Rainforest conservation and retreat

Ecuador (E15) | View map
£240 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months

Volunteer in this unique prject in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador

  • Volunteers learn, practice and educate others in restoring the rainforest
  • Live a simple and organic life with other volunteers
  • Suitable for gap years volunteers and enthusiasts of conservation and nature
  • Experience yoga, reiki and meditation on site
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Project summary

Historically after logging in the area, settlers set up homesteads, slashing and burning the surrounding forest in order to graze cattle. This left primary forest only in the least accessible areas. This project consists of 25 hectares of deforested pasture that is now an example of aided recovery.

The project mission is to restore and replicate the rainforest. An indigenous botanical garden is being created and the water courses protected and enhanced. Rainforest trees, fruit trees and plants with medicinal properties are being planted. Orchids and bromeliads are also propagated. From these primary activities a model is being created for the recuperation and protection of the rainforest that can be copied by local farmers and land owners. Horticulture training, conservation, recreation and educational projects take place.

The land resembles a beautiful wildlife park accessed by numerous trails. It demonstrates the economic viability of environmentally sound land use in an area that has suffered from appalling deforestation for short term gain.

The project acts as a well-run educational resource for local schools and the considerable number of families that own small holdings and depend upon the land for their livelihoods, teaching the benefits of improving and enhancing the environment rather than destroying it.

The project director is a multi-lingual ethno biologist. She takes a holistic approach to life recognising the importance of personal development through yoga while understanding and enhancing ones natural environment. When she is on site, she teaches and practices yoga, meditation and reiki, in a room beautifully designed to blend in with the surrounding forest.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

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Volunteers spend the majority of their time carrying out physical activities. This might involve hiking in the jungle with an indigenous guide to gather seeds, tending and planting saplings, working in the botanical garden or learning about and practising organic farming methods.

There is a small organic farm where coffee, exotic fruits and vegetables are grown. Natural herbicides, fertilisers and pesticides are made and plants grown for their medicinal purposes. Their uses are demonstrated to local land owners in preference to the more expensive, commercial inorganic alternatives.

There are occasional visits to schools promoting environmental awareness in the community.

How you can make a difference

The project needs volunteers to support their mission in respect of reforestation, food sovereignty, agro-ecology, organic agriculture and rainforest restoration. The model developed is one that offers a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for local farmers and volunteers are required to help make this happen.

The orientation of the project Director, demonstrated through the yoga and even the design of the project house, show this is as much about personal growth as it is conservation and education.

What is distinctive about this project:

The focus is on long term education to solve environmental problems. This is done through sensitive demonstrations and well run workshops using the farm as a base. The setting, design and orientation of the whole project provide volunteers with an informative and tranquil experience.

Blue Tiger Features

This is a conservation project where you live on site with nature and other volunteers, rather than being a cultural immersion. You live in a wonderful setting, a short distance from the nearest town, but some six hours from the bustle of Quito.

This could be combined with a spell at the Wild Life Rescue centre for volunteers wanting a longer term, combined experience.


This project is open all year round


Spanish will be the local language, but English is widely spoken on the project.

Experience required:

No specific experience is required, however, volunteers should be happy to work outside all day, doing physically demanding work in a tropical climate, and be comfortable with more rustic living conditions.

Good to know

You live on site in a wonderful timber built lodge house situated in the midst of the gardens. There are shared bedrooms and plenty of outside living space. You are also near Puyo and Banos, the self-proclaimed adventure centres for Ecuador, with rafting, mountain-biking, zip-wiring and trekking experiences available.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support, welcome meal and up to 2 weeks of high quality 121 Spanish tuition.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations

Things to see and do

  • Visit the Amazon rainforest
  • Downhill mountain-biking in Cotopaxi
  • Go Wild in Banos
  • Visit the Galapagos
  • Straddle the equator
Monika Montes

Country co-ordinator

Monika Montes

Monika is superbly connected throughout Ecuador and has been working with Outreach International since 2003. She lives with her two teenage children in central Quito and plays host to many of our volunteers who work in the city. Monika’s passion for volunteering is reflected in her commitment and level of support that she provides. She speaks fluent English and is a qualified Spanish tutor.

About Ecuador