Volunteer Opportunities in Amazonian Conservation

ACA and ACCA are creative, hard-working, high-energy conservation groups and we welcome volunteers with the same qualities. Our volunteer positions are highly competitive and typically won by candidates with specialized skills, relevant experience, good language skills, a significant time commitment, and independent funding. Opportunities vary between our different sites and change frequently, so please read the descriptions below carefully. We do not currently consider applications for volunteer positions other than those described below.

At ACA’s Washington, DC, Office

The Amazon Conservation Association is seeking motivated volunteers to assist its DC staff in several projects. Duties may include: general office support, data entry, grant funding research, filing, editing, mailing, and event planning.

You will learn how we protect more than 1.5 million acres of rainforest and how we work with local communities, and get a close look at our ongoing projects in research, conservation, sustainability and microenterprise initiatives. There is always something to do around here to keep you busy!

Also, please check Idealist.org for our latest internship openings and application instructions.

Candidates interested in volunteering for the DC office in other ways (website help, translation assistance, IT support - whatever your skills!) should send a CV and brief letter of interest including hours of availability and level of Spanish to

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At ACCA’s Offices in Lima, Cusco, or Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA), ACA's sister organization in Peru, is seeking motivated volunteers to assist its Lima staff in several projects. Duties may include: general office support, translation, web updates, filing, editing, mailing, and event planning.

Candidates should send a CV and brief letter of interest including location preference, dates of availability, and level of Spanish and English to

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Opportunities at our Peruvian Field Stations

Our 3 Peruvian field stations offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities that make it possible for almost any individual to make a positive contribution to conservation. With three broad project categories to choose from, flexible work schedules, and tasks tailored to volunteers of all levels of skill and experience, we trust that you will find an opportunity that’s right for you.

Volunteer opportunities at our Peruvian field stations are available in the following main areas: biological monitoring and research, sustainable agriculture, and community outreach and education. In order to maximize the value and impact of the volunteer experience, we currently require a minimum month commitment in order to participate.

Volunteers at all 3 stations pay $35/day (covers food + lodging) for any stay lasting between 1 and 2 months, or $30/day for stays lasting 2 months or longer. Volunteers are required to work 6 hour days at least 5 days a week and must be:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • In good physical condition
  • Able to commit to at least one month on site
  • Experienced in foreign travel

To apply for any of the volunteer positions below, please send a CV and a completed application in English (.doc) or Spanish (.doc) to . Please specify in the subject line both the description (e.g., biological monitoring, sustainable agriculture, etc.) and location (e.g., Los Amigos, Wayqecha, Villa Carmen) of the program you wish to apply to.

At the Los Amigos Biological Station, Madre de Dios, Peru

Volunteer opportunities at our Los Amigos Biological Station are available in the following areas: biological monitoring and research, sustainable agriculture, and community outreach and education. Further details and additional opportunities are included below:

Biological monitoring volunteer

The Biological Monitoring and Research volunteer opportunities at Los Amigos encompass a wide variety of projects designed to support the station’s Science Program. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Monitoring and inventorying of biodiversity (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc.), especially in response to climate change and other human impacts
  • Forest composition and phenology surveys
  • Research into species’ functions, distributions, and population dynamics
  • Research into habitat health and restoration
  • Collection and preservation of biological specimens
  • Recording geographic data using GPS technology
  • Development of educational materials and interpretive guides
  • Collection of climatological and water quality data
  • Research into natural forest nutrient cycles (especially carbon and soil nutrients) and the factors that drive them
  • Research into native wildlife conservation and management
  • Data entry and database management

Sustainable agriculture volunteer

The Sustainable Agriculture volunteer opportunities at Los Amigos encompass a wide variety of projects designed to make the station more sustainable. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Habitat restoration
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Replanting of wild fruiting, medicinal, and ornamental plants
  • Development of interpretive materials for station visitors
  • Research about and attraction of native pollinators (could include beekeeping)
  • Ethnobotanical research and experimentation (medicinal plants)
  • Waste management and composting
  • Design, testing, and implementation of sustainable and low-impact technologies and practices for rural communities
  • Carpentry and general station repair and maintenance

