On the Expedition
Help conserve the Amazon Basin’s pink dolphins, giant river otters, monkeys, turtles, fishes, macaws and more.
Based on a fully restored river boat, you'll work with a team of skilled Peruvian biologists to collect information about the wildlife populations in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, along the Samiria River, a major Amazon tributary.
From a motorized canoe, you'll rotate tasks like conducting surveys of dolphins, fish, and river turtles. You'll also count macaws and conduct land surveys of peccaries, tapirs, deer, monkeys, and game birds. At night, you'll search for caimans with a spotlight. With expedition staff to guide you, you'll meet and talk to local people about their fishing, hunting, and conservation efforts.
In your recreational time, you can peruse a small collection of field guides and basic ecology books on the Amazon or simply relax on deck as you glide through one of the Earth's greatest wild places.
Earthwatch Team Facilitator
An Earthwatch Teen Team Facilitator will join your team to provide additional guidance, supervision, and activity organization for the expedition. Your facilitator will be there to help from the time you meet at the team rendezvous to the end of the expedition. He or she will encourage team spirit by planning events such as team building exercises, presentations, and recreational and cultural activities. If you have any questions or problems during your expedition, such as issues with another student volunteer, homesickness, or an emergency back at home, you should feel comfortable talking to your facilitator. You should also follow the advice and expectations set by your facilitator regarding safety and personal conduct. All Teen Team Facilitators have experience teaching and leading groups of teenagers and are familiar with the team dynamics necessary to make each expedition a success. Remember, your facilitator is there for you!
Meals and Accommodations
Travel to the field site and accommodation at the field site, will be onboard a large vintage boat, either the Ayapua or Clavero - these are relic boats of the early steam navigation on the Amazon.
The Ayapua is a restored 33-meter, three-deck boat originally used during the rubber boom era and the Clavero is a restored 19th-century Peruvian naval mail delivery vessel, 24 meters long and 5 meters wide. Both are made of steel. The main engines and generators are diesel powered. The boats have been fully restored with reinforced hulls and offer comfortable accommodation in double cabins and single cabins, plus one triple cabin on the Ayapua. Each cabin has an ensuite bathroom with shower and a conventional toilet and sink. Towels, soap, shampoo and toilet paper are all provided.
All cabins have single beds (no bunk or double beds) and air-conditioning. Cabins and toilets are cleaned daily. Hot water in the showers is provided by a solar system that works best on sunny days. Linens are provided, bedding is changed for you, and laundry is typically done regularly (usually every couple of days). Laundry is available for personal items as well for no fee, but only when the boat is parked. There is 220-volt electricity throughout the boat when the generators run, so you'll be able to plug in laptops and cameras (see the Briefing for more information on plugs, outlets and adaptors).
In addition, there are many auxiliary boats (e.g. wooden and aluminum canoes) used to access the various data collection points; please see the Briefing for a more detailed description of the accommodations.
Meals will be prepared by kitchen staff, served buffet-style and will include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
About the Research Area
The rainforests of the Amazon basin are virtually overflowing with a diverse array of plant and animal species. You’ll share this tropical environment with beautiful birds, flowers, monkeys, and more aboard a restored riverboat you’ll call home during your expedition.
During your expedition you’ll have the opportunity to interact with indigenous people from a number of villages. The Principal Investigator and his research team have formed very positive relationships with these communities over the past 16 years. These people have always accommodated visitors with openness and friendliness.