Iracambi Atlantic Rainforest Research Center

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Brazil: Rosario da Limeira


Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest is of the world's top five biodiversity hotspots, where Iracambi dedicates its work to saving forests and changing lives.

A little bit about us. We're a non-profit organization, Amigos de Iracambi, supporting a Research Center which is based on a sustainable forest farm where we can put our ideas to work. We're in the buffer zone of the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park in the mountains of southeastern Brazil. It's an area of extraordinary beauty, abundant water and exceptional biodiversity, and it's home to the world's largest population of the highly endangered northern muriqui monkey - known as the Wooly Spider Monkey.

The name Iracambi comes from the Tupi Indian words "ira" (honey) and "cambi" (milk): our vision is to see this beautiful land of milk and honey restored, with thriving communities living sustainably in a thriving landscape. We're doing this through our research, our programs and our projects, working with the community to make the conservation of the rainforest more attractive than its destruction.

It's a big job and our strategy is to create unusual partnerships - college lecturers with local schoolkids, international volunteers with farm families. Every year we welcome dozens of people of all ages and backgrounds, students, researchers, interns, volunteers and professionals from five continents who spend anything from one to six months sharing their skills with us and learning new ones.

Our research priorities relate directly to our three program areas, and we offer research opportunities and internships in each of them:

Developing Sustainable Communities: ecotourism, researching the potential of medicinal plants as an income source, ecosystem services as alternative income sources for local communities. Community needs assessments and training, improving cropland fertility through use of native crops and nitrogen-fixing species, examining the possible consequences of bauxite mining on farm economy or analyzing the potential of water and carbon credits as incentives to smallholders to conserve their forests.

Managing Natural Resources: updating and expanding our GIS and making maps for local communities and supporting them in establishing and managing Environmental Protection Areas. Measuring water flows to help develop better soil and water conservation practices, collecting seeds, making seedlings and using them for reforestation and agroforestry. Identifying critical forest fragments, working with local farmers to design and monitor forest corridors and figuring out and implementing best practices for restoring forests, particularly on degraded lands.

Researching Ecosystems: monitoring forest cover and growth in permanent sample plots, monitoring ecosystem health using aquatic fauna and bird populations as biological indicators, inventories of fauna and flora, species and behavioral studies.

Let us know your interests and skills and we will give you the tools and match you with the job. And whatever you do you'll be helping us achieve our goal of saving forests and changing lives.


Iracambi Rainforest Research Center is located in one of the world's top five biodiversity hotspots - Brazil's Atlantic Forest. It's an area of patchwork forest and smallholder farms, mountains and abundant water. It's a soft landing in the rainforest, a welcoming local environment with plenty of opportunity for hiking, camping, mountaineering swimming in natural rock pools, horseback riding, playing soccer with the Brazilians (don't ever hope to win!) singing, dancing, learning capoeira, and sharing in a way of life that is very different, yet essentially the same.

Brazil has excellent public transport, so, with a little planning, you can spend long weekends on the beach, in the Wonderful City of Rio de Janeiro, exploring the historic towns of Ouro Preto and Mariana, or just loafing about in a hammock and watching the parrots.


Throughout the year

Degree Level

Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)

Minimum Education

High School

Subject Areas

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Agronomy
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Business Admin. & Management
  • Chemistry
  • Development Studies
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Entomology
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • Field-study
  • Forestry
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Horticulture / Floriculture
  • Internship Programs
  • Latin American Studies
  • Portuguese
  • Sociology
  • Student Trips (non-credit)
  • Urban & Regional Planning
  • Zoology & Wildlife Sciences

Cost in US$:

Depends on the exchange rate - see below

Program Fees Include:

We charge Brazilian Reais R1200 a month in our main dorm accommodation and an additional R200 for accommodation in our semi private cabins. Program fee includes full board and lodging and you can find the exchange rate on xe.com. The highly popular Sabor da Serra restaurant (Taste of the Mountains) provides three meals a day and often the opportunity to interact with local community members, particularly at weekends. Other facilities include 24 hour internet access (except in severe weather,) use of the classroom and field lab, and our extensive system of rainforest trails. You'll also have logistic and academic support, and plenty of good company.

Experience Required


Typical Living Arrangements

  • Dormitory
  • Home-stays
  • Group living

Participants Travel


Typically Participants Work

Independently or in Groups of 2-3

Application Process Involves

  • Resume
  • Written Application

Typically The Application Process Time is

one week

Post Services Include

  • Alumni Network
  • Exit Debriefing Abroad