Community outreach volunteer

The Community Outreach and Education volunteer opportunities at Los Amigos encompass a wide variety of projects designed to support the station’s Science Program. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Development, maintenance, and updating of station’s educational and interpretive resources (scientific curriculum, libraries, interpretive trails and center, field guides, etc.)
  • Assisting with environmental education activities and training workshops for local community members and schoolchildren
  • Teaching English to Peruvian staff
  • Providing an orientation for visiting students, researchers, and volunteers
  • Research and support for local sustainable livelihood, land use, and human-environment interaction projects

Independent project

Volunteers committing 3 months or more to our volunteer program are invited to propose their own independent project for implementation. Requirements for these projects are as follows:

  • The project must fall within the scope of at least one of the three main project areas (biological research, sustainable agriculture, or community outreach and education)
  • The project must be viable and completed within the term of volunteer’s term at the station
  • The project must be cost effective (funds for tools or equipment may be provided by ACCA if they are required or useful items for the station and visiting researchers)
  • No wildlife (including insects) may be collected without necessary permits
  • The project must be approved by the station’s Volunteer Coordinator
  • The volunteer must produce a final report summarizing the results or outcomes of their project (these results may be published on the ACA or ACCA webpages)

Resident artist

The successful candidate will create artwork—paintings, photographs, writing, drawings, or other art—that helps document and publicize work at the ACCA research stations. Learn about and see the work of past resident artists »

Assistant Primatologist

PrimatesPeru (a partner organization of ACA) has offered hands-on training on animal behavior, ecology and handling to 37 students since 2009. Each year, they accept select research assistants to get trained and assist in their principal research programs. These opportunities are ideal for people that are motivated to get deeply involved in primary research and who can commit to longer periods of time in the field. Click here to view the complete catalog of participation opportunities for 2013-2014 and application instructions.

Learn more about the experience of volunteers at Los Amigos Biological Station by visiting our volunteer blog or visit us also on Facebook to receive the latest news and updates, including grant and scholarship opportunities, job announcements, and more.

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At the Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station, Cusco, Peru

The Amazon Conservation Association is seeking motivated and innovative volunteers to work at the Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station in the cloud forest adjacent to Manu National Park in Peru. Volunteers work alongside Wayqecha staff monitoring wildlife, such as collecting information on bird communities, documenting orchids in bloom, monitoring forest succession, collecting weather data and recording animal tracks and markings. As well, volunteers work in identifying and collecting rare species of orchids to be included in our orchid garden. We are also interested in volunteers working in film-making, photography, art, and writing (contact us for special conditions).

Biological monitoring volunteer

The Biological Monitoring and Research volunteer opportunities at Wayqecha encompass a wide variety of projects designed to support the station’s Science Program. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Monitoring and inventorying of biodiversity (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc.), especially in response to climate change and other human impacts
  • Forest composition and phenology surveys
  • Research into species’ functions, distributions, and population dynamics
  • Research into habitat health and restoration
  • Collection and preservation of biological specimens
  • Recording geographic data using GPS technology
  • Development of educational materials and interpretive guides
  • Collection of climatological and water quality data
  • Research into natural forest nutrient cycles (especially carbon and soil nutrients) and the factors that drive them
  • Research into native wildlife conservation and management
  • Data entry and database management

Sustainable agriculture volunteer

The Sustainable Agriculture volunteer opportunities at Wayqecha encompass a wide variety of projects designed to make the station more sustainable. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Habitat restoration
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Replanting of wild fruiting, medicinal, and ornamental plants
  • Development of interpretive materials for station visitors
  • Research about and attraction of native pollinators (could include beekeeping)
  • Ethnobotanical research and experimentation (medicinal plants)
  • Waste management and composting
  • Design, testing, and implementation of sustainable and low-impact technologies and practices for rural communities
  • Carpentry and general station repair and maintenance

Community outreach volunteer

The Community Outreach and Education volunteer opportunities at Wayqecha encompass a wide variety of projects designed to support the station’s Science Program. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Development, maintenance, and updating of station’s educational and interpretive resources (scientific curriculum, libraries, interpretive trails and center, field guides, etc.)
  • Assisting with environmental education activities and training workshops for local community members and schoolchildren
  • Teaching English to Peruvian staff
  • Providing an orientation for visiting students, researchers, and volunteers
  • Research and support for local sustainable livelihood, land use, and human-environment interaction projects

Independent project

Volunteers committing 3 months or more to our volunteer program are invited to propose their own independent project for implementation. Requirements for these projects are as follows:

