We are in need of a few good volunteers to assist the locals in developing a path similar to an “Inca Trail-type roads” to pass by several waterfalls as high as any of the continental USA. Our Yumbilla Waterfall is about 3 times as high as the Eiffel Tower and 17 times as high as the Niagara Waterfall (52 meters). The location is a pristine area near to the equator but at a fairly high altitude so every day has ideal temperatures year around. The trek follows a fairly level cliff ledge through an uncut Amazon forest with cliffs soaring above and below 300 meters. The zone has few pests, mosquitoes, or poisonous creatures. Virtually no unusual diseases exist at this altitude. Archaeological ruins are ubiquitous, both well known and recently unfolding discoveries. It is blessed with rare plants such as orchids, bromeliads, prehistoric fossils, caves, monkeys, etc. There are more spectacular species of birds than in both Europe and North America combined, not to mention the incredible geographical diversity.

Volunteering for Amazon Waterfalls Association

There are 3 classes of volunteering:

Our original program funded the construction of this trek, where volunteers paid $30 per day for 2 weeks. This paid their team of 4 village workers that excavated the trail and you become a member of Amazon Waterfalls Association. 

A second program would involve paying one village worker to work with and teach them how to do these skills of trail improvements. You then become an associate member of AWA.

Our third program, “the backpacker volunteer program” is strictly volunteering at a minimal cost of living with programs to benefit the village, environmental programs. This would not include paying villagers to work with them or work on the trail. Most likely this would be volunteering in a nearby village to benefit the locals, with no membership perk.

THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM has been established in a region surrounded by some of the most stunning and spectacular waterfalls in the world. The village of Cuispes, is the gateway to the waterfalls. Cuispes is located above the town of Pedro Ruiz, which is approximately 50km from Chachapoyas.

This region is inhabited by a number of endangered species of humming birds and monkeys (Marvelous Spatuletail – endangered/declining) (Yellow Tailed Wooly Monkey – critically endangered) (Speckled Andean Bear – vulnerable/declining) (Long Whiskered Owlet – endangered/rapidly declining. These species live in a small area around our project. For this we maintain a tree nursery cultivating “feeding trees and plants” that should save these species from extinction. Those wanting to learn these skills can help growing and planting these, and propagating orchids to plant along our trail.

The main objectives of the AWA – Volunteer Program is to support improved natural resource management and conservation practices among the local community in ways that provides them with greater economic opportunities and to conserve local cultural and social traditions and strengthen the cultural pride of the people in the Cuispes region.

To maintain the good work already done by the AWA, the Volunteer Program has been formed to carry on existing projects in the region.


*         maintain trails to all waterfalls in the region

*         maintain planting of  feeding fruit and animal attracting trees

*         maintain an English speaking program with the local kinder garden and primary school

*         assisting with the local tree nursery

*         assist working in the local community restaurant – COMEDOR POPULAR

*         assist working with the local community on farms using ancient agricultural and modern techniques.

We are also very interested in volunteers who have the initiative to promote and implement their own projects within the guidelines of the AWA – Volunteer Program. Please submit any proposals for approval.


  1. *        Introduction of a highly efficient burning stove, utilizing minimal fuel – rocket stove.

  2. *        New composting method

  3. *        Installing solar and hydro-electric systems

  4. *        Water purification systems

  5. *        Making thatch roof rest areas in Panoramic sites to wait out short showers.

  6. *        Building solar coffee driers, most useful in the rainy season.

  7. *        Installing flush toilets and thatched rest areas on the trail.

  8. *        Building cable swinging bridges and zip lines.

  9. *        Hopefully lodge building using adobe and local techniques.

These new projects are currently being reviewed and hope to be in the initial stage of implementation soon.


*          AWA – Volunteer Program room. Cost 25s per person / per week. Or $8 per week for nice basic single room, but can be shared for $4 per week, with separate bath room with hot shower.

*          living with a local family. Cost 25s per person / per week.


*          eat at the local community restaurant – COMEDOR POPULAR. Cost 1s per meal/person

*          eat at the local hotel. Cost 10s per day (3 meals $1 a meal)


*          being able to speak Spanish would be great, but not essential.

*          able to undertake some physical labor activities.

*          there is no age limit.

*          minimum time commitment would be two weeks, but longer periods would enhance your volunteer experience.

*          any skill levels are welcome as long as a good work ethic is attached

*          work clothes and basic bedding equipment.


*          Cuispes is approx 1770 meters high with two main seasons – dry and wet. The dry season is normally from May to October with the wet season from November to April. Both seasons have some showers or dry.

*          The temperature is quite mild all year round from minimums of 15c and highs of mid 20s during the dry season, to minimums of 20c and highs of high 20c during the wet season (60 F to 80 F in the day).

*          Basic necessities are available to buy, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, beer, bottle drinks, etc plus basic food items

*          There is limited communications – no internet, but cell phone can get signal. Pedro Ruiz is the closest town to get on internet which is a 25 min mototaxis ride away –  cost 13s R/T. Emails can be composed on our laptop, put on memory, to send in town.

 *         Cuispes has its own clean water supply, plus electricity and sewerage systems plus has a nurse and medicines in the village

  1. *         Pedro Ruiz has a great market plus caters for all your other shopping needs.

  2. *  Due to the altitude there are few mosquitoes or other annoying insects.

  3. *        The local people are very friendly, honest, safe environment, we rarely lock our doors.


AWA – Volunteer Program is focused on supporting community based development planning efforts and implementing programs to strengthen the economic base of the Cuispes community while enhancing social and environmental conditions. It is dedicated to raising funds through innovative non-government channels that includes everything from donations from concerned people to a sustainable tourist income giving them a stake in preserving their environment and the raising of funds through international capital markets (Investors For Development Program).

To assist the AWA – Volunteer Program with its running costs we request a donation of 50s from all volunteers when they arrive in Cuispes at the beginning of their volunteer experience. The volunteer induction includes a full tour of the projects and meeting the villagers.

Should you be interested in more information on the projects or would like to join us as a volunteer please contact us.   adventure@amazonwaterfalls.com