Congal: Tropical Rainforest and Mangrove

Congal: Tropical Rainforest and Mangrove

Volunteers and / or interns interested in working with the Congal Biomarine Station will participate in a wide range of activities.

You can work with two communities:

  1. Bunche Campus: This is a small community located 20 minutes walk from the station. The community has about 1,000 inhabitants, their main livelihood is fishing, extraction of shells in the mangrove, the production of cocoa and small-scale farming on land. The community has a primary school and a kindergarten. Most people have farms but few cultivated.
  2. Town of Muisne: This is the largest community in the area about 6 km from the station. The population is about 9,000 inhabitants, of whom a minority living in the continent (New Muisne) and most live on the island of Muisne across the estuary of the same name. Few people have farms and most of the inhabitants engaged in fishing and collecting shells, in addition to the Artisanal and small businesses, there are no sources of employment for which there is much poverty. The village has few health centers, several primary and secondary schools and one public hospital. There are few Internet sites, telephone services, hotels, restaurants and many shops with the basics, the beach is paradise.

To participate in any activities in Muisne, volunteers must pay their own transportation (USD $ 1.40 round trip from the station).

How can you help us?

1) Social service:

  • Farmers Cooperative Certified Organic Cocoa (FONMSOEAM):
  • Located 45 minutes by bus from the station. The job is to assist in processing artisan cocoa.
  • Area Health: Get involved in the public hospital in the city of Muisne.
  • Nursery: Preschool children need a variety of activities and entertainment for their good development, therefore, innovative ideas and creative people are always helpful for children.
  • Microenterprise training: We need ideas and more ideas to implement micro-enterprises for income generation for local people: value-added products and market research are needed to generate potential revenue opportunities for local people. We support small artisans (marimba, houses concheras lunches, etc). We want to build micro and promote ecotourism.
  • Construction and maintenance of infrastructure: The work is mainly in local villages, schools and kindergartens. The work includes painting walls (murals welcome!), Repair / construction of fences, carpentry, bamboo and / or wood, playground, chairs and tables. Help is also needed to repair homes of disadvantaged and general infrastructure.
  • Gardening and gardens: Options include the planting of ornamental plants and fruit in small parks, schools, kindergartens and streets.

2) Forms of economic sustainability and income generation options (in the station and farmers):

  • Organic agriculture and agro-forestry, animal husbandry and good management of resources are basic concepts of tropical agriculture. 
  • Can work in a small organic vegetable garden or fruit, in the maintenance of plantations of cocoa, harvest weekly seasonal fruits or other resources, such as tagua seeds, leaves, straw or bamboo shawl. Weeding pastures, repairing, building or removal of hedges are other activities.
  • Note: These activities are also carried out some of the few farmers still cultivate their land and need help.

3) Education:

  • You can teach English in any of the five schools during the school 
  • April to December. The English language is part of the school curriculum 
  • Ecuador Campaigns can also help with environmental issues, sexual health education and other issues.

4) Environmental development and conservation:

  • Conservation: Basic concepts of zoning of land, mangrove reforestation weekly and occasional restoration of humid tropical forest inventories of the reforestation areas (as a project staff ), occasional work with nursery plants, regular monitoring and monitoring of sea turtles on beaches during nesting season (October to late December).
  • Waste reduction program: reduce, reuse and recycle. 
  • Beach cleaning and construction trash bins wood / bamboo. We need ideas for reusing plastic. Education campaigns welcome.

5) Construction and repair of infrastructure:

  • Infrastructure maintenance at the station, as well as trail maintenance and others.