Volunteer Abroad in the Amazon Rainforest: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador

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Updated for 2023-2024

Taking a volunteer trip during your school break, a gap year, career break, or just for a short vacation can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. You can learn new skills, explore new places, and get in-depth experience that is sure to boost your career and let you make new, lifelong connections.

A visit to the Amazon rainforest is truly unique. There is nowhere else in the world that offers the same variety of flora and fauna, and your volunteer contributions are particularly critical in this area. After all, tropical rainforests serve as the Earth’s lungs by pulling carbon dioxide in and sending oxygen out into the atmosphere. Your efforts to preserve the extraordinary Amazonian ecosystem will help protect this global treasure for generations to come. Whether you’re helping with wildlife research, contributing to environmental conservation initiatives, or even helping to encourage sustainable development and resource use within different communities, there are so many ways that you can make an impact. As an example, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) offers an Amazon Jungle conservation program out of Peru where you can support reforestation, trail conservation, and more!

Another trusted volunteer organization, GoEco, is known for their wildlife and rescue volunteer programs, such as the Animal Rescue and Release Sanctuary in Peru.

These are just a few of the volunteer abroad programs available to you if you are passionate about preserving our planet:

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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

IVHQ is the volunteer abroad program of choice for leading universities like UCLA, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and University of California at Berkeley. Travelers of all ages and backgrounds alike are welcome to become part of IVHQ’s amazing programs worldwide, whether you’re traveling solo, with a group, or with a friend. Programs are affordable (starting at just $20 per day), and the organization has helped more than 130,000 travelers plan their life-changing volunteer experiences since its founding in 2007.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) offers a rainforest volunteering project in Peru, where you will live and work on-site at one of the Amazonian jungle conservation bases. Support Peruvian rainforest reforestation, contribute to basic research, and conduct animal inventories with the guidance of local full-time staff members. Learn more and sign up here!

GoEco

Since 2006, GoEco has offered affordable volunteer abroad programs and internships in over 40 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. With more than 150 different programs, GoEco is a great organization to check out if you’re looking for a variety of impactful trips to choose from, from wildlife conservation to teaching English. GoEco was recently recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization from GoAbroad, Top Eco-Enthusiast by Greenmatch, and has been recommended by Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and more. As a volunteer, you will have 24-hour support from the GoEco team, from start to finish. Currently, GoEco is offering a special travel grant where you can stay for the 3rd week free! Check out the qualifying programs here!

Animal Rescue and Release Sanctuary in Peru

Experience a taste of living in the Amazon jungle in Peru! This program, partnered with the Amazon Wildlife Sanctuary, is located in a remote area in the Amazon and will fulfil your wish to live among nature! And at the same time, you can assist in wildlife rescues so these wild animals can return to their natural habitat. The shelter includes 80+ animals. These orphaned and injured animals (including sloths, monkeys, birds, and terrestrial mammals) are usually results of habitat loss, hunting, and illegal trade. Your tasks to care for these animals include feeding, cleaning and repairing their enclosures, and helping the veterinarian in various tasks. A minimum of 2 weeks for this program is highly recommended! 

Ecuador – Wild Animal Rescue Shelter

Another Amazon volunteer opportunity with GoEco is near Baños, Ecuador, which is near the start of the Amazon jungle, in an animal shelter. This project is located in the rural Amazon rainforest and you will experience life in a jungle. You will get to help injured, or abandoned wildlife to rehabilitate them back to health. Day to day tasks include preparing and feeding the animals, maintaining the shelter, and helping the veterinarian as needed. In your free time, there are activities to do near Banos, such as thermal hot springs, or bike and canopy tours of the Amazon jungle. Check out this program!

Maximo Nivel

If you want the expertise of a volunteer organization that specializes in Latin American programs, Maximo Nivel may be the right choice for you. Programs have been internationally accredited, and many qualify for college credit. Maximo Nivel operates all of their programs locally, so you know you’ll benefit from local support and expertise before, during, and after your trip. Travel solo, with your family or friends, or with your school and immerse yourself in Latin American culture!

The volunteer abroad specialists at Maximo Nivel are committed to ensuring your safety and comfort while you focus on lending your skills to improve the health of the Peruvian rainforest. Combat the effects of deforestation by planting trees and shrubs, removing invasive bamboo, and conducting educational workshops for local communities. Learn more and apply today!

Projects Abroad

In the past 25 years, Projects Abroad has placed more than 120,000 people in amazing volunteer projects and internships all over the world. Its track record of success has allowed this organization to become one of the world’s largest international volunteer abroad services.

If you are ready to pack your bags for the rainforest, Projects Abroad’s volunteer program in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru may be right for you. You will be on the frontlines of wildlife and forest conservation efforts working at the award-winning Taricaya Ecological Reserve – learn more and apply!

Love Volunteers

Founded 10 years ago, Love Volunteers has become one of the fastest-growing volunteer abroad organizations in the world. This team puts an emphasis effective methods of partnering with local communities, and the fees for program participants are always affordable. If you are ready for an Ecuadorian adventure, check out these projects available from Love Volunteers!

Sometimes the animals who live in the Amazon rainforest run into trouble, and they find themselves in need of rescue and rehabilitation. When you join the Animal Sanctuary Program in Ecuador, you can be part of the solution. Work alongside members of an indigenous Quichuan community to keep wildlife safe and healthy.

If you prefer to protect the rainforest through educational activities, the Rainforest Conservation Project may be right for you. Partner with local experts to research and create workshops for members of local communities, as well as larger international audiences. Learn more and sign up here!

Fronteering

The most adventurous volunteers and explorers are flocking to Fronteering programs, because the organization is devoted to taking participants farther off the beaten path than ever before. Get deeply involved in your project and stretch the limits of your skills with immersive volunteer adventures.

Head to the Brazilian rainforest to teach tourists about minimizing the impact of their visits, or partner with local experts to educate members of the community on eco-friendly living. Sleep in hammocks under the Amazonian stars and learn survival skills for staying safe during rainforest exploration when you choose Fronteering’s Amazon Guide – Brazil program.

If you prefer to make an impact on the area’s small businesses, consider an internship with the Amerindian community. You will support local eco-lodges through education in the fields of IT, Accounting, and Hospitality, improving their ability to attract tourists to the area. Learn more here!

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

A Broader View is a US-based charity sending travelers on impactful volunteer programs worldwide – with first-class customer service, A Broader View offers more than 245 trips to 25 countries, and projects range from healthcare to childcare, and everything in between.

If your first love is protecting the environment, consider A Broader View’s Community Development program in the Ecuadorian rainforest. You will join a community made up of 40 aboriginal families, and you will share your skills in English, education, and technology to assist the families in improving the success of their small businesses. Learn more and sign up here!

Ready To Travel?

Whether you would like to pursue a volunteer adventure or even an in-depth internship to boost your career in environmental conservation and research, there are lots of ways to make a positive impact in the Amazon Rainforest! And if you’re looking for additional travel opportunities in South America, check out these articles for inspiration:

Volunteer in Brazil: Conservation, Teaching English, Sports Development

Volunteer in Brazil & Ecuador: Amazon Conservation, Carnival & More

Volunteer in South America & Latin America – Brazil, Costa Rica & more

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