Volunteer on this project dedicated to Amazon rainforest wildlife rescue in Ecuador and support efforts to protect local species. The project was founded in 2006 by a local family that lives in the Amazon rainforest. It works with the Ministry of the Environment and the Environmental Police to rescue and, wherever possible, rehabilitate wild animals, victims of abuse and animal trafficking. The sanctuary is open to the public and school groups to generate much needed income but the main focus is protection and rescue of species.
The sanctuary is home to hundreds of animals at any time, including parrots, monkeys, turtles, wild cats, capybaras, caymans, and many more mammals and birds. As well as 4 hectares of space for the centre there are an additional 70 hectares used for release and research purposes. Ensuring the spaces are well maintained and suitable for the various species is an important aspect of daily work. Join us in Ecuador and gain experience of working with a range of species and the attempts made to improve the lives of those that have been trafficked and mistreated.
Why choose this project?
Beyond routine maintenance, the project will benefit from your support in helping the overworked staff to reach their long-term goals, including moving existing infrastructure and the animals to a bigger location. Most importantly, the local team desperately needs to develop partnerships with local environmental authorities to advocate for protected natural habitats where the animals may re-introduced, and volunteers have an important role in making this happen. You will also benefit by gaining an incredible up close experience with wild animals and their welfare in the beautiful Costa Rican amazon, an experience certainly worth adding to your CV/resume.
Role of the volunteer
This project is seriously understaffed and always needs assistance with the daily chores: cleaning the cages, feeding the animals, repairing the animals’ homes, constructing new edifices for incoming animals and nurturing traumatised species back to a more stable state of mental health as well. Sometimes the project opens to school groups to raise money for the project and also to educate local children about the importance of caring for animals. Volunteers may be asked to help with these groups and will have an opportunity to use their English and Spanish.
Those with experience in veterinary science or biology will work with the sanctuary coordinators to take more of an active role in animal care. and some of the more technical aspects of the running of the wildlife rescue centre.
No specific qualifications are required however a level of comfort with animals is needed – as well as a passion for getting dirty. A background in veterinary science, biology or environmental conservation is very useful. A love of animals is essential as this is the focus of your volunteer placement. Spanish skills are not required for this placement although they will integrate you more with the local community. You must be willing to learn! Experience working in environmental policy (administrative and legal level) would also be a plus!REQUEST MORE INFO RESERVE YOUR PLACE
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
Work in one of the most biodiverse areas on earth
Help to rescue and rehabilitate animals that may have been victims of abuse and trafficking
To learn more about biology, conservation and animal rights
This project site is located 3 km outside of El Puyo, the remote capital of Pastaza province that divides the southern and northern regions in the Amazon. After jostling past indigenous Amazonian villages, you enter a lush tropical jungle canopy where mist rises off distant mountains, free roaming monkeys can be spotted, and the chorus of rescued animals and frogs fills the air.
This is a remote location, ideal for volunteers who like tranquil, remote and simple living conditions, rewarded by meaningful work experience with the locals and animals. A lending library with books and DVDS is found on-site. Play cards and darts and sit in hammocks around the fire pit to round off the night in this beautiful, and tranquil location.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 26 weeks
- Cost: £1280/$2240 for 2 weeks
£225/$394 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Puyo, Ecuador
- Project activities: Animal rescue, habitat restoration, native plant lessons, cleaning animal cages, assist with school tours
- Working hours: 08:00-12:30 and 14.30-17.00, Monday – Friday
- Project Availability: Available all year round
- Arrival day: Twice monthly on a Friday. Please speak to an advisor.
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared room in a cabin during your placement
- 3 nights stay in a hostel in Quito, breakfast provided
- Food: 2 meals per day Monday evening to Saturday morning– Meals served in communal kitchen with shared cooking responsibilities
- Airport pick up and drop off in Quito
- Training: Pre-departure pack, on-site orientation on Saturday and project induction included
- Local SIM card and phone: All volunteers are given a local SIM card to use and a mobile phone (deposit $50 required and must be retuned when you leave)
- Transport between Quito and project site
- Excursion planning: Staff will help plan activities and excursions (some activities may cost extra)
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check
- Optional excursion on the Sunday on your arrival weekend please speak to an advisor if you want to know more
- Meals outside of those stated above