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Peru: Amazon Service Adventure

Peru: Amazon Service Adventure

Welcome to the jungle, one of the last true frontiers on Earth.


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  • Experience life in the vast, biodiverse jungle of the Amazon basin
  • Connect with local children through language at a local school
  • Spot exotic birds, dolphins and other animals along the Amazon's winding shoreline
  • Visit wildlife rescue centers where you can feed and interact with manatees and monkeys
  • Hike through the jungle and try your hand at "living off the land" on an overnight wilderness challenge
  • Build a raft and participate in a raft race on the Amazon

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Welcome to the jungle—the Amazon is a true marvel of the world and imagination, a life spring of the planet and an ecosystem unrivaled in biodiversity. Sloths, ocelots and marmosets roam the forests, snakes peacefully lurk undisturbed in the swamps, toothy caimans sunbathe along riverbanks and trees rise like giants from the forest floor. Indigenous tribes are still scattered throughout the Amazon, surviving primarily by hunting and fishing. You’ll have the truly unique and otherworldly experience of living and volunteering on the Santa Cruz Forest Reserve, helping efforts to improve quality of life for residents of nearby Amazon communities, and to conserve conserve the biological riches of the rainforest.

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Community Service

Dive into service projects that directly impact the education and health of families living in this remote region. Previous GLA students initiated the first garbage management and recycling facilities in the community of Santa Cruz, and developed a much-needed community kitchen at the school, initiatives that continue to aid families today. You’ll plant trees to help preserve the Amazon ecosystem, and may start a school arboretum or improve systems for sustainable living. Projects like these have direct and lasting impact, as the community receives little other external support. Connect with local children through language exchange, computer lessons and playing cross-cultural games.

Hands-On Learning

In the Amazon, the world is truly your classroom! Living near the untamed forest will awaken your inner explorer. This is the extraordinary setting where you’ll learn about environmental protection, living off the land and fascinating indigenous cultures. You'll explore Iquitos, an isolated jungle metropolis 2300 miles from the mouth of the Amazon, and the largest continental city in the world unreachable by road. Shop at Belén Market for exotic fruits and Amazonian anomalies. Learn about the wildlife at a manatee rescue center and monkey reserve, take a cooking class on local cuisine, and get to know the many uses of the Amazon’s native plants.

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The mysterious and relaxing symphony of frog calls, insects, birds, titi monkeys and other creatures is the reason night might be our favorite time in the Amazon. Be enchanted by a night hike, guided by a local community member who has scouted the jungle for years. You’ll also participate in a controlled Wilderness Survival Challenge where, with your team, you’ll make a shelter, build a fire and use a compass to locate supplies for spending a night living off the land. By day, compete in a raft-building competition that culminates in a race on the Mazan River and see more of the rainforest basin by boat.


The GLA Home Base is the Santa Cruz Forest Reserve, a humid Amazon rainforest preserve located on the Mazan River. It is reached by five-hour boat cruise from the main city of Iquitos, and a one-mile hike inland from the river. On service days, students will hike between Home Base and the river, and take a short boat ride to reach the community of Santa Cruz.

Lodging is simple but clean and safe, and consists of traditional raised tambo huts that are gender-segregated and shared with roommates. Bathrooms feature Western-style toilets and rainwater showers. Meals will be hearty and healthy, consisting of meats, poultry, fish, beans, rice, vegetables and a wide variety of Amazonian fruits.

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Dates & Tuition

Peru: Amazon Service Adventure 14-Day Program
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $3,399
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 30
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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Most importantly, I got to connect with myself. I learned so much about everything there, but I learned the most about myself. I got to tap into what I really want out of life and what it really means to me, and that is the greatest gift anyone could give me. GLA gave me opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and do things that terrify me, which is what living is all about. It gave me new perspectives on what is going on with the world and different ways to think.

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Hometown: Pleasanton, CA

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