The majority of people who consider looking for volunteer placements with charitable projects and non-government organizations will look to find something that is different to their own background, and for something that can make a real difference. While there are many amazing parts of the Amazon, it is fair to say that it is quite unlike anywhere the majority of western volunteers will have grown up, and in most cases they won't have experienced anything quite like it before. Most people will assume that volunteering roles in the region will be related to environmental work, but there are actually a variety of options when it comes to the different type of work and the contribution that volunteers can make in the Amazon.
Volunteering In Conservation And Habitat Maintenance Roles
One of the biggest problems that is facing many areas of the Brazilian Amazon is the degradation of the rainforest caused by factors such as deforestation and the exploitation of natural resources within the rainforest. There are many people who view the Amazon as an area that can deliver great wealth, and taking resources from the rainforest into the outside world can be very lucrative, but it also takes a heavy toll on the region, which is why many projects try to conserve and maintain these habitats.
This type of volunteering will often involve going out to replant tree species such as the local variety of mahogany, which is one of the most valuable wood products that loggers look for. It can also include monitoring work which will help the scientists working in the area pinpoint where they need to focus their efforts, while dealing with invasive species can also be an important role played by volunteers.
Animal And Wildlife Projects
The Amazon is home to some amazing animals, and it is no surprise that many of the people who travel to Brazil go to the Amazon so that they can make a contribution to supporting the survival of endangered species. This kind of volunteering can be very varied, and encompass such diverse work as monitoring members of a particular species, protecting areas where they are present and helping to educate locals and visitors to the region about the species and how they can help to ensure the animals of the Amazon have a future.
There are also several projects working in the Amazon that are helping to rebuild populations of animals such as butterflies and turtles in the region, so this work can include helping to feed and release these animals back into their natural habitat.
Volunteering In An Animal Sanctuary
Unfortunately, there are many situations in which animals can become injured or are orphaned, and there are many places around the Brazilian Amazon where such animals can be taken to be cared for and rehabilitated. The sanctuaries in the region will sometimes focus on helping one or two species to recover, while in other cases they will accept any injured or orphaned animal and will then help to care and rehabilitate them with an aim to releasing them back into the wild. This type of work can be varied and interesting, and you will often be working with people who have a real passion for animal welfare, as well as having a lot of experience in dealing with unusual animals.
Other Volunteering Opportunities In The Brazilian Amazon
While much of the volunteer work that is carried out in the Amazon is to help support natural projects and help maintain the habitats, there are also many projects that are designed to help support the people of the Amazon. Many of the indigenous tribes have a very traditional way of life, but have adopted some of the more destructive habits brought by others searching for wealth in the Amazon. There are projects that can help to educate local people on how to live in harmony with their surroundings in their traditional way, and also to work with the locals to help restore some of the damage caused in the forest.
Educational volunteering can also be a very important project to support in the Amazon, and if you have some teaching experience then you can make a massive difference to the lives of many children living in the Amazon. There are often only very limited educational resources available in the area, and providing an education that ties in with the traditions of the indigenous tribes can be a very valuable thing to do.
Raising Money For Your Volunteering Project
One of the things that you will usually need to do is to raise money so that you can cover the cost of travel, accommodation and resources to help support your volunteer work while you are in the Amazon region. Because funding is very competitive there are relatively few volunteer projects that will cover all the costs for you, so be prepared to raise money before you travel to the region. By raising money in your local area, this can also help to promote the project you intend to support to others with similar interests in supporting projects in the Amazon.