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Fundecoipa Offer Volunteer Opportunities To People Who Actively Want To Engage In Community Development, Conservation, And Experience The Amazon As Well As Learn About The Contemporary Life Of Shuar And Quichua Indians

FUNDECOIPA is a non-profit community based NGO founded with the aim of creating sustainable development in the indigenous communities of Pastaza.

The foundation manages the 2710 hectare Arutam Rainforest Reserve and provides volunteer, tourism and research opportunities within the reserve and Shuar community Arutam and the surrounding communitie

FUNDECOIPA offer volunteer opportunities to people who actively wants to engage in community development, conservation, and experience the Amazon as well as learn about the contemporary life of Shuar and Quichua Indians. 

Volunteers will be living in an indigenous community in the Amazon region and get hands on experience with conservation at community level. Furthermore, volunteering means gaining a unique insight in contemporary life, problems and possible development pathways of lowland Amerindian cultures and the flora and fauna in their biodiversity rich homelands

Volunteering with FUNDECOIPA is not only about the work. It is a cultural exchange and opportunity to learn about a different culture. Volunteers will living and working in close collaboration with local families and are invited to participate in all community activities.

FUNDECOIPA is different from other volunteer projects by being managed entirely by indigenous peoples. The boards of directors as well as staff at all stations are from the local communities. The vision is to achieve long term sustainability of the projects by securing full ownership to the indigenous communities as well as receiving the capacity from administrating the projects. Building up managerial skills is a long process, and volunteers are considered an important part of this process by changing ideas with the villagers as well as providing suggestions for improving the projects and development of the indigenous communities.

We offer volunteer placements at three stations in three different communities. The stations altogether covers more than 3000 hectares or 7400 acres of primary forest and involves approximately 100 indigenous Shuar and Quichua in the work and management of the stations.

The stations are owned and managed separately, sharing the same vision, but all have individual development objectives, staff and volunteer activities.

The oldest and biggest station, Arutam Forest Reserve, is managed by FUNDECOIPA and located in the small Shuar community Arutam. Arutam Forest Reserve is the most extensive with 2710 hectares of forest set aside as reserve.

The Chinimp Tuna Station is located on the boundary of Quichua and Shuar territory and is a truly bicultural station that offers a unique opportunity to experience two different cultures. The station is located approximately 20 km from Arutam by bus.

The Irshim Station is the most isolated of the three stations and only accessible by foot. Irshim is roughly 4 hours walk from Arutam and offers a great opportunity to enjoy the culture and peacefulness of the forest.

The role of the volunteers at the stations is to help out in the conservation activities as well as community development projects. The long term vision of all the stations is to find a way of making a living from the forest without having to sell the timber. This means that we are trying to develop tourism initiatives, craft production, fiber production and production of small livestock for selling and consumption. Moreover, volunteers are also engaged in health promotion and education. 

In order to go to Chinimp Tuna or Irshim, there is a minimum stay of one week at the Arutam station in order for the personel to make the necesarry arrangements and get a guide to take you there.

1 month (4 weeks): 300 USD

1 week (7 days): 75 USD

1 additional day/night: 12 USD          

(There is a minimum level of commitment of two weeks in all of the station)

The fee covers three meals and lodging in the community. There will be no other obligatory expenditures besides the fee. There might be smaller costs associated with trips to other communities. However, such trips are optional and normally arranged during weekends participation is not required.


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