French English

Testimonials ecovolunteers

You attended one of our missions?
Leave your testimonial

Celestino participated in the conservation of marine turtles in Nicaragua

Mission of 51 days, carried out in June 2017
This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My participation

On the project, the work is free: you will choose with the other members of the project the work to be done and the distribution of tasks according to your affinities, your fatigue and your interests. Generally, the tasks are as follows in July / August: patrols at night, DIY in the morning or in the afternoon OR day of guard at the nursery or on the island; and relaxation the rest of the day (stroll, fishing, swimming (dangerous attention!), dodo hammock, reading, chatting). For the bathing, the locals will explain how to do as well as the manager of the casa (there are always 1 or 2 people who manage the casa and who are there for several months in general, who speak English and Spanish). Warning language! In my opinion, it is essential to have Spanish bases, because you will speak almost Spanish, whether it is with the locals or with the Nicaraguan volunteers (there are 3 and 4 at all times, they are usually students in veterinary, biology, ornithology having between 20 and 25 years) or with the ladies who cook as well as with the person responsible for the work of the casa. The project protects several places, the nursery (or bring all the eggs from the estuary beaches) and Tigra Island (a small island on which the nests are naturally left). These two places are monitored 24h / 24 either by you or by premises paid by the project and the schedule is done as explained above! Patrols: 2 teams per night patrol on an 6h time slot, either from 18h to midnight or from midnight to 6h. Do not panic, on 6h of beach time, 3h only are generally patrolled because the turtles come out to lay at high tide and when the night is very black (moons game) and full of factors that make that it is not so long that it in the air! Patrols are carried out on the island and the beaches of the estuary. PS: to see turtles AND babies turtles, the months of July and August are the best: you can attend the lakes AND the births. Births begin more from mid-July. DIY: As an example I will give you a couple of things we did: construction of a wooden bridge / cutting of a path + construction of signs indicating to the visitors what are some trees / painting of the casa / construction of a wall in the casa / plug the holes of the roof of the casa to avoid infiltrations during the thunderstorms. PS: The project is to be avoided for anyone who is sensitive to thunderstorms. I do not say this to discourage people wishing to come but it is a reality (in July there must have been 1 every 3 days and in August 2 every 3 days). There are two types of thunderstorms, thunderstorms, stronger (of the same type as European thunderstorms) and thunderstorms they call "las tormentas electricas" with a continuous sound rumbling and thunderclaps all seconds -> horrible! You do not risk very much (the lightning strikes very rarely the casas) but it is scary and it is a fact!

My expectations

You will be very well received by the international volunteers, the Nicaraguan volunteers (it is a real chance that they will be there, to immerse yourself in the culture of the young people of the country), the kitchen and the DIY manager of the casa and the manager (s) of the casa. The rhythm of life in the casa is often linked to the managers of the casa. During my stay I attended a change of manager and I greatly preferred the second binomial! It is impossible to tell you more about it because they change constantly, but rest assured, there are always managers of gifts! The days are very quiet, some can be long and boring (day of surveillance has two in the nursery or on the island) and others completely crazy (several turtles during the day, work in the house, a storm,. ..)!

