Current Volunteer Positions

Nature Center & Environmental Interpretation Volunteer

Volunteers with creativity and a passion for nature are needed to run environmental interpretation programs in the Nature Center. Responsibilities include:

  • Assisting Nature Center staff to Greet and guiding visitors
  • Assisting with daily operations of the nature center
  • Implementing environmental education programs at the reserve for local school groups and other visitors
  • Creating indoor and outdoor environmental exhibits and educational materials
  • Teaching environmental themes in local schools with local teachers
  • Developing educational mini-programs for tourists and school groups visiting the reserve
  • Guiding hikes
  • Organizing and maintaining records

Applicants for this position should be independent, creative, and speak at least some Spanish. Prior experience working with youth or in environmental education programs is valuable.

Native and Medicinal Plant Garden Volunteer

Enjoy gardening? An educational garden of native and useful plants is installed as part of the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve’s Nature Center. The garden’s design highlights the importance of the reserve as a transition zone from dry forests to humid forests, with representative species of each. Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing planting beds with soil amendments
  • Finding and transplanting native plants into the garden
  • Weeding, watering and maintaining the aesthetics of the garden
  • Researching uses for medicinal plants
  • Creating and installing plant labels

Applicants for this position should be able to work independently and enjoy gardening. Spanish is not required.

Reforestation Volunteer

Volunteers with an interest in conservation or reforestation are needed to work on reforesting abandoned pastures with native tree species. Responsibilities include:

  • Collecting seeds and planting them in the nursery
  • Planting and maintaining outplanted tree seedlings (irrigation, liberation, etc.)
  • Identifying and labeling trees
  • Taking measurements for tree growth monitoring data collection
  • Working with local communities to establish nurseries
  • Installing and repairing fences around reforestation and regeneration sites

Applicants for this position should be able to take direction and fit into an ongoing project. This position involves physically strenuous work in a hot tropical climate while living in rustic conditions and is well suited to someone interested in conducting independent agroforestry, reforestation and/or parks management research in conjunction with their volunteership. Spanish is not required.

Trail Construction Volunteer

Individuals are needed to plan and construct trails in a new tropical dry forest reserve on the Pacific coast of Ecuador.  Responsibilities include:

  • Clearing minimal vegetation necessary for trail construction using machete and other hand tools
  • Using proper trail construction techniques to avoid erosion and destruction of flora
  • Installing signs to guide visitors on trails
  • Constructing and installing handrails, benches, fences and signage where necessary
  • Measuring and mapping completed trails using compass, tape and measuring wheel

Applicants should be physically fit and able to conduct strenuous outdoor work in a hot tropical climate. Knowledge of hand tools such as machetes and experience in construction is helpful. Volunteers must be willing to learn sound trail construction practices and be practiced at using a compass to orient in remote areas. Spanish is not required.