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STAY IN THE RESERVA NATURAL PALMARI AS A VOLUNTEER  

We are looking for: young, dynamic men and women, age of at least 21 years, with good knowledge in English as well as good comprehension in either Spanish or Portuguese. IMPORTANT: for staying in Brazil it is advantageous to have a citizenship that does not require a visa (if not, the volunteer needs to obtain this visa by himself before he arrives).

Work tasks areas: reception, and briefing of the visitors; generally translating into English maybe even during ventures, tours and excursions; responsible for checking the lodging and general tydiness as well as the quality of catering; cleaning and providing fresh fruit on the bird feeder platforms; cleaning and re-filling of sugar-nectar into the hummingbird feeder; assisting the kitchen and tydiness staff; paying attention regarding the punctuality of the visitors and tour guides regarding the activities; making lists of the names, dates of arrivals and departures, passport numbers; asking the visitors for a feedback before their departure; asking the visitors to please up-load a review in the "TripAdvisor" and other relevant Internet sites; inventory and ordering of specific products from the main offices (e. g. eco-shampoo, eco-soap, Nutella, marmalade); cooperation and assistance to the visitor centre administrator; getting in contact regularly with both the manager in Leticia and the general manager at the main offices in Bogotá D. C.

Period of stay: each volunteer for a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks; the volunteer will arrive at the Reserva Natural Palmari 2 weeks before the predecessor departs, receiving instructions and working with him together for 2 weeks, time after which he will be and work on his own.

What do we offer: Flight ticket Bogotá - Leticia - Bogotá if handled through our agency; receival and transportation from and to the airport in Leticia or Tabatinga; full board and lodging; work garment and equipment (t-shirt, bandana, boots, raincoat, hands-free torch - last three must be returned at the main offices in Bogotá D. C. upon returning).

What do the volunteers have to provide: Private clothing; private medication; private equipment.

Additional option: regarding administrative tasks, we are searching for volunteers over a period of 1 to 2 months in our main offices in Bogotá D. C.; we cannot offer lodging, but we are willing to discuss a small allowance for food and transportation.

Application documents: curriculum vitae including information regarding the level of englisch and other languages; recent colour photograph in full size; a letter of motivation; specification of the desired duration of the stay; regarding university students and other volonteers, which are interested in developing a social or a scientific proyect in order to complete the requirements regarding the finalizing of their career we need a copy of the proyect as well as an authorizing letter issued by the relevant university or educational center signed by the proyect head; yellow fever vaccination certification; copy of the passport; description of the desired work & envolvement & tasks scope.

Applications to: GRUPO TRAVESIAS S.A.S., to the attention of Axel H. Antoine-Feill S. and/or Carlos "Charlie" Avila / Carrera 10 # 93-72 / Barrio "Chicó reservado" / Edificio "Palmarí" Oficina # 602, Bogotá D. C. / COLOMBIA (Skype: palmari1; MSN:palmari1@hotmail.com; Googletalk: rnpalmari@gmail.com)

 

VOLONTEER TASKS ALREADY FULFILLED AT THE RESERVA NATURAL PALMARI

Nicolas Schuetze  

My name is Nicolas Schuetze Lagos, I am 18 years old and as a volunteer at the visitor centre of the Reserva Natural Palmari I had the chance to experience the amazon rainforest in the best way there is. With the experience of the guides and the equipment available at the visitors centre, every day was an adventure: watching dolphins from a kayak, hiking through the jungle, climbing 50 meters from the ground and watching the jungle from above are experiences I will never forget, all in the company of groups of visitors, which I served as a translating assistant in respect to the appointed local guide. Meeting new people was one of the best parts of the experience: it was a different experience with each group of visitors but all of the work was made easy with the help of the staff of the visitors centre. The time I spent at the Reserva Natural Palmari gave me the opportunity to bond with the staff, the people from the neighbouring communities and to feel closer to all of them every next day. My tasks as a volunteer where simple: I helped as a translator for the tourists and helped in the kitchen when it was meal’s time. The time I spent in the Reserva Natural Palmari was a time of learning, an opportunity to grow as a person and to have fun while doing all described before - it is without doubt an experience I would repeat - I thank the Grupo Travesías agency as well as the Reserva Natural Palmari for this opportunity and the the staff at the visitors centre for making my stay very comfortable and helping me to fit in smoothly.