My advice

It is, to my liking, easy to reach the project by bus. Here is my advice: Tell David (the one who takes care of the volunteers on the project) that you will arrive by bus indicating the date of your arrival to the project as well as if you will arrive by the bus of Venecia or that of Padre Ramos / Jiquilillo in specifying that you will wait at the bar / pulperia Zulema if you take that of Padre Ramos / Jiquilillo (see explanations below). Take a night of hotel in Managua for the evening of your arrival by plane (it allows to rest after a long journey and before a day of bus but also to be more flexible if your luggage is delayed, arrived !). I went to Maracuya Hostel (12 dollars a night on Ebooking), they can send a private taxi pick you up at the airport for 20 dollars on the day and 25 dollars at night if you ask them by email before -> it's expensive compared to prices in the rest of the country but you have no choice if you want to travel in safety and I advise against public taxis in the capital. It is located at 10 minutes walk from the bus station for the next day. The next morning it is best to leave before 9h from the hotel to be quiet with the buses, you have to get to the UCA bus station. Download the application maps.me (it will be very useful for you to travel in Nicaragua), it is an app that functions like a gps but without the need of internet, you simply have to download the map of Nicaragua in France or before leaving the connection of the hotel! You can place markers on the map so you can easily find them without losing you. Hotels and bus stations are marked on the map as well as all roads / tracks if you want to check that your bus is going in the right direction and that you are not mistaken. To travel with a big bag / suitcase take what they call "chicken buses", these are the old American yellow buses. Inside you can put your bag over your head, visible from your seat. Because if you take "micro-buses" you are going to be very very tight as these are the equivalent of a Renault Trafic in which they put 25 people traveling with very little luggage. Microbuses usually take a little less time than chicken-buses as they pose and take very few people on the roadside. But frankly the difference in time between a "chicken bus" and a "micro-bus" is not blatant! On all the buses, it is written the route that they carry out wholesale above their windshields example "Managua - Leon". You do not pay during the climb on the bus but short of the ride. The rates are fixed and indicated at the front of the bus above the driver. Count 2h to make Managua-Leon in chicken-bus and you will pay about 2 dollars / 55 cordobas. In Leon, no change of bus station, take a bus directly to Chinandega, count 1h30 and 1 dollar / 35 cordobas. In Chinandega you have to change the bus station. From Leon you will arrive to "El Bisne Bus Station" and you have to get to "El Mercadito Bus Station". Two options: taxi or tricycle. Personally I recommend tricycles, it's really fun. Count 1 dollar / 30 cordobas for the tricycle and 1.5 dollars / 50 cordobas for the taxi. No panic for tricycles, they do not go fast, it's not scary, the driver is nice in general and they are waiting for you at the feet of the buses. For the last bus, you have the choice: Either you take the bus that will take you from "El Mercadito Bus Station" to Chinandega to Padre Ramos. The bus to take is easy to recognize it is written at the top of the windshield "Chinandega - Jiquilillo" and to get off is easy too, just wait for the bus terminal and you will be at Padre Ramos! From Padre Ramos you will have to wait to cross the estuary with the boat of the project which commutes between Padre Ramos (south side of the estuary) and Venecia (north side) in the evening around 17h30 / 18h. The best for you is to wait at the bar / pulperia Zulema, the people of the project will come to meet you! Attention you must have warned David where you expect! The last bus leaves around 16h30 of Chinandega. Count 1 dollars / 27 cordobas and 2h trip: 1 tar hour and 1 track time. Either you take the bus that will take you from 'El Mercadito Bus Station' in Chinandega to Venecia. The bus to take is easy to recognize it is written at the top of the windshield "Chinandega - Venecia" and to get off is easy too, just wait for the bus terminal and you will be in Venecia! Here you do not need a boat, you just have to continue the track until the end (always straight). If you have the slightest doubt you are asking for "Casa Carey" (carey = hawksbill turtle in Spanish) to anyone, everyone knows the project! Attention, only one bus a day, it leaves from Chinandega around 13h, count 2 dollars / 60 cordobas and 4h of course: 2h of tar and 2h of track. Conclusion: The return trip costs about 80-90 $ (including the hotel and airport-hotel taxis), against 