Bolivia is unrivalled in its individuality; there really is no other place like it on this earth. Known as the “roof top of the world” Bolivia boasts almost every kind of ecosystem from the heady heights of the Andean mountains to the deep jungle. It claims the highest capital, highest international airport and highest navigable lake, the incomparable Lake Titicaca. Then there are the colours, sounds and smells of the markets and the remarkable bowler hats and barrel chests of the indigenous Aymara women. With its centuries of Spanish rule, this is a land of deep tradition, its people staunchly proud of their history.
Ambue Ari Wild Animal Project, Bolivia
Working with the Bolivian foundation Inti Wara Yassi for 8 years now, Quest teams are helping to expand their infrastructure with which to receive wild animals rescued from captivity. With the help of Quest, the foundation has been able to purchase two new parks on top of the original Parque Machia.
Groups are based in one of these 3 different parks in the Amazon basin and divide their work between the construction of enclosures and park buildings, and the daily care and rehabilitation of indigenous wild animals such as monkeys, parrots, pumas and jaguars (approximately 11,000 hours at the last count!). So far Quest volunteers have built 15 large animal enclosures and cages, aided in the construction of a new veterinary clinic at the Ambue Ari park and begun the construction of infrastructure (accommodation blocks for instance) at the newest park, Jacj Cuisi.
Peru is a land that ignites the imagination of both well seasoned and first time travellers. It is a melting pot of culture, natural wonders, ancient civilizations and adventure. Situated on the western coast of South America it offers everything from the arid Atacama Desert to the snowy peaks of the Andes, lush rainforest and breath taking cloud forest.
Villa Maria Children’s Project, Peru
Quest has been working in the shanty town of Villa Maria since 1998. What was initially a simple programme of summer activities to prevent children wandering the streets developed into a year round operation, where sports, art, dance and educational workshops are run for thousands of kids. Quest teams also help to produce “Domingos Familiares”, free stage shows for the community, so far we have done over 200 of these!
A school has been established offering free full time primary education to those in most need. Previous Quest volunteers have been instrumental in maintenance work renovating 3 kindergartens as well as the school, mural painting, the construction of an assault course/play ground, educative workshops such as art and craft, and general care of the children.
Our volunteers have also helped on a construction programme that provides homes for single parent families insuring that children have the security of solid walls and a roof above their head. 18 such houses have already been constructed for the poorest families in the community.
Manu Project, Peruvian Amazon
Quest is working alongside the Peruvian NGO CREES to improve the situation in the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Teams could be working on biodiversity studies, conservation and reforestation programmes and the improvement of essential infrastructure (schools, clinics) in the local colonist communities. With climate change becoming an ever prominent issue, the project looks to counter the destruction of the forest through education, learning and hard work!
Ecuador is so much more than being just the gateway to the Galapagos. It is a country rich in diversity offering a range of exotic attractions worthy of a country double its size, and is steeped in history. Wild life and tropical birds abound from the coast, to the rainforest and up to the rugged mountain terrain. The country lays claim to numerous volcanoes and the trekking there is out of this world. The capital, Quito was one of the first Cultural Heritage Sights declared by UNESCO and can boast ownership of the largest preserved and least altered historic center in the whole of Latin America.
Yachana & Santa Lucia
We believe the future of the rainforest is inextricably linked to the well-being of its inhabitants; only those who call the rainforest their home can ensure its survival. The Ecuadorian projects are based within Rainforest Concern’s “Choco-Andean Corridor Project” which aims to create corridors of conservation so that animals can migrate between different climate zones. On top of this, the project aims to assist the local communities by giving them the means to get involved in eco tourism as an alternative to deforestation for cattle farming.
Our teams in the past at the Yachana site have assisted in the creation marking and maintenance of 20km of trails, in the reforestation of depleted areas, and been involved in educative efforts to implement sustainable farming that will benefit both community and forest. They have also helped to develop the tourist infrastructure such as water systems, signage, example plantations and have built a traditional thatched “view point”.
Tanzania is an extremely culturally diverse with over 120 different tribes living side by side in the spectacular beauty of its mountains, national parks, coastline and forests. The high peaks of the Great Rift Valley flow into the lush mountain forest and the vast savannas and national parks teaming with wildlife before reaching the beautiful coastline and the sights and smells of the exotic island of Zanzibar.
Quest has worked in Tanzania since 2003 on long term projects with sustainable goals. We currently work with the Livingstone Tanzania Trust to relieve poverty through education. Teams of volunteers in the past have been responsible for building and renovating 5 classrooms, 3 nursery schools and teachers’ accommodation. As well as painting countless educational murals, the volunteer have also helped to build 5 pit latrines and 4 other water sanitation buildings.
