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Rainforest Relief's Forest Banana Project Offers Internship & Volunteer Opportunities in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
The Sustainable Banana Project works to support organic banana growers in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. We work with local small-scale growers to help them diversify their markets for bananas grown organically under the shade of the rainforest by co-op members. This project is a precursor to a call for a shift away from industrially produced bananas imported into the US, something about which we have been educating for years.
We offer volunteer programs for individuals interested in hands-on work protecting the rainforests and supporting sustainable agriculture.
People from all backgrounds and abilities are welcome. All it takes is a love for people and the environment and a passion for helping to create a sustainable world.
Examples of possible internships include:
__Working on an organic farm;
__Teaching English in a farming community;
__Assisting with the production of dried bananas and banana vinegar - a source of income for local producers;
__Helping with tours of organic farms;
__Video or slide show presentation.
Internships can be tailored to fit your skills and interests. If interested, send us a description of yourself including why you would like to volunteer, what your skills and interests are, and when you would like to visit us.
Costs of volunteering (airfare not included) are $200/month for housing on a farm and $300/month for enrollment in the program. A few partial or full scholarships are available for qualified applicants.
Please consider joining the team for a stint. I can tell you, it's beautiful and the people are great.
Boardwalks Campaign IN NEW JERSEY: Assist South Jersey Coordinators in campaigns to end the use of uncertified rainforest woods for boardwalk reconstruction projects in Ocean City, Atlantic City and Wildwood, NJ. Organize direct actions, contact media, coalitions.
IN NEW YORK: Assist Director in campaign to end the use of uncertified rainforest woods for boardwalk reconstruction projects in New York City Organize direct actions, contact media, organize coalitions.
ELSEWHERE: Research and report on other coastal areas (such as Maryland, Florida and California) regarding the use of rainforest woods in boardwalks, piers, bulkheads and other marina construction and work to pass resolutions against the use of uncertified rainforest woods.
NYC Municipal Rainforest Wood Use Campaigns:
NY / NJ PORT AUTHORITY: Assist director in a campaign to end the use of rainforest woods for pilings in New York Harbor by the Port Authority. Organize direct actions, contact media.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Assist director in a campaign to end the use of rainforest woods for decking of the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian/bicycle deck. Organize direct actions.
Mahogany Is Murder Campaign:
Restaurants/Bars: Continue to organize for the ongoing campaign to end the use of mahogany and other uncertified rainforest woods by NewYork City restaurants and bars.
Dying for Mahogany Campaign: Research and organize a new campaign to end the use of mahogany and other uncertified rainforest woods for coffins within NYC and nationally.
RETAIL CHAINS: Further research and organize the ongoing campaign to end the use of mahogany and other uncertified rainforest woods by national chain retail strores and restaurants. So far our research has identified Hard Rock Cafe, Georgiou, Barney's New York, TGI Friday's, Tristan & America, Coach, The Tie Rack, The Museum Company and others as using rainforest wood for store construction.
Futon Campaign: Research and organize a campaign to end the imports of futon made from endangered rainforest woods into New York City.
The Rainforests of Broadway: Research and organize a new campaign to end the use of lauan tropical hardwood plywood and other uncertified rainforest woods for set construction by NYC theaters.
W&K Scandinavian Furniture: Continue to organize the campaign to end the purchase of teak and other rainforest wood furniture by this store, the last remaining Scandinavian design store in the city.
Web Master: Reconstruct and update the Rainforest Relief web site. Would necessitate working closely with the director and learning about RR campaigns and projects.
Office Assistant: Follow-up on numerous projects and administrative needs. Work changes daily.
Presenters: Interns will be trained in public speaking, subject matter and use of materials, and will eventually go into area schools to present Rainforest Relief's unique presentation on protecting rainforests (see Presentation Proposal)
Special Event Development: Developing and coordinating special fundraising event(s). Current ideas include a benefit tape of regional musicians, benefit concerts, dine-out nights, etc. The tape project would include a release party and a concert. Future projects could include a raffle, celebrity dinner, author brunch, etc.
Rainforest Medicinals: Research the current situation regarding Calanolide-A, the compound discovered in the bark of a gum tree native to the Malaysian rainforest and then lost when the forest was cut for plywood. The first step is to contact Nexus and find out which libraries carry this on-line service in New Jersey. It is possible to work with other organizations that may carry this service.
Nexus: Research various topics on the Nexus database such as Calanolide-A, teak, tropical wood exports, bananas.
PIERS Compile information on imports of various rainforest hardwoods and agricultural products using information from the PIERS database.
Other Research Projects Research tropical agriculture (banana, mango, papaya, sugar, cocoa, etc.) and its effects on rainforests, aluminum production in rainforest countries, beef trade in the U.S. and its impact on Central American rainforests, greenheart logging and its use in the U.S, the use of tropical timber in the shipping industry, or the connection between the global production of tobacco and the loss of tropical forests. If there is something in particular which interests you, let's design a project.
Rainforest Timber Resolution/Ordinance Work to pass a rainforest timber ordinance in your town or resolution in your school or institution.