FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine Programs
FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine Reviews
Four golden weeks
Submitted by Anni - Leiden University | August 04, 2017
During my semester vacations, I decided to spend a month volunteering at IPBio in Brazil! I study International Studies in The Netherlands and specialized on Latin America. Here at IPBio I helped with communications, setting up the first IPBio Newsletter. I was given a lot of freedom which enabled me to realise my own ideas and give a personal note to the newsletter. I really enjoyed my tasks and work was made easy by the really warm and supportive staff! The reserve is surrounded by stunning nature, offering many waterfalls and caves to explore and many other jungle adventures. Every weekend was fully booked with trips to these treasures. Every person that I met here, if it was another volunteer, a staff member or one of the locals, was very open and extremely nice! Although I spent most of my time sitting on the computer working on the newsletter, I also had the opportunity to work on the Tree Inventory and get out into the forest. All in all, I would definitely volunteer a second time at IPBio! I felt really welcomed, everyone seems to fully enjoy their work, and I think it’s a great opportunity to contribute to a really good cause and at the same time collecting personal experiences, if it is new language skills, insights in research work, making new friends, exploring new cultures or Mother Earth herself!
Program: Communications and Fundraising
Totally worth it!
Submitted by Marta Quintana - london United Kingdom | June 29, 2017
Great experience! Meet amazing people during my stay in IPbio, Everybody is super passionate about what they do and Iporanga is a very nice place with many weekend activities to do, I had a very good time here and aiming to repeat in the future.
Program: Fruit Tree Mapping Inventory
Incredible place to come too!
Submitted by kelany - university of arizona | June 23, 2017
The hardest thing about coming to IPBio was leaving. The work is really enjoyable as your new home will be in the middle of the Atlantic forest itself, tucked away from the city life and surrounded by an abundant of wildlife. As everyone has their part in helping learn more about what lies inside the Atlantic forest, my job was to document the work being done by videotaping and photographing the other volunteers research as well as documenting all the activities we do on our free time. Iporanga where IPBio is located is the capital of caves in Brasil, along with exploring multiple caves we got to check out incredible trails with hidden waterfalls and make many new friends along the way. There is so much history in this town as it was one of the first settlement towns in Brasil. Being a photographer I’ve been in heaven with all the nature around me to photograph as well as the history and people Ive meet. The people in this town are one of the nicest people Ive meet, and although many don’t speak English they will make sure to find a way to make you feel welcomed. The people working at IPBio are also all amazing, everyone is so passionate in the work and its really inspiring, and they are really interested in the work your providing as well so its an all great atmosphere and an incredible place to volunteer. If your into adventures and loving what you do everyday look no further, this place will treat you to one of the best experiences in your life and I personally can’t wait to return.
Program: Photography and Producing Videos
Great experience - definitely recommended
Submitted by Oleh - Leuven | June 14, 2017
I was here with my girlfriend, working on the tree inventory project for 2 weeks.
The facility itself is located in the very beautiful reserve in the forest, so you immediately immerse into nature.
Our project involved marking, measuring and preparing data for identification of the trees, which involves hikes around the reserve in the morning, and the processing gathered information in the afternoon.
We were also able to see projects which other volunteers were working on - like researching local frogs, luminescent mushrooms ( they are super cool! ) and audio monitoring of the forest.
Local school often arranges visits to the reserve, so you can also see yourself how IpBio is contributing to the education of local children.
One thing that I can definitely recommend is learning some Portuguese beforehand. While some members of IpBio staff speak English, so there's no problem during the stay, you will feel quite limited in communication on the way to reserve, as well as during traveling around on your own.
The staff is very helpful - they helped us to arrange interesting activities for the weekends, as well as figuring out transportation afterward and other practical questions.
I can definitely recommend this place, and I'm looking forward to checking out other centers they plan to open in Brazil ( especially in Amazonia).
Program: Fruit Tree Mapping Inventory
Volunteering at IPBio
Submitted by Maryna - Leuven Belgium | June 12, 2017
My volunteering experience at IPBio was limited only to 2 weeks. Despite this short period, I think I could get an idea about how the organization works and what it’s goals and values are. For me, it is important to contribute to a project with meaningful goals with well-defined project scope. My impression was that at IPBIO researchers put a lot of thought and effort into projects planning to contribute with them to exploration and sustainable future of Atlantic rainforest. The projects are often complementary to each other and therefore it is easier to see a bigger picture. Such was a project my boyfriend and me were involved in – tree inventory and monitoring. The tasks of the projects were quite straightforward and uncomplicated – marking trees, photographing bark samples, performing measurements. It was motivating to know that the end-goal of tree inventory, in this case, is to investigate the diversity of trees in order to define if this area is suitable for birds release and if yes, which fruits/seeds would be available for the birds released in this area. I enjoyed working in the forest for most of the days and processing data on rainy days.
On an especially rainy day, we came up with an idea of automation of the video processing steps for the project of a fellow volunteer. Since me and my boyfriend, both have software development background we created a script for automatic object (frog) detection in the video aiming to reduce an amount of time a person would spend on a routine operation. We both were happy that despite such an approach is new and unusual for local researchers they were open and enthusiastic to try it out. That gives quite an inspiration to look for other opportunities to automate routine parts of biological data analysis.
As for the more practical side, l think accommodation and facilities can still be improved. We were lucky to live in the main house in a separate room which was very comfortable, but I would say that the other volunteers rooms are not big enough for 8 people. We shared the kitchen with 4 other volunteers and though we enjoyed their company the kitchen is simply too small for 6 people to cook there at the same time. Hopefully this will be solved with construction of new volunteers house.
Otherwise, I would evaluate the organization and support as very good. I am especially grateful for organizing of guided visits to spectacular caves and hiking in PETAR nature park. IPBio stuff is very friendly, and though the majority of people do not speak English one still feels very welcome and included.
One last but important thing – the place itself is just beautiful, and if you enjoy nature you will be amazed by how close and rich it is here.
Program: Fruit Tree Mapping Inventory