The reserve Tesoro Escondido has 1200 hectares and is located in northwestern Ecuador, in the heart of the Chocó. The Choco is a hotspot of biodiversity and one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world.
The Tesoro Escondido Reserve has 1200 hectares and is located in northwestern Ecuador, in the heart of Chocó. El Chocó is a hot spot of biodiversity or "hotspot" and one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world. Tesoro Escondido is home to one of the last healthy populations of Brown-headed Spider monkeys amid anthropogenic pressures, such as the expansion of the agricultural frontier, deforestation and hunting.
The Tesoro Escondido Reserve offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for people of all ages.
- Collaboration in the training of local people in different monitoring biodiversity methods
- English classes for parabiologists and local communities
- Creation and maintenance of trails (mapping, signaling, bridges, etc.)
- Development of sustainable practices for the homes of local communities: waste management, phytoremediation, dry toilets, alternative sources of energy, etc.
- Local community training addressed to peasants in administration, computing, and accounting.
- Design of marketing strategies (brochures, posters, videos, etc.) to publicize the reserve locally, nationally and internationally.
- Maintenance of the research station (expansion of the existing house, creation of an orchard, garden of medicinal plants, etc.)
- Awareness strategies on the conservation of the Ecuadorian Brown-headed Spider Monkey and the Chocó forest in the communities of the region (talks in schools, community meetings, etc.)
- Maintenance of the website and Facebook.
Volunteers stay in the homes of the farmers who live around the Reserve. The house is shared with the Reserve staff, and include beds with mosquito nets. The volunteers participate in daily activities, such as cocoa harvesting and chocolate preparation. The houses do not have electricity, however a generator works during the night. We provide 3 meals daily (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and offer different menus in case of dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, or celiac).