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"I DEFINITELY recommend the program for anyone interested in Tropical and Neotropical conservation/ banding/ research. It was VERY enjoyable and thank you very much to everyone involved, especially Gloria, Jose, Misael and Isabel!" Avery Bartels – Ecovolunteer from Canada-
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"Being a Ecovolunteer with ProAves is a great experience that will bring out the best in you. You will learn new things every day not just related to nature but also to social and economic relations with the environment, which can also be applied to daily life" Maria Alejandra Chadid - Ecovolunteer from Colombia

El Dorado Bird Reserve

El Dorado Bird Reserve Named after the legendary city of gold, El Dorado is ProAves’s flagship reserve and the Holy Grail for birding in the Americas. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a unique massif totally separated from the Andes, yet rising precipitously from the Caribbean beaches to 19,000 feet, hosts the highest concentration of continental range-restricted bird species found anywhere in the world.

The 1,600 acre Reserve is the sole accessible subtropical to montane forest in the Sierra Nevada, being situated on its humid NW slope, just two hours drive from the popular tourist city of Santa Marta.

All but two of the Sierra Nevada endemics can be readily seen from a road that meanders up through the reserve’s excellent primary subtropical and montane forests. Strategically located at 1,900 meters beside the road are the beautiful Sierra Nevada EcoCentre and Jeniam EcoLodge, providing exceptional facilities for visitors and built entirely from non-native pines that are being cleared in the reserve for reforestation with native tree species.

A tree house at the highest part of the reserve provides spectacular contrasting views of the towering glacier-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada and Caribbean beaches! Nearby, is the world’s core breeding population of the Santa Marta Parakeet which is assisted by nest boxes.

The reserve also holds one of the highest concentrations of endemic and threatened amphibian species, and almost all flora and most of the fauna above the EcoLodge are endemic. Yet, the Sierra Nevada remains remarkable little known, with at least two new bird species discovered in 2007, including a new species of Screech-Owl that roosts beside the EcoLodge.

Key Facts
Altitude: 900-2600 meters (1900M Lodge)
Climate: Mild 18C (65F), misty. Dry Season: Nov-april
Bird species recorded: 415
Threatened species: Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Sabrewing, Santa Marta Brush-Tyrant, Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Antpitta.
Target species: All, but two Santa AMrta endemics, including two new species, (Screech-owl and Foliag-gleaner), Black-fronted, Wood quail, Band-Tailed Guan, White-tipped Quetzal, Golden-winged Sparrow.
Other biodiversity: “Santa Marta” Night Monkey (new species), San Lorenzo Harlequin frog, Red-crested tree rat.

  • The Jeniam ecologde overlooks the Caribbean and its rooms are spacious;
  • Gasa-heated shower and main electricity;
  • Comfortable Shared rooms;
  • Two hours drive from Santa Marta airport;
  • Accessible within a day from US, with flights from Miami to Barranquilla;
  • Easy walking and excellent birding;
  • Three healthy meals are provided daily.



How to take a volunteer vacation

"Voluntourism is not about martyrdom," says Christopher Hill, CEO of Hands Up Holidays, a London-based company that arranges high-end excursions that incorporate volunteering. "It's about making a difference"


Kids restore the forest in Sierra Nevada

Kids restore the forest in Sierra Nevada

kids living close to El Dorado Bird Natural Reserve were part of a full day of reforestation within the area of the reserve. This activity was created to show the importance of restoring native habitats of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, benefiting one endemic and endangered species of this habitat, the Little-Parrot of Santa Maria (Pyrrhura viridicata).
Published magazine Colombian Conservation No.9

ProAves publishes online the 9th edition of Colombian Conservation , with a synthesis of the results of the study Indicators and Models to evaluate biodiversity changes in the CDM forestry project in the Chinchiná river basin, carried out in the community of Caldas, Colombia and developed by ProAves.
More than 15 Ecovolunteers have joined the ProAves team, helping at the natural reserves! This year more than 15 Ecovolunteers from different nationalities have came to Colombia and helped with many interesting conservation activities at the natural reserves. we are waiting for you! Come to Colombia and have an amazing experience...

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