Overview

Gain work experience in community development in the Peruvian context plus choose from additional research or career experience!

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.

Overview

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.

Highlights

  • 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 with an award-winning, mission-driven organisation with a team of passionate experts across the globe who will make your experience a truly unforgettable one.

Founded in 1998, they run programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the objectives of local partners. They welcome participants from all around the world and help facilitate their development into global citizens. This is how they achieve their mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Their commitment to running high-quality sustainable development and experiential education programs has earned them recognition from numerous organizations such as Panthera, the Seychelles Parks & Gardens Authority, as well as Stanford, NYU, Duke, and Ohio State.

If you register your interest below, you’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!

To see all our Conservation Careers Internship opportunities, please click here.

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.

Exploration

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.

Weekend trips

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.

Ziplining

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.

Further travels

Machu Picchu

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.

Nazca Lines

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.

Lima

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.

Arequipa

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.

Cultural immersion

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.

Oxapampa

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.

Festivals

  • 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.

Cooking

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.

Farming

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.

Languages

There will be plenty of opportunities to learn and practice your Spanish language skills by engaging with people in the local community.

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.

Experiences

Exclusive local experiences:

  • Learn to make Peruvian food
  • Discover the natural dyes of Peru
  • Take a mindfulness hike through the forest
  • Try a tree climbing and canopy adventure
  • Explore waterfalls in the rainforest
  • Hike through a remote cloud forest
  • Climb a mountain in the Andes range
  • Camp in untouched cloud forest

 

Enhance your internship with Career or Research opportunities

You can choose to do only the Core Internship, or extend and specialise your experience by choosing between Career or Research internship options.

Career Internship

A career internship will give you a leg up into your career as a conservation or sustainable development practitioner. Career internships are best suited to participants who are looking to gain additional experience collaborating on impactful initiatives with our global partners.

The main focus of our career internships is for you to complete practical work at a base and then a range of virtual project work with our international partners.

Your career internship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:

  • Pre-program training.
  • Three online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond.
  • Training on our partner’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your internship location and project focus.
  • Practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts.
  • A remote internship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance.
  • A project with a partner.
  • A professional reference upon successfully completing your internship.
  • A LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your internship.
  • Access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development.
  • Preference on opportunities to work for our partner.
  • An employment guarantee (if your career internship was longer than 6 months).

You’ll also get the opportunity to gain insight into how projects are implemented in a variety of our career internship locations, when you meet and collaborate virtually with other career interns, and partners, across our locations around the world.

Research Internship

Are you in the process of completing a research paper, thesis or dissertation?

The main focus of a research internship is to support you in collecting and/or analysing the data that you’ll use to write up your paper. And thanks to our partner’s involvement in global conservation and sustainable development, you’ll be able to supplement your research with insights from existing datasets that were 20 years in the making.

Research internships also help you to prepare for your future career in the industry by giving you experience with field research methodologies.

Your research internship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:

  • Pre-program training.
  • Three online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond.
  • Training on our partner’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your internship location and project focus.
  • Practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts.
  • A remote internship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance.
  • Support with completing a research paper or thesis.
  • A professional reference upon successfully completing your internship.
  • A LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your internship.
  • Access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development.
  • Preference regarding opportunities to work for our partner.
  • An employment guarantee (if your research internship was longer than 6 months).

Not to mention unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track, life-changing experiences!

Duration, dates and costs

Start dates are as follows:

  • 2022: 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
  • 2023: 07 Jan; 21 Jan; 04 Feb; 18 Feb; 04 Mar; 18 Mar; 01 Apr; 15 Apr; 29 Apr; 13 May; 27 May; 10 Jun; 24 Jun; 08 Jul; 22 Jul; 05 Aug; 19 Aug; 02 Sep; 16 Sep; 30 Sep; 14 Oct; 28 Oct; 11 Nov; 25 Nov; 09 Dec; 23 Dec
  • 2024: 06 Jan; 20 Jan; 03 Feb; 17 Feb; 02 Mar; 16 Mar; 30 Mar; 13 Apr; 27 Apr; 11 May; 25 May; 08 Jun; 22 Jun; 06 Jul; 20 Jul; 03 Aug; 17 Aug; 31 Aug; 14 Sep; 28 Sep; 12 Oct; 26 Oct; 09 Nov; 23 Nov; 07 Dec; 21 Dec

The costs are:

  • 4 weeks: £2,445
  • 6 weeks: £2,995
  • 8 weeks: £3,495
  • 10 weeks: £3,995
  • 12 weeks: £4,595
  • 14 weeks: £4,995
  • 16 weeks: £5,545
  • 18 weeks: £5,795
  • 20 weeks: £6,295
  • 22 weeks: £6,795
  • 24 weeks: £7,295

What’s included

  • 24-hour emergency desk
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What’s not included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • COVID-19: Health and Hygiene Fee
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Spanish Lessons
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Reserve your place or ask a question