Water & Sanitation Internship

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Non-profit
·
founded in 2013
EcoSwell
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Coordinator | Michael
Coordinator | Michael

High­lights

Enhance your CV and gain professional hands-on experience managing sustainable projects in an international development NGO, having a real positive impact on a vulnerable community.
Work alongside experienced & passionate people from a range of disciplines & backgrounds.
Live and work in a surfing paradise in northern Peru, the land of endless summer.
Learn and practice Spanish in a semi-rural Peruvian community.
Explore other regions of Peru such as the rainforest, Machu Picchu and Lima.
EcoSwell needs volunteers to develop sanitation initiatives such as dry toilets and wastewater treatment projects in northern Peru. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

EcoSwell is a surfing-inspired sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability. We develop environmental, educational, infrastructure and socio-economic projects working hand in hand with local communities and international volunteer interns.

Water is a scarce resource in Lobitos. Not only do many residents not have access to toilets, Lobitos is also lacking a sanitation network which previously collapsed, exposing open drainage points which threaten the health of the local community. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative sewage treatment and disposal methods. As an organisation we have been working to improve the sanitation conditions here in Lobitos:

  • In 2015 we installed a biodigester at the artisanal Fisherman’s Guild, making the fishermen empowered leaders of this change. The biodigester treats wastewater and reuses it for irrigation purposes.

  • The construction of our dry toilet was completed in March 2018 which helps us to save water whilst producing fertiliser for the garden plants. In one year this unit has saved around 18,700 litres of freshwater and has produced around 800 litres of organic fertilizer (compost) for our reforestation efforts. We hope to make this dry sanitation widely available to the community in Lobitos through the construction of more public toilets.

  • We have developed a pilot desalination unit (Solar Distiller) for turning seawater into freshwater and are constantly improving it to turn it into a practical and viable solution for water access.

  • We are implementing bio-remediation/phytoremediation techniques using special plants (vetiver, Chrysopogon zizanioides) floating hydroponically to treat wastewater spills.

  • We are carrying out research into potential uses of groundwater as alternative water sources for reforestation and community use.

We need hard-working volunteer interns with a strong interest and/or background knowledge in water management and sanitation to come and support us in these ongoing projects in northern Peru.

Typical day

As a water & sanitation volunteer intern at EcoSwell, you will be given ownership of the projects, working alongside the community and the EcoSwell team. The daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at of each project. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Water Treatment

Besides the Solar Distiller, we are currently implementing the vetiver system (a special grass capable of water/soil treatment)  to contain and removing toxicities & pathogens from wastewater spills which are prevalent in the towns of Piedritas and Lobitos where we work. Interns can get involved with the research and construction of more floating hydroponic devices for vetiver (pontoons) and other water treatment initiatives and technologies like solar distillers & biodigesters. 

  • Dry Toilet

At the EcoSwell house we are using our dry toilet on a daily basis. Interns will be required to make improvements on the current design of our dry toilet or develop & initiate the expansion of more public dry toilets in the community.

  • Groundwater 

Volunteer interns will also be able to get involved with our ongoing groundwater research for community use in Lobitos, as well as plan, design, test & implement potential applications.

Free-time activities

Interns work between 9am to 5pm on weekdays but evenings and weekends are free for you to spend as you wish. The northern coast of Peru has amazing waves, beaches and towns to go visit, with lots of different activities on offer such as:

  • Surf lessons with local instructors in Lobitos. Alternatively, rent one of our EcoSwell surfboards and head out to the waves by yourself.

  • Yoga classes

  • Swimming with turtles 

  • Fishing, sea-lion and whale watching trips with local fishermen

  • Trekking and birdwatching in the native Dry Forest ecosystem

  • Eat traditional Peruvian food at local restaurants 

  • Visits to other nearby beaches and towns within hours of Lobitos to explore more Peruvian landscapes, culture & history.

Please note that these activities are separate and are not included in the financial contribution you make as part of the volunteer internship. 

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/
Snorkling
Safari/
Zoo
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 (fluently) or Spanish (basic level)
Education Requirements
Environmental Science, Engineering, Geography, Business/Marketing, International Development, Medicine and Conservation at University level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
This volunteer internship is open to all disciplines, but is most suited for those interested in and/or have academic or professional experience in sanitation initiatives and sustainable development. However, we do also ask for:

- Experience/motivation to work as part of a team away from home.
- Open mind, positive attitude and will to learn!



Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by EcoSwell

Airport pickup, accommodation and food & drink are included in the fees.

You can volunteer at the project site in Lobitos/Peru between 2 weeks and 14 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. EcoSwell 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 EcoSwell during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Airport Pickup at Captain FAP Victor Montes Arias Airport

We will pick you up from Talara, the closest airport to Lobitos and drive you to the EcoSwell house by car.

Accommodation

During your volunteer internship with us, you will be provided with comfortable accommodation in the EcoSwell House, including all meals (healthy and mostly vegetarian) and airport pickup/dropoff. This is included in your financial contribution. Volunteer interns sleep in shared dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and access to a shared living room, office space, kitchen, internet connection, clean water and a garden.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Peruvian food is categorised as some of the best in world. You’ll get all your meals included; breakfast, lunch and dinner, within the EcoSwell house as part of your contribution. 

This includes, meats, fresh seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, coffee… you name it we have it, and more (as you’ll probably try new fruits you didn’t know existed). All food is bought weekly in the nearest city of Talara fresh from the markets and supermarkets. You will also get a chance to try out local cuisine in some of the restaurants in Lobitos.

Of course we can cater for those with dietary requirements such as vegetarians and those with lactose intolerance, for example.

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 Captain FAP Victor Montes Arias Airport (TYL) in Talara. We assist you to find cheap flights to Peru.
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 Peru provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Peru you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Peru.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

This research internship is available all year round and you can join us any time. However, we do ask that you stay with us for a minimum of 2 weeks in order to have enough time to conduct sufficient research,  make an impact and get the most out of the experience. 

It’s easy to get to Lobitos! There are daily flights from Lima to Talara where you will be met at the airport and driven directly to Lobitos.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 14 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,095
3 weeks
$ 1,613
4 weeks
$ 2,151
5 weeks
$ 2,612
6 weeks
$ 3,657
9 weeks
$ 4,479
14 weeks (max. stay)
$ 6,622
Average fees
$ 510 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. EcoSwell 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 EcoSwell 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 EcoSwell 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 EcoSwell.

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  Americas South America Peru  Lobitos, Villa de Oficiales 270

Water & Sanitation Internship

EcoSwell needs volunteers to develop sanitation initiatives such as dry toilets and wastewater treatment projects in northern Peru.

$510/week

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