We’re Going To Miss Waking Up In The Jungle

Volunteer with Shuar Tribe in South America

Find out what the South America volunteers have been getting up to over the last week:

After a fun weekend saying goodbye to Raul in Puyo, we headed back into the jungle for our final week, but this time staying with Estaban and his family in the Shuar Tribe.

On the first night we were given our Shuar names, I am now Shakap.

The week was a combination of having an insight into their daily life as well as getting to know the Shuar culture. Getting to use a machete everyday was definitely a change from the normal 9-5!

Volunteers with host family in south america

From 8am to 12pm we would work either replanting or clearing areas for new plants to be grown. However with the language barrier, us not speaking a lot of Spanish nor them speaking any English, there were times when we would find ourselves in some peculiar situations. A personal favourite was when we ended up walking in a massive parade and we had no idea why!

We also got to join in with local festivities in the community; Paddy even took part in a race resulting in torn feet (so beware)! Face painting and chicha was also a massive part of the afternoon, chicha being the local alcohol – do not ask how it is made!!

In the evenings we taught Spanish lessons to the children and on the final evening we were presented with a traditional Shuar dance in which we then joined in.

We were all pretty sad to leave, the family had been amazing and the thought of not waking up in the jungle the next day killed us, but we can’t wait for the journey to continue in Quito!


Click here to find out more about our Summer Europe Tour.

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Gapforce run independently inspected and award winning expeditions, outdoor training courses, volunteer abroad programs, conservation and aid programs. From 2 weeks to 1 year, your adventure starts here!