Volunteering Peru - Sina
Volunteering in forest conservation: Sina travelled to Peru to help with the protection of the rainforest. In the interview, she reports on her experiences.
Project: Rainforest Research Peru
Location: Puerto Maldonado
Duration: March - April
Support from the Natucate team:
Partner on site:
Volunteering Peru: Rainforest Research – Review: Seven questions for Sina
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your tasks in the project?
The activities were very diverse. Among other things, research was done on birds, trees, amphibians, and spider monkeys. Every day I was allowed to participate in a different research excursion and thus experienced anything but monotony. My absolute favourite activity was trail maintenance work, as that involved using a machete. I never expected cutting plants with a machete to be so much fun.
2) What were the biggest challenges for you during the project?
The biggest challenge was balancing over the tree trunks. Since it was rainy season, the water level of the swamps rose relatively high and flooded the tree trunks which served as bridges. My balance is not the best and so I plopped into the swamp a few times, which was always very entertaining. However, it is not dangerous; there are neither piranhas nor crocodiles in the area and the clothes dried in the warm climate right away.
3) Was there anything that you particularly liked? Or something that you remember particularly negatively?
I remember the cordiality of the Peruvian biology researchers particularly positively. They all took their time to show me unique animals and plants. From time to time, we also went on a joint discovery trip into the forest, which was always very exciting and often we found snakes, frogs and tarantulas.
Every evening we played a card game after dinner, where the loser had to wash the dishes. This was always super exciting and the highlight of the evening for me. In the first few weeks, however, I didn't quite understand the game and often ended up doing the dishes accordingly.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you travelled to the project?
I was hoping for an exciting and educational time in the rainforest. These expectations were exceeded by far! In the five weeks I was there, there was not a single boring day.
5) Did you do anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
There was the option to go to Puerto Maldonado on the days off. However, I liked it so much in the rainforest that I always stayed in the camp during my stay. It wasn't until the last day before I left that I explored the town and enjoyed a delicious lunch at a restaurant. I would highly recommend planning a day in Puerto Maldonado.
6) What tips/recommendations would you give to other participants who want to do the project?
I had some shorts and t-shirts with me, but I could never wear them because of the many mosquitoes. Therefore, I recommend packing a lot of mosquito spray as well as mosquito proof clothes and leaving the short clothes at home.
7) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on-site?
In total there were about 150 Soles in additional costs during the 5 weeks (converted this is about 40 Euros). Apart from the use of the washing machine and the alcoholic drinks, everything was included, so it was very inexpensive.
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