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IPBio - Reserva Betary

Bioluminescent Mushroom Field Researcher

Searching for new species of bioluminescent mushrooms, photographing them and finding conditions for cultivation.

The Program

IPBio is looking for long-term volunteers (minimum 3 month stay but preferably 6 months) who would focus on searching for new species of bioluminescent mushrooms; photographing them and finding the conditions that allows us to cultivate them in the lab. This position will continue every year so that new tests can be conducted depending on the accumulaton of information we gather from our studies.

Recently the Laboratory of bioluminescent Fungus of the Chemistry Institute from the University of Sao Paulo, in collaboration with IPBio, discovered 5 new species of bioluminescent mushrooms and the article has just been published. Our region has the highest concentration in the world of bioluminescent mushrooms. Moreover, as the studies of these mushrooms are all relatively recent it is possible (we would argue very likely) that many new species will be discovered over the next few years. Moreover, we also have a variety of gorgeous mushrooms that are not bioluminescent that we need to catalogue. 

We need volunteers with artistic skills who know how to use the various settings on a professional camera.

Education in biology, microbiology or biochemistry would be a huge benefit; however, we are willing to accept a non-biologist who is very interested, willing to learn and who would stay 6 months so they have time to train.

Living at IPBio

Volunteers will stay at the Darwin House, situated on the reserve itself, which accommodates up to 8 people in 2 rooms. This house has a bathroom with a hot shower and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to maintain and clean the house, we take this very seriously. Volunteers can use our organic vegetable and herb patch in their cuisine. Shops are in the town of Iporanga 6km away from the reserve, which you can walk or get a lift, where there are various shops with all you will need. Every day you will wake up to the sound of birds, monkeys and frogs and can explore the reserves grounds. During the weekend volunteers can visit the State Parks to explore the caves, hike into the dense forest surrounding them or visit the waterfalls. At the reserve we have a deck where you can swim as well as use our tubes (big circular water balloons) to drift down the river along with the current. Volunteers can also organize dinners, movie nights or social events which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or two. You can use the internet at the Center to Skype loved ones. 

Location

The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7% remains. In the Ribeira Valley, our region of the Atlantic Forest, we are at the footsteps of 21% of the 7% that is left, it being largest contiguous section of the Atlantic Forest. Despite the forests diminished state it still ranks as a global conservation priority. Although it is now just a small fraction of the size of the Amazon rainforest, the Atlantic Forest still harbors a range of biological diversity similar to that of the Amazon. The Atlantic Forest harbors around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians – 5% of the vertebrates on Earth. This includes nearly 200 bird species found nowhere else. The Betary Reserve is located next to one of the most famous Brazilian State Parks named PETAR. The region is called the Cave Capital as it known for containing over 300 spectacular caves, some which are accessible to tourists.  

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
50+

Typical day

A typical working day will range from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm including the tasks of:

  • Night visiting of the forest
  • Photographing in the wild
  • Collecting mushrooms for analysis
  • Day visiting of the forest
  • Filming
  • Lab testing

Program 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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
CV, Interest in IPBio Form and Health and Medical Insurance
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Artistic feel for photography.
Experience in the lab.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at IPBio - Reserva Betary are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

- Caves: Iporanga is called “The Cave Capital of Brazil” with over 400 caves in the town. Below are just the highlights.

•Casa da Pedra is the world’s largest cave entrance of 215 meters. The trip involves a 2-hour hike to the opening where there is a place to sit down and have a picnic and swim and then a hike back.

•Temimina Cave has a large opening in the ceiling illuminating its oddly shaped diagonal garden. Then you enter into a dark cave where at the end you find a natural shower hole.

•Nucleo Santana is a group of caves and is the most commonly visited as it has a wide range of different types of caves. In some caves you can swim.

- Tubing/Boia Cross: is a sport where by you get on a big balloon and float down the river. There are various waterways you can do in Iporanga, some more radical and some in the big river which is very relaxing and can last 3 hours.

- Cananeia: has various islands with dolphins swimming in between which are very easy to visualize. It is also known for its stunning beaches, awesome boat tours, great restaurants and the mangrove reserve where there are many crabs.

- Waterfalls: Iporanga has many waterfalls. “Sem Fim” is a small waterfall walking distance from the reserve. “Vale das Ostras” has 12 large waterfalls in a row.

- Quilombos: during the era of slavery many slaves would run away from the plantations and create settlements hidden in the forest. These communities live in relative isolation and you can visit their small towns. For some of the Quilombos the tours include travelling their by boat and having a traditional lunch at one of the families homes.

- Social Events:

•Dinners: there are many nice restaurants were volunteers can have dinner, some more classy like Casarao and some with traditional Brazilian food. There is also a great fish restaurant. Often volunteer will eat out on the weekends.

•Town Parties: the are a couple of bars in town, some have pool tables and some have dancing areas. On holidays, there are usually town festivals on the streets.

•BBQ: it is very common to have a BBQ on the weekend which is often accompanied with the traditional Brazilian drink called Caipirinha.

 

Water Sports
Swimming
Climbing
Hiking
Contact & Reservation
$160
/week
$160
/week
12 - 50
weeks
12 - 50
weeks
18+
age
18+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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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 IPBio - Reserva Betary cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Services by IPBio - Reserva Betary

This covers your accommodation, full access to the reserve, internet access and the use of any equipment we have. Volunteers will pay for their own food and cook for themselves. Volunteers are also responsible for paying for any extra costs such as travel costs, visa costs etc. Example of basic food costs: spaghetti - 5 reais, beans - 5 reais and we have someone in town that provides ready-made meals for 12 reais.

Accommodation

The Darwin House, where volunteers stay, is situated on the reserve itself and accommodates up to 8 people in 2 rooms. This house has a bathroom with a hot shower and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
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. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
12 weeks (min. stay)
$1,920.00
16 weeks
$2,560.00
20 weeks
$3,200.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$8,000.00
Average fees
$160.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Iporanga/Brazil between 12 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. IPBio - Reserva Betary 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 IPBio - Reserva Betary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Brazil

Check out first

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Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Brazil and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
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Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Brazil.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Aeroporto Internacional Guarulhos (GRU) in Sao Paulo. 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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Brazil while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Estrada Iporanga – Apiaí, Km 6, Iporanga, Brazil zoom="6"

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