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Vietnamese Girl in the Rainforest

Chào everyone! (That means “Hi” in Vietnamese!)

My name is My Tam, but you can call me Tamira. I am currently studying at Wesleyan University in the United States, but I was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I still cannot believe that I have been here in this little rainforest corner thousands of kilometers away from home for nearly two months!


My time at Iracambi has been one of the most special periods my life, surrounded by many wonderful people, unforgettable experiences, and meaningful lessons. I came to Iracambi to volunteer because I see this opportunity as a way to expand my understanding of conservation practices and learn about NGO management in a real-world context. My experiences working in environmental initiatives in Vietnam and the US encouraged me to seek out similar experiences so that I have a clear understanding of the diverse environmental challenges faced by different regions. I believe that immersing myself in the local community and engaging with the team at Iracambi is useful in understanding Vietnam’s situation, given that Brazil and Vietnam share many environmental challenges such as deforestation and biodiversity loss. 


Whether it is preparing a presentation for hiking a trail to collect camera traps, going to the local schools to teach the kids English, or working in the nursery, I find myself gaining invaluable lessons in community engagement, cross-cultural communication, and the connection between biodiversity and climate change. I learn that the biggest challenge to forest conservation in the Atlantic Rainforest is how to make protecting the forest more attractive than destroying it. That is why Iracambi has been experimenting with several initiatives in living with the forest sustainably among the communities, including reviving traditional forest medicines and agroforestry.   

Here at Iracambi, you will be struck with the realization that you are contributing a small part to something bigger than yourself. The work Iracambi does is extremely important in preserving the water supply for people in the region and maintaining a carbon sink in the fight against climate change. But most importantly, Iracambi inspires the younger generation to take greater responsibility in protecting our planet and teaches us the value of individual small actions.

At Iracambi, whether playing UNO during bonfire nights to dancing at a local festival, I am building my most beautiful memories with the most wonderful people. The local Brazilian culture is so unique, and I am so glad that I have the chance to explore it and have fun here!


My final piece of advice: Come to Iracambi and create your own stories!


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A visit to Iracambi

Iracambi is an NGO located in the Atlantic Rainforest and during my recent visit….

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