Volunteering Peru - Mira
Volunteering in rainforest research: Mira spent 6 weeks in Peru, in this interview she talks about her experiences in Puerto Maldonado.
Project: Rainforest Research
Location: Puerto Maldonado
Duration: August - September
Support from the Natucate team:
Volunteering Peru: Rainforest Research – Review: Six questions for Mira
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your tasks in the project?
My tasks during the project were as follows:
Searching for and observing a group of black spider monkeys. We followed them through the forest and noted every 5 minutes what a particular monkey in the group was doing.
Collecting, attaching and analysing wildlife cameras. The data from the wildlife cameras was transferred to a laptop and sorted.
Mammal transects: In this activity, you walk as quietly as possible for one kilometre and note down all the mammals you see during this time.
Fenology transects: In this activity, you search half a kilometre for fresh flowers and fruit and try to find the tree from which they have fallen. The tree is then identified and photographed.
Clearing trails: The trails are cleared of overgrown plants, branches and foliage using a machete and rake. New markings are placed every 25 metres.
Other smaller jobs in the camp, for example transferring data, painting or cleaning equipment.
2) What were the biggest challenges for you during the project?
It was difficult at the beginning to get used to the climate and the associated sweating. The amount of fast walking in the forest was also a challenge at the beginning. It also took me a few days to get used to the simple equipment at the camp.
3) Was there anything that you particularly liked? Or something that you remember particularly negatively?
I particularly liked the friendly atmosphere in the camp, and I also had a lot of fun with the animals in the camp, there were five dogs and a cat.♡ The time in the rainforest was also wonderful, there was always something fascinating to see or hear. Another great moment was always when a group of squirrel monkeys were out and about in the camp and you could watch them from your bungalow.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you travelled to the project?
I had no particular expectations, but let myself be surprised. I was pleasantly surprised by the dogs. I also think that the electricity and water supply at the camp is very well organised and sustainable.
5) What tips/recommendations would you give to other participants who want to do the project?
My recommendation: From size 43, you should bring your own wellies. Waterproof packaging for electrical appliances is also recommended, as you may be crossing a river or swamp.
6) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on-site?
Using the washing machine costs 5 sol, which is less than two euros. For all costs together, i.e. taxi journey, hostel and restaurant, €50-100 is sufficient. You can change money at the airport and in Puerto Maldonado.
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