Tourism suporting conservation

Volunteering

Overview and description of Madidi Travel

Madidi Travel is an organization dedicated to conservation and sustainable tourism within the Madidi Mosaic, in Amazon Jungle. We believe tourism can greatly aid conservation efforts if done in a responsible and sustainable manner. 100% of our profits go back to conservation work and empowering local communities. We offer tours inside Serere Reserve, where one of the best eco- lodges of the country is based. You will be based in our office in the friendly town of Rurrenabaque, where hammocks are the way of life.

The Serere EcoReserve

Serere EcoReserve is a private ecological reserve situated in the rainforests of northern Bolivia. The Reserve is located 20 kilometres from the Madidi National Park. It occupies a surface of 4000 hectares and provides a natural shelter to a great diversity of flora and fauna with, among others, jaguars, ocelots, margays, pumas, monkeys, reptiles and more than 300 bird-species. This rich biodiversity and healthy ecosystem are a result of the conservational and protective activities carried out inside the Reserve.

Besides the fact that the Serere EcoReserve is situated at a strategic location of ecological wealth, it also dedicates its activities to a more sustainable development of the Madidi Mosaic. The Reserve can be reached by descending the Beni River and is located only two and a half hours from Rurrenabaque. From La Paz, the town of Rurrenabaque can be reached both by air and by land. The journey by airplane takes 45 minutes and by bus, approximately 18 to 22 hours.

OUR VOLUNTARY WORK

We are looking for motivated and committed volunteers to support the activities in both our offices located in Rurrenabaque and La Paz, and in our private Serere EcoReserve. Our volunteers need to be enthusiastic, optimistic, demonstrate passion for what they do and have a high level of experience in their field of expertise. Moreover, they must be a valuable asset to our team whilst also be willing to learn about the Bolivian Amazon.

The following volunteer openings are currently available:

– La Paz Office Volunteering: Supporting the development of our marketing strategy and helping with sales in our centrally located La Paz office.

– Rurrenabaque Office Volunteering: Supporting a wide range of duties in our busy office including sales, customer service and basic tourist information.

– General volunteering in Serere: Supporting the whole team at our Serere Reserve in several duties.

Note: At the end of their volunteering period all volunteers at Madidi Travel will obtain a certificate of recognition.

CONDITIONS FOR VOLUNTEERS

We are happy receiveng volunteers, but before you take a decision, please read our conditions attentively.

Volunteering is NOT free tourism! It is hard work! So if you just want to have a holiday this is not your place.

Volunteers agree to work with the following conditions:

1. Live under the same conditions as the local staff of Madidi Travel:

a) Share housing with local staff, housing is simple as we are accustomed to in the region. b) Use the same latrines, bathrooms and showers as the personnel. c) Provide your own bedding, towels, mosquito net, soap, etc. Be aware of the fact that we only provide a simple bed frame with a simple mattress. d) Eat the same diet as the personnel (rice, beans cooked with beef jerky, vegetables, salads, and sometimes fresh meat, chicken or fish). You are welcome to bring yourself extra food. e) Use natural water purified with chlorine f) Keep all of these places clean and tidy especially after your use.

2. The volunteer programme has no cost.

3. Pay for any extra consumption of food or beverages beyond that of which is agreed.

4. Accomplish the work defined in their contract.

5. Accept that you do not have privileges different from the staff of the company.

6. Comply with safety regulations of the company.

7. Take initiative to solve the problems of maintenance and improvements in Serere and Rurrenabaque.

8. Respect the instructions of those responsible for coordination of Serere and Rurrenabaque.

9. Pay the agreed deposit of Bs.700 which will be returned when you leave, or from which deductions will be made if you have not fulfilled your part of the contract or if you have caused the company extra expenses.

VERY IMPORTANT: The time worked in Rurrenabaque or the reserve depends on Madidi Travel´s needs at the time of your volunteering. Therefore flexibility is required.

