Help in the garden and guesthouse in an Amazon Jungle reserve near Iquitos, Peru




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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Stay in a wooden house which is surrounded by jungle. Wake up to the sounds of birds and insects and watch monkeys play in the trees. Experience the local life of farmers, and visit nearby lagoons, animal rescue center and national parks.

    Hi I’m Ivonne and I’m the owner of the private 8 ha (bigger than 8 football fields) Jungle Reserve “Reserva Copoazu” which is located between two jungle villages near the Amazon river and the city Iquitos in Peru.

    In the jungle reserve, there is a guest house for volunteers and up to 4 paying guests. There is also a small organic garden which in the future will provide food for volunteers and guests.

    At the moment I am in Germany but the house remains open. Usually there are 2-6 volunteers in the house and up to 4 guests but you could end-up being alone a few days. Please only apply if you are OK with that.

    During my absence my friend Juan Carlos is looking after the house from time to time. Please assit him with any work and ask him if you need any help. Juan Carlos is a jungle guide and medicine man and offers healing ceremonies and jungle tours in case you are interested. Please note that healing ceremonies sometimes take place in the house at night (8 p.m. - midnight). During this time people, who do not take part in the ceremony, need to be quiet and can not use any lights. Most volunteers like the magical energy of ceremonies and the sounds of the traditional medicanal songs, the icaros and go to bed early falling asleep to this ancient music.

    During my absence the main task of volunteers is to take care of the house, animals and guests. If you already have gardening experience you can also help in the garden. If your English is very good you can also teach English in the village school. It would also be nice if you would do a workshop for the other volunteers, guests and kids in the village. We can learn so much from each other. We just have to share our knowledge and skills.

    The house is not a party location. Please only apply if you look for some quite time.

    I do not provide any food or meals and the garden only provides a few fruits and vegetables yet because it got destroyed during a recent flood and hurricane. Therefore, you have to buy fruits, vegetables and groceries like oats, rice, quinoa, pasta, oil, spices, eggs, milk powder … and prepare your own meals.

    Since I do not provide food I only ask for 3 hours of work per day, 5 days a week (or 15 hours per week) instead of the usual 5 hours per day, 5 days per week (25 hours). Volunteers have two consecutive days off. Minimum stay is 2 weeks.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Charity work
    Language practice
    Art project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The people in the nearby village are eager to meet people from all around the world. You can practice your Spanish and learn about life in the jungle, natural healing, Ayahuasca, ...
    You can visit nearby lagoons, animal rescue center and national parks. Great views of the jungle.

  • Help


    Your tasks depend on whether you work in the guesthouse or in the garden. Please note that sometimes you might be the only volunteer for a few days and therefore have to look after the house, guests, pets and the garden.

    At least one volunteer has to be in the house to provide live-in security during the day and at night and to take care of the guests.
    Tidy up and sweep the floors once a day.
    Clean the entire house including your room, the two guest rooms, bath room, shower, kitchen, … twice a week and before guests arrive and after they leave.
    Change the bed sheets once a week and wash them by hand.
    Clean up after yourself, wash your dishes, … after every meal.
    Fetch cooking and drinking water from a nearby well and filter the water.
    Help with small repairs.
    Fill up water tanks inside the house from a nearby rain water hole if it does not rain for a while.
    Set up portable solar panel in the morning and gather it in the evening.

    Feed the cat evey day and give him some attention.
    Clean the litter box of the cat once a week.
    Let the chickens out of their chicken coop in the morning and lock them up in the evening.
    Feed the chickens with organic waste.
    Give the cat and chickens fresh water every day.

    Guests and other Volunteers
    Help guests and the other volunteers to have a great time. Welcome them and show them the house, garden and jungle reserve when they arrive. Explain how everything works (e.g. where the well for the drinking water is, how the rain water system works, what we do with the trash, …).
    Be polite and respectful. Do not party or talk loudly if the guests or other volunteers went already to bed. If you want to party asked the others if they want to join you.
    Offer one workshop to the other volunteers and guests every week, e.g. yoga, meditation, music, dance, martial arts, painting, arts and crafts, writing, cooking, languages, … or tell them about your country or your travels.

    Clear garden and prepare the vegetable beds. Plant seeds in small cups to grow plants inside the house. As soon as the plants are big and strong enough, plant them in the garden. Water the plants and pull out any weeds.
    Clear the jungle around the house and plant corn, yucca, papaya, bananas, platano, avocados …
    Cut back the weeds around the fruit trees.
    Transfer wild banana and avocado trees from the jungle onto the field around the house.
    Prepare compost and carry black soil from the neighbor to the garden.
    Collect fruits and vegetables from the farm.

