Internship: NPO Management and Administration in the Amazon Rainforest

NPO (Non-profit Organisation) Management and Administration Interns will have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from a dynamic office-based team of people specialising in biology, environmental economics, marketing, communication, web and social media, data analysis, logistics planning and wildlife conservation, on all aspects of the Fauna Forever (FF) NPO’s day-to-day business.

Interns will work with the Fauna Forever directors and project managers at their Puerto Maldonado head-office, just outside the city within the Tambopata Ecotourism Corridor which boasts a friendly array of neighbours including a vegetarian yoga and ayahuasca retreat, a forested bathing pool, lush botanical gardens and a rainforest animal care and rescue centre. Though mainly office-based, FF’s NPO management and administration interns will have the opportunity to spend time with our rainforest-based research teams which travel between a variety of study sites throughout the Madre de Dios region. Office-based interns are crucial to Fauna Forever’s success and are helping us become the fastest growing research and conservation organisation in the Peruvian Amazon.

The FF office-based team undertakes a large array of business, planning, marketing, communication, proposal writing, accounting, data analysis and logistics tasks each day, allowing the Fauna Forever field-based workforce to carry out their important research and conservation activities safely and effectively. NPO management and administration interns will support all aspects of the office team and take responsibility for some tasks depending on the level of skill, experience and the length of stay with FF.

Here are just a few of the tasks that past NPO Management and Administration Interns have helped FF with so far:

  • Meet, greet and welcome Fauna Forever participants at the airport
  • Take new participants on mini-tours of Puerto Maldonado and the Tambopata Ecotourism Corridor
  • Arrange local transport for participants and take charge of local transport budgets
  • Arrange meals (take-out or restaurants) for periods when participants are resident at the Fauna Forever office
  • Assist with boat transport logistics (which often means heading down to the docks and haggling for the best deals)
  • Assist with ecolodge/research station bookings
  • Assist with receipt collection and account recording in Microsoft Excel
  • Help look after the Fauna Forever social media and website
  • Spend time with the Fauna Forever field teams at various locations in and around the Tambopata National Reserve
  • Create and improve participant materials, such as welcome packs, terms and conditions, website, kit-list, pre-departure packs etc.
  • Sustainability, clean energy and permaculture tasks at the FF head-office
  • Arranging fun and interesting activities for FF participants
  • Taking control of general office task-lists and meeting agendas
  • Participating, note-taking and in some cases leading meetings with partner organisations and indigenous communities
  • Sourcing of FF-branded t-shirts
  • Of course, this wouldn’t be right without some fun:

  • Enjoy a number of rainforest experiences on days off including; animal rescue centre, kapievi cultural village (spiritual ceremonies, yoga, etc.), rainforest botanical gardens, serpentarium (snake rehabilitation centre), Anaconda Lodge (a rainforest oasis with a swimming pool and a number of tame monkeys), day trips into the Tambopata National Reserve, etc.

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Typical Fauna Forever Office Environment

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FF is committed to researching and protecting Peru’s rainforests.  We are recruiting volunteers and interns, who care about nature, to join our conservation efforts on the Amazon front lines.

FF manages a number of projects in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. These are a few of our key initiatives:

  • A long-term wildlife monitoring project called Fauna Forever Tambopata (FFT).  FFT specialises in researching mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and plants, over an extensive period of time (since 1997) and across a number of study sites (20+) in the region.
  • A land conservation and ecotourism project called the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC). ARCC’s vision is to create a place where wild nature thrives, providing the opportunity for discovery, renewal and adventure.
  • An animal welfare project called Rainforest Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (RARR). RARR focusses on the care and rehabilitation of both domestic pets and some captive wild species (kept by other organisations).
  • An environmental education and awareness initiative called Amazon Research and Conservation TV (ARCtv). ARCtv is dedicated to educating youth at schools in Puerto Maldonado, surrounding villages and the global public.
  • An ecosystem services project, involving the economic valuation of intact forest.