VOLUNTEERING JOB CONTENT:

1. La Paz Office Volunteering

This opportunity is to assist in the day to day running of our office in La Paz. It is a sales, marketing and tourism based position. This is a good opportunity to immerse oneself into the hustle and bustle of La Paz life and meet some interesting people. There are also free days to enjoy the numerous activities that La Paz has to offer.

On completion of the volunteering period the volunteer is able to join a group of tourists on a 3 day 2 night tour of our Serere Reserve.

General duties:

• Sales • Marketing – visiting agencies.

• Flyer/business card drops.

• Administration.

• Tourist information.

Essential skills:

• Basic numerical skills (working with money).

• Communications skills (talking to tourists).

• Good initiative minimum volunteering.

Period: 4 weeks.

Total cost:  No cost.

What is included: • 3 Day 2 Night Serere Reserve upon completion of placement.

What is not included:

• Accommodation & Meals in La Paz (we can recommend long-term options)

• Accommodation in Rurrenabaque (from Bs. 12 per night)

• Meals in Rurrenabaque (from Bs.10 per night and we have a kitchen at our office for your use)

• Transport to/from Rurrenabaque

What you will need:

• Warm clothes for La Paz nights and excursions.

Apply for Opening: To apply for this opening or if you have any questions please reply to the email volunteer@madidi-travel.com stating the title of the opening, LA PAZ OFFICE VOLUNTEERING.

2. Rurrenabaque Office Volunteering

This opportunity is to assist in the day to day running of our office in Rurrenabque. It is a tourism based position and will mean a lot of interaction with tourists themselves. However, there are many other processes undertaken that aid the day to day running of our Serere Reserve.

On completion of volunteering period the volunteer is able to join a group of tourists on a 3 day 2 night tour of our Serere Reserve.

Rurrenabaque is a very small town located on the River Beni surrounded by rainforest. It has a thriving tourism trade including many restaurants and bars.

General duties:

• Sales.

• Administration.

• Control of gasoline, motors, etc.

• Tourist information.

• Preparing tourists for departure to Serere.

• Taking care of tourists returning from Serere.

• Shopping for Serere from itemised order form.

Essential skills:

• Basic numerical skills (working with money).

• Communications skills (talking to tourists).

• Good initiative.

Minimum volunteering period: 4 weeks.

What is included:

• Cooking facilities.

• Water (local mains water).

What is not included:

• Accommodation in Rurrenabaque (from Bs12 per night).

• Meals in Rurrenabaque (from Bs.10 per night and we have a kitchen at our office for your use).

What you will need:

• Mosquito repellant.

• Sunscreen.

Apply for Opening: To apply for this opening or if you have any questions please reply to the email volunteer@madidi-travel.com stating the title of the opening, RURRENABAQUE OFFICE VOLUNTEERING.

3. General Volunteer in Serere

This volunteer has this duties:

  • to assist the guides with translating their information to tourists while on their tour of Serere. There is a maximum of 6 tourists per guide. He/she will translate during the tour, will be the guest contact. He/she can also help staff learn English.

  • support in main lodge and kitchen (such as serving tables and clean up),cleaning cabins, cleaning in general.

  • assisting in the day to day runnings of our Serere Reserve. The majority is tourism based but there are sometimes opportunities to work with the field team at various places around the reserve.

  • The opportunity of being part of the team maintaining our organic garden and orchard (if you have previous experience). Here we are growing in order for our Serere Reserve to be as self-sustainable as is possible, feeding staff, visitors and the wildlife thus increasing the reserve´s carrying capacity. General duties are general gardening, maintenance and care of crops, repairing fences, maintaining the agricultural work with machetes, assssisting field team.

     Please note that it is all hard work and long hours but is set in the stunning Bolivian Rainforest. The volunteer will have free time to explore the stunning rainforest of our Serere Reserve.

Essential skills:

  • Hard working.

  • Working in a team environment.

  • Good initiative.

  •  Sensible – working in the rainforest is remote and dangerous.

  • Speak English and Spanish.

  • No problem with dirty hands.

