Sea Turtle and Rainforest Conservation Program Ecuador
Our organization was born in 2019 with the hope of contributing to conserve the diverse and fragile ecosystems of the Galera San Francisco peninsula, in northern coast of Ecuador. Our main goal is to work in direct conservation actions to protect the surrounding rainforests and beaches at the marine reserve. We believe, in order to achieve this, it's crucial involving local children and youth, as well as national/international volunteers, through workshops and activities that raise awareness about the importance of respecting all beings of Nature.
- Live a real and unique tropical conservation experience in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, between the last remnants of Ecuadorian coastal rainforest and a Marine Reserve
- Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to get involved in sea turtle conservation actions, such as monitoring nesting beaches for protecting nests as collecting and classifying plastic.
- Support for the conservation of coastal rainforests learning on tropical Permaculture and working in regenerative cacao farms/agroforestry systems alongside real ecological farmers.
- Live an amazing cultural experience living in the jungle and by getting involved in conservation projects with local communities and their youth.
- Enjoy northern Ecuadorian coast with famous beaches of Same and Mompiche only 1h30 away.
This program includes 2 main projects.
Sea Turtle Conservation and Rainforest Conservation
Volunteers will participate in each project depending on the time of the year they arrive, as well as on their interests and our needs. It is guaranteed that volunteers will participate at least 30% of their time in the project that deserves less attention in that season. If you are interested in participating only in one of the projects, please contact us to let you know when it would be the best time of the year for you to arrive.
- Carry out walks along the Marine Reserve beaches for the detection, geo-location (GPS) and protection of sea turtle nests
- Relocation of nests that are in a place with no options of success
- Monitor sea turtle nests until the hatchlings reach the ocean
- Carry out beach plastic cleanings to facilitate nesting of sea turtles (with special aim for ghost nets)
- Collection, classification, reuse and/or recycling of waste found on nesting beaches
- Assistance in theoretical/practical environmental education workshops for local youth.
Rainforest Conservation & Tropical Permaculture Activities:
- Improve the record of wildlife present in the forest/regenerative farms of the area through observation and using wild camera traps. (You will need to download apps like e-Bird, iNaturalist, etc).
- Support in maintenance of regenerative cacao farms (agroforestry systems)
- Planting, pruning, harvesting and processing mainly cacao, as well as other fruits (banana, papaya, passion fruit, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, etc)
- Maintenance of living terraces for soil regeneration, fertility improvement and watershed restoration.
- Collection of seeds to germinate in plant nursery, as well as wild seedlings.
- Reforestation with native species to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, as well as the regeneration of water sources.
- Give workshops or organize activities for local youth on topics that volunteers like (sports, English classes, arts, computing, etc)
- Support in the eco-tourism activities
- Support for the administrative part of the organization (web site, social networks, etc)
For turtle conservation work, schedule and dynamics vary greatly depending on the month of the year. From mid June, nesting season begins, reaching its peak from August to December. During these months, nesting beach monitoring will be carried out between 6.30am and 10am, and may last until the afternoon depending on the turtle activity, nests to protect, exhume or relocate. The days where less turtle activity is found we will clean the beach from plastics and do some work on regenerative farms, veggie garden and/or nursery. After lunch, activities will be organized according to available energies after morning work. In total, 5-6h of work per day is expected from volunteers, ending between 12pm and 3pm depending on starting time. All interns, students and volunteers will spend an important part of their time doing fieldwork. However, all biological work requires data entry and data analysis. This is an important part of our work, so not all the time will be spent in the field. Additionally, volunteers will be asked to help out in chores to clean or prepare for field work. Furthermore, volunteers will help to clean the facilities of the volunteer house and the research station. Volunteers must understand that field work is dependent on many factors that we don’t control. These include weather, availability of gasoline for transportation, etc. We ask volunteers to be patient and understand that working in the field and working in a small town with limited resources, sometimes makes it hard to have things always go along as planned. Students may be involved in more than one project depending on availability. We eagerly try to make Ecuadorian and international students work together as the best way to learn from each other and as a way to promote cultural exchange. Weekends are free time but volunteers, if interested, have the option get involved in the educational project that we are running on local communities. In this case, one day of the week will be off. (5 working days per week in total).
Quingue, Muisne, Esmeraldas
Good physical condition.
Dates of program:
Duration of program:
1 week minimum
Adults of both sexes 18+
US$190 average per week depending on the total amount of weeks you spend at our project, the more time you stay the cheaper it gets per week. This cost includes: training on environmental conservation, accommodation (shared dorms/private room), food, 24/7WiFi access, 24/7 support, 24/7 emergency phone, orientation, activities, tools, organization administrative costs.
Accommodation: most of the time will be on a private/shared room with other volunteers. If the volunteer's stay is longer than 3 months, option to live with a local host family available. Unlimited Wi-Fi access included. Three meals: we will eat very healthy local food from the organic farms, also sustainable fish/chickens/eggs available. Training on marine turtle conservation and/or tropical Permaculture.
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