crees experiential learning programmes
The crees experiential learning programmes were designed to provide opportunities for volunteers to actively participate in important conservation and sustainable community development initiatives managed by the crees foundation, in the Manu Biosphere Reserve.
Crees’ projects work towards our vision of creating a sustainable Amazon where humankind and nature can support one another through balance, respect and innovation. Our standard programmes (2-12 weeks) assists the crees foundation’s projects in research and sustainable community initiatives.
For more information, download the complete PDF below
Day 1 Airport collection
Day 2 Briefing and orientation
Day 3-4 Travel to project location
Day 5- 6 Project induction & training
Day 7 Day trip to hot springs
Day 8- 9 Further Training
Day 10- 31 Project work (except Sundays)
Day 32 Travel to Cusco Day 33 Sign out, airport drop- off
Please refer to the itinerary on our website or in your information pack on the downloadable PDF below for day by day specifics of your particular programme.
5.30 am Visit the clay lick, and monitor the Blue Headed Macaws
7 am Breakfast
7.30 am Trek into the forest to check camera traps
1-3 pm Rest 3-5 pm
Work in the MLC biogarden
5 pm Spanglish lessons whilst helping with dinner in kitchen
6.30 pm Dinner
7.15 pm Night transect for amphibians
10.30 pm Return to lodge with amphibian bounty. Shower, hot chocolate then bed (Note there would be no early start the following day due to the late night)
*Please note the sample itinerary is an example only and is subject to change.
Your first week will consist of a training and induction programme designed to maximise your experience by ensuring you are properly trained in how to live in the jungle and effectively work on our projects. Please note that 2 week volunteers will receive a shortened training programme to maximise their time in the forest.
For the first two nights of the programme, volunteers stay in a hostel in the centre of Cusco.
The Amazon The Manu Learning Centre (MLC) The MLC provides comfortable, airy accommodation, research facilities and ample space for project needs. The centre has solar powered internet (which is sporadic and backed up by a generator), environmentally sound septic system and gravity fed water pumps in order to keep within the centre’s aims to minimise its impact on the environment and reduce its carbon footprint.
Rooms are twin or triple share. Bedding and linens (including mosquito nets) are provided and changed once a week. Due to the remote location of the MLC and the open design of the buildings there can be a lot of insects around. Each volunteer is provided with a mosquito net over their bed to keep out insects and a plastic storage box under their bed which should be used to store items that may be easily damaged by the insects and humidity.
Great emphasis at the MLC is placed on collaboration and community spirit. As well as being your home for the duration of your stay, the MLC is also home to other residents, such as local and international staff, tourists, visiting researchers, interns, local students and international university groups, and you are expected to treat it as such.
If you are from the UK, USA, Canada or Australia you do not require a visa to come through Peru as a tourist (the same applies to all countries within the EU except for Albania, Armenia, Latvia or Bosnia; volunteers from these countries or from others than those listed will need to contact their embassies for more information) however you should always check with your embassy just in case this has changed since the time of publication of this information.
When coming through customs it is best to say you are here for holidays as a tourist as the concept of volunteering is not widely understood in Peru and customs officers may want you to produce a business or working visa. On arrival, ask for your passport to be stamped for the duration of your stay and make sure you refer to yourself as a tourist at all times.
Your passport must have at least six months before it expires from the date you intend to return home at the end of your trip. It should also have a few unused pages for the necessary visas and stamps that you will accumulate on your travels. If your flight goes via the USA you will need to register on the US government’s ESTA programme.
Please see: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ for more information.
You must have comprehensive travel insurance to participate on this programme. It is important to check that you are covered for a voluntary placement in the amazon, trekking activities above 2500m (both Cusco and the Inca trail are higher than this), repatriation, a medical cover minimum of $50000 and an emergency medical evacuation minimum of at least $10,000,000 for emergency medical transport. Arranging appropriate travel insurance is your responsibility.
Crees recommend Campbell Irvine, please refer to their website for contact details and mention that you are volunteering in the amazon:
You should arrange a visit to your doctor to receive the latest health advice and arrange immunisations. Some immunisations require a series of injections, so this visit should be arranged about 3 months before your departure date.
Along with the standard immunisation schedule, you must get vaccinations against:
• Hepatitis A
• Typhoid Fever
• Yellow Fever (make sure you take your certificate with you as Peru customs may not allow entry without it)
And you should consider having:
• TB & Diphtheria
• Hepatitis B
• Rabies* (street dogs carry a risk but we advise not interacting with them)
*crees does not require that you have the rabies vaccine to participate on our programme. However, in the event of you needing treatment in Peru, your medical insurance may request your return home for treatment if you have not had the vaccine.
The MLC, Cusco and all mountains over 2500m areas are considered to be located in areas where malaria is not known (at time of print). Sometimes, however, we may change the itineray which may include travel to a maria-zoned area. We will notify all participants if this occurs, however is rare. If you are planning a visit to other areas in the jungle or lowlands then you may want to arrange for malaria prophylaxis (on advice from your GP). Most people take Doxycycline in Peru (this is cheaply available from all chemists in Cusco).
link to pdf
Food and packed lunches are provided three times a day and is typical local fare; rice with a sauce, vegetables, soups, occasional meat. Dietary restrictions can be catered for but must be accurately and clearly stated on the application form.