The Volunteer/intern coordinator (VIC) position is a very broad role with numerous responsibilities, it is NOT a scientific role, and you will not be expected to supervise scientific projects. The VIC is primarily responsible for ensuring that all Para La Tierra (PLT) visitors, volunteers, interns and researchers get a well-rounded and rewarding experience during their stay in Paraguay. To this end it is exceptionally important that the VIC is positive and outgoing, with a can-do attitude, and that they are willing to try and solve problems and work independently.
PLT is an award-winning, Paraguayan non-profit NGO, dedicated to the conservation of threatened species and habitats in Paraguay through scientific research, community engagement and environmental education. We invite early career biologists, researchers and wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world to come and carry out their own research in the city of Pilar, using our facilities and supervision to help them conduct high-level studies of the surrounding ecosystems. These studies frequently result in the publication of peer-reviewed research papers in scientific journals that genuinely improve our understanding of Paraguay’s nature and help drive conservation efforts. With this strong scientific background, PLT is engaged in multiple conservation projects, involving local communities and stakeholders as well as training local children to become eco-leaders through our award-winning environmental education program.
The VIC is the first point-of-contact for visiting researchers, volunteers and interns throughout their stay. It is therefore the responsibility of the VIC to provide logistical and emotional support to our visitors to make sure that they can focus on their studies and have an excellent experience at the same time. The VIC is a team leader that communicates effectively between our visiting researchers and our permanent staff base.
The duties of the VIC include providing orientation on arrival, and giving continuous support by organising visits to various field sites, accompanying volunteers/interns on daily activities, organising twice weekly entertainment evenings, and ensuring the house is fully stocked for breakfast and evening in the bar.
Although this role is mostly a paternal role with a focus on supporting PLT’s visitors, the VIC may also get the chance to take on opportunistic scientific and community engagement projects in and around Pilar, using these projects as opportunities to improve the experience had by PLT visitors. This is, of course, according to the needs of the organisation and not guaranteed.
The successful VIC will be a positive outgoing person that bonds well with both the visiting researchers and the permanent staff team. They will be excited to socialise and entertain as a major part of their role, but they will also respect that not everybody likes to relax or socialise in the same way and cater for this accordingly. They will understand that it can be hard to balance scientific rigor and fieldwork with an exciting social life, but they will lead by example in their ability to responsibly address this. They will be comfortable with driving daily on foreign roads, and they will be happy to wake up early and go to bed late, while balancing their own schedule around this.
Due to the nature of this role, the VIC is never truly “off-the clock”. Although we work 5.5 days a week, the VIC is expected to help our visitors, given that it is reasonable to do so, even during their time off. If you are likely to perceive evening socialisation such as running a bar, hosting movie nights or going out for meal with the team as “work time” then this role is probably not for you.
This role does not include a salary but all room and board are covered for the entire period of the stay (value of $540).
Six months minimum with an option to extend the contract following successful review after at least three months in the role.
Send CV and Cover Letter to [email protected]
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