 

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Nicolas Bozdech  

The time I spend at the Reserva Natural Palmari was definitely the best decision I could have taken in respect to picking my first destination for my trip to my country of origin, Colombia. The task of helping during breakfast, lunch and supper was not even to be considered as work by me, as I had already worked in the catering sector prior to travelling to Colombia. Not to mention, that the food was very, very delicious and the personnel from the kitchen, including all the other from the general team all the way up to the main administrator of the visitors centre always were very friendly to me, thus it was nice for me to work, assist and support them. A special experience was climbing to 48 meters above the ground and spending the night in the canopy of a tree, enjoying relaxed the sun-set and sun-rise if the climate and weather allowed it. Another undeletable moment was tracking and observing at close distance a bunch of otters. This opportunity was given to me in the vicinity of the Benjamin Constant village, where the Reserva Natural Palmari in a joint effort with the non-governmental organization Instituto de Desenvolvimento Socioambiental do Vale do Javari manages a project dealing with the study, monitoring and protection of these animals, plus in the near future adding to the project rehabilitation and release of otters seized from illegal trade and captivity as well as individuals found neglected or in bad state. As it is not easy to spot and observe wildlife in the jungle, I was able to see aside the otters also monkeys, bats, catfish, dolphins, piranhas, parrots and toucans as well as a lot of other birds; it remains impressive, that most of the animals produce sounds, songs and other noises which you would never associate with the one´s producing them, but you would think that they are of different origin or related to other animals. I herewith wish to thank the agency “Grupo Travesias SAS”, the destination “Reserva Natural Palmari” and the non-governmental organization Instituto de Desenvolvimento Socioambiental do Vale do Javari for giving me the chance to undertake this internship, also for the help, assistance, friendship and cooperation received from the very kind work-team of the visitors centre, specially Jaime, Mires, Joel, Pinduca, Cunha and Ilke, as well as all others that through the rotational work personnel process served, guided, drove and assisted the various visitors; not to forget my two fellow internship mates that volunteered together with me in the Reserva Natural Palmari, Maria José Posse and Nicolás Schuetze. Regarding the activities in the canopy of the forests I want to thank Franciney “Manéu” very much, who heads, offers, operates and organizes these activities on behalf of the SelvAventura out-sourced firm. In advance I promise that I will return to the Reserva Natural Palmari also to confirm changes in respect to my initial stay, further to live the internship in presence of guests visiting during a peak season at the beginning of the year. Clearly I state to other people interested in an internship: It is an experience I definitely recommend, further it values and deserves the effort.

 

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Gabriela Del Mar Abello Gois    

As a volunteer at the visitors center of the Reserva Natural Palmari, located somewhere in the middle of the Yavarí river, on brazilian territory, you get to know the depths of the amazon rainforest in the best possible way. For me, the opportunity of sharing with people from other cultures, such as the staff-crew and the visitors that travel all around the world to get there, is an amazing way of learning more about the surroundings. One of the best things I did during my volunteering, was to explore the mighty jungle while hiking during days and camping around the fire several nights while in the company of a group of visitors on a multiple day “trekk” , adapting myself to the sometimes scary environment that this wilderness can sometimes manifest. That was probably what I liked the most, aside of all the different activities that the unique amazon experience can offer at the Reserva Natural Palmari: kayaking on the river and through the flooded varzea forest, admire the nature and observe wildlife, climbing to the triple platform system high above the forest canopy and enjoy the incredible view, amongst many others. All of these unforgettable activities were part of my day-to-day routine, sharing them with beautiful people: travelers that became amazed with the beauties of the rainforest and locals who surprised and shared with us their close knowledge about the mysteries that this place hides. Volunteering at the Reserva Natural Palmari gave me a much wider perspective about the ways of living (and surviving) this adventure. It is not only about having fun and making good relations with people, but also with the homeland to millions of living things that receive us as visitors and deserve our respect.

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Maria Jose Arrieta  

My name is Maria José Arrieta, I am 19 years young and I stayed at the Reserva Natural Palmarí for 6 weeks, 42 days in which I had the opportunity to get closer to the jungle and it´s mysteries. As a volunteer my work covered accompanying the visiting guests, specially the one´s interested in observing birds, further in the search for and identifying of animals in respect to herpethology - frogs, toads, lizards and snakes - in the vicinity of the visitors centre. Having the opportunity to participate in the daily activities of the visitors centre did not only allow me to be close to the main staff, but also to the people of the neighbouring villages and comunities which work, provide to and complement the work team of the Reserva Natural Palmari, this in particular making the feeling of “being far from home” fade until vanishing, as I felt like being at home. Work is a communal groupe thing, where other volunteers, the guides, the chief of catering, the chief of rooming, the main administrator, his assistant and all other are basic and needed, thus I never felt anything missing and all persons were always ready to help and become a part of the experience. Not to forget, the volunteer time in the Reserva Natural Palmarí gave me the opportunity to learn basic portuguese and to meet persons from all over the world, thus creating new bonds of friendship. I truly believe, that persons which not only want to help the Reserva Natural Palmari, but also want to learn in respect to issues related to nature should definitely go to the Reserva Natural Palmari since it is the correct answer and decision, as I can assure that it is easier to learn all about it if you are living it in the jungle, then sitting in a classroom. For me, staying in the Reserva Natural Palmari meant to shake-off and learn; shaking-off the need for technology in which I lived immersed in a city like Bogotá and learning by all possible means, as learning to run from the rain and not due to a lack of time, as recognizing the song from birds and not the sound of cars, as paying respect to the jungle and not the streets. I learned, that hiding is not always the same as fleeing, that sometimes it is necessary to hide if you want to be able to find. Having changed my life during 6 weeks, honestly I now think, that being able to both see the glimmer of the funghee on the forest floor as well as the glimmer of the stars in the night-sky, hearing the breathing of the dolphins taking-in the air from the lung of the world should be a “must” on the list of everybody.

