Come to La Paz to compliment your studies or work experience by participating in this exciting veterinary internship in Bolivia. The project is based at a zoo that is partnered with a leading zoo in the UK. The zoo is home to indigenous Bolivian wildlife as well as non-indigenous animals that have been rescued from homes and circuses. Birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish, such as condors and bears, receive high-quality care from the local veterinarian team under the guidance of the zoo’s director. Essential activities such as laboratory testing, nutritional enrichment and habitat development take place, but the zoo is in need of additional funding and support. Intern in Bolivia and apply your skills and knowledge in a hands-on setting that you have never experienced before!
Why choose this project?
This veterinary internship allows students and professionals to see how indigenous animals in Bolivia are cared for in a zoo setting. Interns are able to see a range of activities, which can help develop your CV/resume and consolidate your studies. Experienced veterinarians will enjoy being able to work alongside this professional team, gaining insight into the needs of indigenous animals in Bolivia and comparing how treatment strategies differ from those at home. The project benefits by having an extra pair of hands and being able to learn new strategies from the interns.
Role of the volunteer
During your veterinary internship, you will work with the animal enrichment coordinator and the professional veterinary team at the zoo. Your interests will be discussed with you to create your weekly activity plan. The main activities you may be involved with include:
- Monitoring of animal behaviours through observation
- Supporting local vets with clinical work, including monitoring and evaluation of clinical practices
- Assisting with nutrition-related activities, including enrichment preparation
- Assisting with physical and chemical restraint of animals, when necessary
Some potential study-related learning outcomes of this internship include:
- Ability to evaluate animal health up close and from afar
- Clinical examination skills and knowledge
- Basic understanding of forensic methodology in a wildlife context
- Wildlife psychology and well-being awareness, including meeting nutritional needs
During your internship, you will receive midway and final evaluations as well as support from the local team. You will be asked to complete a learning diary and to present a report about your experience to the project team at the end of your internship. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to develop your passion for ecology and develop new skills.
Interns must either be undertaking veterinary/zoology studies or be a trained veterinarian to be considered for this placement. You must be a team player and open to learning from your colleagues. A good level of Spanish (level B1 Intermediate User of CEFR or better) is needed as the team speaks very little English. You will be asked for a CV/Resume and to attend a telephone interview to assess your suitability for the internship.
Please bring a laptop with you to complete your final report.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To gain experience from trained and qualified zoologists and veterinarians
To develop self confidence and communication skills
To compliment your studies with hands on experience
About the Location
Bolivia is also known as The Tibet of the Americas since many locals maintain the habits of their ancestors. The country is also the most secluded and highest of the Latin American Republics. The project is based in La Paz, where the high altitude means that there is a rather cool climate. This cooler temperature might be well received when volunteering on one of our projects, since you will be hard at work during the day! If you want to volunteer in Bolivia and avoid the rainy season, then the dry season starts in May through to August, with July typically being the driest month.
The Andes mountain range composes the western side of Bolivia’s highlands where there are plenty of natural wonders to discover. It is here you will find the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian border. This lake is the highest lake on the planet, it is one of the deepest and it is so wide that it takes six hours to get from one side to another in a fast hydrofoil boat. Down in the southwest is the magnificent “Salar de Uynui” which is also known as the world’s largest salt flats.
The locals living in Bolivia are well known for their love of celebrations and fiestas, as they are a predominant part of Bolivian life. Parties take place up and down the entire country so regularly that it would be difficult to miss one, even if you’re only in Bolivia for a short amount of time!
You will be based in a village called Mallasa, 30-45 minutes outside of La Paz. Here, you will enjoy a strong sense of community, abundant natural beauty and the opportunity to develop your Spanish speaking skills. You should feel comfortable inside the volunteer houses as they are well-furnished, complete with running water, indoor plumbing and electricity. You will have a room of your own, which is great for when you want some peace and quiet. However, during the busy period, there may be the possibility of sharing with another volunteer. Volunteers also have access to a kitchen, where you can prepare and cook your own meals. You can also eat out with other volunteers in the evening. We suggest you try out the local pizzeria where you can grab a huge pizza for just £4 ($7)!
What to do in your spare time
When you’re not working at the project, you can discover some magnificent sites as well as a host of bars, cafes and restaurants. You will definitely want to sample the delicious local delicacies Bolivia has to offer. Clubs and live music are also popular in the city so make sure you go see some local bands performing. We also recommend paying a visit to Mercado market, a huge market selling almost anything and everything. Alternatively, you could seek out one of the smaller boutiques, such as Comart Tukuypai, which sells goods that support artisans from poorer backgrounds. If you’re a lover of all things nature then be sure to enjoy the diverse Bolivian landscape, from ice-capped Andean peaks to dry salt flats and steamy Amazon jungles. Popular weekend options include trekking or sightseeing to the amazing Lake Titicaca.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4-12 weeks
- Cost: £1243/$2174 for 4 weeks
Additional weeks fees vary
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: La Paz, Bolivia
- Project Activities: assisting with lab tests, preparing enrichment, observing wildlife, animal interventions
- Working Hours: Monday-Friday
- Project Availability: 1st & 3rd week of each month
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in a volunteer house (meals not included)
- Airport pick up from El Alto Airport or the bus station in La Paz
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Support: 24 hour support
- Excursion Planning: staff helps organise weekend activities (activity prices may be extra)
- Learning Reflection Document
- Certificate on completion of internship
- Supervision from qualified professional
- Fundraising Guide
What is not included
- Food, though a kitchen is provided and volunteers regularly cook or eat out together
- Daily transport to and from your project
- Optional Spanish classes are available
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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