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Evelyne participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 10 days, carried out in September 2017

My participation

My days were divided into several quarters. There were the quarters of observation, the quarters of kitchen, the quarters of crockery and finally the quarters of households. On nights spent at sea, I also did night shifts: stay awake on the deck to avoid collisions with other boats. The days lasted from 8h30 in the morning (approximately) to 18h (approximately) with plenty of time to rest.

My expectations

I really enjoyed my stay. I did not think of seeing so many fin whales and dolphins! Life on a sailboat in a small committee suits me as well. The most important thing was I knew more or less what was waiting for me and I was not disappointed!

My advice

I will advise future volunteers to arm themselves with a patient, you can not see anything but it is the magic of nature. Not seeing anything is also a given but of course we all prefer to see it and me the first! Listen to the ecoguide which is a mine of information! Basically, take advantage of every moment and "forget" your cell phone!

What I retain

A more in-depth knowledge of cetaceans and in particular those that can be seen in the Mediterranean.

My assets

Better water management and the manufacture of natural cleaning products!

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 sanctuary of marine mammals. The crew identifies and ...
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Anne participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission 7 days, conducted in July 2017

My participation

Our work as an ecovolunteer is to observe cetaceans and other marine species. The work is in the form of 2h quarters during which we scan the sea in order to record all our observations in the OBSenMER application. It will then be used by scientists studying marine fauna and their behavior, particularly in relation to human activity.
The schedules of the day are very variable, it depends on the weather. But when all goes well, the days can start very early, 6h of the morning for the first quarters. We stop at 18h with a break at noon. But all this varies, of course, if the animals are there, we quickly forget his plate !! And there are also night shifts when you stay at sea.
But can we talk about schedules and work when we are there to observe the animals in their natural environment?

My expectations

I loved!! It is an extraordinary experience, both human and in terms of encounters with animals in their natural environment. It is magic. It was even better than I imagined. I didn't expect to be involved in the maneuvers so much, and I wasn't sure what to expect from night shifts. It was THE discovery. What emotion to be on the deck of a sailboat at night, far from any landmark !! So this more than fulfilled my expectations. I even regretted only doing one week.

My advice

Go there without hesitation!

What I retain

I have always liked to observe the animals, the marine mammals especially that I had had the opportunity to observe during my travels. But now I know that I have infinite patience to observe them relentlessly from morning to night over several days. It makes me want to go on.

My assets

I now know how to make spaghetti bolognese !!! ; D More seriously, living on a sailboat at 9, teaches us tolerance and listening. To this is added the patience in our observations, nature is unpredictable and knows how to be desired. And then, living on a sailboat reminded me how precious fresh water is.

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 sanctuary of marine mammals. The crew identifies and ...
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The Var people in Ecovolunteering participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 10 days, carried out in September 2017

My participation

The work is defined by a schedule set up throughout the 10 days in binomial for the tasks: household, meals, night shifts 2h
as well as trinomials for the quarters 2h OBSERVATION CETACES
The OBS From sunrise 07h00 to sunset 18h / 19h
Night shifts based on departure 20h00 a 07h00

My expectations

The stay was fantastic because the atmosphere was excellent. It met our expectations, just to say that they lacked a bit of Cetaceans but involuntarily nobody's fault. The PBS was rigorous but there were not many people in the area. Finally I think that during periods of waiting for bad seas, it is necessary to plan a descent to the port in order to stretch your legs and take a little shower.

My advice

I recommend taking wipes as the shower on our stay was not always possible. Taking a small inflatable buoy quickly proved useful for swimming as well as pool goggles. A windbreak, headlamp, and double sheets even for 1 beds place. Solar Charger.ET Hat

What I retain

This mission brought knowledge in navigation and exploitation marine weather. She brought very friendly Human Relations and especially unforgettable memories

My assets

the asset is that we managed to live at 9 people on a tiny surface.

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 sanctuary of marine mammals. The crew identifies and ...
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Pierre participated in the Amazonian Forest mission: research, conservation, and sustainable development in the Manu reserve in Peru

Mission of 33 days, carried out in October 2016
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My participation

I participated in the various activities proposed for the mission.
Schedules were variable depending on the activity. Sometimes we get up very early in the morning, for example to observe and count the birds. Sometimes we end up late at night for nocturnal observation studies. But the sequence of days is well thought out.
Sunday is the day of rest, well deserved.

My expectations

I just loved it. It was beyond my expectations.

My advice

2 weeks is enough if you want a change of scenery but a little short if you really want to invest. 4 weeks is good. More is even better. Don't hesitate to take some photo equipment with you. Need more advice? Do not hesitate to write to me.

What I retain

Many images and sounds will be remembered. I also met some really great people with whom I keep in touch. Whether it is among the other volunteers as well as the staff. I felt close to nature. This wealth impressed me. It makes you want to preserve it. I can not wait to return to.

My assets

It is a very enriching experience from both a scientific and human point of view. I felt useful for biodiversity conservation, even at my small level.

The Amazonian Forest Mission, Manu, Peru

It is in the Amazonian forest of Peru, in the Manu reserve, that you can participate in a complete program of conservation, scientific research, and development support ...
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ILoveCharlieTheSamango participated in the Mission Sanctuary of the Vervets Monkeys in South Africa

Mission 27 days, conducted in July 2017

My participation

Workdays started every day at 7h and finished between 11h and 13h in the morning, resumed at 13h or 14h (always with a break of at least 1h to eat), until 16h or 17h, exceptionally 18h.