This position would suit an enthusiastic person with a keen interest in nature, flexible and resistant to hard work.

Minimum volunteering period: 4 weeks.

Total cost: no cost.

What is included:

• Accommodation in Serere (simple bed frame with basic mattress – shared).

• Meals in Serere (breakfast, lunch, dinner – local Bolivian diet, meat and rice).

• Water (chlorinated mains water from Rurrenabaque).

 

What is not included:

• Bedding sheets.

• Mosquito net.

• Accommodation in Rurrenabaque (from Bs.12 per night).

• Meals in Rurrenabaque (from Bs.10 per night and we have a kitchen at our office for your use).

• Rubber boots (Serere).

• Poncho (Serere).

• Torch (Serere).

What you will need:

• Bedding sheets and towels.

• Mosquito net.

• Flash light/head torch.

• Mosquito repellant.

• Sunscreen.

• Camera.

• Suitable clothing: Long pants (cotton is best) long sleeved shirt (cotton is best) shorts,  t-shirts, closed shoes (we supply rubber boots), flip flops/sandles.

• Laundry and personal soap, toothpaste, etc.

Apply for Opening: To apply for this opening or if you have any questions please reply to the email volunteer@madidi-travel.com stating the title of the opening, GENERAL SERERE VOLUNTEERING.

4.Duty Manager

Duty manager wanted for our eco lodge within the Serere Reserve. Two months minimum. English and Spanish languages required.

The duty manager will supervise all services to clients (working with local staff and volunteers):

  •  proper maintenance of our nine cabins and of the main lodge;

  • proper water services (water is pumped from a lake);

  • proper servicing of clients’ dietary requirements;

  • direct communicator with office in Rurrenabaque from whence purchases for the reserve are made, staff hired, and all reserve needs are supplied;

  • transportation of goods, equipment, and baggage from the port to the cabins and main lodge.

The duty manager will be the main contact between the client and the managers, ensuring client satisfaction with all services including the guiding. This person will help clients structure their time at the reserve to their best satisfaction, suggesting activities available for their group with their guide.

The duty manager is also in charge of the bar and of promoting a fun environment at the main lodge.

Minimum volunteering period: 2 months minimun.

Total cost: No cost.

What is included:

• Accommodation in Serere (simple bed frame with basic mattress – shared).

• Meals in Serere (breakfast, lunch, dinner – local Bolivian diet, meat and rice).

• Water (chlorinated mains water from Rurrenabaque).

• Rubber boots.

• Poncho.

• Boat transfer into Serere and return on agreed dates.

What is not included:

• Bedding sheets.

• Mosquito net.

• Flash light.

• Accommodation in Rurrenabaque (from Bs.12 per night).

• Meals in Rurrenabaque (from Bs.10 per night and we have a kitchen at our office for your use).

What you will need:

• Bedding sheets and towels.

• Mosquito net.

• Flash light/head torch.

• Mosquito repellant.

• Sunscreen.

• Camera.

• Suitable clothing: Long pants (cotton is best) long sleeved shirt (cotton is best) shorts,  t-shirts, closed shoes (we supply rubber boots), flip flops/sandles.

• Laundry and personal soap, toothpaste, etc.

Apply for Opening: To apply for this opening or if you have any questions please reply to the email volunteer@madidi-travel.com stating the title of the opening, DUTY MANAGER VOLUNTEERING.

What do you need to work in our volunteering program?

1. Once you have decided where you want to do your volunteering and in order to evaluate where we could best place we would like a little bit more feedback from you. Could you please let me know:

– What are your more specific interests? – What do you think you could contribute to us? – What are your strengths? – Do you know Spanish? – Do you have experience in sales? – What it is your hope to learn from us? – What are your expectations? – Approximately what dates would you expect to come?

2. Furthermore, send us your CV.

3. You have to go at first to our office in La Paz in order to sign a paper, to pay your deposit and to be guided about our program. Attention: We wont accept volunteers that go directly to Rurrenabaque.

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