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Camille's Testimony for the Amazonian Forest Mission: Research, Conservation, and Sustainable Development in the Manu Reserve in Peru

14 days of mission in March 2017

My participation

I could not participate in the project for two weeks. Earlier this mission 4 days are planned for the reception of participants (first day), the briefing + visiting Cuzco (second day) and drive to the center (two days). Two days are devoted to training and can participate in various activities (4 hard days training for longer stays).
The missions are dealing with monitoring the regeneration of a jungle strip after human exploitation: laying and reading traps amphibian, reptile, butterfly, day and night walking, tracking the bird population ... Each volunteer has a daily schedule organized on 4 periods: early morning (between 4 and 5h am) after breakfast (8h) after lunch (14h) and after dinner (19h30). The outputs are more or less long, and some meals can be taken in the jungle, in a beautiful setting!
Some animals (amphibians, reptiles, butterflies) are brought back to the center to be identified, measured, weighed, before being brought back to where they were found.
center working hours are arranged to repair traps, input data in information systems, storage workroom ...
Each volunteer / staff member is also responsible for assisting in the kitchen a whole day (the frequency depends on the number of persons present in the center) and participates in debriefs in Spanish and English to the rest of the center.
Finally working days are planned in the city across the river to help in organic gardens and give English lessons to people.

My expectations

I appreciated it. The entire team is passionate, adorable and always ready to give explanations about his work. The outputs in the jungle are many, and you never said no to me when I wanted to go on outings where I had not been planned (I really wanted to monetize my stay!).
Before long I saw many animals and able to participate in activities in the organic gardens.
The accommodation was perfect, not too rustic (the center also hosts tourists is probably why) and other volunteers were very friendly and motivated. I enjoyed the evenings of Saturday (Saturday night fun!) During which two people are in charge of organizing activities for the rest of the group and film evenings of Sunday.

My advice

Be aware that this project is physical: you walk a lot, and sometimes long night lit only by a flashlight.
I recommend bringing soles to slip into the boots (provided in the center) which limits the damage the long days walking.
Bring a good head lamp or two, and spare batteries (one work week I have worn a pair and we really need good light to walk at night in the jungle!). Many mosquito as it is quickly devoured.
The program is set for the week but can be pushed around by the time I had to go into a disaster evening 1h morning because we were caught in the rain. The river crossings are sometimes made impossible by rising water levels.
Finally, the Spanish is not essential but is certainly a plus because some staff do not speak any English. It should at least be willing to try to speak "Spanglish."

What I retain

I learned a lot about the scientific methods of monitoring the jungle animals and sustainable agriculture. Many books and publications are made available to volunteers which excavates the topics that interest us.
I had the impression of being really helpful during my short stay which was much appreciated.

My assets

I was able to improve my English and start learning Spanish, I continue to France since.
I could not use animal knowledge I acquired in my work every day but I could climb jurisdiction over the methods of implementation of scientific study and exploitation of results.
Finally, we also learn methods of agriculture / sustainable gardening that are always useful for who wants to have a garden!

Contact

You can contact me at the following address if you have questions: This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Amazonian Forest Mission, Manu, Peru

Amazonian Forest, 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 ...
See Mission