400 € (not divisible depending on the number of volunteers in the car) with David. It is up to you to make your choice ! Mosquitoes are particularly present (more than in the rest of the country) because the project is located in a mangrove. I advise you to take a spray of 75 ml maximum power per week for particularly affected people and two sprays every three weeks for others. Plan to change your dollars in Cordoba before arriving at the project because afterwards it is the galley and people do not accept them anymore. Ditto for the buses, it is easier to pay in cordobas. At the project, you can withdraw pennies that in Chinandega and it takes a small day to make the return trip just for pennies ... If you want to withdraw cordobas or dollars directly to Managua, hotel until metrocentro (10 minute). Take good tongues (even 2 pairs) because everything is done in tongues and you will constantly wet feet. If you want to visit the country, I really advise you to plan one or several weeks before or after your passage to the project because the project lets you leave but it is difficult to have more 3 days of free in a row. Now it is complex to change area in 3 days in Nicaragua knowing that usually a round trip will eat you two days. Traveling alone is done very well and without any risk (even in buses). If you do not have a partner at the beginning of your trip and you do not plan to travel alone, you will always find other departing travelers to accompany you from the project or even overnight in a hotel anywhere! From the project you can easily visit the volcano Cosiguina. Expect 3 days: 1 day of transport / visit of the village with its baths; 1 day for the climb / descent of the volcano on foot (700m of unevenness in the jungle); 1 day to come back by bus. First, you have to take the bus from Venecia to Chinandega to 4h in the morning (there is only one bus a day). You have to ask to get off at "Enpalme de Cosiguina" (after about 2h of track), it's easy to know if you're there because you have to go down when the asphalt road starts. You can also check your position with the app. Then you have to wait for 1-1h30 the next bus called "Chinandega-Potosi". The descent from the second bus takes place at the terminal in Potosi. For the nights, there is only one hotel to my knowledge: the hotel "Brisas del golfo" at 10 $ at night and that offers morning meals / lunch / evening extra (be careful not to internet at the hotel ). The breakfast is at 80 Cordobas and the meals between 150 and 250 Cordobas (quite expensive but the dishes are really tasty!). If you want, close to the sea, going down lower than the thermal baths on the left, women make food for 80 cordobas lunch and dinner. The hotel also offers guides for climbing the volcano (no more expensive than elsewhere) for 25 dollars to 2 and 30 dollars to three. The second day, the climb to the volcano: it lasts 3h and the descent 2h. Third day, to get back, you have to take the bus Potosi-Chinandega to the terminal at 12h15 to be on time at the Enplame de Cosiguina because there is only one bus per day for Venecia which passes around 15h. You will be at 17h to the project. A night in a hotel usually costs at least 10 $ and they often accept dollars. In big cities it is better to book in order not to have a bad surprise, in the blemished corners there is no need. The project has an internet connection from 100 Go for 1 month. Access is reserved for volunteers to communicate with their families and Nicaraguan volunteers for their studies. If you want to watch movies, you have to provide them before on USB stick or hard drive. The project has PCs for the managers, who can lend them from time to time. It is possible to travel with a PC or a tablet without great risk and the casa has places / lockers that can be locked. If for any reason you are going to visit Managua (luggage lost by plane, envy, ...), it is important to understand how city buses work. These are marked with numbers and it is not indicated on the buses the route made. To know which bus to take, it is therefore mandatory to ask for help from the people at your bus stop. The buses are full to the premises and the operation of the payment is a bit special. In big stops there is a person in charge of payments. There are two ways of payment depending on the age of the bus: card or direct payment. The locals have a card that they put in front of a box in the "recent" bus or you do not have a card. If you are having a big stop go directly to see the person in charge of the payments and pay for it. This one will let you get on the next bus and he will also ride in the bus to badger his own card for you if it is a recent bus. If you are at a small stop and there is no one, you will have to pay the driver. A trip for a local costs 5 cordobas and for tourists 10 cordobas, it's like that ...

