Food, Lodging & Travel
Living conditions at communities can be basic, although beds, mosquito nets, sheets and blankets are provided throughout, as well as clean drinking water and three healthy meals per day. In the communities, interns will share a common building for sleeping purposes with other interns and project staff, though not with community members per se (who have their own dwellings).
Personal sleeping spaces consist of either tents, bunk beds, or mattresses on the floor. In all cases, mosquito nets are provided and are required to be used by all interns and staff members. Privacy is highest in tents, so those interns who want more privacy should consider bringing their own tent with them. Bunk beds and floor mattresses can be screened off to some degree using plastic sheeting, thus increasing privacy, but this can’t be guaranteed at all sites.
Please note! Volunteers and interns will be staying in Puerto Maldonado during the first and last night at the volunteer hostel. Volunteers will be designated a bed in one of the shared rooms of the hostel, which have shared toilet and shower facilities.
How to get there
Volunteers need to arrive in Puerto Maldonado (PEM) either by flight or bus, which are usually leaving from other larger cities such as Lima or Cusco. The bus from Lima can take more than 30 hours, and it would therefore be recommended to leave from Cusco, if you prefer to take the bus as the journey is only about 10 hours. A representative from the project will come pick you up in either the airport or bus station in Puerto Maldonado, and will take you from there to the volunteer accommodation in town. Volunteers will then usually go to the Amazon research site the following day along with the project representative.
Please note, it is currently [April 2019] recommended to only fly between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado, due to local events on the route the busses are taking.
Applicants should be at least 18 years of age, be in good health, have a fairly good level of physical fitness, speak English fluently and be able to swim 100 m unaided. A keen interest, educational qualifications, and previous experience in a related biological or environmental field would be an advantage, but is not required. A sense of adventure and the ability to endure challenging and hot conditions are essential. Spanish knowledge is useful in order to communicate with the locals, but not required.
Visa to Peru
Depending on your nationality, most volunteers and interns are able to arrive in Peru without a pre-arranged visa, and can pick up a free tourist visa on arrival which is valid for up 6 months. Anyone staying longer than the stated visa expiry date granted on arrival in Peru will accumulate a daily penalty fine – this is not recommended. It is required that your passport is valid for min. 6 months after departure from Peru.
The Amazon rainforest in Peru is within a low-risk malaria zone, and it is rare that you will experience any malaria outbreaks. Rare cases of Leishmaniasis are known, as well as Dengue in Puerto Maldonado, and thus it is important for volunteers to bring long-sleeved clothes and insect spray to prevent insect bites. Yellow Fever and Typhoid vaccinations are recommended, however, it is best to consult your own GP to find out about current recommended vaccinations.