My expectations

I loved my stay and it was way above my expectations. I could not hope for what I lived.

My advice

If you go there in winter (so in summer in France), take several good sweaters.

What I retain

My stay at the VMF was extremely rewarding. I had already been sensitized for a long time to the protection of nature and animals but spending so much time caring for the monkeys created a strong emotional attachment to the monkeys and the sanctuary. It's a place that I love especially because of the simplicity of the living environment (sleeping in a wooden cabin, taking a shower in a place where you can see the trees) ... found the place to be charming. I was worried before leaving about the (vegan) food because I was afraid to change my diet so drastically (I loved meat and I didn't like vegetables ..) but in the end I was 100% convinced by this lifestyle, and I went vegan when I got home. I loved being able to spend so much time observing monkeys, working with them, getting to know them (in terms of species and more individually). I recommend this experience to anyone who is motivated to get involved in preserving nature!

My assets

Eating behavior.

The mission Sanctuary vervet monkeys, South Africa

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This eco-volunteering mission consists in helping a program of safeguarding the ...
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Celestino participated in the conservation of marine turtles in Nicaragua

Mission of 51 days, carried out in June 2017
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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 (where all the eggs come from the beaches of the estuary) and the island of Tigra (small island on which the nests are left in the natural state). These two places are monitored 24h / 24 either by you or by local paid by the project and the planning 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 hour, 3h 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 on the island and 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!

My expectations

You will be very well received at the project, whether it is by the international volunteers, the Nicaraguan volunteers (it is a real chance that they are there, to immerse you in the culture of the young people of the country), the ladies in the kitchen and housekeeping, the DIY manager of the casa and the manager (s) of the casa. The pace of life in the casa is often linked to the managers of the casa. During my stay I witnessed a change of manager and I greatly preferred the second pair! It's impossible to tell you more because they are constantly changing, but rest assured, there are always managers present! The days are very quiet, some can be long and boring (two-person surveillance day in the nursery or on the island) and others completely crazy (several turtles during the day, work in the house, a thunderstorm,. ..)!

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 at the project as well as if you will arrive by the bus from 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 they make roughly 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 take the bus that will take you from "El Mercadito Bus Station" in 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 2 hours of journey: 1 hour of tar and 1 hour of track. 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 ask the "Casa Carey" (carey = hawksbill turtle in Spanish) to anyone, everyone knows the project! Be careful, only one bus per day, it leaves Chinandega around 13 p.m., count 2 dollars / 60 cordobas and 4 hours of travel: 2 hours of tar and 2 hours of track. Conclusion: The return trip costs around $ 80-90 (including the hotel and hotel-airport taxis), against € 400 (not divisible according to 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 don't have a partner at the start of your trip and you don't plan to travel alone, you will always find other departing travelers to accompany you from the project or even for a night in a hotel anywhere! From the project you can easily visit the volcano Cosiguina. Plan 3 days: 1 day of transport / visit of the village with its thermal baths; 1 day for the ascent / descent of the volcano on foot (700m vertical drop in the jungle); 1 day to return 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 2 hours of track), it's easy to know if you are there because you have to go down when the paved road begins. You can also check your position with the app. Then you have to wait 1-1:30 for 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 per night and which offers morning / noon / evening meals at an additional cost (be careful, no 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 ascent to the volcano: it lasts 3 hours and the descent 2 hours. 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 means of payment depending on the age of the bus: by card or by direct payment. The locals have a card that they badge in front of a box on "recent" buses, but 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.

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 ...
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Girondel F participated in the study and conservation of the long-tailed otter, Brazil

Mission 14 days, conducted in July 2017
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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

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

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 ...
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PATRICK participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2017
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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 PELAGOS sanctuary will not disappoint. Give it a try. It is best to have a little experience at sea before embarking on a 1 week stay. But for novices rest assured the skipper will not get you on board in heavy weather.

What I retain

This mission allowed me to acquire an in-depth knowledge of cetaceans, and to empathize with the dangers that threaten them. The wonder at their approach transports us and makes us forget our daily life. Other aspects that I found particularly interesting, navigation and safety at sea, life and teamwork.

My assets

patience when you want to observe animals Tolerance towards people you have not chosen in a team. The 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 sanctuary of marine mammals. The crew identifies and ...
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Siham participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2017
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My participation

Our work consisted in observing the horizon during quarters of 2j, 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 suits them the most, their natural habitat! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a whale / dolphin lets you approach knowing it is free. Free to stay but also free to leave if he is not comfortable. You will be accompanied by a skipper who could not be more respectful of cetaceans, animals and the marine environment. Do not be afraid of community life, life on the boat ... Everything happens very naturally. The people who accompany you are like you, and everyone on board really wants this stay to go well! No valid reason not to start :)

What I retain

This mission brought me first of all, it must be said, stars in my eyes. We were very lucky to see so many cetaceans ... And it was a real treat! Camille, the eco-guide, 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 are admirable, and allowed us to get close to all these cetaceans. The group of ecovolunteers, I was accompanied by very affordable, simple and funny people. And I think it was the whole group that helped make this week magical. And finally I would like to thank this association for existing, and for allowing us this kind of trip.

My assets

I think I discovered new ways to simply protect the environment I also discovered how precious fresh water can be at sea, so I think I will 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 sanctuary of marine mammals. The crew identifies and ...
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