Your Amazonian Adventure Awaits: Discover the Volunteer Experience (Photo Story)

A photographic journey capturing the first week in the Peru's remote rainforest, by Olivia Cable-Barber our media intern.


Santiago steering a river-boat full of new volunteers to the Manu Learning Centre nature reserve: Image by Olivia Cable-Barber

    Jungle creatures and unforgettable moments await on your journey through the Manu Rainforest of south-eastern Peru. You jump from the river-boat onto a pebble-covered beach. Shallow waves of the Alto Madre de Dios River wash against your muddy rubber boots. The excitement of your fellow volunteers escalates seeing as you’ve finally reached the Manu Learning Centre (MLC).    

Fog blanketed over the Manu Rainforest: Image by Olivia Cable-Barber

    You stand before the rocky stairway leading up toward endless tunnels of foliage. Your rainforest adventure awaits...   The forest comes to life as the sun bursts through the trees, gently waking all who slept under the safety of the canopy. Birds sing to one another, monkeys rustle branches overhead and butterflies flitter. Every turn holds a new array of green vegetation. Trekking through the clay and mud, the jungle quickly proves everyone clumsy before showing you the way.    

Hypsiboas Boans frog at the Manu Learning Centre: Image by Olivia Cable-Barber

    Passing tree after tree without noticing the tiny onlookers, until nearly colliding with curtains of vines you come face to face with a Hypsiboas Boans frog.

Hypsiboas cinerascens being released after researchers and volunteers record data on the species: Image by Olivia Cable-Barber

      A small group of researchers from the MLC begin crowding around a patch of shrubs just down the trail. Notebooks in hand, they scribble down information about a small frog.  The research they gather is used to indicate the range of biodiversity found within the forest.

Brightly colored flower peeking out of the leaf litter in the Manu Learning Centre nature reserve: Image by Olivia Cable-Barber

    As we peer more closely into the vast layers of the jungle landscape, far more than fallen leaves and dirt cover the forest floor.  Miniature bursts of color thrive by their lonesome in this mystic world dominated by shades of green.   As you raise back up to eye level, a perched hummingbird catches your eye. Unseen by many, she sits momentarily before choosing which bundle of violet flowers to drink from. You hear the purr of her speedy wings and she is off to quench her thirst.         Trees draped in scarves of leaves and moss tower before you. It's amazing to think that this nature reserve that was once completely logged for farming is now thriving with life.