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  • The Pilchi community. Primary forest Conservation Volunteer Projects
  • The Pilchi community. Primary forest Conservation Volunteer Projects
  • The Pilchi community. Primary forest Conservation Volunteer Projects
  • The Pilchi community. Primary forest Conservation Volunteer Projects
Photo Slider Ecuador Tierra Viva Foundation

Pilchi Biological Research Station

The Pilchi community owns 9200 hectares of primary forest in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The Pilchi community. Primary forest

(Mandi cocha, Pilchi forest)

The objective of this project is to fully understand the biodiversity of the native forest land of the Pilchi and their ecological processes to be able to maintain its pristine status and condition.

The fields of work are:
• Mastozoologia
• Herpetology
• Entomology
• Ichthyology
• Vegetation cover

Initial Actions

• Study of the Pilchi community and population dynamics on the forest.

• Perform an assessment of the forest with the aim of determining aspects related to the development, productivity and growth dynamics of the Pilchi community.

• Establish a network of plots for permanent research, study and measurement in the area of the Pilchi community in order to gather information for the proper planning of forestry activities, and to optimize the time and resources generated in the sustainable management of the forest resource.

• This first project allows you to gain an understanding of the local Pilchi knowledge of the forest, which in turn allows linkage with other projects such as studies of the phenology of species, the fruiting times, host-to-host interaction, etc.

Camera Traps

• The placement of camera traps allows the study and registration of animal species (especially mammals), which allow us to address their conservation efforts and at the same time, under different methods, the status of the populations in the area.

The Project includes:

Training selected people from the community in the recognition of basic methods of sampling, such as observation, camera traps and fingerprint recognition, identification of amphibians and reptiles, insects, fish and trees of the area.


Select and prepare local guides for visitors to inform them about the most common species in the area.


Information relevant to the species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, insects, fish and plants from its uses and traditions, which are known legends from the ancestral memory of the community.


Develop and maintain trails for the observation of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, insects, fish and flora both in the morning and in the evening.


Research focused on the conservation and maintenance of the species of the area.


• Trap Placement
• Identification
• Daily Reports
• Inventory
• Photographic record

Volunteer support

Volunteers will receive a formal project induction on arrival, and work under the supervision of a Project Director. The project provides support at local level in case of minor illness or accident. All volunteers must hold travel and health insurance to cover serious illnesses or accidents. Of course you must at least have a Yellow Fever vaccination and certificate or you will not be able to continue any journey out of Ecuador.

Volunteer accommodation

VAccommodation is provided at the Pilchi Biological Science Station (Casa de voluntarios), where there are shared rooms with private bathrooms, a kitchen, restaurant and a Hammock area. The lodge is situated in a quiet part of jungle and it is 3 hours far away from Coca and Lago Agrio.

How to reach Pilchi?

There are several ways to reach Pilchi. Taking a flight from Quito to Francisco de Orellana (Coca) or Lago Agrio. The cost of the flight varies between $ 150 and $ 200, depending on the season. From Coca volunteers are able to take a motorized canoe directly to the lodge (2.5 – 3 hours). Also volunteers can take a Taxi until Puerto Providencia (2.5 hours) and then 20 minutes by motorized canoe to Pilchi. From Lago Agrio the only way is by taking a private taxi to Puerto Providencia (2.5 hours) and then a 20 minute by motorized canoe to Pilchi.

Application process

Before coming to volunteer in Ecuador you must send:
⦁ A letter of application indicating: experiences, future interests, reasons for choosing ETV, date of participation (needed to guarantee space availability).
• A scan of your passport
• Dietary restrictions, allergies and medication taken regulary
• Spanish Level (confident basic level)
• Copy of your health /accident insurance


⦁ The project is available year round.
⦁ Volunteers can join any Saturday, all projects start with an induction on Sunday afternoon
• Minimum stay is 1 month
• Minimum required 2 volunteers

The program includes

Local project coordinator specialized in ornithology
• Project Orientation
• Project transport
• Accommodation
• Shared room with private bathroom
• 3 meals per day, restaurant, dining area and hammock area

Not included in the program

• Air fare Quito – Coca or Lago Agrio - Quito
• Visa is required for more than 3 months
• Insurance
• Tourist activities
• Laundry

We suggest you bring

⦁ Cell phone with Ecuador network chip (signal only available in a specific place at the lodge)
• Sunhat
• Sunglasses
• Sunblock
• Insect repellent, not DEET please, preferably Citronella or other natural based product
⦁ Rain jacket
⦁ Swimsuit
⦁ Walking shoes
⦁ Waterproof sandals
⦁ Rubber boots
⦁ Socks that do not slip easily inside the rubber boots + medicated foot powder to put in your socks keeps your feed drier and healthier)
⦁ Hiking pants (No jeans)
⦁ Shorts
⦁ Long-sleeved shirts
⦁ Light-weight shirts
⦁ Binoculars
⦁ Flashlight
⦁ Personal first aid
⦁ Passport and color copy
⦁ Personal medication
⦁ Camera with extra batteries

If you want to support our Project please contact us or if you want to send a donation click here