Volunteer Program

Thank you for your interest in joining Great Wilderness' volunteer program!

volunteers2      Our goal is to support, strengthen and enhance our partner’s conservation program by sending people who are interested in working and supporting the protection of Ecuador’'s and Venezuela's native forests and ecosystems. We will supply correct and accurate information about our local conservation programs in order to maximize the volunteer experience and enable our partner non profit organizaions in Ecuador and Venezuela to take full advantage of the resources each individual brings to the effort.

      As a volunteer you will experience firsthand the difficulties of environmental conservation in the tropics as well as celebrate the results of your work. Our volunteers often returned to the reserves year after year and serve as conservation ambassadors when in their home countries.


How You Can Make a Difference:

congal2      Ecuador,  despite its small size, is among the sixteen most bio-diverse countries on Earth. Ecuador has over 1,500 species of birds, more than 840 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 341 species of mammals. Of these, 14.2% are endemic meaning they exist in no other country of which 10.2% of these are threatened. Ecuador is also home to over 19,000 species of vascular plants, of which 20.7% are endemic.

      Unfortunately, Ecuador has the distinction of having the highest deforestation rate and worst environmental record in South America. Oil exploration, logging, and road building have had a disastrous impact on Ecuador's primary rainforests, which now cover less than 18 percent of the country's land mass. From 1990 to 2000, Ecuador lost an average of 197,600 hectares of forest per year. In total, between 1990 and 2005, measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion), Ecuador lost 19.2% of its forest and woodland habitat.

frog      With the support from our volunteers, we currently work toward the conservation of biodiversity, reforestation, rural community projects, and sustainable development in Ecuador. Specifically we work in innovative programs in agro forestry, reforestation, organic production and sustainable aquaculture in mangrove ecosystems, includes carbon fixation, health and nutrition improvement, handicrafts commercialization and some other research projects in mainland, marine and island areas all over Ecuador.

 Watch how you can make a difference....



La Hesperia Biological Reserve and Station

a. Internship available June-Dec. 2016

      Assistant Reserve Manager:  Position available for a minimum of three months and six months is recommended.  Qualified and motivated person will assist the reserve manager with her duties and with compliment the volunteer coordinator in his work.  Room/ board and a stipend are offered.  Call or write for details.  This position may qualify as study abroad for credit. (Read more)...

b. Volunteer Opportunities

      La Hesperia Biological Reserve and Research Station is currently accepting application for volunteers with an interest in nature, sustainability, agriculture, animal breeding, food production, organic gardens, environmental education and outdoor life. (Read more..)

Watch La Hesperia Video:




     Great Wilderness is offering an internship for one or two individuals to assist FONMSOEAM, an association of small scale cacao farmers located in the Choco Bio region of northwestern Ecuador. Activities include support to farmer with organizational capacity building, grant writing and computer literacy.  Additional, interns will  assist farmer's organization in their post harvested daily routine such:  bean's fermentation, sun dried, quality assessment, beans classification, storage, etc.  Become part of a team working to create a market-based solution to poverty in the poorest province in Ecuador.

      This group of cacao farmers lives in ancestral communities, some of which are in the Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve (REMACH).  Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

      Additionally, we are working with universities in Ecuador to create more internships that will support teachers and medical students to spend a semester at rural schools and medical centers. Scholarships to high school and university students are awarded for those interested.


Research Assistant and Internship Opportunity Available in the Llanos of Venezuela.

Behavior and demography of the Green-rumped Parrotlet (Forpus passerinus)

      Four field assistants are required, two from 1 June – 15 August and two more from 1 September - 15 December 2016 to work as part of a team on a long term study of behavior and demography of the Green-rumped Parrotlet.  Duties will include mist netting, banding and resighting, nest checking, behavioral observations, audio-video monitoring, playback experiments and keeping detailed records.  The ideal candidate would:  have experience conducting field research with birds in tropical ecosystems; be interested in avian behavioral ecology; be willing to work long hours six days per week; enjoy work in a hot, humid environment; have a sunny disposition and be able to live under primitive conditions with few people on an isolated ranch; have a working knowledge of Spanish and a driver’s license; be able to work without supervision; and enjoy but not become too distracted by the fabulous avifauna of the Llanos.  Please submit resume, and phone numbers/email of three referees to Karl Berg: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wildlife Conservation- The Endangered Orinoco Crocodile


