EcoSwell is a surfing-inspired and multiple award winning sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability. We develop environmental, educational, infrastructure and socio-economic projects working hand in hand with local communities and international interns.
The benefits of taking part in this volunteer internship are:
- Enhance your CV and gain professional hands-on experience managing sustainable projects in an international development NGO, having a real positive impact on a vulnerable community.
-Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of ecological, environmental and permaculture techniques, reforestation, and biodiversity/nature conservation of the Dry Forest ecosystem.
-Work with and learn from experienced and passionate professionals from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.
-Live and work in a surfing paradise in northern Peru, the land of endless summer (applicable to our in-person placement).
Lobitos is a semi-rural community that suffers from regular blackouts and power cuts. Moreover, energy costs are the highest monthly expense of families that are struggling to get out of poverty. EcoSwell’s renewable energy projects work to combat these issues by providing sustainably sourced energy which is accessible to the more deprived groups within the community. So far we have:
- Installed a 2500W solar panel system at the artisanal Fisherman’s Guild Community Hall in 2016 to harness energy from the year-round desert sunshine, thus reducing their operating costs and generating important income for their organisation.
- Constructed a solar distiller to desalinate seawater and provide clean water for the local community. Lobitos is located in an arid desert landscape, therefore clean water is not readily available naturally and the supply of clean water from the nearby city of Talara fluctuates. This project aims to potentially expand to more units to provide reliable clean water for even more people in the community.
- We are currently working on a wind turbine for the Lobitos Medical Post. The blackouts mean that the vaccines stored in fridges expire when they are not kept chilled. The strong winds, especially during the winter months, will provide a readily available backup source of energy at the medical post, thus giving the local community consistent access to vital vaccinations.
As a renewables volunteer intern at EcoSwell, you will be given ownership of the projects, directly co-managing our sustainable energy initiatives. The daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at each project. This may include but is not limited to:
- Designing renewable energy solutions and implementing any add-ons or improvements to the existing systems.
- Leading research and coming up with relevant mechanical and electrical solutions in the construction of wind turbines, solar distillers and other potential renewable energy devices.
- You will work directly with the directors to manage the budgets of materials required.
- Getting involved in the actual installation work and upkeep of the projects.
- Carrying out crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for the implementation of more energy projects.
Accommodation & Travel (applicable to the in-person placement)
It’s easy to get to Lobitos! There are daily flights from Lima to Talara where you will be met at the airport and driven directly to Lobitos.
During your volunteer internship with us, you will be provided with comfortable accommodation in the EcoSwell House, including all meals (healthy and mostly vegetarian) and airport pickup/dropoff. This is included in your financial contribution. Volunteer interns sleep in shared dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and access to a shared living room, office space, kitchen, internet connection, clean water and a garden.
Extra activities (applicable to the in-person placement)
Interns work between 9am to 5pm on weekdays but evenings and weekends are free for you to spend as you wish. The northern coast of Peru has amazing waves, beaches and towns to go visit, with lots of different activities on offer such as:
- Surf lessons with local instructors in Lobitos. Alternatively, rent one of our EcoSwell surfboards and head out to the waves by yourself.
- Yoga classes
- Swimming with turtles
- Fishing, sea-lion and whale watching trips with local fishermen
- Trekking and birdwatching in the native Dry Forest ecosystem
- Eat traditional Peruvian food at local restaurants
- Visits to other nearby beaches and towns within hours of Lobitos to explore more Peruvian landscapes, culture & history.
Please note that these activities are separate and are not included in the financial contribution you make as part of the volunteer internship.
This volunteer internship is open to all disciplines, but is ideal for those interested in international and sustainable development. Undergraduates, postgraduates, PhDs and/or professionals are all welcome. However, we do ask for:
- Minimum age 18.
- Basic experience or strong motivation to work as part of a team away from home.
However, the most important thing is that you have an open mind, positive attitude and willingness to learn!
Online Placement Financial contribution
The financial contribution required from volunteer interns for our online position is 33% less than that of our in person placement - please see details below.
Two weeks (price per week $368) = $735
Three weeks (price per week $362) = $1,087
Four weeks (price per week $362) = $1,449
Five weeks (price per week $352) = $1,762
Six weeks (price per week $352) = $2,114
Eight weeks (price per week $352) = $2,819
12 weeks (price per week $337) = $4,044
In-Person Placement Financial contribution
We require a financial contribution from volunteer interns. Bank transfer costs are included as well as the one off donation. Please bear in mind that there is a minimum of a 2 week stay at EcoSwell and maximum can be up to 6 months or more!
Two weeks (price per week $538) = $1,076
Three weeks (price per week $529) = $1,586
Four weeks (price per week $529) = $2,115
Five weeks (price per week $514) = $2,572
Six weeks (price per week $514) = $3,087
Eight weeks (price per week $514) = $4,116
12 weeks (price per week $4917) = $5,897
The financial contribution you make as an volunteer intern helps us plant a tree with community families in Lobitos with the volunteers at EcoSwell and the families engaging as well.
EcoSwell is a surfing-inspired and multiple award winning sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability. We develop environmental, educational…