Gardener in Permaculture in the Amazon

Non-profit
·
founded in 2006
Sustainable Bolivia
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Coordinator | Erik
Coordinator | Erik
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Enjoy volunteering abroad and geting to know the Bolivian Amazon
Develop permacultural gardening techniques in the Amazon
Become more passionate about social work and nature
Make friends and meaningful memories with other volunteers
Visit the Aquicuana Reserve to experience part of the Amazon Forest
Sustainable Bolivia is looking for an experienced permaculture specialist to help spearhead an integrated agroforestry site within the Aquicuana Reserve. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Sustainable Bolivia is a NGO based in Riberalta, the heart of the Bolivian Amazon. We focus our work on sustainable community development and conservation actions.

Our volunteers have the opportunity to live and support our work at the Aquicuana Reserve and it's surroundings. This area of incredible biodiversity is located about 20 kilometers from the city of Riberalta in the Beni Department of the Bolivian Amazon. It is home to Lake San José, the plant-medicine retreat center Pisatahua, and two rural communities: San José and Warnes. Its name, Aquicuana, comes from the Tacana native language, meaning ‘land of the giant trees.’

There we promote initiatives to support education, scientific research, community development, regenerative agriculture and conservation actions.

We provide a open space for the community called "Comedor" where volunteers have internet access so that they can prepare and develop activities with the community. We also offer a Research Station and (depending on availability) accommodation in the city of Riberalta if volunteers want to visit, shop or go out during the weekends.

Sustainable Bolivia is looking for an experienced permaculture specialist to help spearhead an integrated agroforestry site within the Aquicuana Reserve.  The site has two main goals: 1) to grow native plants to supply the center with organic food and medicinal plants 2) to act as a permaculture demonstration site within the Aquicuana Reserve for both locals and guests.

Working alongside our staff, the selected candidate will help plan and design the site.  Together we’ll choose which trees and plants most suite the needs of Pisatahua and our community.  The selected candidate will assist with the selection of species, collection of seeds, planting and maintenance of agricultural and medicinal crops within our nursery and agroforestry plot.

Typical day

08:30 Start of work
12:30 Lunch and siesta
14:00 Continue work
18:00 End of working hours
19:00 Dinner

Responsibilities may include:

  • Work alongside Sustainable Bolivia/Pisatahua staff to establish a new permaculture site in the Aquicuana Reserve. This site should be a sustainable agricultural system that utilizes properties of agroforestry systems as found in the local ecology of the region.
  • Teach permaculture techniques to local rural communities and Pisatahua staff; design and lead permaculture training workshops.
  • Create, design and implement a plan for collecting and germinating seeds, as well as cultivating young plants.
  • Identify species, collect seeds, propagate plants, and establish kitchen and medicinal plant gardens.
  • Manage and create a strategy for crop rotation, composting and soil production.
  • Create, implement and manage a comprehensive plan to meet the above stated goals.
The volunteers will be working with the local staff.

Free-time activities

In their free time, volunteers can enjoy a lot of activities around Riberalta such as enjoying the nature of the Amazon (tours, trekking) and the animals, enjoying the rivers (boat tours) or the swimming pools in the city. It is also very easy to go to Brazil where you there is a lot of amenities for shopping.


If volunteers want to travel, there is a lot to see in Bolivia itself (easily accessible by plane) such as the salt flats, the Titicaca Lake, the cities of La Paz, Sucre and Tarija (this last one for the wines), the mines of Potosi and of course its incredible nature and the parks around Santa Cruz (Amboro) or Samaipata, and around Villa Tunari.

