A volunteer trip to the Amazon is NOT for everyone. Our volunteers generally adapt and enjoy themselves, yet I am often surprised at the lack of preparation or research of some volunteers. Then they make things worse by complaining. We have produced extensive materials for volunteers in the past, but this is a handy short version. Of course, this is only a condensation of suggestions. Please leave comments and more suggestions in the comments section.
Many of these tips apply to ALL volunteers, not just those of Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety.
Ten Tips for Amazon Volunteers...
1. Flexibility of timetables, itineraries and arrangements should not only be anticipated but expected.
2. Avoid ostentation, dresses modestly; don’t flaunt your money or possessions.
3. Volunteers need to be mature and self-directed, as it is unlikely that they will have continual supervision.
4. Don't drink the tap water. Remember that a change in diet can result in intestinal upset, and doesn't mean that you've come down with dysentery! Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, or similar products can help counteract mild intestinal disorder due to change of diet.
5. Watch where you put your hands and feet while you are hiking in the forest.
6. Currency should be relatively unworn and free of rips, holes, tears, ink writing and other blemishes, or they may not be accepted for money exchange.
7. The tropical sun is very intense and it is very easy to burn or become dehydrated. Appropriate clothing and headwear and high SPF sun block are a necessity. You should also take a water bottle with you at all times (and drink from it!). Insect repellent is also essential, as there are plenty of hungry insects!
8. Recognize that due to the nature and location of the project living conditions may be basic.
9. Volunteers should be aware that they will be spending some time in very remote areas, without easy access to telephones, email, or specialized medical care.
10. A sense of humor and a good dose of patience are essential.