Gain work experience in community development in the Peruvian context AND get career training from Conservation Careers!
Travel to Oxapampa, a town located in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, to contribute to a range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, #4 Quality Education, and #6 Clean Water and Sanitation.
Gain hands on experience in community development in a traditional Peruvian context. Learn about best practices in community development such as ensuring that projects are set up in participation and lead by local communities. You will also learn about the global impact goals set by the United Nations as each project is aligned with these.
The connection between community development and conservation is a major focus of this program. You can also get involved in initiatives like environmental education workshops at local schools and the annual reforestation project. Community development project interns might get involved in supporting local educators with facilitating English language learning for young students in their classrooms, supporting local professionals with improving their vocational skills, including conversational English used for business, and assisting locally owned businesses with becoming more sustainable.
Communication with community members on this program is conducted in Spanish. If you are not fluent in Spanish, Spanish lessons will be required. These can be requested when you book onto the program. Simply speak to your Enrolment Manager to learn more.
- Learn about and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- Earn experience working on sustainable development projects in local Peruvian context.
- Gain skills like intercultural communication and public speaking that can be added to your resume.
- Practice your conversational Spanish.
- During your free time, on the weekends or after your volunteer program, you can visit some of the surrounding national parks and monuments.
Our Award-winning Partner
Conservation Careers has teamed up a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).
Their award-winning projects receive over 2000 participants every year, and we’re proud to say that the vast majority of them describe their experience with them as ‘life changing’. Their approval rate from over 20 000 participants since 1997 is over 95%.
A key component of the success of their community development and conservation projects is the participants who join their programs. Opportunities include high impact volunteering from one week and up, internships for those looking for career development opportunities, Challenges that allow a one week adventure all for a good cause and a range of programs for school groups and younger volunteers.
If you register your interest below, we’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!
Life on base
This project gives you the opportunity to live and work within the rainforest. Share a home with like-minded people from all over the world with the amazon rainforest on your doorstep. In the evenings and on the weekends, hike the trails of the nearby national park, or spend time in Oxapampa town among the locals.
Increasing Employability: Pre Departure Program Training
Our programs are not only life-changing experiences but are also designed to help participants increase their employability. We have developed a curriculum to be completed prior to arrival in the country in order to ensure that more time is dedicated to program work once you commence your volunteer program.
Eight weeks prior to your start date, you will complete the following online courses in preparation for your in-country program:
PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION (1 hour)
PROGRAM SPECIFIC TRAINING (1 – 5 hours)
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COURSE (10 – 15 hours)
LEADERSHIP COURSE (10 – 15 hours)
CAREERS COURSE (10 – 15 hours)
In order to obtain a certificate for the Community Development, Leadership and Careers courses which are endorsed by the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, you will need to complete quizzes & assignments and will be given 4 weeks post program to submit your work.
If you are looking to travel in less than 8 weeks from now, you will still complete the course however this will be done in country and all content will need to be downloaded before arrival.
Health & Hygiene
The work we contribute to across the globe remains important and new measures allow our participants to continue to join our programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. Changes to our existing protocols have been made by our health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities. Please inquire for more information on the protocols.
Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.
Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.
El Tigre Waterfall
Take in the cascading waters of El Tigre Waterfall, also known as Catarata Rio Tigre. Viewed from a pedestrian suspension bridge over the river, this waterfall is located just 14 kilometres from the Oxapampa city centre.
Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park
Located to the north of Oxapampa you can find the Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, known for its diverse flora and fauna species and rare cloud forest biome.
Experience the wonders of the Peruvian Amazon from a different perspective by ziplining through the cloud forests of Oxapampa.
Canoeing and Kayaking
There are many peaceful rivers and canals in the area to explore with a kayak or canoe. This tranquil setting will allow you to spot local wildlife like monkeys and birds in the canopies above.
Travel to the city of Cusco, known as the gateway to Machu Picchu. Here there are many trails available for hikers of differing fitness levels. This is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Peru, therefore we recommend booking far ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
View the massive geoglyphs, symbols made using only rocks and the top layer of soil, make by the Nazca culture. The best views are afforded from the air, so be sure to rent a flight over Paracas National Reserve.
Huacachina Desert Oasis
A great day trip from Lima, is a visit to Huacachina, an oasis in the middle of the desert. Swim in the lake, relax on its shores, or sandboard the surrounding dunes.
Visit Peru’s capital, stroll the promenade sampling the city’s famous street eats or join the local surf cult hanging ten just off the edge of the capital’s limestone cliffs.
Visit the three city set between three volcanoes. The city has a unique culture different to any other throughout Peru. Hike nearby Colca Canyon to see the great condor in flight.
