EcoSwell is a surfing-inspired and multi 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 volunteer 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.
- Work alongside experienced & passionate people from a range of disciplines & backgrounds.
- Live and work in a surfing paradise in northern Peru, the land of endless summer (In-person).
Water is a scarce resource in Lobitos. Many families do not have access to flushing toilets and the local sewer system has been collapsed for years, exposing open drainage points that threaten the health of the local community. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative wastewater treatment and disposal methods. As an organisation we have been working to improve the sanitation conditions in Lobitos:
- In 2015 we installed a biodigester at the artisanal Fisherman's Guild, empowering the fishermen as leaders of this change. The biodigester gives the wastewater a primary treatment and allows for reuse for irrigation purposes.
- The construction of our dry toilet was completed in March 2018 which helps us to save water whilst producing fertiliser for the garden plants. In one year this unit has saved around 18,700 litre of freshwater and has produced around 800 litre of organic fertiliser (compost) for our reforestation efforts. We hope to make this dry sanitation widely available to the community in Lobitos through the construction of more public toilets.
- We have developed a pilot desalination unit (Solar Distiller) for turning seawater into freshwater and are constantly improving it to turn it into a practical and viable solution for water access.
- We are implementing bio-remediation/phytoremediation techniques using special plants (vetiver, Chrysopogon zizanioides) floating hydroponically to treat wastewater spills.
- We are carrying out research into potential uses of groundwater as alternative water sources for reforestation and community use.
As a water & sanitation volunteer intern at EcoSwell, you will be given ownership of the projects, working alongside the community and the EcoSwell team. The daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at of each project (and whether you are taking part in our Online placement or In-person placement). This may include but is not limited to:
Besides the Solar Distiller, we are currently implementing the vetiver system (a special grass capable of water/soil treatment) to contain and removing toxicities & pathogens from wastewater spills which are prevalent in the towns of Piedritas and Lobitos where we work. Interns can get involved with the research and construction of more floating hydroponic devices for vetiver (pontoons) and other water treatment research and technologies design we are working on.
At the EcoSwell house, we are using our dry toilet on a daily basis. Interns will be required to make improvements on the current design of our dry toilet or develop & initiate the expansion of more public dry toilets in the community.
We have been conducting research financed by the GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund) from the UK Government to explore groundwater availability and quality, in order to enhance our ecosystem restoration efforts.
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 pick-up/drop-off. 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.
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:
We are looking for someone passionate about development and sanitation solutions. A university specialisation or work experience is preferable. Someone who has minimum proficiency in Spanish and is capable of working as part of a team and in remote areas. Good communication skills and a positive attitude is a must.
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 $490) = $980
Three weeks (price per week $482) = $1,446
Four weeks (price per week $482) = $1,928
Five weeks (price per week $469) = $2,345
Six weeks (price per week $469) = $2,814
Eight weeks (price per week $469) = $3,752
12 weeks (price per week $448) = $5,376
Since we have limited spaces, you to secure your placement by depositing a non-refundable 30% of your placement’s total financial contribution within 1 week of being accepted. Full payment will be required 4 weeks prior to your arrival the latest. Any refund of the 70% of the full payment (minus all transaction costs) will only be available if cancellation is confirmed before more than 30 days of confirmed arrival date. No refunds of any kind will be available within 30 days of confirmed arrival date.
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 $335) = $670
Three weeks (price per week $330) = $989
Four weeks (price per week $330) = $1,319
Five weeks (price per week $321) = $1,605
Six weeks (price per week $321) = $1,926
Eight weeks (price per week $321) = $2,568
12 weeks (price per week $307) = $3,684
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 multi award winning sustainable development non-profit (NGO) driving the development of poor Peruvian coastal communities through a path of sustainability. We develop environmental, educational…