What I retain

I met some great people, I discovered a country, its culture, its population, its climate, its language. It's just an incredible adventure that I recommend to everyone!

My assets

The project and the journeys bring you confidence and autonomy, culture and personal and collective enrichment. I am one of those who think that travel makes men.

The mission Turtles, Nicaragua

This mission is taking place on an island on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, in one of the largest nesting sites for marine turtles in the eastern Pacific. You will contribute to the patrols ...
See Mission

Girondel F participated in the study and conservation of the Long-tailed Loutre, Brazil

Mission 14 days, conducted in July 2017
This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My participation

2 times a day: Preparation of the animal meal (otters, parrot, monkeys, martens, racco crab), feeding and cleaning of pens

1 times a day: Trekking or canoeing in search of traces and passage of wild otters

Variable tasks: cleaning of the center, gardening, reception of the public

My expectations

Great stay at Projeto lontra. Adorable team, comfortable facilities, very nice project location (near the lake and the sea). Work with great animals, and very interesting treks with stunning scenery

My advice

Being autonomous, because unlike other missions, there is a lot of free time. Mission recommended for a first experience of eco-volunteering (easy work, comfort, security ...)

What I retain

Knowledge of the Otter, discovery of Brazil and its culture, practice of English

My assets

Autonomy, team work, scientific techniques in naturalistic studies

Otter mission long tail, Brazil

The project's main objective is to study and protect otters in Brazil. This eco-volunteering mission offers you the opportunity to study wild long-tailed otters in their ...
See Mission

PATRICK participated in the mission Expeditions in the sanctuary Pélagos: study of Cetacea and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2017
This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My participation

The work of the 7 ecovolunteers consisted of observing and recording cetaceans, fish and birds, their behavior and the environment at the time of observation. The observation was made during 2 hours at the front of the sailboat twice a day. The duration may seem long but the time passed in fact very quickly.

My expectations

This experience has been exceptional for me, beyond my expectations. Well there is the feeling of participating in a useful program: In addition the meeting with cetaceans is moving and provides a wonder that I will keep the memory. sea ​​is total and contributes to the fact that this mission is also a true adventure at sea.

My advice

The sanctuary of the PELAGOS will not disappoint you. Try the experience. It is best to have a small experience at sea before embarking on a 1 week. But for the novices be reassured the skipper will not embark you in the big time.

What I retain

This mission allowed me to acquire a thorough knowledge of the cetaceans, and to face the dangers that threaten them. The wonder at their approach carries us away and makes us forget our everyday life. Other aspects that I found particularly interesting, navigation and safety at sea, life and teamwork.

My assets

patience when observing animals Tolerance of people who have not been chosen in a team. Use of products with limited effects on the environment

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
See Mission

Siham participated in the Expeditions in the Pelagos Sanctuary: Cetaceans and Biodiversity study, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2017
This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My participation

Our work consisted in observing the horizon during 2j quarters, in order to spot cetaceans, pelagic fish, birds ...

My expectations

I really enjoyed the stay, especially since I am passionate about cetaceans. This mission was my 20ans gift, and it was even more awesome than I had expected.

My advice

Get started! Do you like nature, the sea, animals? Go for it! You will see animals in the habitat that matches them most, their natural habitat! There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a whale / dolphin let you approach you knowing that it is free. Free to stay but also free to leave if not at ease. You will be accompanied by a skipper who can no longer respect cetaceans, animals and the marine environment. Do not be afraid of life in community, life on the boat ... Everything is done very naturally. The people who accompany you are like you, and everyone on board very much wants this stay to go well! No valid reason not to launch :)

What I retain

This mission brought me first of all, it must be said, stars full of eyes. We were very lucky to see so many cetaceans ... And it was a real treat! Camille, the ecoguide, is a great person, I thank her for her patience, her sharing and her good humor. I also thank Antoine, the skipper, without whom we would not have approached any animal. His knowledge and respect for animals is admirable, and allowed us to approach all these cetaceans closely. The group of eco-volunteers, I was accompanied by very affordable people, simple and funny. And I think it was the whole group that helped make this week a magical one. And finally I would like to thank this association for existing, and allow us this kind of journey.

My assets

I think I've discovered new ways to simply protect the environment. I also discovered how fresh water can be valuable at sea, so I think I'll see it differently now

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
See Mission

alexa participated (e) mission Expeditions in the sanctuary Pelagos: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 14 days, carried out in August 2017

My participation

observation and participation in the daily life aboard the boat, from morning to evening with breaks in the day.

My expectations

I loved the stay on the boat despite the few cetaceans crossed on this part of the Mediterranean. The spaces crossed were splendid, and the life on the boat, which also constitutes a human adventure, makes it possible to approach the seas and the lands in a new and exceptional angle. It is also a different rhythm, relaxing and which allows to "disconnect" from our daily habits. An experience that I will renew, for sure!

