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Our projects all need help from volunteers and interns who learn along-side our team through participatory peer-to-peer action. We want you to arrive in Paraguay ready to contribute, and leave having accomplished something amazing.
Projects at Pilar
Eco-Leadership: One of our most popular events is our weekly 'Eco-Cine', where we show a children’s movie related to the environment, or that has a strong moral lesson. Before the movie starts, we employ participatory education methods (aka playing games) to help the children learn values related to the movie.
For the young at heart, our Eco-Clubs, which take place every Saturday, include three hours of fun and games. We focus on skill building activities which enhance knowledge and prepare children to be leaders in their own communities. We hope that one day they’ll see themselves as change-makers.
Terrestrial Science: Ñeembucú is composed of a mosaic of habitats, including grasslands, marshes and humid Chaco. Deep forests lining the rivers and streams running through the area are bursting with wildlife. Project options include:
- Camera trapping for medium and large sized mammals
- Morphometrics of avian species
- Reptile surveys
- Urban primate studies (black and gold howler monkeys)
- Small mammal trapping and surveys
- Caterpillar rearing and ecology
- Butterfly inventory
- Moth lighting
- Spotlighting for nocturnal mammals and nightjars
- Nest and burrow monitoring
- Plant and tree inventories
- Urban species ecology and distribution studies
Aquatic Scence: You can join in our waterside surveys on the Rio Paraguay and its tributaries, learning aquatic science techniques and helping to build the first ever inventory and understanding of the local wildlife. Project options include:
- Dragonfly inventory and ecology
- Seasonality of frog species
- Amphibian population counts
- Avian species ecology, including migrants
- Fish inventory and ecology
- Water insect studies
Museum Science: Our museum and scientific reference collection is one of the things we’re most proud of at Para La Tierra. Our collection is ranked second in the country in terms of representation of Paraguayan fauna, after the National Museum in Asuncion. Museum projects include:
- Curation of entomological specimens from distinct locations in the neo-tropics - learn maintenance and taxonomy skills
- Preparation of a museum database using SQL programming
- Taxonomic studies of frogs, snakes, small mammals including bats, lizards, and birds
- Taxidermy of all taxa
Other options include teaching English, eco-tourism development and non-profit management activities.
Projects at Laguna Blanca
Primates: If you’re thinking about a career in primatology or behavioural science, studying capuchin monkeys with our resident primatologist Rebecca Smith could be just what you need to get on-track. Rebecca is a PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen. You’ll learn alongside other budding primatologists while exploring the depths of the Atlantic Forest and learning about neo-tropical ecology.
Fish: Laguna Blanca is the only true lake in the whole of Paraguay. Fed by an underground aquifer and having only one small outlet stream, very little is known about this type of habitat and eco-system. We still don’t know what lurks within the depths and this is our last chance to find out! If you’re keen on fishing or aquatic biology you won’t want to miss this opportunity.
Lizards: The spiny lizard Tropidurus lagunablanca was only described last year and is only found around the PLT research station and nowhere else in the world! We know nothing about this species and it could be on the verge of extinction. Come and be the first to find out what it eats, where it sleeps, and how it finds a mate!