 

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Luis Felipe Riveros   

It´s hard to describe how great is the change I underwent while I was a volunteer at the Reserva Natural Palmari. It was an unforgettable experience, which taught me a lot of good things. My work at the visitors center was very gratifying, especially because of the members of the work-team were by my side. The staff is everything you can expect of the people with whom you are going to live for six weeks. Some of my tasks as a volunteer were translating for tourists, accompanying them during the activities and lend a hand in the kitchen when it was meal’s time. I also helped in the expansion of a terrace and the construction of a new roof for the visitors center, thus I left having given something from me to Palmari. I think, that the Palmari experience is enhanced much more, when you live it as a volunteer. You do not only enjoy most of the tourist’s privileges, but you also learn a lot more. I’d like to thank every single person that is part of the Reserva Natural Palmari for giving me this opportunity as to meeting such a special place which up to now I had been missing. Definitely, this is an experience I’d be happy to repeat.

 

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Mariana Lindenmeyer   

I spent 6 weeks as a trainee/volonteer at the visitor center of the Reserva Natural Palmarí which is located in the middle of the brazilian jungle and from where tourists can experience the jungle nearby. During this internship I worked in the areas of administration, food-preparation and accompanying of visiting tourists. Furthermore I was able to improve my spanish and portuguese skills, while speaking and doing an exchange with the staff members. As a volonteer I was responsible for maintaining the tidiness and cleanliness within the visitors center, keeping in contact with the offices in Bogotá and Leticia as well as keeping base with the management and learning the logistics of the business. I also was in charge for the day to day running of the business such as shopping and picking up supplies from the local providing villages. Besides that, I welcomed the tourists, accompanied them from the airport or river-port to the Reserva Natural Palmari as well as during their excursions and their overall stay in order to support them in cases of language difficulties, questions or just to help them with information. I was also supporting the staff from the kitchen as to the distribution and presentation of the food, further helping to cook and getting a better comprehension about the local habits and stock of food. As I mentioned before, the Reserva Natural Palmari is the perfect place to practize and improve all of my language skills: spanish and portuguese I had to speak with the staff and other volunteers, as well as english with the tourists. The life in the Reserva Natural Palmarí is quite different from my habitual modern life. Almost without electricity, transportation by boat, going to bed early while you could see the sky full of stars which were reflected in the river and sleeping peacefully while only hearing the noises from the birds, frogs and crickets. A stunning and perfect place to take a break from the usual life. The team-work and living with the staff went well too, because they were always helpful and warm. I learned a lot during this time and had a great experience which I will never forget. I am very thankful for this great opportunity I was given and can warmly recommend to everybody to go to the Reserva Natural Palmari to experience and live their own adventure.

 

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Julia Ittrich  

Julia Ittrich, a young, beautifull, highly responsible german hotelier girl, who has worked with various hotel chains in the United States of North America, Grand Cayman Islands and Australia, decided to give it a try, move to the Reserva Natural Palmari from June to August 2.009 and teach basic english to a groupe of guides, girls working in the kitchen and in the housekeeping area, “canopying activity” personell and various other interested members of both the Palmari and Sao Pedro do Norte neighbouring communities. Lessons took place in two shifts, one for the male students from 06:30° to 08:00° and one for the female students from 15:00° to 16:30° and, after Julia had developed a criteria regarding the best and most interested students, she gave personalized lessons to 2 male and 2 female students during different half-hour blocks during the day, whenever these 4 hand-picked students could take some time out from work, home responsabilities or other. Each student was given a photocopied english book, a note book and a pencil and classes took place at the “enramada” being equiped with a blackboard with seating and writing facilities for each student. Besides these “fixed class lessons” she also decided to follow these 4 students on their work routine (the girls in the kitchen and/or during room cleaning, linnen washing or other; the boys during jungle guidance, “canopying” activities, fishing or else) and teach them the relevant vocabulary and conversation in english language specifically needed for and during these activities. We might also conclude from the experience that not only the local community members learned basic english, but Julia improoved on her spanish and after this experience now also considers herself as a basic portuguese speaking girl. Making new friends, meeting new people, interacting with tourists and the activities during the “Yanawara 2009” summer camps held during the whole month of July, learning a lot about neo-tropical rain forests and understanding today quite a good deal regarding the amazonian modus vivendi convinced her of wanting to return for another teacher´s shift hopefully next year and we, both the Reserva Natural Palmari and the Instituto de Desenvolvimento Socioambiental do Vale do Rio Javari look forward to it = Thank you, Julia, and immer, jederzeit, herzlichst willkommen!

