Park and Reserve Assistant Volunteer

Fundación Omaere - Puyo, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-700 Location: Puyo, Ecuador Sector: Wildlife and the Environment Category: Conservation Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Basic Placement Fee: 140 USD
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Volunteer Job Description

Omaere Ethnobotanical Park is located in the outskirts of Puyo city, in Ecuador. Ethnobotany studies the relationships between cultures and plants that surround them. The Park operates the Omaere Ethnobotanical Gardens in Puyo and contributes to environmental education, appreciation of indigenous cultures, natural health, and ecological sanitation.

A national park volunteer assistant would be involved in many aspects of Omaere Park's activities. Be it to: help maintain the park facilities, aid in the protection of natural resources, assist the park staff in the customer service division, assist in environmental education seminars or in endeavors with staff and other members of the surrounding communities helping to contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of the region, (example - the construction of ecological dry toilets). Volunteers do not need any environmental studies or experience but they must be willing to work hard and be able to adjust quickly to a variety of tasks. This placement is ideal for nature lovers.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Public Service

A national park volunteer assistant will aim to help provide the best customer service, to meet the different needs for information about the park that tourists require: rules and regulations while visiting the park, park access, attractions, rates, services, infrastructure, as well as conduct tours of the park. (English speaking visitors).

Cleaning the Park

A national park volunteer assistant would help with the daily maintenance of the park by clearing the paths of debris and weeds in order to keep them free from obstacles and a pleasant area for all to enjoy.

You will be helping the park staff to maintain it clean for tourist to visit , making sure everything is ready to receive them. Also having ready the material needed to guide.

Education

A national park volunteer assistant may have the opportunity to help support environmental educational activities, as well as assist park staff in improving their English skills through a mutual exchange in language dialogue.

Construction & Conservation

A national park volunteer assistant may be asked to work with the communities in the construction of ecological dry toilets, as well as other activities that contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of the region.

Host Organization Details

Fundación Omaere

Omaere Ethnobotanical Park is located in the outskirts of Puyo city, in Ecuador. It is one of the first Latin America Ethnobotanical Parks. Ethnobotany studies the relationships between cultures and plants that surround them, as a source for medicine, housing, religion and power.

Plants are a fundamental part of the life of the Amazon Indians. The park is dedicated to teaching about different indigenous cultures of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The Park operates the Omaere Ethnobotanical Gardens in Puyo and contributes to environmental education, appreciation of indigenous cultures, natural health, and ecological sanitation.

You can discover the diversity of useful plants along the trails of the park through guided walks. These can last one to two hours, depending on the interest of the visitors. Short tours visit some of the most important points within a half hour. The walks are conducted by native guides, biologists and volunteers.

They also teach about some techniques to improve health and to live in greater harmony with nature, such as water purification with the sun and sand filters with plants and ecological dry toilets for more non-contaminate water.

In Omaere Ethnobotanical Park you can find a number of useful plants, whether for food, cultural or medical purposes. Learn about the Shuar and Huaorani Culture, (social life, typical houses, weapons and tools) and enjoy nature with its many small wonders.

When They Were Founded

The name, Omaere means "nature of the forest." The park was founded in 1993 by Lady Shuar and two other French people. They bought a plot of 15 acres on the outskirts of Puyo, which consisted mostly of grass for cows and then proceeded to plant a lot of plants that would be beneficial to the Amazon Indians. Now, 20 years later, the plants have grown and almost seems a natural forest ... only with useful plants at every turn.

Who They Work With

At the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, in Puyo, we receive over 10,000 visitors each year, 83% Ecuadorians, especially school groups and families. Foreign visitors come from all over the world.

Our reserve in Kankaimi is immersed in Shuar communities, which we hope to help along the lines of sustainable development, environmental education, ecological sanitation, and traditional natural health.

How Are They Funded

The Omaere Foundation was founded in 1993 to contribute to the conservation of useful plants in the Amazon, together with the traditional knowledge of how to use these plants. The Organization receives its funding from the government in Puyo and private funding as well.