My advice

Do not take too much, drop your life for a few days, a little reading will suffice.

What I retain

Some knowledge about the marine environment, human encounters, sumptuous landscapes, and my Mediterranean offered from dawn to dawn, with its dawns and sunsets.

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
See Mission

lauragt participated in the mission Expeditions in the sanctuary Pélagos: study of Cetacea and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2017

My participation

I was eco-friendly on the sailboat for the observation of cetaceans. We made two or three two-hour observation rigs at the bow of the boat, equipped with binoculars, a tablet with observation software and a camera. Then we had several odd jobs in the week: housekeeping, cooking, or dishes, but it was pretty fast and in a good mood. The rest of the time is used to rest, enjoy the weather, bathe, observe the sea for pleasure etc. There are also night shifts, if one sleeps offshore: it is two hours where one must check the trajectory of the boat, under the stars.

My expectations

This stay surpassed my expectations. The team was super friendly, we were well supervised by Camille l'Ecoguide and Antoine the skipper. We saw a lot of cetaceans: whales, sperm whales, dolphins by tens, turtles, moon fish and so on. We were able to observe the marine animals very closely.

My advice

Think of the warm clothes, as the nights off are cool, as are the observation shifts in the morning. Waterproof clothes are also useful (even if you do not take water normally!).

What I retain

I learned a lot about cetaceans and a bit about sailing. The mission has strengthened my desire to work for the protection of the oceans and the sea, both personally and professionally.

My assets

We have learned to use at least water and electricity, to shower in sea water with biodegradable soaps etc. This leads to a rethinking of one's own way of life at home and its impact on nature.

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
See Mission

CARGEON participated in the Wildlife Monitoring Mission, South Africa

Mission 14 days, conducted in July 2017

My participation

- Every 2 day, go to change the batteries of a dozen cameras with automatic trigger and download the photos on USB keys. We went in a pick-up, and every trip was a safari just for us
- All 2 days, sort photos; we were able to observe invisible animals during the day

My expectations

YES

What I retain

Awareness of the dangers threatening elephants, rhinos and leopards

My assets

I learned to cook for 7 with containers not suitable for the stove (lol!)

The mission Wild, South Africa

By joining this project, you will participate in the monitoring of wildlife in South Africa. The welcome project is dedicated to the preservation of the wild fauna of the bush and more particularly ...
See Mission

MAndré participated in the mission Iberian wolf conservation center, Portugal

Mission 15 days, conducted in July 2017
This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My participation

We started 9 h 30 with big breaks of two hours at noon then we finished up to 17 h. Missions included cutting meat and feeding (3 x weekly), physical work to clear the ground in case of fire, water rounds especially when it is very hot. One-time assignments may be requested depending on the time you are doing your assignment. For example, I helped make badges for the store.

My expectations

Overall I enjoyed my stay, especially the feeding: it is the moment when you can observe the wolves and their behavior, especially that they are more than two in a pen. Each wolf has its specificities and there are therefore different methods to feed them each time. On the other hand, it is necessary to expect a big physical work, of the brushing in particular because they are only three employees for 117 hectares and therefore they need enormous need of the ecovolunteers. So expect sweat! The team is very nice and teaches us a lot about the Iberian wolves. The setting is particularly beautiful, we are in the middle of the forest with the wolves and if you hold your ear, you can hear them screaming during the night!

My advice

Have good physical strength to do some work, be patient to watch some very shy wolves and take a good camera! The best way is to go see them alone or in pairs to see them more easily.

What I retain

I learned a lot of interesting things about wolves and I could observe them as I wished. This has been a very good experience and no doubt that I will carry out other eco-missions!

The mission Iberian Wolf Sanctuary, Portugal

In a sanctuary dedicated to the safeguarding of Iberian wolves, you participate in the daily care provided to the wolves, the behavioral observations and the maintenance of the site which is ...
See Mission