Amazonia Expeditions offers opportunities for community service as part of our charitable outreach. Our service programs are designed to inspire participants by making a contribution in a needy region of the world. Our volunteers have come away with personal growth and the reward of contributing meaningful work in this remote wilderness and foreign culture - enriching their lives for the better.
Our diverse selection of service projects includes everything from low-skill labor to high skill medical or dental care. Community service projects can range for a day or two, to a week, to several weeks in length. Part of a regular tourist program can include community service or one's entire trip can be devoted to a service project. Following are some examples of service projects that one may select.
The development of conservation strategy depends upon knowledge of species populations. Our mammal census collects data to determine species density and abundance of key species, such as jaguar, puma, and primates. Service volunteers are quickly schooled in distance sampling technique and wildlife identification and then walk transect trails in Amazon forest to record observations of monkeys. While walking the trails the volunteer also replaces memory cards from the motion activated night vision cameras which record the presence of animals active at night, such as jaguar. In the evening the volunteer adds the data collected from personal observation as well as the memory cards to the computerized data base. At the conclusion of the service term the biologist will discuss the relevance of the data collected. Wildlife census volunteers can contribute anything from a single day of service to several weeks or months of service. Recognizing the important contribution of this form of service, the cost is typically only 75% compared to a typical tourism program.
Community Low-Skill Construction
There are several short term community construction projects that are perfect for school groups looking to add community service as part of their tourism program. Wood and other material is bought and prepared in Iquitos city and volunteers sand the pieces assemble them and paint them. Construction projects can include trash and recycling bins, school desks and chairs, library shelves, etc. In addition to tourism cost the volunteers must also pay the cost of materials, usually $30 per student per day.
There are many elementary school students with a keen interest in art, a subject which is not taught by teachers in the jungle communities. Volunteers who have a background in art can host workshops for the interested students. Workshops are usually held at our lodge facilities and last 2 days, morning and afternoon. A guide/translator is provided. Service volunteers may bring their supplies or we can buy in Iquitos city for a nominal fee. A slight discount off the tourism fee may be offered to leaders of art workshops, depending on qualifications.
English is an international language of commerce and business and even children in remote native communities have a keen desire to learn some English. In the cities of Peru it is required for all students to take English, but this requirement is lacking in the simpler education offered to rural communities. We need volunteers with a knowledge of Spanish and an interest and ability to teach English to offer workshops lasting a week or more. Workshops can be offered in the afternoon, complimenting a regular tourism program in morning and evenings. Recognizing the important contribution of this form of service, the cost is typically only 75% compared to a typical tourism program.
Medical internships at the rural clinic are available for volunteers wishing to stay a minimum of two weeks. Short term medical workshops or clinics, including dental extraction clinics are also available for volunteers with proper medical qualifications. Recognizing the importance of this contribution, fees for days involved in health services only involve nominal costs of food, lodging, boat transfers and native assistant/translator.