Donation Requests

Mosquito nets, blankets, tools and/or building supplies any and all would be appreciated.

Placement Location Information

Puyo, Ecuador

Omaere The park is located in the north-western part of the city of Puyo, one kilometer from the central park of the city. Volunteers will stay with a family.

The Foundation has a very respectable collection of plants, shrubs and trees regarding the traditional cultures of the jungle. The site is predominantly ethnic and botanical, therefore here are many native plants that have been used by the indigenous people of the Amazon jungle, to cure their ailments for millennia.

The Pedagogical Ethno Park - Botanical "Omaere" is divided into four areas: Information area, Botanical Collections, Gardening and Nurseries Forestry and Agroforestry plots.

Documentation Centre: with important information about studies in native plants that are part of the Park. Herbarium: where samples are collected, knowledge derived and analysed about the healing powers of natural species. Classroom Training: where environmental training programs and lectures on natural medicine native to the Amazon region are given.

Transfer From BaseCamp

There are two bus terminals in Puyo. The main terminal where the buses from Quito and Baños arrive is about 1 km south-west of town. The other bus terminal is located near the Mariscal Market (Mercado Mariscal). From there buses leave to small communities. So you will need to take the bus from the Mariscal Market to Puyo to arrive at the main bus station in Puyo. A staff member from the park will pick you up there.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 300 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 5:5

Weather in the Area

True to its name, derived from the Kichwa word for "cloudy", the local climate is a wet one and the weather is often overcast. The climate is warm and humid but pleasant.

The seasonal changes in the climate are relatively small, and daytime temperature typically ranges between 18-24 °C, with sun and generally short but heavy periods of rain daily. The scenery and natural beauty of Pastaza, provides the best options for visitors and scientists seeking to know the impressive vegetation, wildlife, immense rivers, waterfalls and other fascinating places in eastern Ecuado.

City/Village Description

Puyo, also known as El Puyo, is the capital of Pastaza, a province in Ecuador. Puyo is located at an altitude of approximately 950 AMSL by the Puyo River, a tributary of the Pastaza River, which eventually leads into the Amazon River. Located between Baños and the Amazonian cities of Tena and Macas, Puyo is the commercial, cultural and political capital of the region. The city is connected by roads to Ambato, Tena, and Macas and from there to the major urban areas of Ecuador.

Puyo is Ecuador’s largest jungle town and is known as a commercial centre; the activity on the streets starting early and ending near midnight.

The main roads are lined with stores of all kinds. This small wood and concrete sprawl with a river slinking through it represents the juncture between northern and southern Oriente.

A small airport is located in the small town of Shell, approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north-west of Puyo. Small aircraft, both private and commercial, depart daily to small airstrips in the Amazon Rainforest and occasionally to Quito in the case of severe medical emergencies.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia:

Puyo, also known as El Puyo, is the capital of Pastaza, a province in Ecuador. Puyo is located at an altitude of approximately 950 AMSL by the Puyo River, a tributary of the Pastaza River, which eventually leads into the Amazon River. True to its name, derived from the Kichwa word for "cloudy", the local climate is a wet one and the weather is often overcast.[1]

Puyo was founded in 1899. Located between Baños, and the Amazonian cities of Tena and Macas, Puyo is the commercial, cultural and political capital of the region. The city is connected by road to Ambato, Tena, and Macas and from there to the major urban areas of Ecuador. In late 2006, the city had approximately 25,000 inhabitants. It was the fastest growing city in Ecuador in 2006.[citation needed] The seasonal changes in the climate are relatively small, and daytime temperature typically range between 18-24 °C, with sun and generally short, but heavy periods of rain daily.

A small airport is located in the small town of Shell, approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north-west of Puyo. Small aircraft, both private and commercial, depart daily to small airstrips in the Amazon Rainforest, and occasionally to Quito in the case of severe medical emergencies.

The Puyo Carnaval, a famous Ecuadorian holiday, is celebrated each year in the days leading up to Lent. The custom is to have small neighbourhood parties, and water fights are sometimes involved. Other major holidays are the Day of the Ecuadorian East Amazon on February 12, and the chonta-palm festival.

