The Hoja Nueva Center was built 1km inland from the Piedras River. We are nestled next to an idyllic stream and within 300 meters of our two experimental cacao plots. We welcome students to stay in spacious shared rooms each with a maximum capacity of 6 people per room. Teachers, professors, and chaperones are stay in larger, more private single rooms on our second floor.
Our Center has two common areas to relax and lounge in hammocks and on couches during the day, spaces that are ideal for reading and writing during off times. Amenities include four showers with changing rooms, sinks, and mirrors and two composting toilets reside a short minute-long walk from the showers.
Due to the remoteness of our location, we do not have phone or internet service. However, full- house electricity and charging ports for laptops, phones, and equipment are powered by our six solar panels (and sometimes our backup generator if necessary). Included Services:
• Room and board at our Research Center
• Transportation to and from our Center
• Three meals per day plus snacks and fruits
• 2-6 full time staff members (depending on group size)
• First aid kits
• CPR/Wilderness First Aid/First Responder Trained staff
• Emergency Evacuation Procedures + Evac devices
• Venomous snake bite protocols
Services Not Included (Available upon Request in Advance):
• Flights to/from Puerto Maldonado
• Private personal guide/field assistant
• Food, accommodations, and activities whilst in Puerto Maldonado
• Professional chef service
• Meals are made by staff and interns in group settings, not always by professional chefs. This creates opportunity to discuss projects, brainstorm ideas with other volunteers, and immerse in the culture through food
• Visits to other tourist lodges/destinations
• Travel insurance (compulsory for all guests)
• Spending money for snacks, drinks and souvenirs
• Personal equipment (headlamp, bug repellent, binoculars etc.)
Hoja Nueva’s Sustainability and Zero Impact Promise
As an experimental Center, Hoja Nueva strives to incorporate as many sustainable practices as possible into our Eco-Center and everyday site management. In the initial construction, we used resources primarily from our own land surrounding the Center. For instance, we used downed logs for the walls that had fallen 1-2 years prior. The fungus may not be aesthetically pleasing to all, but we are proud of our fungus-laden wood (and don’t worry, it’s been fully coated since!).
Our composting toilets are one-of-a-kind. We used the original design of Rapaport (1996) with several new additions and changes. These aerobic double vault composting toilets are great for tropical environments and achieve zero-discharge sanitation with low maintenance requirements. This means that aerobic conditions are promoted so well in the digestion chambers without the need for manual turning (unless you’re super inclined!).
Growing around the Center are a variety of native herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees, as well as other plants with useful and/or medicinal values. Our fruiting forest(s) will not only supply those living at the Center with an endless supply of delicious goods, but the local wildlife as well! Equally as important as the success of our crops and the crops of our neighbors is the health of the rainforest, which is why we’ve been planting threatened and endangered tree species throughout our lands to support natural regeneration in the future (i.e. Mahogany, Cedar, and Peruvian Walnut).
We would like to encourage natural recycling processes and forego petroleum consumption completely for the energy created on site. At this time, we use solar and a backup generator for electricity. We are also incorporating natural pesticide solutions (fermented bio-insecticides), encouraging pollination through native stingless bees, and reducing our plastic waste through ecobricks. As water is the most valuable resource on this planet, we are utilizing and valuing every source from which it is available to us.
Here is a list of our past and current sustainability projects:
• Solar Panels
• Reforestation plots
• Fruiting forests
• Grey water recycling
• Rainwater collection
• Slow sand filtration
• Gravity fed water system
• Eco Bricks
• Traditional Compost
• Composting toilets
• Fermented Bio fertilizer/pesticide
Please contact us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org