Volunteer Work, Nature Protection
Neltume, Region de los Ríos
The next largest city, Panguipulli, is about 60 km away.
Year round, flexible start and end dates. In the winter months between May and the end of September, the weather is very cold, rainy, sometimes with snowfall, so there are often no tourists on site. For no so weather-resistant participants, the best time to participe is between October and April.
This volunteer project is managed by a private foundation that has been dedicated to ecotourism and nature conservation in Patagonia since 2004, to ensure the preservation of forests and the protection of native animal species. Neighboring communities are actively involved, in order to introduce them to the methods of sustainable use of their natural resources. In the long term, this project aims to improve the quality of life for local people. It offers a stable job and regular income for many of the local villagers.
The main source of income for the foundation to finance environmental and species conservation efforts is eco-tourism. There are several “fairytale” hotels, guest houses and a campsite. Visitors can take guided day tours, nature-related as well as cultural and sporting activities (outdoor and adventure sports).
The income from tourism is used to finance a conservation project for huemuls in the park. Huemuls are endemic, very rare, small deer that used to be widespread in Chile. As there were only a handful of huemuls left in Chile recently, the organization has launched a special huemul conservation program that focuses on the reproduction and release of those animals. Guanacos, a llama species from the Andean regions, are also protected and bred here.
The project is recognized worldwide. It has received several awards, including first place from the National Geographic, 2015 in the category "Conserving the Natural World", where it prevailed against 150 competing projects from 56 countries.
This wonderful project is very multifaceted, it is about species protection, sustainable development of local communities, environmental protection in general and tourism. The possible tasks are as diverse as the sub-areas of the project.
If you like being in nature and want to leave city life and your everyday life behind for a while and use your energy for environment and sustainability, you are welcome here, no matter where your talents and preferences lie.
Possible tasks can be:
- Working in the hotel business
- Assistance in catering or guest support
- Plant maintenance
- assistance in the Huemul project, to reintroduce this endemic deer species, threatened with extinction
- Work in the organic garden and the orchards
- Organization/sale of excursions and outdoor sports in the nature park
- Administrative tasks (or similar such as marketing, international relations, etc.)
- Support for park rangers and foresters (male volunteers only)
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
As a volunteer in this project, you immerse completely in the local structures: Most of the employees or suppliers of the project (hotel, nature park, sports, gastronomy, craftsmanship) come from the surrounding villages, Puerto Fuy and Neltume. Like many of their colleagues in the village of Neltume with 2,500 inhabitants, our volunteers stay about 1 km from the site. Our volunteers live there together in a volunteer house with shared rooms and shared bathrooms. There is an equipped kitchen, a small garden and a living room for common use. Full board is included and is provided either in the volunteer house or at the project location.
Since the volunteers live in the village of their colleagues, there integration is easier and they get a real understanding of the local conditions, culture and way of life. Life in Neltume is simple and does not offer the kind of distraction that exists in cities. You live in the midst of beautiful nature and leave the hectic urban life behind.
The project is located near the village of Neltume in the southern Chilean region of Los Rios, about 880 km south of Santiago de Chile. The nearest town, Panguipulli, is about 60 km away.
The inhabitants of Neltume live mainly from forestry. Since the foundation of the environmental protection and tourism project, ecotourism has also become an important source of income. Many locals found training, further education and work there or were able to start their own small businesses thanks to tourism.
In the primeval forests you will not only find endemic flora such as Chile's national flower, the copihue, but also cougars, kingfishers, foxes, huemuls and many more.
The project's nature park and the surrounding area are simply beautiful: Imposing snow-covered volcanoes and immense, almost untouched virgin forests spread out here. Crystal clear rivers with rushing waterfalls interrupt the eternal green from time to time. The area is ideal for outdoor sports such as hiking, kayaking, canyoning, canopy, rafting, horse riding and much more. You can also go skiing or dog sledding and snowshoeing in winter.
The climate is cool and temperate, in summer the temperatures rise to just over 20 degrees Celsius, in winter they are around the freezing point and it snows regularly. The warmest and driest months are January and February, most snow falls in June and July.
Spanish at communication level, so that you can communicate with the staff in you volunteer project, understand work instructions and get actively involved.
For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Chile, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
You can book your Spanish course in Chile directly with us!
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office in Santiago de Chile you will be supported by an on-site volunteer coordinator.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in Conservation adn Ecotourism include:
- Shared room in volunteer house
- Full board
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application document
- Volunteer Work Placement in Chile
- English-speaking in-country support
- Country handbook Chile
- Intercultural guideline
- Insider Tips Chile
- 24/7 Emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
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All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
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Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.