Photographers and Filmmakers in the Forest

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Non-profit
·
founded in 1999
Virgílio
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Coordinator | Virgílio
Coordinator | Virgílio

High­lights

Immerse yourself in the tropical rainforest and take unforgettable photos
Discover the grandest forest tree, the tiniest miniature frog, and share your discoveries with the world
Use your skills to help people see the forest through your eyes
Create content that inspires them to care for nature wherever they find it
Hike in the forest, swim in the crystal clear water of the rivers, and get to know a traditional rural community
Calling photographers and filmmakers to take amazing images of the Brazilian rainforest, its fauna and flora and traditional rural people! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
50+

We warmly invite you to join us at the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, where you'll have the opportunity to take a thousand extraordinary photos and make videos that inspire people across the world to play their part in preserving our planet. Here at Iracambi you'll meet local students, schoolkids, community members and international students and volunteers: all working together to Save Forests and Change Lives.  

Our volunteer program has been running for over twenty years! During that time we've had 2,000 volunteers of all ages and a number of different backgrounds, from sixty five different countries. Each volunteer brings us their special gifts and talents, their dreams and hopes and their hard work. And each person makes amazing discoveries during their time with us. Discoveries of a world they never knew existed. Discoveries about themselves they may never have suspected. Iracambi alumni (we call them Iracambistas) can be found across the world in academia, business, the arts, government, international organizations, working as doctors, teachers, lawyers, scientists, personal coaches, writers, film makers, GIS techies, farmers, and all manner of activities directed at making the world a better place. Whether you spend a week with us or six months, you will leave us enriched, and you will enrich your surroundings wherever they may be.

But please don't take our word for it. Here is Karina, who spent a couple of months and left, heartbroken, in July 2019. 

"I am still trying to find the words to explain how much love I have for such a special NGO like Iracambi. Iracambi works hard to reforest the Atlantic Forest in a sustainable manner, empowering the surrounding families. Beside the outstanding staff living at Iracambi, the rainforest itself will captivate you in ways unimaginable. Experiences like these are very slim, especially in such a radiant rainforest. Highly encourage everyone to experience." 

So what does Iracambi do? We're working with local farmers on a mixed program of agroecology and agroforestry, whereby together we plant native and productive tree species in order to increase farm incomes, restore degraded soils, protect water sources and increase habitat for biodiversity.  Our agroforestry plots are planted with native species trees alongside a variety of different crops designed to improve the soil, provide green manure, and grow healthy food free of chemicals. We're experimenting with shade coffee and using more sustainable techniques of coffee harvesting - which are already producing high quality coffee.  We're mixing non-traditional food crops with medicinal plants species, partnering with  Brazil's premier research institute Fiocruz, as part of a network inventorying the hundreds of medical plants species in the Atlantic Forest, along with their traditional uses. And here's where your skills can be put directly to work as we visually record both the plants and the traditional people who are skilled in their uses.  Don't forget to bring the equipment you need - along with editing software. 

Do you remember that we're talking about changing lives? Here's where we work with local farmers, school kids, volunteers and visitors, hosting visits, running workshops and outreach programs designed to raise awareness of the important issues of how to live sustainably, and how to encourage more and more people to join us in the exciting task of protecting one of the most important forests in the world. So we always need good visual content that tells the story of the forest and its inhabitants.

Now let's tell you a story. It's the indigenous story of the humming bird and it goes like this. Once upon a time, the forest was on fire, and all the animals were fleeing. All except one little humming bird who was flying towards the flames with a drop of water in her beak. The eagle looked down and laughed at her. "Silly little bird! You'll never put out the fire all by yourself!"  The humming bird flies on, drops the water onto the flames and says, "You're right. By myself I won't. But I'm doing my part." 

 If you're up for doing your part, we invite you to join us. Together we'll wrestle with the challenges, seek solutions, and put them to work. And your job will be to record and share the results! 

Typical day

Studying, interning, volunteering or visiting Iracambi provides you with a fantastic opportunity to be part of a lifestyle that is likely very different from what you are used to. You will be sharing the campus space with people of different nationalities, backgrounds, skills, ages and interests - not to mention a few bugs! We invite you to participate in and record our ongoing projects and encourage you to take responsibility for your own work, experience, lifestyle, and for your fellow Iracambistas. If you have your own study project or particular passion, that’s great, and we’ll give you the space and support that you need for that too. If you have a brilliant idea for something we could or ought to do, let’s see if we can do it! 

Each day will likely be different. The rainforest is not a cookie cutter experience. As a visual artist you could be getting up tin the dark to climb a mountain and film the sun rising over the misty valleys. If it's raining you'll be inside, editing your material. Most volunteers are working in the field from eight in the morning through around one o clock, and that's when you'll taking action shots.  In the afternoons they'll likely be taking a quick siesta, writing up their research, or taking a quick plunge into the waterfall. Sometimes there'll be groups of schoolkids of students on a during the week or all day Saturday and here's where you may catch some wonderful shots of the kids as they experience the rainforest. So this is not a 9 - 5 job, you'll seize the moments when you find them.. 

The Research Center is located on a working farm, which includes a large area of native forest as well as tree crops. There are rivers to swim in, mountains to climb, forest trails to hike, and a welcoming local community. You won’t have the bright lights of a big city. But you will have the chance to make friends for life, as you record the work in the forest nursery, on the forest trails, on local farms at tree planting times, at the village school during impromptu English classes - whatever is going on. And of course you're welcome to join in the other activities, you wouldn't want to miss out on those, for sure. 