THIS IS DIRECT COPY WHICH IS NOT ALLOWED.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Hospital General
Juan Montalvo
Juan León Mera
Tena
TEL 1: 2886430

Placement Address

Fundación Omaere
Via Puyo Occidental ,
Puyo
Ecuador

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ecuador at our BaseCamp Center in Quito. Given that this placement is more than a 1 hour 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers here will be living with a host family after your orientation. Living with a host family is an awesome experience for a person looking to really experience Ecuador and its culture.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ecuador.

If you think that living with a host family is not for you, then this placement might not be the best fit with what you are looking for. You should try completing our application. It's totally free and will allow our team in Ecuador to come up with a list of exactly which placements they would reccommend for you based on your personal preferences, background, skills and interests.

BaseCamp Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador
BaseCamp Ecuador Address

Juan Rodriguez E8 - 72 Y
6 De Diciembre
Quito, Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador Contact Details

Tel: 593 2-254-7737 (Guest House Jazmines)
Mobile: 593-0-998-221-438

BaseCamp Ecuador is located in the trendy Mariscal district of Quito. Within easy walking distance of banks, restaurants, internet cafes and more; BaseCamp in Quito is perfectly situated for any need. Whether you are taking advantage of the rich and vibrant night life of La Mariscal or visiting a local market, BaseCamp Ecuador is always just a few minutes away.

There are six dormitory style guest rooms and five wash-rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There are two common areas on the main floor, including a small resource centre, containing books, magazines, games and other Ecuadorian publications. As well there is a large selection of local movies and documentaries which are available for guest viewing. In addition to the two common areas, BaseCamp Quito has a rooftop terrace, the perfect spot to watch the street come awake with a morning cup of coffee, or spend an afternoon relaxing in the sun.

BaseCamp Quito is also the orientation and training centre for international volunteers visiting Ecuador. In addition to accommodation and meals, BaseCamp Quito also provides volunteers with orientation, Spanish Language training (1 - 8 weeks), placement consultation and work plan seminars, as well as follow up and continued support while volunteers are at their placements. All of these services are available to guests who are interested.

Living With a Host Family in Ecuador

Living with a host family in Ecuador is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

In the case of a volunteer lodge or ranger station (which is often the only option for placements within a National Park), volunteers will be living in dormitory type accommodation and meals will be provided in a mess hall or dining area.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Ecuador.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Ecuador

  Registration Fee
250
 
  1 Week
395
 
  2 Weeks
620
 
  3 Weeks
844
 
  4 Weeks
1,068
 
  5 Weeks
1,243
 
  6 Weeks
1,418
 
  7 Weeks
1,593
 
  8 Weeks
1,768
 
 
 
  Additional Weeks
175
 

Ecuador wildlife and conservation placements require an additional $7 USD per day fee to cover park fees and accommodation. All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried


Placement Fee Alert

This placement has a placement fee!

In some cases, a placement will have to take on certain expenses in order to host a volunteer. For example, some medical internship placements take time away from paid medical staff to help with educational assistance. This has a cost that is compensated by a placement fee. In other cases, the organization may have to pay for additional equipment, energy consumption or other expense in order to put a volunteer to work.

In such cases, the organizaiton charges a fee. This fee is paid directly to the organization in cash on the ground.

One of the reasons that we keep this fee separate is so that volunteers who do not pay us for accommodation, meals etc (Program Fees), will see that they will still have to make this payment directly to the organizaiton upon their arrival.

The placement fee for this organization is: 140 USD

Program Dates


Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Sep 06, 2019 Oct 04, 2019 Nov 01, 2019
Dec 06, 2019 Jan 03, 2020 Feb 07, 2020
Mar 06, 2020 Apr 03, 2020 May 01, 2020
Jun 05, 2020 Jul 03, 2020 Aug 07, 2020
Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020 Nov 06, 2020
Dec 04, 2020 Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021
Mar 05, 2021 Apr 02, 2021 May 07, 2021
Jun 04, 2021 Jul 02, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

PLEASE NOTE:

These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message