Want to learn more about creating and maintaining trail systems? Want to spend time living and learning about the jungle? Want to learn how to swing a machete and track animals from real Belizean bush guys? Happy to get down and dirty? Then this is the volunteership for you!

At the T.R.E.E.S Research Center we are always upgrading and expanding our trail system to improve access into the surrounding biodiverse Maya Mountains for research purposes and also for eco-tourism. The center sits on 200 acres of lowland broadleaf forest with access to the adjacent Sibun Forest Reserve. With the help of willing and able volunteers, we hope to begin the process of opening up a multi-day, 40+ km hike into this gorgeous tropical rainforest replete with vast waterfalls, incredible biodiversity, and awe-inspiring 360° views of mountain ridges, untouched forest, and Caribbean Sea from some of the highest mountain peaks in the country. This forest reserve combines with many other protected areas to form the southern block of protected areas, composed of over a million hectares of intact contiguous tropical forest that is an integral part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. This corridor allows for the movement of many key endangered wildlife species that require large areas of intact habitat to complete their life cycles and to promote genetic diversity and health of the species, including jaguars, tapirs, peccaries, and scarlet macaws, to name a few. T.R.E.E.S is currently working with the Belize Forestry Department to create this first trail system into the Sibun Forest Reserve and we need your help!

We are looking for volunteers who are independent yet willing to work in a team environment. Applicants should have a strong desire to learn techniques for proper trail design, creation, and management while learning about the incredible biodiversity of Belize in the process. This volunteership is ideal for a student/recent graduate pursuing a career path in national park management or as a protected areas warden/ranger. Because much of this work will be physical and in difficult terrain under hot and humid conditions, volunteers must be in excellent physical condition and enjoy hard physical labour.

Tasks

Use topographical maps, orthophotos, ArcGiS, and GPS to design new trails with interesting ecological features i.e., large trees, termite mounds, ant hills, wildlife dens and foraging grounds, etc.
Add to the existing trail map of the T.R.E.E.S Research Center
Learn from locals about the plants and animals of the Belizean jungle
Learn to use trail building materials and tools to construct and maintain trail system.
Trail building includes cutting and brushing, out-sloping trail surfaces, woodworking (building bridges over waterways and railings where required), and building safe walk-ways up slopes and bridges
Understand and follow all safety regulations and priorities while working in the field and office
Maintain a flexible, easy-going attitude with attention to safety at all times
Add to the T.R.E.E.S trail and maintenance guide

Fees                                                                                                                           

Ecorana fees for internships for international students are $25 US/day. This includes lodging and use of all facilities at the T.R.E.E.S Hosting Center, training on methodologies by Ecorana biologists and local T.R.E.E.S professionals in their field of study, as well as mentorship from Ecorana tutors for the duration of the intended internship. International students must have international travel medical insurance during their stay in Belize. At the discretion of the T.R.E.E.S managers, local Belizean students (especially those not staying on site) can have fees reduced or exchanged for work. All interns (international and local) are required to pay for transportation to/from the site and their food while on site (cooking facilities provided).

 To Apply

Please email your resume and a thoughtful cover letter to: info@ecorana.ca (international students) OR info@treesociety.org (Belizean students).

Please indicate the position title in your email subject line. No phone calls please.

For more information about the organization and center, visit www.treesociety.org

 

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