The station offers a volunteer program for those interested in protecting the remaining parts of the tropical rainforest of Ecuador
How can you help us?
- Reforestation or maintenance of tropical rainforest.
- Seed collection and selection of species for reforestation.
- Planting seeds.
- Rescue and maintenance of orchid garden
- Maintenance and monitoring of forests trails.
- Staking and maintenance of trees in reforestation lines.
- Maintenance of trails and gardens around the cottages.
- Maintenance of the garden with fruit trees (80 to 90 different species), medicinal plants and bananas.
Projects in groups of 2-3 people on the following topics:
- Phenology: Study to determine when certain trees are with flowers or fruits.
- Garden of orchids and bromeliads: there is a continuos work with rescued species in the forest which are planted in order to identify when they bloom. For this reason, a continuous monitoring and maintenance work is needed.
- Maintenance of the trails in the forest: clearing trees, branches, fallen leaves on the trails.
- Maintenance of cabins, infrastructure and gardens.
Studies targeting natural regeneration and reforested secondary forest:
- Natural regeneration in a 20x20m plot around a tree.
- This study is repeated for 26 different species of timber trees.
- Natural regeneration in 20x20m plots outside the seed trees in primary forest and secondary.
- Natural regeneration of trees replanted on a plot of 1 hectare.
- Medicinal plants: To lift and systematize information provided by local residents. Organize the data in a book with a detailed description of each species including photographs.
- Systematic observation of birds for comparison with our existing list. Obtaining data on feeding, breeding, migration and others.
- Assistance to visiting researchers who are doing research at the station.
- Teaching children from a nearby community school in English or Environmental Education: Please note that there is no specific teaching materials for teaching English and environmental education. Classes are held only from May until the end of December.
- Carpentry: making signs / banners for trails, cabins footstool.
- Each volunteer should have a proposal with objectives and methodology for his personal project. It is better to come with an idea of what you want to do because in some cases there is no material in site and you should bring it. The volunteer will have one day a week for the personal project
- Hiking in the woods and rivers: You will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning diversity of plants, trees, birds, insects, frogs, snakes and other wildlife that offers Bilsa, while realizing the importance of protecting what little remains (1-2%) in the coastal forests of northwestern Ecuador. Volunteers who stay at least one month can be sure to see the howler monkeys (and if they are lucky the Capuchin monkeys), sloths, agouti, ocelot, armadillo, a variety of frogs, snakes and lizards and birds (including the umbrella bird, tucans, aracaris, trogons, tanagers and manakin). In addition, interested people may participate in night walks.
A typical week schedule could be:
- 2 days reforestation and maintenance
- 2 days projects
- 2 days hiking
- 1 day off
Who can volunteer at Bilsa?
- Students with knowledge of biology, ecology and environment and related.
- Students who are traveling and want to learn, help and enjoy everything.
- Students who need to fulfill community service or internship credits
- Professionals who want to test their knowledge and learn new things
- People interested in the environment and have field experience
- Experience in Bilsa is for people who like adventure, work hard, enjoy life, have fun and share their experiences with rural people.