At Hoja Nueva we offer internships in many forms. Internships differ from volunteer opportunities — usually they involve pursuing an individual’s own project or goals for school, work, or personal reasons, while being a volunteer involves serving the community and/or Hoja Nueva with ongoing projects and being more independent. We are here to offer full accommodations at our research station for our interns, and provide the expertise needed to see individual projects through. Please refer to our independent research page if you have more training and to see if you’re better classified as an independent researcher.

We have two internship options. The first is a customized internship designed for the intern. On average, these interns pay approximately $80 per day to cover all food and accommodations, transportation, and expert/guide costs. This fluctuates based on each individual project, as some require more staff and resources than others. The second internship option is our four-month agroforestry internship described below, where interns will be trained in our cacao fields (chacras) for four months while pursuing their own individual projects in the chacras. Please note that daily rates decrease with longer length of stay.

4-Month Internship Opportunity


Program Description: This is a four-month-long internship program in the lower Peruvian Amazon rainforest at Hoja Nueva, our integrative center of research and collaboration for sustainable tropical agriculture and conservation.
Our internship program exists to continue research in our innovative cacao agroforestry plots and translate collected data to the local communities in Las Piedras as well as provide relevant information to the greater scientific community. Our interns are generally University students, newly graduated professionals, and masters students. All interns are individuals who share our mission to raise standards of living in remote communities while maintaining healthy forests and habitat. Each intern is required to complete an independent research project, write a report suitable for publication that is scientifically relevant, and present findings in a way that can be understood by the Lucerna and RioPiedras communities — with our training and guidance!

Interns will have the opportunity to discuss and design projects with Hoja Nueva co-founders prior to their arrival. While in the field, interns will have 2-4 trained coordinators to help with project implementation. They can expect to spend most days on Hoja Nueva land, in the chacras, and in the local communities to carry out their projects. Days begin at 8am and end at 4:30pm, with a long break for lunch. There are also scheduled “tourist” days so that our researchers, interns and volunteers can experience and appreciate the wonders of the jungle and living in the Peruvian Amazon. These activities can include swimming in the waterfalls, pack rafting the river, viewing the forest from lookout points, chocolate and bracelet making in Lucerna, visiting other chakras, and taking guided day and night walks in the forest. Once per week there are scheduled community work days in which we travel to other chakras to help improve the sustainability of their cacao plots. These traditionally Incan “Ainee” days reinforce our relationship with the community and provide interns with real agroforestry practice beyond our own lands.

We are looking for highly motivated and adaptive interns that will add novel, important research to our current database as well as the scientific community at large. You will leave with the tropical permaculture and ecological knowledge of practiced scientists who have been working in the region for 4+ years, as well as a combination of indigenous tribal knowledge and that of Incan descendants from the cacao-rich region of Ayacucho. In addition to a variety of permaculture and agroforestry specialists, we also have wildlife, conservation, mushroom, herpetology, photography, ecology, anthropology and biology experts as part of our Hoja Nueva team.


Copyright Sam ZwickerWhy should you apply to intern at Hoja Nueva?
– Work in and enjoy one of the most biodiverse areas of the world
– Be a part of a team on the front lines fighting for rainforest conservation
– Develop and implement meaningful scientific projects
– Support local communities in a remote region
– When you leave the jungle, you will never be the same!



Hoja Nueva’s research center was built 1km inland from the Piedras River. We are nestled next to an idyllic stream and only 300 meters from our 2 experimental cacao plots. We welcome volunteers, researchers, tourists, and interns to stay in spacious shared rooms each with a maximum capacity of 6 people per room. Larger, single rooms are offered at a higher price to those who prefer a more private living experience.* 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 4 showers with changing rooms, sinks, and mirrors and two composting toilets reside a short minute-long walk from the showers.
• Four shared bedrooms with 2- 6 people per room*
• Showers with changing stations, sinks, and mirrors
• Composting toilets
• Electricity each evening for cooking and charging devices (solar powered)
• No wifi or phone service at the Center or nearby towns, just in Puerto

Included Services:
• Room in Puerto Maldonado, first day breakfast, lunch, and dinner
• Room and board at our newly constructed Center of Collaboration
• Transportation to and from our Center
• Three meals per days plus snacks and fruits
• 2-4 full time staff members
• First aid kit
• 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 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 interns, and immerse in culture through food
• Visits to other tourist lodges/destinations


Pricing: $4,900 for 4 months

  • Flight not included
  • Food in Puerto Maldonado not included
  • Bring extra cash for outside activities at other organizations and Lucerna to support their local economy

Please contact us for more internship information and to start planning your visit!

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