Jatun Sacha: Tropical Rainforest

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Jatun Sacha: Tropical Rainforest

The station offers the volunteer program for those interested in protecting the rainforest

Volunteers contribute to the goals of Jatun Sacha Station, which are:

  • Preserve and protect native forests.
  • Conduct biological research.
  • Support community development processes through projects that engage the local community and can receive benefits.
  • Improve methods of agriculture in the area through community outreach programs.

How can you help us?

  • Center for Plant Conservation Amazon (CCPA): This center has a botanical garden and nursery, they represent a living collection of useful plants in the Amazon basin. Volunteer activities in the center include the collection of seeds, soil preparation, reforestation, forestry experimental tropical trees and maintenance.
  • Organic Farm: This is a demonstration farm and therefore education for communities where there is a need for alternative sources of food and income. Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the vegetable garden, soil preparation and  compost. In addition, volunteers visit the communities and work on organic farms with families.
  • Reforestation in independent communities or on farms.
  • English education program for two neighboring communities (only possible from September to June).
  • Construction of a new hut at the other end of the reserve in order to have a checkpoint and prevent illegal logging within the reserve.
  • Cultural crafts project: For members of neighboring communities as an economic alternative to forest destruction in this region.
  • Hiking through the forest accompanied by rangers to collect seeds and learn about the flora and fauna.
  • Various activities associated with the development of the reserve, including maintenance and development of infrastructure.

The work schedule is very much flexible, but volunteers will be working in the
following activities:


Two days out of the week

Volunteers work at the Amazon Plants Conservation
Center. In this Center we have the botanical garden, which is a live collection of
useful plants of the Amazon Basin, it includes medicinal plants and others. The
nursery is also located in the Center, for reforestation and propagation of plants,
especially endangered species. The activities in this Center are:

  • Trails maintenance
  • Ishpingo Botanical Gardens maintenance
  • New trails construction in Ishpingo Botanical Gardens
  • New sections establishment in the Ishpingo Botanical Garden
  • Seeds collection
  • Soil preparation
  • Tree nursery maintenance


Two days out of the week

Volunteers work at the Organic Farm. They will be helping to develop a demonstrative organic farm for the benefit of the local communities. The goal is to provide alternative food and protein sources as well as income. The activities in the Organic farm are:

  • Vegetable garden maintenance
  • Soil preparation
  • Compost maintenance
  • Pools for pisciculture of species of the area
  • Pool for raising charapas and caymans
  • Construction of areas for raising capybaras, guantas y guatusas


Once a week

Volunteers will walk through the forest to collect seedlings and seeds for the nursery or the farm.


Once a week

Volunteer will go to the farms of families in the local communities to help with organic methods of agriculture.


Once a week

Will be used for miscellaneous projects that arise.



Volunteers will participate in workshops of handicrafts with the Quichua community. The handicrafts are hats or baskets weaving with natural fibers, making necklaces with seeds and carving Tagua nuts.


Other activities

Reforestation Projects either at the station or in communities or independent

  • Precipitation and temperature data collection
  • Several agroforestry experiment data collection and maintenance
  • Personal projects only if they relate directly to the activities
  • Maintenance and improvement of the station and its facilities
  • Help in the kitchen, especially when there are groups visiting the station
  • There is also the opportunity to teach English twice a week in the mornings at nearby schools

Tourism Near the Station
During your days off you can do a lot of tourism near the station:

  • Tena is the capital of the Napo Province, 1 hour from the station. It has an attractive plaza overlooking the confluence of the Tena and Pano Rivers. Here you can go to the Amazonian Park, on an island, with a small zoo, observation tower and botanical garden and cross by the wooden footbridge.
  • If you carry your own torch, flash lights with back up batteries and a good pair of rubber boots for the mud and water, you may enjoy the various limestone caves around Tena. One of the most feared caves by the locals likely from superstition, particularly the Quichua are the Jumandi caves north of Archidona 6km further via bus or taxi. The caves have a restaurant (open at weekends) as well as a daily pool and waterslide facility to enjoy, when entering the various openings to this large maize of interiors look out for the colonies of vampire bat nestling in the crevasses as well as the eloquent stalactites which hang like chandeliers form the caves roof.
  • Misahuallí is a small port located at the junction of the Napo and Misahuallí rivers. The port has always been an attractive tourist destination because it is one of the main access to the jungle.

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