It’s not often anyone gets the chance to say that they’ve had the privilege of working with Humboldt Penguins in their native habitat! If you’d like the opportunity to be a voluntary worker contributing to the conservation effort working with this endangered species, apply for your place now! The Penguin Conservation project aims to develop a safe habitat for the penguins, working to reduce their decline and to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the survival of these beautiful animals.
While working on the project, you will play an active role in completing daily tasks at the centre. This could include construction, maintenance, cleaning, reforesting the environment, preparing food and carrying out the feeding. The Humboldt Penguins, a medium-sized breed, are native to the coast of Chile and Peru. Their name originates from the cold Humboldt Current that travels Northwards along the coast of South America. Due to climate change, pollution, destruction of their habitat and over-fishing in the area, the number of Humboldt Penguins has declined over the last few years. As a result, they are now considered to be in danger of extinction.
Helping you to settle into the project, you’ll begin your stay with an introductory meeting where you’ll be given plenty of information and have an opportunity to ask questions. Your role at the Penguin Centre will begin from your second day, and you’ll spend around 6 hours each day on site. Working on the project will be an incredible experience for you but due to the sensitive nature of the penguins, and they’re tendency to scare easily, you might not be able to touch them at the centre.
Your week begins with a training and orientation session. This is where you will find out about the activities you’ll be carrying out as part of your role, rules to follow while working at the centre and some essential information about the needs and behaviour of the Humboldt Penguins. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions of your coordinator who will be happy to share their knowledge and experience with you! After the introduction, you’ll be watching a short video, giving you a visual insight into the centre. Following a tasty lunch, you’ll be taken to a nearby beach. This will be your first taste of the conservation tasks awaiting you. At the beach, you will carry out some cleaning to contribute to the improvement effort. The views at the beach are spectacular and it will be a great opportunity for you to get to know other participants.
Tuesday to Thursday
Breakfast will be served at the accommodation centre before you make you way from Pimental to the Penguin Centre. On Tuesday you’ll walk for 40 minutes enabling you to enjoy the desert landscape with its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean – if you’re lucky, you might catch some glimpses of marine life. On other days you’ll catch the local bus to the centre. At the centre, you’ll be taken on a guided tour to arrange your tasks. There’ll be a variety of jobs for you, both environmental and conservational, which could include:
Today you will take part in the important work of raising awareness about the Humboldt Penguins and the conservation effort. After breakfast, you’ll travel to a nearby school where you’ll share your new knowledge and experiences with the students. Emphasising the environmental issues affecting the wildlife in Peru and how they can help the conservation effort. Once you’ve finished at the school, you’ll be able to enjoy some free time relaxing and exploring the area.