Program Details

Take your pick: Reforestation, Agroecology, Living Pharmacy, Young Ecoleaders. Reforestation, Trail Maintenance, Photography, Social Media, Language teaching.
Muriae, Brazil
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Gap Year
Academic Year, Fall Semester, MayMester Intersession, Rolling Starts, Spring Break, Spring Semester, Summer, Winter Semester, Year Round

Program Overview

Program Description:

We warmly invite you to join us in one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots on the front line of conservation and sustainability in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest! At the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, we work with local communities, students, schoolkids and volunteers from Brazil and beyond, to be true to our mission of Saving Forests and Changing Lives. 

Our goal is to become the go-to place for students, researchers and volunteers seeking solutions to some of the thorniest problems facing us all: how to live sustainably, how to preserve the resources of the planet, how to do our part in preventing and mitigating climate disaster. Our vision is to see the beautiful Atlantic Forest preserved and protected so that all its species, people, animals and plants can flourish. We know that restoration is possible because we've done it on a small scale.  But, if we are to really make an impact, we need to involve everyone, old and young, town dwellers and country dwellers, students, schoolkids, and young people of all ages.  

So what about our programs? Let's start with Forests4Water, which grew out of a simple request from one of our neighbors. His spring had run dry and he wanted to "borrow" some trees from our forest nursery. He'd heard that trees planted on steep deforested slopes can recuperate springs, although he didn't believe it.
He does now. And over the past three years we've  recuperated over a hundred springs on local farms, donating trees from our forest nursery and helping with preparation, planting and monitoring. 

Our program of Regenerative Agriculture creates model agroecology plots, combining crops like coffee, bananas and food crops with native forest trees and medicinal plants, producing healthy, chemical free food, and helping to restore degraded soils.

Our Living Pharmacy program  sees us cataloging medicinal plants, researching traditional uses, and experimenting with natural products incorporating plant extracts.  

Our educational programs include running workshops, introducing local public school children to the rainforest (Young Ecoleaders,) hosting volunteers, researchers and faculty-led groups from international universities, and working on sustainable development and public policy at local, regional and state level. Our Volunteer Program hosts dozens of people of all ages from many different countries, all united in the desire to leave the world a little better than they found it. 

If you make it to Iracambi, who knows how you may change lives down here. Including your own?   


Setting Description:
Situated in the forested mountains of Minas Gerais, Iracambi is six hours from Rio, at an altitude of 1000 m which gives it a wonderful climate year round. Don't expect city comforts, do expect climbing, hiking, swimming in natural rock pools, making friends for life!
$800 per month for a room in a private cabin. Food (3 meals a day) and wifi use are included. Beer and small luxuries are always available to buy in our restaurant. You should allow around $150 for your round trip from Rio airport, and nationals of EU, US, Canada, Australia and Japan do not have to pay for a visa.

Additional Program Information

Over 18, physcally fit with a sense of adventure and a sense of humor. Strong desire to leave the world better than you found it.