EcoSwell is a surfing-inspired and multiple award winning sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability. We develop environmental, educational, infrastructure and socio-economic projects working hand in hand with local communities and international interns.
Reforestation/afforestation has been categorized, by the Global Climate Agreement signed in Paris, as one of two main calls to action to help fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. Equatorial/Tropical Dry Forest ecosystems are a conservation/restoration priority due to their many unique species and because they have lost over 90% of their former extent. Our reforestation project, “Lobitos Verde” was one of our first initiatives with the community of Lobitos. Initiated in 2013, we have been planting native seedlings with local women and their families to green the neighborhoods of Lobitos. We are also doing this in the town of Piedritas, through our “Piedritas Verde” initiative. Not only has this empowered the women as leaders of the project, but it has also raised awareness of environmental issues. It has encouraged people to reuse and save water using permaculture techniques, whilst increasing the extent of habitat for native bird species in danger of extinction. Together, we have planted and are currently caring for thousands of seedlings propagated by EcoSwell in both Lobitos and Piedritas, working with a total of around 90 families. Over the past few years, this project has branched out into community-led ecotourism, local ecosystem restoration, ecological/environmental education campaigns, and endangered and endemic bird/wildlife conservation initiatives (Peruvian Plantcutter, Phytotoma raimondii), receiving funding from various international entities.
We need hard-working people with a strong interest, background knowledge or basic experiencing in reforestation, conservation, biology/ecology, and the like, to come and support us in these ongoing projects. The benefits of taking part in this volunteer internship are:
– Enhance your CV and gain professional hands-on experience managing sustainable projects in an international development NGO, having a real and positive impact on a vulnerable community.
– Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of ecological, environmental & permaculture techniques, reforestation and biodiversity/nature conservation of the Dry Forest ecosystem.
– Learn from our educational seminars given by our Directors on topics including but not limited to: international development, NGO/social enterprise creation and management, marketing and outreach, research techniques and more.
– Work alongside experienced & passionate people from a range of disciplines & backgrounds.
As a reforestation volunteer intern at EcoSwell, you will be given ownership of the projects, directly co-managing our conservation and reforestation initiatives. Daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at of each project. This may include but is not limited to:
– Reforestation sites and permaculture garden maintenance
Volunteer interns carry out general upkeep in our community reforestation sites, the EcoSwell garden and native seedlings & plant nurseries. This is done by planting trees, collecting & germinating native seeds, using drip irrigation and updating important reforestation tracking documents.
– “Lobitos & Piedritas Verde” reforestation projects
We currently work with approx. 60 families in Lobitos and 20 in the small community of Piedritas. Volunteer interns are required to conduct house to house visits in the communities, carrying out family & plant monitoring surveys, as well as planting/maintaining native trees with the local families. Volunteer interns may also have the opportunity to take part in environmental education workshops & communications campaigns, plan, design and undertake big reforestation activities, promote conservation & restoration of local degraded priority sites and get involved with ecological/environmental research projects with associated academic partners.
Our new conservation project in the local Dry Forest of Piedritas aims to provide local people with a sustainable alternative to illegal logging through ecotourism initiatives whilst protecting their native Dry Forest habitat. Volunteer interns may be required to support the development, promotion & improvement of this project, but will also have the opportunity to learn in-depth about the unique biodiversity of the Dry Forest ecosystem and its endangered flora and fauna.
Accommodation & Travel
It’s easy to get to Lobitos! There are daily flights from Lima to Talara where you will be met at the airport and driven directly to Lobitos.
During your volunteer internship with us, you will be provided with comfortable accommodation in the EcoSwell House, including all meals (healthy and mostly vegetarian) and airport pickup/dropoff. This is included in your financial contribution. Volunteer interns sleep in shared dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and access to a shared living room, office space, kitchen, internet connection, clean water and a garden.
Extra activities (applicable to the in-person placement)
Interns work between 9am to 5pm on weekdays but evenings and weekends are free for you to spend as you wish. The northern coast of Peru has amazing waves, beaches and towns to go visit, with lots of different activities on offer such as:
– Surf lessons with local instructors in Lobitos. Alternatively, rent one of our EcoSwell surfboards and head out to the waves by yourself.
– Yoga classes
– Swimming with turtles
– Fishing, sea-lion and whale watching trips with local fishermen
– Trekking and birdwatching in the native Dry Forest ecosystem
– Eat traditional Peruvian food at local restaurants
– Visits to other nearby beaches and towns within hours of Lobitos to explore more Peruvian landscapes, culture & history.
Please note that these activities are separate and are not included in the financial contribution you make as part of the volunteer internship.
This volunteer internship is open to all disciplines, but is ideal for those interested in international and sustainable development. Undergraduates, postgraduates, PhDs and/or professionals are all welcome. However, we do ask for:
– Minimum age 18.
– Basic experience or strong motivation to work as part of a team away from home.
However, the most important thing is that you have an open mind, positive attitude and willingness to learn!
Online Placement Financial contribution
The financial contribution required from volunteer interns for our online position is 33% less than that of our in person placement – please see details below.
Two weeks (price per week $335) = $670
Three weeks (price per week $330) = $989
Four weeks (price per week $330) = $1,319
Five weeks (price per week $321) = $1,605
Six weeks (price per week $321) = $1,926
Eight weeks (price per week $321) = $2,568
12 weeks (price per week $307) = $3,684
In-Person Placement Financial contribution
We require a financial contribution from volunteer interns. Bank transfer costs are included as well as the one off donation. Please bear in mind that there is a minimum of a 2 week stay at EcoSwell and maximum can be up to 6 months or more!
Two weeks (price per week $490) = $980
Three weeks (price per week $482) = $1,446
Four weeks (price per week $482) = $1,928
Five weeks (price per week $469) = $2,345
Six weeks (price per week $469) = $2,814
Eight weeks (price per week $469) = $3,752
12 weeks (price per week $448) = $5,376
Since we have limited volunteer/intern spaces, if you have been accepted we will need you to secure your placement by depositing a non-refundable 30% of your placement’s total financial contribution within 1 week of being accepted. Full payment will be required 4 weeks prior to your arrival the latest. Any refund of the 70% of the full payment (minus all transaction costs) will only be available if cancellation is confirmed before more than 30 days of confirmed arrival date. No refunds of any kind will be available within 30 days of confirmed arrival date. Payment details will be given by our team during the application process.
As a result of the impacts of COVID-19, some families in our communities are struggling to feed themselves. By simply joining our program, you’ll be helping to feed a family in need. As a token of their appreciation, and with our help, they will plant a tree in your name. You will receive a photo with a thank you from the family you’ve helped.
For more information about costs, please visit the financial contribution section on our website: https://www.ecoswell.org/financial-contribution