  • The project must fall within the scope of at least one of the three main project areas (biological research, sustainable agriculture, or community outreach and education)
  • The project must be viable and completed within the term of volunteer’s term at the station
  • The project must be cost effective (funds for tools or equipment may be provided by ACCA if they are required or useful items for the station and visiting researchers)
  • No wildlife (including insects) may be collected without necessary permits
  • The project must be approved by the station’s Volunteer Coordinator
  • The volunteer must produce a final report summarizing the results or outcomes of their project (these results may be published on the ACA or ACCA webpages)

Resident artist

The successful candidate will create artwork—paintings, photographs, writing, drawings, or other art—that helps document and publicize work at the ACCA research stations. Learn about and see the work of past resident artists »

Learn more about the volunteer experience at the Wayqecha Biological Station by visiting our volunteer blog or checking us out on Facebook.

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At the Villa Carmen Biological Station, Cusco/Madre de Dios, Peru

Volunteer opportunities at Villa Carmen are available in the following areas: biological monitoring and research, sustainable agriculture, and community outreach and education. In addition, the following special opportunities are available:

Biological monitoring volunteer

The Biological Monitoring and Research volunteer opportunities at Villa Carmen encompass a wide variety of projects designed to support the station’s Science Program. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Monitoring and inventorying of biodiversity (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc.), especially in response to climate change and other human impacts
  • Forest composition and phenology surveys
  • Research into species’ functions, distributions, and population dynamics
  • Research into habitat health and restoration
  • Collection and preservation of biological specimens
  • Recording geographic data using GPS technology
  • Development of educational materials and interpretive guides
  • Collection of climatological and water quality data
  • Research into natural forest nutrient cycles (especially carbon and soil nutrients) and the factors that drive them
  • Research into native wildlife conservation and management
  • Data entry and database management

Sustainable agriculture volunteer

The Sustainable Agriculture volunteer opportunities at Villa Carmen encompass a wide variety of projects designed to make the station more sustainable. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Habitat restoration
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Replanting of wild fruiting, medicinal, and ornamental plants
  • Assisting researchers from the Silman Lab of Wake Forest University to maintain and monitor a series of seedling gardens in order to determine the altitudinal tolerances of various plant species.
  • Development of interpretive materials for station visitors
  • Research about and attraction of native pollinators (could include beekeeping)
  • Ethnobotanical research and experimentation (medicinal plants)
  • Waste management and composting
  • Design, testing, and implementation of sustainable and low-impact technologies and practices for rural communities
  • Carpentry and general station repair and maintenance

Community outreach volunteer

The Community Outreach and Education volunteer opportunities at Villa Carmen encompass a wide variety of projects designed to support the station’s Science Program. Volunteers in this area will carry a full schedule (~30 hours/week) consisting of one or more of the following activities:

  • Development, maintenance, and updating of station’s educational and interpretive resources (scientific curriculum, libraries, interpretive trails and center, field guides, etc.)
  • Assisting with environmental education activities and training workshops for local community members and schoolchildren
  • Teaching English to Peruvian staff
  • Providing an orientation for visiting students, researchers, and volunteers
  • Research and support for local sustainable livelihood, land use, and human-environment interaction projects

Independent project

Volunteers committing 3 months or more to our volunteer program are invited to propose their own independent project for implementation. Requirements for these projects are as follows:

  • The project must fall within the scope of at least one of the three main project areas (biological research, sustainable agriculture, or community outreach and education)
  • The project must be viable and completed within the term of volunteer’s term at the station
  • The project must be cost effective (funds for tools or equipment may be provided by ACCA if they are required or useful items for the station and visiting researchers)
  • No wildlife (including insects) may be collected without necessary permits
  • The project must be approved by the station’s Volunteer Coordinator
  • The volunteer must produce a final report summarizing the results or outcomes of their project (these results may be published on the ACA or ACCA web pages)

Resident artist

The successful candidate will create artwork—paintings, photographs, writing, drawings, or other art—that helps document and publicize work at the ACCA research stations. Learn about and see the work of past resident artists »

Learn more about the volunteer experience at Villa Carmen Biological Station by visiting our volunteer blog or checking us out on Facebook.

For further inquiries regarding the opportunities at one of the field stations, please contact Patrick Campbell at and he will put you in touch with the appropriate volunteer coordinator.

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Photo of boat on river

Setting off. Photo: Raechel Running

Photo of tamarin

Emperor tamarin at Los Amigos. Photo: Lindsay Lough



red tapestry