At a glance
- Study amazing animals like whales, pumas, and sea lions
- Live on a wildlife refuge on the stunning Patagonian coast
- Learn Spanish and explore Argentina with other teens
- View an itinerary for this project.
During school holidaysSee Dates
Is Patagonia Wildlife Conservation for teens right for me?
Are you aged 15 to 18 with a passion for protecting the planet? Do you dream of living surrounded by scenery and wildlife? Then this Conservation High School Special is for you!
In Patagonia, you’ll be immersed in a unique and fascinating ecosystem. You’ll help protect Argentina’s most incredible animals, including whales and pumas.
You don’t need prior experience to volunteer with animals in Argentina. Simply bring your curiosity and passion for wildlife.
You’ll also benefit from this project if you’re interested in learning a new language. This trip includes Spanish lessons to help you bond with local people. Spanish is just one of many skills you’ll be able to add to your CV!
This volunteer trip runs for fixed dates during the holidays. That’s why it’s perfect for students looking to follow a set itinerary on an exciting trip abroad.
What will I do on this Patagonia Wildlife Conservation Project for teens?
As a teenager volunteering with animals in Patagonia, you will:
Observe whales and pumas
On this Conservation Project, you’ll observe two of Argentina’s most majestic mammals: whales and pumas.
You’ll travel during Argentina’s winter when whales stay close to shore. Working in an observatory, you’ll spot humpback whales and dolphins!
You’ll also complete a census on southern right whales. Growing up to 16 metres long, these playful and curious creatures are among the world’s largest.
Pumas, Patagonia’s largest predator, also need protection. You’ll study them by collecting puma tracks, setting camera traps, and mapping their movements.
Hunting and habitat destruction have led to a decline in whale and puma populations. However, this is improving due to strong laws and the hard work of conservationists. Join the cause by volunteering with animals in Argentina.
Spot and study biodiversity
You’ll learn about Argentina’s wildlife through workshops and activities. As you hike through Patagonia’s rugged landscape, your guide will help you search for animals in coastal regions.
Perhaps the most charismatic of these creatures is the sea lion. In this protected wildlife refuge, it's easy to spot them dotted along the coast. You’ll hike to a sea lion colony to conduct a survey and record their numbers.
You’ll also explore the Punta Cuevas historical site. This is the perfect place to learn how to identify species. You’ll find out how conservation statuses are determined and why they matter.
As you explore Argentina’s idyllic beaches, you’ll learn about microplastics. By collecting and sieving sediment, you’ll see just how much microplastic ends up in the oceans. You’ll learn why it’s dangerous and what can be done to protect marine wildlife.
Preserve the natural environment
Part of protecting animals is cleaning and preserving habitats. This also improves the quality of life for local people. You'll help tidy the coastline, leaving a positive impact as you explore Argentina.
With high school students from around the world, you’ll join beach clean-ups. Together, your work will help keep nature free of litter. You’ll protect the planet while exploring the stunning coastline of Puerto Madryn.
Discover the incredible landscape of Patagonia to truly understand why it needs protecting.
Learn Spanish as you explore Patagonia
You’ll receive Spanish lessons throughout this trip. This is designed to help you interact with local people so you can get more out of your experience. Whether you’re fluent or starting from scratch, we'll tailor lessons to your level.
Even the occasional buenos días, por favor, and gracias can make a difference. Local people will enjoy the interaction. Take this chance to build a skill that is useful in 20 countries around the world.
Where will I be based in Patagonia?
In the first week, you’ll stay in Puerto Madryn, a city in the northeast of Chubut province. It’s located on the shores of the Golfo Nuevo, on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a World Heritage Site, a Biosphere Reserve, and Argentina’s diving capital.
Next, you’ll travel 80km north to stay at “La Esperanza” wildlife refuge. This beautiful coastal region is home to guanacos, pumas, and sea lions.
Each year, “La Esperanza” is also visited by southern right whales, humpback whales, and dolphins!
What are the aims and impact of this project?
Our projects set long-term goals. You’ll join efforts to protect animals in Argentina. Conservationists rely on data collection and need volunteers to help with this. You’ll have a thrilling time spotting whales and pumas, but you’ll also help scientists protect them.
Beach clean-ups are another way to protect wildlife in Patagonia. This helps restore natural habitats. You’ll join a long line of volunteers keeping habitats safe for animals.
This Conservation Project also aims to raise awareness. You’ll help local people see the importance of protecting animals. Your impact will last after you leave as the community continues to care for its environment.
Finally, we’ve designed this project to have a lasting impact on you. You’ll leave with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and confidence. You’ll have had the adventure of a lifetime, formed new friendships, and built skills for the future.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
In Argentina, you'll share accommodation with other volunteers and interns. It's a great way to meet new people, share amazing experiences, and explore together.
In Puerto Madryn, you’ll stay with a host family, learning about their customs and sharing yours. In “La Esperanza”, enjoy an authentic experience living in a lodge.
On our High School Specials, we aim to ensure you share a room with people of a similar age and sex. Your room will be modest, but safe, clean, and comfortable.
The cost of the programme includes three meals a day. You’ll enjoy authentic Argentine cuisine. Expand your palate and learn about local culture through its food.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Immerse yourself in a new culture and give back through volunteer work in Latin America and the Caribbean
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Ready to volunteer with whales and pumas in Argentina?
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