Learn about biodiversity and eco-conservation with a group of volunteers in Brazil! This includes wild animal inventory, tree inventory, grounds maintenance, and more.
Volunteers stay in our brand new volunteer house.
This house can accommodate up to 14 people in 8 rooms.
There are private rooms for people who stay for a longer period of time, but there are also shared rooms for people who stay for a short period.
All rooms have air conditioning.
The house also has a fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms with hot showers and a laundry area with a washing machine.
Volunteers will engage in a wide range of activities that include the following:
- Mammal Inventory: Looking for animal tracks/routes, setting up camera traps, collecting and checking footage. This information is crucial to understand the natural competition animals will face and can help us decide where to release the animals.
- Tree Inventory: Identify and create inventory of (fruit) trees on the release center grounds, create a phonological calendar by checking when their fruiting period starts and ends. With this information, we can better assess where to release the birds as we can direct them towards a food source. Moreover, these birds are tagged and monitored after their reintroduction to the wild to ensure they are adapting well and therefore identifying fruit trees in the area will increase the likelihood of finding the bird to monitor their progress.
- Grounds Maintenance: Maintain the grounds of our management area, help out in gardening and maintaining the vegetable patches on which we grow the food for animals, collect native seeds for our native seedling production and plant more fruit trees on the reserve. In addition we do creative construction projects such as making birdhouses.
- Searching for Mushrooms: Collecting and photographing species of mushrooms found on the reserve. This activity is done during the day or at night if we are searching for bioluminescent mushrooms that glow in the dark.
- Pitfalls for Amphibians: Hiking to our pitfalls (sites where we place buckets to collect frogs) and inventorying species of frogs and collecting data on them.
Volunteers work from 09:00am until 16:00pm with a lunch break for an hour, usually from 12:00 to 13:00.
A typical day depends on the research focus of the day but in general a volunteer’s week looks like this:
Monday: morning + afternoon - tree inventory
Tuesday: morning + afternoon - garden day
Wednesday: morning + afternoon - mushroom inventory, night – search for frogs
Thursday: morning – off, afternoon – mammal inventory
Friday: morning + afternoon -tree inventory
An exception is that on the 3rd week of every month we do the search for frogs using pitfalls which is 5 days straight.
Local Excursions and Sightseeing
We have plenty of fun weekend activities for our volunteers!
These activities include:
- Caves: with over 400 caves, our town Iporanga is called “The Cave Capital of Brazil”. There are various caves which are opened for visitors.
- Casa da Pedra is the world’s largest cave entrance of 215 meters. The trip involves a 2-hour hike to the opening where there is a place to sit down and have a picnic and swim and then a hike back.
- Temimina Cave has a large opening in the ceiling illuminating its oddly shaped diagonal garden. Then you enter into a dark cave where at the end you find a natural shower hole.
- Nucleo Santana is a group of caves and is the most commonly visited as it has a wide range of different types of caves. In some caves you can swim.
- Tubing: tubing is a sport where you get on a big balloon and float down the river. There are various waterways you can do in Iporanga, some more radical and some in the big river which is very relaxing and can last 3 hours.
- Waterfalls: Iporanga has many waterfalls. “Sem Fim” is a small waterfall walking distance from the reserve. “Vale das Ostras” has 12 large waterfalls in a row.
- Cananeia: Cananeia, located on the coast, has various islands with dolphins swimming in between which are very easy to visualize. It is also known for its stunning beaches, awesome boat tours, great restaurants and the mangrove reserve where there are many crabs.
- Quilombos: during the era of slavery many slaves would run away from the plantations and create settlements hidden in the forest. These communities live in relative isolation and you can visit their small towns. For some of the Quilombos the tours include travelling there by boat and having a traditional lunch at one of the families’ homes.
- Dinners: There are many nice restaurants were volunteers can have dinner, some more classy like Casarão and some with traditional Brazilian food. There is also a great fish restaurant. Often volunteers will eat out on the weekends.
- Town Parties: There are a couple of bars in town, some have pool tables and some have dancing areas. On holidays, there are usually town festivals on the streets.
- BBQ: It is very common to have a BBQ on the weekend which is often accompanied with the traditional Brazilian drink called Caipirinha.
We are also happy to assist our volunteers with scheduling optional tours around the area. An average tour costs around $33 and is handled by a third party tourism agency we work with.
We have a medical aid kit and a volunteer phone with emergency contacts, which the volunteers have to take with them when they go work in the field.
In Iporanga, about 6 km from the reserve, there is also an emergency post which is open 24/7 where we will take our volunteers in case of an emergency.
In case of a serious injury, we will take the volunteer to the fully-equipped hospital in Pariquera-Açu, which is about 110 km from Iporanga.
What's included in the fee?
What's not included in the fee?
The following is not included in the fee:
- Flights and travel costs to the reserve
- Insurance: Volunteers are responsible for purchasing travel and health insurance at their own cost and it is a pre-requisite to volunteering at our organization
- Meals: the cost of living (food and drinks) in Iporanga is very low and volunteers should budget for an additional $1.5 - $2.5 per day
- Transport to and back from the reserve costs approximately $150 in total. As the bus leaves early in the morning we recommend flying in the day before so the cost includes the cost of a hostel near the bus stop on the way to the reserve.
- It is possible to start on September 3rd and stay for a shorter period (1 month minimum).
- The cost of living (food and drinks) in Iporanga is very low and volunteers should budget for an additional $1.5 - $2.5 per day.
- Volunteers are required to pay in Brazilian Reals; $24USD is an exchange rate approximation from February 2018.