FF also runs a series of workshops and courses including:

  • Ecology, conservation, geography, anthropology, forest management and more (in collaboration with schools, colleges and universities)
  • Bird banding/ringing and handling techniques (in collaboration with CORBIDI)
  • Wildlife photography (in collaboration with Untamed Photography)
  • Nature videography (in collaboration with Relevant Films)
  • Statistical techniques

To help FF’s core team of Peruvian and international staff undertake and manage these initiatives, and to help us answer some deeper ecological and socio-economic questions revealed by our work, we have developed over many years the FF volunteer and intern programs.

A participant who joins Fauna Forever for more than 1 month will be classed as an FF intern. For anyone wishing to spend less than 1 month with Fauna Forever, please see our volunteer research assistant positions (mammal, bird, herpetofauna or caiman) or speak to us about a shorter placement for an internship of your choice.

FF is presently able to accommodate around 10 interns per month.  Intern periods can stretch from 1-12 months (current mean = 3.5 months). Typically, an intern will spend about 4-5 hours a day focussed on activities either in the FF head-office, around Puerto Maldonado or off in the field. During the rest of their time, interns are free to explore the area, improve their Spanish language skills, coordinate fun activities with other interns and staff, and mingle with visiting volunteers and researchers. At least a basic knowledge of Spanish is encouraged, though it is not a pre-requisite as most interns pick up at least some Spanish during their time here.

All interns receive a general orientation and induction at the start of their visit, after which they are assigned to one or other of our project staff, though swapping in and out of different projects is also possible.

Some intern applicants express an interest in undertaking their own project, either as a dissertation requirement, to obtain extra credits from their university, or simply to get further experience of planning and executing such projects in a tropical environment. We are very happy to accommodate this type of project, and can provide the necessary supervision and guidance both in the planning and execution stages. Indeed, we also supply a list of potential mini-project titles to help successful candidates choose an appropriate subject. 

The FF intern program requires interested candidates to officially apply for one of our limited number of intern positions, either directly through us or one of our partner agencies in Peru, UK, South Africa, and USA. This can be done using our Intern Application Form.

~Internship Dates & Fees

As a mission-driven organisation, FF invests all its income into pursuing its vision for rainforest research and conservation. We ask all FF participants to contribute a fee to cover the majority of their in-country costs. The longer participants stay, the lower are the daily fixed costs for FF, and thus the lower the daily fee. The basic contribution fees for 2013-2014 are summarised below:


  • 1 month (minimum)
  • 2 months
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • more than 4 months


  • 30
  • 60
  • 90
  • 120
  • more than 120 days

Internship Fee

  • US$ 1,836
  • US$ 3,036
  • US$ 4,000
  • US$ 4,800
  • US$ 40 per day

Please speak to us about a shorter placement for an internship of your choice.

Please Note: For other durations (e.g. 45 days) we apply a pro-rata system to determine the final fee. **This pro-rata system does NOT apply for periods longer than 120 days (4 months) at which point the minimum charge is US$50 per day. For personal internship project needs, requiring services other than our regular provisions, an additional fee may be required to cover this.

* What the fee includes

  • Accommodation from start to end of the period
  • Three substantial and healthy meals every day
  • Clean drinking water at all times
  • Airport or bus station (Puerto Maldonado) transfers on arrival and departure
  • Basic support and training: Health & Safety; species identification; impacts and challenges affecting the rainforests in Madre de Dios; research and conservation solutions for the rainforests in Madre de Dios, machete use; and much more
  • Personal training and supervisions within your chosen project/field of work, by an experienced coordinator (2-4 interns per coordinator)
  • Higher supervision and care from an experienced management team based at our head office in Puerto Maldonado and in the field
  • An experience of a lifetime in one of the most spectacular natural environments on earth

What the fee does not include

  • Travel insurance (this is compulsory)
  • Flights and/or bus tickets to and from Puerto Maldonado
  • Spending money for snacks, sodas and souvenirs

Internship Fee Analysis (2012-2013)
Were does your money go?

64% – Food & lodging for research & conservation workforce

16% – Staffing & staff training

8% – Transport of research and conservation workforce

8% – Equipment for research and conservation work

3% – Donations/Fees to partnering NGOs

2% – FF administration and communication costs

0% – Profits

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