Volunteers have also been instrumental in implementing practical sustainable solutions such as water harvesting and a school farm which was created with the help of Quest teams in 2006 and 2007. This farm included the construction of livestock enclosures and a tilapia pond which can hold 200-300 fish.
Our wide network of contacts across the country means that teams also have the opportunity to partake in exciting safaris, mountain climbing off the normal beaten track and relaxing on one of Tanzania’s pristine beaches or protected lakes.
Known as the warm heart of Africa, the friendliness of the Malawian people is rivaled only by that of the country's sheer beauty. Whether it’s watching the sun set on the “lake of stars”, trekking the rolling farmlands and the high plateaux or the magnificent Mt. Mulanje you are sure to be overwhelmed.
Since 2005, Quest has worked in Malawi alongside Joshua Orphan Care Trust to improve the lives of AIDS orphans and the communities in which they live. 61 children have been sponsored through 5 years of secondary education as a direct result of volunteer donations. Experience Quest has been sending corporate groups and gap year teams to assist on projects in Pensulo, Blantyre. Here, long term sustainable development of schools, feeding centres and youth programmes will enable the communities to fight poverty.
Our teams of volunteers have been helping with the general day to day running of the feeding centre at Pensulo whilst also helping to build and improve the infrastructure. So far, Quest has built a maternity clinic in the Pen Sulo community as well as a clinic house for doctors and nurses. An Orphan Feeding Centre and two (two classroom) schools are among other projects that Quest has been involved in.
From the plains of the Maasai Mara, the towering jagged peaks of Mount Kenya, to the white sandy beaches of Lamu, Kenya is a country of stark, stunning contrast. The hub of east Africa boasts some of the best sights in the whole of Africa.
Kenya embodies diversity, with many different cultures from the Swahili on the coast, to the pastoralist communities in the north and of course the Maasai famed for their elaborate upper body adornment and jewellery. It is also a country that boasts some of the best and oldest safari parks on the continent. Elephants, leopards, cheetahs and lion are but a few of the larger mammals that inhabit Kenya’s world famous plains, while the bird life is plentiful and abundant.
WaterRelief Project, Mtito Andei
Quest has been working in Kenya since 2004 with the charity Excellent Development. Together teams of volunteers have worked and lived alongside rural communities in the Makueni district of Kenya. These remote areas are both cruel and beautiful and the harsh reality of life here is a sombre and humbling experience.
This project is the chance to make a real difference to a community and help them secure their future. The teams have over the years helped to tackle drought and starvation by building sand dams that provide a year round supply of clean water to these remote communities. Improved water conservation enables increased food production and these dams are a vital part of community sustainability. So far Quest has constructed 27 sand dams, potentially supporting 20,000 villagers, extended or repaired 16 sand dams, built 3 water tanks and organised over 10 education days with local schools.
Uganda encompasses a number of different environments, from snow-capped glacial mountains and deep jungle, through to vast savannah. The country is incredibly diverse and boasts incredible opportunities to get close to wildlife; one of the best places in the world to track primates including mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, not to mention safari views of lion, elephant, rhino and more. The stunning landscape and biodiversity is just one side to Uganda, however, it is also the adventure capital of East Africa! Bungee jumping and white water rafting both centre on Jinja, the source of the River Nile, and incredible trekking opportunities stretch from Mount Elgon in the north down to the Rewnzori Mountains of the Moon. Add in a diverse cultural makeup, welcoming people and bustling markets.
Mountain Conservation Project, Rwenzori
The Rwenzori mountain range is home to a rich and unusual flora and fauna, many found nowhere else in the world, such as giant heathers and groundsel. This unique mountain range is some eighty miles long, thirty miles wide and covers nearly 100,000 hectares, and is at risk from erosion and degradation. A true hidden treasure seldom visited and with still so much unknown, the mountains need to be maintained and protected.
By undertaking construction of board walks, paths and lodges, Quest4Change can help support the development of a protected ecological site, helping preserve thousands of acres of mountain from further destruction. Working with those who rely most on the range's survival, the local communities, we will offer much needed support to build and maintain eco-educational facilities and help foster a cooperative atmosphere for environmental protection.
By developing eco-lodges that can provide local employment, Quest4Change will promote not only the protection of the Rwenzori, but provide clear benefits to the local communities, working in harmony to conserve the precious mountains.