Kayapo Field Course and Internship Program

July 29 - August 18, 2024

The Kayapo Field Course and Internship is a unique opportunity to learn and work with the Mebêngôkre-Kayapó and their network of NGO, university, and government partners. Guided by an interdisciplinary team of Indigenous, Brazilian, and North American instructors, this program offers an experiential introduction to the issues, landscapes, and livelihood of the Kayapo in the southeastern Amazon. Located at the “arc of deforestation,” the Kayapo live in, manage, and protect one of the largest, continuous tropical forest areas in the world. After traveling through the Brazilian frontier, participants spend almost two weeks on the Xingu River, immersing themselves in village life and investigating Amazon forest ecology at the Xingu Lodge. Since 2004, the program has been an important resource generating activity for Kayapo community partners and one of the only ways to visit the Kayapo Indigenous


July 29 – August 18, 2024


NEW $4975 $3750 USD


Complete the 5-7 minute application form. Applications are rolling.


Topics Explored

  • Amazon Conservation
  • Tropical Forest Ecology
  • Camera Trapping & GPS
  • Sustainable Development
  • International Studies
  • Environmental Policy
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Ethnographic Methods


*Topics can be tailored to participant area(s) of interest. Participants may be eligible for university credits. Certificates of participation are available from the Federal University of Pará.

Who should participate?

Anyone who enjoys being outside while learning and engaging with different cultures or natural environments. While the majority of participants tend to be undergraduate or graduate students, the program is open to all interested participants. The program is intentionally intercultural and transdisciplinary. Program leaders have backgrounds in conservation biology, tropical ecology, geography, global education, sustainable development, public policy, anthropology, and Indigenous studies, among others.


The program takes place entirely in the Brazilian state of Pará in four locations:

1. Marabá– A larger regional city
2. Tucumã– A frontier town on the border with the Indigenous territory
3. Xingu Lodge – Xingu Lodge stands in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, along the Xingu River.


Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – 2 Travel and Arrival to Maraba
Day 2 – 3 Maraba Activities
Day 4- Travel to the Xingu lodge via boat
Day 19 – Travel to Tucuma
Day 19 – Travel to Maraba
Day 20 – End of program

What's Included

  • All program activities, Kayapo instructors, guides, and translators
  • In country lodging, transportation, and program related excursions
  • All meals at the Xingu Lodge.

What's NOT Included

  • Roundtrip airfare to and from Brazil
  • Souvenirs and snacks
  • Other individual expenses


  • Maraba regional cultural center
  • Street Market
  • Program Orientation
  • River Boardwalk

  • Visit with NGO partners
  • Program orientation
  • Street market

  • Body painting
  • Beadwork, woodworking, basketmaking and other artisan crafts
  • Garden visits
  • Açai
  • Cerrado (Savannah) trek
  • Visits with teachers, nurses, and other professionals
  • Conversations with youth and elder leadership
  • Storytelling & singing
  • Indigenous media making
  • Community mapping
  • Fishing and boat excursions
  • Bathing in the River
  • Sport (Volleyball, soccer)
  • Village dances and festivals
  • Community- NGO relations
  • Community meetings
  • Craft trading fair
  • Brazil nut collection, ecology, and projects
  • Human-animal-plant Interactions
  • Camera trap activities
  • Overnight waterfall trek
  • Fishing and boat excursions
  • Traditional ecological knowledge
  • History of mahogany logging
  • Trekking to (mostly dry) mud pits for animal viewing
  • Sunrise hike


No. While some knowledge of Portuguese (or Spanish) is helpful, the North American and Brazilian team includes a fully bilingual English-Portuguese Team, with varying levels of Kayapo proficiency. The Kayapo team from A’Ukre is fully bilingual Kayapo – Portuguese with varying levels of English proficiency.

We provide a detailed packing list to all participants. That said, the program takes place during the dry season so rain is not common, but it does get cold in the evenings. We will talk about what to bring, but most important will be comfortable hiking shoes, a bathing suit, a warm jacket, and a warm sleeping bag.

Unfortunately, ICFC does not have financial support available. 100% of the program fee goes to cover program costs, the majority returning to the A’Ukre community. We are happy to help you look for funding or write letters of acceptance or recommendation for any scholarships you are applying to.

Maybe. ICFC does not have credits to give, but we can work with you to secure internship or independent study credits from your institution. We have a highly qualified team, a reading list, and syllabus available upon request. Certificates of participation are available from the University of Pará.

Yes. There are several opportunities. At the end of every program, we have a trade fair with the community where the group exchanges hard to come by gear (batteries, headlamps, tents, water bottles, etc) for Kayapo artisan crafts (earrings, bracelets, baskets, masks, warclubs, etc). More information is provided during program orientation and in A’Ukre. You do not need to trade for anything during the fair you are not comfortable exchanging. In addition, both the Protected Forest Association and Pykore Association have stores we can visit before or after spending time in A’Ukre.

The Field Course and Internship is a collaboration between the International Conservation Fund of Canada, Associacao Pykôre, Protected Forest Association, and the Federal University of Pará. Other collaborators include Purdue University, Middle Tennessee State University, and the University of Maryland College Park.

Get more information : kayapoproject [@] icfcanada [dot] org

Complete our brief 5-7 minute application form.