      GW supports the Tropical Conservation and Education Center (TCEC) at Hato Masaguaral (HM) in the Llanos of Venezuela. HM is a private preserving reserve whose main mission is the conservation of the endemic neo-tropical fauna such the Caiman del Orinoco and ecosystems of Los Llanos of Venezuela. Both the HM and the TCEC function as one unit promoting active stewardship of the local and international community through various ongoing activities. Such projects include environmental education and awareness programs in local communities and schools, captive breeding and reintroduction programs of endangered species such the Caiman del Orinoco, and local involvement as a strong voice for the protection of the environment in Los Llanos de Venezuela and the region. 

Interns will be expected to:

Captive Breeding and Reintroduction Center

1. Assist in the care and maintenance of endangered Orinoco Crocodile. Interns will be responsible for understanding the specific needs of all enclosed individual within their captive environment.

2. Assist in wildlife interpretative tasks for Masaguaral visitors and tour groups e.g. handling and exhibiting a young crocodile to visitor while relating its life history, present conservation status and answering questions about the specimen.

3. Be involved in ongoing wildlife conservation programs at the HM such as the forpus project, caiman breeding center, monitoring, reintroduction program, etc. 

4. Contribute to exhibit design and enrichment; this includes the betterment of animal enclosures, enhancement of viewer experiences and visitor, enhancement of activities and positive enrichment for the crocodile center, improvement of the environment for the animals and landscaping of trails, paths and signs within the hato masaguaral.

5. Assist the HM’s manager with daily activities at the Hato.

 Environmental Education

 Interns will be expected to:

1. Be actively involved in introducing visiting school groups to the caiman breeding center and Hato Masaguaral i.e. the Masaguaral’s mission and objectives as well as its importance and specific function towards the conservation of ecosystems, and to help in the development of posters, signs and slogans promoting the conservation and protection of endangered caiman del Orinoco.

2. Help in delivering and developing environmental education and awareness lessons to visiting school groups to the hato and caiman center, and to participate in the brainstorming of ideas to better educate the local and international community about the importance of the masaguaral for the conservation and development of stewardship in the local and international community. 

3. Participate in community outreach programs currently being held by the Hato Masaguaral and caiman center.


 News from Great Wilderness Volunteers and Interns

 Read about them: (Here) 

 Map of the Biological Reserves and Research Stations in Ecuador

Click on the specific reserve on the map to read more about our biological stations.

1. Bilsa Biological Reserve

2. Galapagos Island

3. La Hesperia

4. Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve (Fonmsoeam)

5. Guandera Biological Reserve and Research Statiion - Tropical Andes 

6. Jatun Sacha Biological Reserve and Research Station- Amazon


Appy Now






Welcome, Everyone


 Greetings! - Great Wilderness continues to work on biodiversity preservation in both Ecuador and Venezuela. We are succeeding in our mission to "Help People Help Nature."

 Please consider donating to Great Wilderness. It is easy to go to our website and donate. Thanks in advance for any help you can give to our organization.

 Volunteer and Internship Program

Our goal is to support, strengthen and enhance our partners conservation program by sending individuals interested in working and supporting the protection of Ecuador and Venezuela native forest and ecosystems. (Read more)


The Parrotlet Project


Do Parrots Name Their Babies?

While studying Green-rumplet Parrolets in Venezuela, National Geographic Explorer and Great Wilderness Board member, Dr. Karl Berg, discovered an incredibly rare behavior.

The Parrolet Project (Video)

read more


Forest Fund

Dear Family and Friends,


Earth Day 2018 marks the celebration of a two-year partnership with Forest Fund. Forest Fund supports conservation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil with the help of Great Wilderness and donors worldwide. Together we are turning landowners into forest protectors by providing opportunity cost payments to the landowner to keep the forest standing in one of the most ecologically important and threatened areas of the world. Read more     



Please consider supporting our efforts.