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raising champions for the environment

Young Eco Leaders

About the project

Our Young Eco Leaders project engages local students in immersive rainforest experiences and hands-on learning to foster a new generation of environmental champions.

At Iracambi, we believe in the transformative power of nature education.  Through hands-on experiences and engaging programs, we empower future environmental stewards to protect our planet’s vital ecosystems.

And our efforts extend beyond knowledge transfer; we’re instilling a sense of responsibility and reverence for Brazil’s natural forests. 

Help us nurture the next generation of eco-leaders who are passionate about safeguarding our forests for generations to come.

EcoLeaders graduated in 2023
Students reached in 2023
People directly impacted in 2023


Despite the Atlantic Forest’s status as a global biodiversity hotspot, many local children grow up with limited exposure to their natural surroundings. This disconnect leads to misconceptions about forests, often viewed as obstacles to development rather than essential ecosystems. 

This problem is exacerbated by economic pressures, as communities seek immediate economic benefits from logging and agriculture, undermining the forest’s long-term health and sustainability. 

Gender equity is another concern, with women historically underrepresented in environmental leadership roles. Our program addresses this by fostering inclusive participation and leadership opportunities for young women within the Eco Leaders initiative.


Each year, our program reaches hundreds of students, sparking a newfound curiosity and appreciation for nature. We bring local students out of the classroom and into the rainforest, where they engage in practical learning experiences focused on environmental stewardship.

Through semester-long programs and immersive field trips, students develop essential skills like critical thinking and practical environmental actions. Guided by passionate educators and international volunteers, they explore biodiversity hotspots and learn to appreciate the forest’s ecological importance.

Each year, we celebrate the graduation of many Young Eco Leaders who are prepared to inspire their peers and communities, driving positive change in conservation efforts and promoting sustainable development practices.

WhatsApp Image 2022-07-01 at 5.47.40 PM

Dayana Duarte

Program Coordinator

Young Eco Leaders

The emphasis on an individual doing their part has been engraved on my conscience. I have a desire to continue to work toward being a responsible inhabitant of the earth.
Shalanda Grier
Hampton University, Iracambi Strong Participant​
Ecolider iracambi


Everything we do is focused on inspiring local communities to understand, appreciate and act in defense of their environment. So whether we are arousing the curiosity of students and teachers in schools, hosting researchers, exchanging practical tips with local farmers, or introducing school children to the living laboratory of the rainforest, our aim is to inspire, equip and empower a new generation of environmental champions.  

As well as providing intensive training to 50 young environmental leaders every year, we plan to work with more teachers, involve more schools – including private schools in field days – offer campouts to international schools from farther afield, increase our online student exchanges, and offer short programs during weekends and school vacations.

We aim to involve everyone: teachers, parents, children, youth, Iracambi staff, students and visitors, corporate sponsors and educators of all ages and backgrounds. We are constantly seeking to integrate our education programs at every level, from interns and researchers to farm families, visitors and school kids, bringing people together and letting learning happen.

If you are an educator, we’d love to partner with your school, and if you are in the world of business, please contact us about working together on a sponsorship package so that together we can open up a world of opportunities for rural youth in this area. And don’t forget to hit the donate button!

If you and your company are interested in partnering with us, please read more about our exciting corporate partnership opportunities.