range of dates they are interested in volunteering for. We will be best able to arrange volunteer service if you contact us several months in advance of your desired start date.
Other Considerations and Requirements
Volunteers should be aware that they will be spending time in very remote areas, without easy access to telephones, email, or specialized medical care. At times, rapid boat access from the field sites to Iquitos may not be immediately available. Living conditions are rustic but comfortable, and the climate may be hot and humid with a good selection of biting insects. Such conditions are not for everyone! Volunteers need to be mature and self-directed, as it is unlikely that they will have continual supervision. A sense of humor and a good dose of patience are essential.