You’ll be living on our rainforest campus, and eating delicious local food cooked by Larissa – who is more than happy to supply vegetarian or vegan options on request. The Research Center has one central dorm, five four-bed cabins, a field lab, a classroom, our multi-use Forest House, a system of forest trails, and our forest and agroecology plots. We have 24-hour access to internet – except during thunderstorms, when we power down in order to protect the equipment! 

A little background  

The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, it covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7- 8% remains. And we are determined to protect and restore what we can. Because these forests harbor an extraordinarily high rate of biodiversity, including 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians - 5% of all the vertebrates on earth. And new species are still being discovered!

Iracambi is adjacent to the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park, one of the highest conservation priority areas in the state, and home to the largest population of the woolly spider monkey Brachyteles hypoxanthus – the most endangered and arguably the most adorable of the New World Primates. You may be lucky enough to spot one, particularly if you hang out with Leandro who can be found a little farther up the mountain! If you are with us at the right time of year, he can also involve you in harvesting the local version of the superfruit acai jussara.    

Free-time activities

On weekends you can swim in the rivers, hike in the forest, climb local mountains – no rock climbing involved and you will be rewarded by amazing views. You can interact with the local community and attend local parties and festivals, particularly in June and July during the winter festivals. You can also organize dinners, bonfires, barbecues or social events to be enjoyed with a glass of wine, a beer or a caipirinha! Weekend excursions might include quad biking round local communities, kayaking on the rivers, horseback riding and getting a taste of local farm life, On  three day weekends you could visit Brazil’s famous historic towns Ouro Preto and Mariana, sun yourself on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state, or climb the 9000 foot Pico da Bandeira (once considered to be Brazil’s highest mountain before another was discovered in the Amazon!) We don´t have a zoo in Iracambi, but that´s just because we don´t need one. We have lots of wild animals living all around, even big ones like the puma. (But we should warn you, they are mostly nocturnal.) We are an official release center for captive species and occasionally the forest police appear with animals and birds to be released after acclimatizing. 

And if you’re up for gentler pastimes, where better to hang out in a hammock and read a book, or find a quiet spot to practice yoga or meditation? 

Swimming
Sightseeing
Climbing
Hiking
Riding
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)
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You need skills in taking, editing and storing photos, videos and all visual content.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Iracambi Research Center

Your program fee provides full board and accommodation, access to wifi, and all costs while on campus. Weekend excursions, travel costs in country and other small costs are on you!  

Accommodation

Volunteers will stay either in our cabins (which have two double bedrooms, hot shower and study space,) or in the main building, (old farm house with 4 double bedrooms, common room, kitchen and hot showers.) We have good wifi connection but no television. (Read a book, instead!)  Other facilities include the dining hall, our multi-use bamboo Forest House,  a classroom, field lab, forest nursery,  forestry and agroecology plots, GIS, a system of forest trails and a Forest Reserve. Three km from the Center we have the Pico da Graminha Reserve with its fully equipped Mountain House which is a comfortable base for hikers, birders and researchers. 

And if you love camping, you're welcome to camp - either in the grounds of the research center, or farther afield in the forest! 

Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double) Camping
Food & Beverages
YES!   We provide delicious food cooked by Larissa, who is happy to accommodate special requests, and will always have a vegetarian option, and vegan food on request.  Please, let us know in advance if you have any kind of food restrictions. There is always fresh water, milk and coffee for free, and  fresh juices depending on the season. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and delicious chocolate truffles are also for sale in the restaurant.  
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. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) in Rio De Janeiro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Brazil.
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 Brazil provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

You are welcome to join us at any time of year, and we ask for a minimum of one week - although we're confident that you'll find that isn't nearly enough! We have two seasons - the rainy season and the dry (less rainy) season.  Normally the rains come in October November and last through May. Daytime temperatures will be in the range 25C - 35C with cooler nights (22C - 26C).  This is the season for planting trees and the rainforest is alive with activity. Mornings are usually clear and if there's rain on the way it will cloud over as the day goes on, with rain and sometimes thunder in the afternoon. After a short sharp storm, the sun will often reappear, and although you may get wet you won't get cold!  

The rainy season is the time to visit local farms and plant trees alongside the farm families, local schoolkids and volunteers, and anyone who is within reach. By contrast the dry season is cooler - temperatures can drop to around 10C at night and you'll need a fleece. Day time temperatures are normally around 23C-28C and this is the season to monitor last year's plantings, hop on the school bus and visit local schools to share your language and culture, help in the forest nursery and on the agroecology plots, harvest (and sample) our delicious coffee, and get involved in year round projects such as maintaining the forest trails, updating the photo library, making videos and helping out with NGO tasks such as marketing and fundraising, and hosting school visits and workshops. 

Once you contact us we'll be happy to send you more details of how to get here and what to expect when you arrive!     

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 247
2 weeks
$ 494
3 weeks
$ 741
4 weeks
$ 941
8 weeks
$ 1,882
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 5,646
Average fees
$ 241 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Iracambi Research Center 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 Iracambi Research Center 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
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Iracambi Research Center 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 Iracambi Research Center.

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  Americas South America Brazil  Rosário da Limeira, Rosario da Limeira, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Photographers and Filmmakers in the Forest

Calling photographers and filmmakers to take amazing images of the Brazilian rainforest, its fauna and flora and traditional rural people!

$241/week

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Availability
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