Live in the rainforest and leave the trappings of modern urban life behind you. Develop your own deep relationship to raw and untouched nature through the gift of service to the Amazon rainforest. Discover the beauty and wonder of the cloudforests while helping us maintain the basecamp and medicinal garden.
Volunteer with Bosque Medicinal and contribute towards surveys of the surrounding wildlife, maintain trails, and plant trees. Work with UNIDA in a study to determine the appropriate mix of flora and fauna for permaculture relevant to local conditions. Visit Shuar indigenous communities learn how they relate to the rainforest and of their current challenges.Join us at the Bosque Medicinal basecamp and gift yourself with the joy of getting to know the rainforest. Explore your role in caring for nature, and realize firsthand the challenges nature faces. Create a better world by sharing and discovering how to live more in harmony with nature.
What to expect
We return to the natural cycles of the forest, reacquainting our circadian rhythm with the sunrise and sunset. Our daily schedule is directed by the rainforest, varying based on the weather, our current projects, and the group's ability. We dedicate 6 days to volunteer work for every 3 days of relaxation and exploration. That said, our workdays can include hikes into the deep rainforest, and our days of relaxation can include hiking to explore local caves, so at times the line between work and relaxation gets a bit blurred! Each morning, we offer yoga and meditation prior to breakfast, and depending on the day’s activities, may offer sessions in the afternoon as well.
Each morning, we offer yoga and meditation prior to breakfast, and depending on the day’s activities, may offer sessions in the afternoon as well. The volunteer work may include attending to camera traps, cultivating the nursery or garden, improving the Bosque Medicinal basecamp, or participating in the current scientific research. During this summer trip, we expect to help scientists establish and monitor a permaculture, in order to determine the right flora and fauna for use in the local region. Naturally, we also have daily chores to attend to, such as cooking, cleaning, buying food, and attending to laundry.
We will have the opportunity to enjoy many adventures, both in the rainforest and with local communities. There are several awe-inspiring waterfalls to hike to and local caves to explore. We will have the opportunity to stay with members of the Shuar community, experience their culture, and learn about medicinal plants native to the Amazon. We will explore the magic of the rainforest, through our own direct experience, and through the legends and stories shared with us.
Extra days for those with more time
For those lucky and willing to further explore the region, we can journey to the lower Amazon by “bote” (a small 2-person canoe) to stay with a very remote Shuar community. We can also explore Incan ruins, and depending on the season, we could visit the coast to see whales and dolphins.
- shared rooms
- tent camping
- communal kitchen access
- communally cooked meals
- over 80% locally sourced
- None: Off the grid
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Food is cooked communally, with 3 vegan meals a day included. On the occasional day where we have a meal outside of the basecamp, that is also included.
Once you meet us in Gualaquiza, all expenses are included! This includes any costs related to the activities, guides, food & lodging elsewhere (at the indigenous communities for example), and transportation within the region.
Getting to Ecuador by air:
We recommend flying to Guayaquil, as the airport often has more convenient connections, and is cheaper than flying in to Cuenca, which is technically closer. Quito is much further north, so we do not recommend flying to Quito.
Once you land, take a taxi to the bus terminal, and then get a bus to Gualaquiza. We will meet in Gualaquiza at the “El Paraíso” Hostel, and from there will take taxis up to the Bosque Medicinal refugio / basecamp.
With all travel, we are happy to help out, but please get in touch earlier rather than last minute!
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