Shopping/
Souvenirs
Sightseeing
Sports
Swimming
Water Sports
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level) or Spanish (intermediate level)
Education Requirements
at University level
Required Documents
CV and passport
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
-A degree in sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, tropical agriculture, horticulture, or related field is preferred
-Experience working in rural agricultural settings, especially in Spanish speaking environments is preferred
-Fluency in English and Spanish is preferred
-3 month time commitment
-Completion of a permaculture design course
-Capacity to collaborate and work in a team environment
-Self-motivated and able to work independently
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Sustainable Bolivia

All Prices Include:

  • Pre-arrival support
  • Accommodation at the Aquicuana Reserve
  • 3 meals a day (vegetarian/vegan option possible)
  • Volunteer or internship placement
  • 24-hour staff support
  • Drinkable water
  • Internet access
  • Orientation
  • Airport pick up (in Riberalta) and initial transportation to the Reserve
  • Cleaning services
  • Discount to Plant Medicine Retreat Pisatahua

Airport Pickup at Gen Buech Airport
Airport pick up from the city of Riberalta
Accommodation
We offer accommodation inside the Aquicuana Reserve and share Pisatahua Retreat's infrastructure. Volunteers and interns share dorm rooms in our sustainable ecolodges, the volunteer cabin and the research station.

About infrastructure in Pisatahua:

We employ energy-efficient innovations to enhance the comfort and aesthetic experience of our guests.  We make every possible attempt to utilize local, natural, and sustainable building materials for housing and furniture.

We use renewable energy resources and we’ve implemented simple, cost-efficient, energy and water conservation measures.  We treat grey-water and recycle all our waste.

Our facilities were constructed with sustainably-harvested wood, bamboo, and palm leaves. We designed all of our infrastructure in accordance with traditional construction techniques; however, these methodologies were adapted to meet our specific needs. Local community members are employed for all our construction and maintenance needs.

All construction methods minimized the removal of vegetation.  The trees whose lives we spared return the favor by cooling down the area and shielding our guests from the sun.

We constructed limited number of elevated walkways to prevent soil erosion and protect fragile ecosystems.  These walkways also protect our guests from the jungle elements.

Energy and Water Conservation:

Due to our remote location, we’re completely off-grid and we must generate our own electricity.  Electricity use is limited to power a few appliances such as common-area lighting, water pumps, and kitchen equipment.

We’ve taken steps to minimize our water usage by implementing a few simple measures including: low-flow restrictor valves, low-flow toilets and water saving nozzles. Furthermore, guests are required to use 100% biodegradable, phosphorous-free soap and shampoo.

Some of our energy conservation measures include:

  • Renewable solar energy light-bulbs
  • Drying racks on clothes line
  • Reusing towels and linens
  • High efficiency appliances
  • Energy efficient refrigeration
Our goal is to Leave-No-Trace when it comes to waste. Anything we pack in, we bring out. We recycle everything we can in the city of Riberalta.  All organic matter from the kitchen is composted. A conscious effort is made to reduce all packaging. Whenever possible we purchase supplies made from recycled materials.
Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
  • Drinkable water available
  • 3 meals per day (vegetarian/vegan option possible)
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Gen Buech Airport (RIB) in Riberalta. We assist you to find cheap flights to Bolivia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Bolivia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Bolivia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Bolivia.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

When can your start volunteering?

Volunteers can join the program throughout all year round.

How to get to Riberalta?

First you would have to fly into Bolivia - either La Paz (LPB) or Santa Cruz (VVI). From there you can take a connecting flight with the airline Ecojet to Riberalta. There are daily flights that cost about $120 each way. We typically recommend you fly into Santa Cruz as the connections are easier. Contact us for information to purchase a flight with a local travel agency.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
4 - 48 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$600
8 weeks
$1,200
12 weeks
$1,800
48 weeks (max. stay)
$7,200
Average fees
$150 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Sustainable Bolivia will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Sustainable Bolivia during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Sustainable Bolivia cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Sustainable Bolivia.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Gardener in Permaculture in the Amazon

Sustainable Bolivia is looking for an experienced permaculture specialist to help spearhead an integrated agroforestry site within the Aquicuana Reserve.

$150/week

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