Volunteering and practicals at the tropical field station La Gamba


Volunteering is an opportunity to develop and apply skills outside of academic study. Volunteers at the station help on short-term projects and are trained and supervised by tutors on site. They do not receive a formal contract or payment. An interest in biology and basic knowledge of Spanish are preferred.

Accommodation costs: those volunteering for projects run by the station receive a discount on their accommodation rates.

Duration: we recommend that volunteers stay at the station for at least a month, in order to have time to settle in and make a useful contribution.

Requirements: volunteers should be prepared to work co-operatively, but also independently.

Insurance: liability insurance is mandatory.


Practicals are student projects (scientific, socio-economic or conservation-based) carried out independently as part of higher or further education. At La Gamba, students undertaking practicals work on the field station’s projects, mostly as part of the reforestation project (COBIGA). Practicals always include both scientific and practical elements.

Examples of practicals undertaken at La Gamba: planting, tending and monitoring young trees as part of the reforestation project; looking after the COBIGA permaculture plots; planting and harvesting in the medicinal herb garden; working in the tree nursery.

Students undertaking practicals receive guidance and supervision from our agricultural engineer, who spends about half of each month at the field station. Specialised practical supervision must be provided by a personal tutor.

The ability to work independently and as part of a team is a condition of all activities at La Gamba. Students must be interested in working outdoors, and a basic knowledge of Spanish is a great advantage.

Accommodation costs: students undertaking practicals receive a discount on their accommodation rates.

Duration: this varies, but for most projects we recommend a minimum of one month.

Requirements: your own subject supervisor, and the ability to work independently.

Final report: students generally prepare a report on their work.

Insurance: liability insurance is mandatory.