The Reed Islands
Travel to Puno to learn how the local people make their own islands using reeds that float on one of the highest lakes in the world, Titicaca.
Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.
Surrounded by beautiful high jungle scenery and located just 500 kilometres northeast of Lima, the small town of Oxapampa boasts many interesting cultural aspects. Rolling hills blanketed in the cloud serve as a backdrop to the charming wooden houses of the town, where the Peruvian, German and Austrian cultural influences can most obviously be seen. Oxapampa’s close proximity to Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park is another one of the things that make this town a popular spot for tourists to the region.
- January: The Adoration of the Kings, or honouring of the birth of the Christ child by the three kings, is celebrated with great fanfare.
- April: Easter is often celebrated for an entire week and the local plaza fills up with celebrants.
- May: Taking place in late May and early June, Quyllurit’i, celebrates the beginning of harvest season. Thousands of pilgrims arrive to watch the sun rise.
- June: The Selvamonos Music and Art Festival is celebrated in Oxapampa in June. Also celebrated in June is the traditional Incan festival of Inti Raymi in honour of the sun god Inti.
- July: The festival of the Virgin of Carmen, is celebrated for four day with traditional costumes and dances in mid July. Late July is when Peru celebrates their independence from the Spanish government.
- August: The first day of August is Andean New Year, and is celebrated by building and burning altars of traditional foods.
- September: In early September Catholics celebrate the birth of the mother of Jesus with Peru. The festival of Lord Huanca honours a local saint and a local Andean ceremony acts as an initiation ceremony for boys from the local community.
- November: On the first few days of November, Catholics celebrate the Day of the Dead to honour their ancestors.
Spirituality and Religion
Peru has a mostly Catholic population. However, communities still hold certain beliefs of the Inca religion. They honour the earth mother as well as local spirits.
Weaving and Pottery
The art of pottery and textile making is central to culture. Pottery and textiles are not only functional, everyday items, but are imbued with meaning by their makers. Learn about pottery and textile making at the foot of the masters, the women of the local community.
The Inca had many unique ways of preserving and cooking food. Communities still preserve some of these methods like cooking in an earth oven and freeze drying meat.
Locally the most important agricultural pursuits are coffee and the farming of cattle using methods that date back to the time of the Inca. Here you can learn about how crops, like coffee, potatoes and corn, are grown and used for food, medicine, and as a dye for textiles. Learn about the process of planting, harvesting, and preparing food as well as how alpaca wool is gathered and dyed.
There will be plenty of opportunities to learn and practice your Spanish language skills by engaging with people in the local community.
Since you will be working in a rural traditional community in Oxapampa, it is also important that you learn about some of the local customs and what is culturally appropriate. Upon arrival, we will start with a presentation about local culture, appropriate dress sense, and topics of conversation.
BONUS! Kick-starter online training for Early Career Conservationists (worth £295)
Feeling lost in your conservation job hunt? Want to work in conservation, but don’t know where to start? Get your career on track with the Kick-starter online training for Early Career Conservationists designed to help you understand the job market, to navigate your career options, and to get hired more quickly.
Whether you’re at university and planning your next steps, a graduate in the job hunt or working in an unrelated job but interested to switch into conservation, this course is designed to help you.
This unique online course has been designed to increase your chances of success, and is being specially organised and run by Conservation Careers.
All you need to do is register your interest in the project below, and if you choose to make a booking we’ll save a place for you on our course when you get back from your placement.
Included in the course is a year’s full-access membership of the Conservation Careers Academy, which includes access to over 8,000 jobs, 1,500 training courses, live training events and many more career-boosting options.
Duration, dates and costs
Start dates are as follows:
- 2021: 15 May; 29 May; 12 Jun; 26 Jun; 10 Jul; 24 Jul; 07 Aug; 21 Aug; 04 Sep; 18 Sep; 02 Oct; 16 Oct; 30 Oct; 13 Nov; 27 Nov; 11 Dec; 25 Dec
- 2022: 08 Jan; 22 Jan; 05 Feb; 19 Feb; 05 Mar; 19 Mar; 02 Apr; 16 Apr; 30 Apr; 14 May; 28 May; 11 Jun; 25 Jun; 09 Jul; 23 Jul; 06 Aug; 20 Aug; 03 Sep; 17 Sep; 01 Oct; 15 Oct; 29 Oct; 12 Nov; 26 Nov; 10 Dec; 24 Dec
The costs are:
- 4 weeks: £1,945
- 6 weeks: £2,445
- 8 weeks: £2,895
- 10 weeks: £3,345
- 12 weeks: £3,795