Renewable Energy Internship

Lobitos, Peru show on map
founded in 2013
Coordinator | Michael
Coordinator | Michael
Work on designing and implementing sustainable renewable energy initiatives in Lobitos to improve the lives of the local fisherman. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

The project

Early in 2016, EcoSwell installed a state-of-the-art photovoltaic energy system at the Community Hall of the Lobitos Artisanal Fishermen's Association, as one of the objectives of a successful crowdfunding campaign. The setup is made up of two solar panels of 600W (300W each), four maintenance-free deep cycle use rechargeable batteries of 12V and 100Ah (20 hours) and a smart multi-function inverter/charger of 2.4kW and 24/220V. This system is currently powering the Community Hall in the middle of the Primavera neighbourhood, the main fishermen's neighbourhood in Lobitos. 

As a result, the Community Hall has turned into a centre where the inhabitants can access free, clean and renewable energy, especially during the occasional blackouts from the grid which unfortunately happen in Lobitos. The project has also reduced the Fishermen Association's electricity bill, greatly reducing their operating costs and generating important savings for the organization. However, the installed system can handle up to 2.4kW of load and it is currently running with idle capacity (only 10-20% of power is used). 

Your role as a volunteer

This project can keep improving and there are several activities in which the intern could get involved with, including:

  • Designing and implementing energy systems for use of this idle capacity in benefit of the Fishermen Association (eg: powering equipment that adds economic value to the local fish catch, powering a solar distiller for desalinization of seawater for the community, powering equipment that generates other revenue streams for the fishermen, etc.)
  • Obtain energy-usage data from the inverter in order to calculate and produce CO2 emissions reductions reports from the use of clean energy instead of the grid.
  • Designing and implementing any add-ons or improvements to the existing system.
  • Research into, scope, design and implement, a mixed system by adding a wind energy component (eg: wind turbines) so as to diversify the dependency on different renewable energy sources.

Project Impact:

The main proportion of inhabitants in Lobitos are fishermen or belong to fishermen families. Their income largely depends on their artisanal fishing activity. The idea of having this renewable energy setup at their Community Hall is to strengthen the Fishermen Association so that they can be more productive/efficient and add more economic value to their local catch, instead of just selling it right away as they catch it to market middlemen.

Typical day

A typical day working alongside the EcoSwell  team and possibly other volunteers in Lobitos can vary depending on the project you are taking part in. Interns and volunteers will usually find themselves working on a variety of projects whilst with us, but as part of this position you can be expected to be involved with:
  • Designing renewable energy solutions 
  • Lead research on what could be done and come up with relevant solutions. 
  • Get involved in project planning and management 
  • Get involved in the actual installation work 
  • Brainstorming sessions with the rest of the team 
  • Able to help other members of the teams on tasks which they may require assistance

A work day will typically range from 9am - 6pm typically (with a 1-2 hr lunch break), but the EcoSwell team is sometimes up from 6am, surfing or fishing during sunrise and also surfing or relaxing in the evening (catching the sunset at the beach), after the work day is over. 

Details on Arrival

Because this is an on-going project, this programme is available throughout the year.

Free-time activities

Daily world class surfing (all levels), fishing trips, whale and sea lion watching, exploring new beaches, yoga, library access, baking/cooking, personal development, constant socialising with other travellers, within other fun activities. We have a lot going on, and you’ll love it. Maybe even a little bit too much… many of our interns and volunteers have come to question their own lifestyles after experiencing ours! Come, try something new whilst you still have time and see for yourself. 

Other activities, such as swimming with wild turtles, sea-lion and whale watching, artisanal open sea fishing with local fishermen, within others are affordable and can be arranged but are not included in the programme. These come at an additional cost, but in reality they are very cheap. These activities are payable to the people who run them (ie: the local artisanal fishermen who take you on their boats) and as such we like to support the local economy. We can facilitate this as we have positive relationships with them and it represents an additional source of income for locals, while at the same time giving some of our participants experiences that they will never forget. Once in Lobitos, you’ll be able to see what you’d like to do at your own discretion. Regardless of whether you do partake or not in these activities, you will have a blast. 

We are not one of those organizations which imposes loads of restrictions on our participants on what you can and can’t do. We treat our volunteers and interns like adults, and so you are free to behave as one, responsibly. We will make all volunteers/interns fill in an risk assessment before joining us nonetheless, that way we ensure that you know what the risks are and what you shouldn’t do. We’ll give you a heads up on what goes down well and what doesn’t. So no need to worry too much about what you need to do in regards to health and safety and no need to worry about us wanting to “babysit” you. 

Water Sports

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) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently) and Spanish (basic level)
Education Requirements
Renewable Energy, Environmental Science, Engineering, Geography, Business/Marketing, International Development, Conservation at University level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
- Genuine interest in sustainable development
- Determination, self-motivation and ability to work in a team environment
- Experience working away from home
- Flexibility
- Positive attitude
- Proficiency in Spanish (preferable but not required)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

Included Services

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.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
EcoSwell (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by EcoSwell
Airport pickup, accommodation and food and drink are included in the fees.

Deposit (30%)
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 (70%)
Your final payment will be agreed with EcoSwell during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or PayPal.
Airport Pickup at Captain FAP Victor Montes Arias Airport

We will meet you at the airport in Talara and from there we will drive you to Lobitos.


You will have comfortable accommodation in the EcoSwell house throughout your stay with an office workplace/resources and large kitchen. You will have access to a shared bathroom and shower. We also have a chill-out living room with a DVD player and cable TV (which you probably won't use much!).

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Peruvian food is categorised as some of the best in world. You’ll get all your meals included 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) and you will be amazed at how much stronger you’ll feel after a few days with us! 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 volunteers 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.
If you are intending to volunteer in Peru you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Peru.
Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,095
3 weeks
$ 1,613
4 weeks
$ 2,151
5 weeks
$ 2,612
6 weeks
$ 3,135
9 weeks
$ 4,479
14 weeks (max. stay)
$ 6,622
Average fees
$ 510 /week

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.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Peru.
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.
  Americas South America Peru  Lobitos, Villa de Oficiales 270

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The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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