Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Volunteer at a rainforest nature reserve

27 March, 2012 - 12:01 -- World Land Trust
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Guapi Assu Reserve in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest

Help run the Guapi Assu Bird Lodge in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest, creating an unforgettable experience for visitors

Volunteering at the Guapi Assu Reserve in eastern Brazil, just two hours from the capital Rio de Janeiro, is the perfect opportunity for any nature lover.

You will be surrounded by the beauty of the Atlantic Rainforest and its wealth of wildlife, while helping to support a local conservation organisation with the continued management of the reserve.

Guapi Assu Bird Lodge

Helping to run the Guapi Assu Bird Lodge within the reserve, the volunteer must be helpful, friendly, and highly-organised © Thor Ostybe

Helping to run the Guapi Assu Bird Lodge within the reserve, you will be responsible for ensuring that visitors have a perfect holiday. World Land Trust (WLT) partner organisation REGUA (Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu), who own and managed the reserve, are reliant on small-scale responsible tourism as a key way to fund their conservation work.

Some tasks you will be responsible for are: organising airport collections and drop-offs, managing visitors’ booking details, arranging excursions, helping with itineraries, and booking guides.

If you are helpful, friendly and highly-organised then visitors cannot fail to enjoy the beauty of the reserve; covering over 18,000 acres of tropical forest nestled on mountainous slopes, the reserve is home to over 450 species of birds and more than 60 mammal species, including: Puma, Ocelot, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, and the Critically Endangered Woolly Spider Monkey.

Guapi Assu Bird Lodge

The Guapi Assu Reserve is home to the charismatic Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (pictured); the volunteer will be encouraged to explore the reserve and get to know its wildlife © Lee Dingain

During quieter times, there will be the opportunity for you to accompany rangers on treks through the reserve, for bird watching and wildlife photography. In fact, you will be actively encouraged to explore the trails of the reserve whenever you can so that you become familiar with the wildlife – giving you the confidence to talk knowledgably to visitors and advise on the suitability of the treks.

Visiting places of interest in the surrounding area will also be part of the role, enabling you to assess the best places to see and recommend excursions – helping guests create an exciting and varied itinerary for their holiday.

This volunteer opportunity is perfect for anyone with an interest in wildlife and the natural world, or is looking for new and exciting experience helping to support a local conservation organisation in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Volunteer role

There will be a range of administrative work to carry out, including:

  • Managing airport collections and drop-offs;
  • Recording guests’ booking details, such as number of nights stayed, excursions, guides used, and bar bills;
  • Raising invoices for visitors and handling money;
  • Providing information for visitors throughout their stay and helping with enquiries;
  • Liaising with staff to ensure the smooth running of the lodge;
  • Arranging excursions, helping with itineraries, and booking guides;
  • Collating and recording guest feedback surveys;
  • Maintaining the lodge library;
  • Updating the visitor welcome guide, providing trail maps and information on the reserve and its wildlife;
  • Helping the household staff with cleaning duties.

Skills and commitment

  • Some knowledge of Portuguese or a willingness to learn a few basic phrases would be a distinct advantage;
  • The ideal commitment would be for five months, from July to November, but REGUA would be willing to consider a commitment of three months;
  • REGUA will cover your flight costs and accommodation;
  • Knowledge of/experience in the hospitality sector would be an advantage, but is not essential;
  • You will need to have organisational skills and be self-motivated and able to work independently.

How to Apply

Please email a CV and covering letter to Kelly Jacobs, Education, Outreach & Training Manager, at World Land Trust: kjacobs@worldlandtrust.org

Deadline: 10am, 14 May 2012. Applications will be assessed with REGUA volunteer coordinator Rachel Walls. Interviews will follow at mutually convenient times.

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