HELP Environment: Research Position

Research opportunity for Environmental Volunteers

For our ’HELP Environment: Research position’ we are searching for skilled environmental volunteers that will work with OCN, the municipality of Huanchaco, and the Instituto del Mar Huanchaco (IMARPE) to support and protect the environment, with a deep emphasis on our oceans, beaches and marine life. Volunteers applying for this position could either work in environmental research or neighboring fields, or be university students within these fields looking to get some hands on experience in their future field of work.


IMARPE has two main investigation areas that they follow-up on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. One of them focuses on the fish-population in the ocean off the coast of Huanchaco, where they study increase and decrease, reproduction and what food and other substances the fishes consume. This is a most relevant investigation, since in the past couple of years alarming numbers of sea animals have been washing up dead up and down the shores of northern Peru. This includes hundreds of dolphins, turtles, sea lions, pelicans and other sea birds. In addition, local fishermen have been suffering by a stark depletion of fish in the area, while fishing has been a local tradition for the past 3,000 years. In fact, fishing and tourism has become a critical part of the local economy, as Huanchaco has been made famous for their “Caballito Totoras” (see photo) that were created by the pre-Incan civilization known as the Mochicas, and are still used today for fishing and sport.The other department at IMARPE is a bit more chemistry focused and monitors the state of the ocean: PH, temperature, salinity et.c. With the data gathered, they can amongst other things foresee size and impact of the El Niño phenomenom that is expected to take place sometime during 2015. Other investigations may take place during your stay as a volunteer or intern, depending on the departments need at the time. For more information of IMARPE as an institution (in spanish), please take a look at their web-page:



Meanwhile, the beaches of Huanchaco are often littered with garbage, plastic bottles and plastic bags, as there is insufficient environmental awareness. Thus, we are also looking for volunteers to organize events and activities to help us protect our oceans and marine life by creating awareness amongst the youth of Huanchaco and Trujillo. For more information about our work in promoting environmental awareness on a grass root level, please take a look at our HELP Environment: Volunteer Position.



Minimum Age (on Arrival)Level of SpanishMinimum Time Commitment
20+IntermediateMin. 2 months
Type of Role(s)
Level of Project Structure
The project follows the structure of the work of IMARPE, but the volunteer and IMARPE can tweak the schedule to make the volunteer's work as valuable and fulfilling as possible.
Specific Skills/Experience Required
This position is open to students, interns or professional volunteers knowledgeable in marine biology, ecology or who have some experience in aquatic animals, as well as oceanographers, veterinarians, ecologists, farmers, specialists in marine pollution issues, educators and developers.

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