Please familiarise yourself with the information on this website and take a look at the volunteer-run blog before making your application. There is only one type of role available so carefully consider your suitability for that which is described.
Click for downloadable PDF: VolunteerInfo
We are currently looking for a volunteer to start in September/October (as soon as possible) – December 2016 but are open to reading applications for future consideration.
We will next be reviewing applications this coming week. You will hear from us soon regarding your suitability for the role.
Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Downloadable PDF: VolunteerInfo
$50 to secure placement once accepted, will be paid to Ines and this will go towards basic maintenance, such as the solar panels, paper/ink for printing, reserving your flight etc. Ines provides receipts for all purchases she makes on your behalf.
Transport from Quito to Puyo /Shell:
You will need to budget for public transport form Quito to Puyo/Shell via Banos. Also, any nights at a hostel in Quito and Puyo.
Air Transport from Puyo /Shell to Kapawi:
Plane from shell to kapawi – The planes are usually government subsidized at $30 a flight, but if for some reason you are unable to catch that flight (due to rain, or plane maintenance), flight will cost $110. This is still relatively inexpensive compared to the prices tourists would have to pay to fly into the jungle. This can be discussed with Ines before your arrival, but be prepared to pay a maximum of $110. Your spot on the plane will be reserve in advance but you can pay this directly in cash at the airport.
$60 a month. This budgeted by Ines for the food she will have flown in for you and includes the $20 needed to transport a gas cylinder for cooking. This will be paid in cash to Ines and she will provide receipts as proof of all purchases.
Teaching resources – The teacher will not have to pay for any resources; however, classes should be done with as little printing as possible as ink is expensive. Teachers are encouraged to bring any resources they feel are necessary, and can talk with the academic coordinator about ideas and lesson planning before arrival. As a volunteer, if you really want something, you can help develop the resources here by buying it yourself. Previous volunteers have supplied the various items here, from a printer to a deck of cards. Another volunteer started a dance club and purchased matching uniforms for the girls. It is up to the volunteer to decide what resources they would like to purchase, if any at all.
Additional Expenses:– Sheets, towel, general hygiene products, detergent, toilet paper, anything needed to live during the three months. Most supplies can be bought cheaply in Puyo before heading to the jungle. Ines, the director, will bring you to the stores to do the shopping.
Extra money:– Although there is nothing you will need to buy once you arrive in the jungle, it is a good idea to have the cash on hand, just in case. There will be opportunities to buy handicrafts in different communities, sweets in Ines’s store, or perhaps go downriver to the Peruvian border. You can also ask Ines to fly you in anything you forgot, or a food you are craving, and will need to pay her in advance for that.
It is also strongly advised that volunteers purchase a copy of ‘The Achuar of the Pastaza River: A Glimpse into Their Rainforest World’. This book, written by a volunteer, serves as a handy cultural guide that will help you in your pre-arrival preparations, but it is up to you whether you purchase it or not. It is available on kindle format and hardcopy. An e-book is being developed. Written by Dr. J. Mo wczko (published 2014), profits from the sale of this book will be used to provide educational resources for the children from Achuar communities located along the Capahuari and Pastaza Rivers. Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Achuar-Pastaza-River-Rainforest/dp/1482669668
Downloadable PDF: VolunteerInfo
“I have been working in high school for 4 years. I had classes of 40 students, most of whom didn’t want to be in class and didn’t care about learning English, which didn’t make all the hours that I put into planning my lessons very rewarding.
Here at Colegio Tuna, students come to school because they want to learn. School is voluntary, and there are currently 13 students from other communities that live in boarding houses because they want education. You can see that students are eager to learn English; they do their homework, they put forth their best effort in class.
Unlike a normal high school, where I would only see the students on school grounds during school hours, here in this small community, I see my students all day long. We swim together, play football or do cheerleading together, even dance together at community events. Sometimes students come over to the house so that I can help with their homework, or to look at photos on my computer. Recently some girls wanted my fashion advice for a school dance and came over to try on different jewelry I had to match their outfits. A few times students spoke on Skype with my husband, and I was even asked to be the Godmother of one student at her communion.
There is a real chance to bond with the students and the community here. In the classroom, I was their teacher, but in the community I am their teacher, role model, and friend – and they have also been my teacher, role model and friend. This really makes for a successful English class because not only do we respect each other, but since we got to know each other through all the activities we did together, they are very comfortable around me, which makes them less hesitant to try to speak English, which can normally be scary and intimidating for students.
I have also seen the effort the teachers put into their classes. Recently we held the school festival. Both students and teachers worked nonstop for days to practice for the cultural events, build the structures to house them, and put together an amazing festival for the school. Students and teachers are proud of their school and I can see why. I too have been honored to be a part of such a dedicated institution and have really enjoyed and felt rewarded working and bonding with the bright Achuar youth.
I love the pace of life here, how relaxed it is, the freedom, the lack of stress. The jungle rewards me everyday with delicious food like fresh pineapple, papaya, and plantains; not to mention the gorgeous sunsets and night sky that I can view without even leaving my porch. I have loved my volunteer experience here, and if it weren’t for my work schedule, I would stay for a year. I have lived, laughed and learned with the Achuar, and it has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.”