Johanna Knaack  

Johanna Knaack, a young, beautifull, highly responsible german girl, who was visiting the Reserva Natural Palmari as a tourist in May, 2.008, decided to give it a try, move to the Reserva Natural Palmari from August to September 2.008 and work with children between 4 to 15 years of age from both the Palmari and Sao Pedro do Norte neighbouring communities. The programme created by Johanna included improoving their skills when working with their hands by using new materials like papier-mache, carpenter tools, “origami” and similar; developing art creativity with crayons, water-colours, pencils, sissors and glue; enhancing responsibility and ownership by planting, caring, nurseing and re-planting in the surrounding forests trees belonging to each child; giving them new routines regarding tidyness, ecological waste-management, self-cleanliness and caring for their cloths by instructing certain rules that had to be obeyed and followed day-by-day; decorating white T-shirts, which they could keep as presents; competing in games and sport events designed for improoving their environmentally protective conciousness with rewards like small tokens, toys and sweets for the winning team or child; undertaking of collective garbage picking and similar throughout the entire village areas and various other activities which always combined learning, ecology, sustainable living scenarios with fun and games. In return Johanna learned a lot from these children as to their modus vivendi, was impressed on how happy these kids were eventhough living on basic conditions and with very few toys or other related items rich, modern children these days are provided; besides improoving on her spanish and learning portugues she was taught indirectly important live-lessons as to how different but still rich and colourfull amazonian life in poor and basic colonist villages can be. Johanna impressed not only the children but her families in a deep and positive way; not one eye was dry when she parted, all the kids wanted her to stay and her leaving was dramatic with children crying heartbreakingly, mothers in silence looking to the ground, our staff overwhelmed in sorrow and various of our guides still suffering when remembering her: Johanna had to promise her soon return. The Reserva Natural Palmari and the Instituto de Desenvolvimento Socioambiental do Vale do Rio Javari look forward to it = Thank you, Johanna, and immer, jederzeit, herzlichst willkommen!

Peter Richards  

In order to provide the below depicted school we initiated the search for funding and optained it through “ARYSTA LIFESCIENCE CORPORATION” which, up to now has donated the money needed to build, paint and put into good use of a school and its sanitary installation at 4 “caboclo” communities of San Pedro do Norte, Pirapitinga, Jaburu and Asaizal in the middle and upper Javari valley; logistics regarding transport of construction material, tools, feeding of the involved carpenters and masons, as well as lodging equipment for the institute´s personell stationed at the job-sites was provided free of charge by the “RESERVA NATURAL PALMARI” and each and every step from scratch until final “turn key” delivery was managed, controlled and exceptionally well administrated by the institute´s operational manager, Mr. Jaime Gonzalves Cunha.

In order to provide the below depicted aqueduct we initiated the search for funding and optained it through a private school “COLEGIO NUEVA GRANADA” which, up to now, has donated the money needed to buy all necessary materials such as the motor-pump, the tubing, the water tanks and all relevant accessories to build and put into good use of an aqueduct for the “caboclo” communitie of San Pedro do Norte; the man-hour work and requiered tools to perforate the deep-well, as well as the wood, nails, screws, bolts and other accessories to built the water-tower holding the water-tanks were donated by the “RESERVA NATURAL PALMARI” together with the logistics regarding transport of construction material, tools, feeding of the involved carpenters and masons, as well as lodging equipment for the institute´s personell stationed at the job-site; then, during 2 month, three groups of students from the “COLEGIO NUEVA GRANADA”, “COLEGIO TRINIDAD DEL MONTE” and “CIEDI” visiting the Reserva Natural Palmari as part of their annual educational pensum in respect to their excursions curriculum, took to the taks of building the full infrastructure with help and orientation by the community members and the whole proyect managed, controlled and exceptionally well administrated by the institute´s operational manager, Mr. Jaime Gonzalves Cunha assisted by the british volontaire Mr. Peter Richards; also we find important to mention that the requiered lobbying to promote and sell the proyect to the involved private schools was professionally-well taken care of by the summer-camp & school class excursion operating agency “ZAMBO – OBA”

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