    Jungle Reserve
    Clear the paths, maintain or replace bridges. Repair the fence.
    Make signs to mark medicinal plants and fruit trees.

    Community outreach
    Teach English or share your culture with the people in the village
    Arts and sport projects with the village kids
    Projects which enhance awareness for environmental protection, respect, ...

    Typical Working Day in the house
    You have to get up early approx. 6a.m., let out the chickens and feet the cat.
    Fetch some cooking and drinking water and filter it before breakfast. Wash your dishes from last days dinner. Make yourself breakfast, wash the dishes and clean the table and kitchen. Do some cleaning or small repairs. Offer a workshop or do a community outreach project. Make yourself lunch and clean up after yourself. Fetch some more cooking and drinking water. Enjoy your free time or offer a workshop. Before dinner, feed the cat, and lock up the chickens . Make yourself dinner and clean up after yourself. Enjoy your free time or offer a workshop.

    Typical Working Day in the garden and reserve
    Most volunteers get up early and work one hour outside before breakfast when it is still cool. Than they make themselves breakfast. Afterwards they offer a workshop or jungle tour, clean or repair the house, plant seeds, … until lunch. They cook lunch together or take turns. Afterwards they clean the dishes. After lunch they enjoy their free time or do a community outreach project in the village. Before dinner they work another hour outside when the sun is not so strong any more. They cook dinner together or take turns and wash the dishes. Afterwards they offer a workshop, share their culture with the other volunteers or guests or enjoy their free time.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, German, intermediate Spanish

  • Accommodation


    Volunteers sleep in a three-bed mixed dorm. There is also a private room for couples.

    The conditions in the house are basic. There is no electricity or running water. There is a rain water system for the sink, toilet and shower and a gas stove. Please bring a flash light with you as it gets dark at 6pm. In the village there is electricity and for a small fee you can charge your electrical devices in a friend’s house.

    Volunteers buy their own food and prepare the meals themselves. You can buy groceries, cold beverages and snacks in the village shop but unfortunately no decent vegetables or fruits.
    Most volunteers go to San Juan, Belen or Iquitos once a week to buy groceries, fruits and vegetables, to use the internet and to recharge their electrical devices.
    You can get mobile internet for your smart phone from Movistar (Claro, Bitel, and Entel only have a very weak signal).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Please note

    Iquitos has no road connection to the rest of the country or any neighboring country. You have to fly or take a boat. Avianca,Viva Air, LATAM, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines have cheap offers if you book 1-2 months in advance. Please check the Lonely Planet on information about the boat journey.

    The paths in the jungle can become very muddy. I recommend to wear rubber boots because the mud destroys hiking boots. Rubber boots also protect your feet from snakes and biting insects. You can buy cheap rubber boots in the Belen market in Iquitos for 20 Soles (7 US$).

    Volunteers must be highly motivated, independent and able to work without supervision.

    Free time activities
    There are a few books in English, Spanish and German incl. a book about the medicinal use of plants and indigenous culture (in Spanish) which you can read. There are also a few Spanish courses and phrase books if you like to learn or improve your Spanish.

    You can walk in the jungle, visit people who live nearby, go to the village where you can play football and volleyball every Sunday, watch TV, or have a drink.

    You can also visit nearby places on the road Iquitos-Nauta like a natural reserve, the zoo or a lake.


    Please specify if you are applying to work in the guest house or on the farm or both.

    Please provide following information when you want to work in the guest house:
    When do you want to volunteer and for how long?
    Will you arrive by boat or airplane to Iquitos?
    Have you volunteered before? What did you do?
    Have you worked in a guesthouse or hostel before or did some house-sitting?
    Have you been taking care of cats and chickens before?
    Have you stayed in an off-grid off-road house before or camped in the jungle or wilderness? Where and for how long?
    Which workshops do you want to offer for the other guests and volunteers and the community?
    How do you imagine a typical day in the guest house?
    Why do you want to volunteer in my guest house?

    Please provide following information if you want to work on the farm:
    When do you want to volunteer and for how long?
    Will you arrive by boat or airplane to Iquitos?
    Have you volunteered before? What did you do?
    Have you worked on a farm before?
    Do you know how to use and sharpen a machete?
    Do you have any knowledge about permaculture or sustainability?
    Have you stayed in an off-grid off-road house before or camped in the jungle or wilderness? Where and for how long?
    Which workshops do you want to offer for the other guests and volunteers and the community?
    How do you imagine a typical day on the farm?
    Why do you want to volunteer on my farm?

    Thank you for your interest in this workexchange.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    3 hours per day, 5 days a week (or 15 hours per week)

guest house
my cat

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Host ref number: 682453181857