Wildife sanctuary volunteering

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Wildife sanctuary volunteering

  • Marker details
  • DescriptionWe are people who share a passionate love for nature that also have worked for years in wildlife management projects at different contexts (Bio-parks, Rehabilitation Centers, Noninvasive Research, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Zoos).

    In late 2011 crystallized the idea of ​​creating something different that not only offer a service of conservation and wildlife rehabilitation, but to work in coordination with the indigenous communities of the area, since they are the bearers of an ancient wisdom that remain untainted with the technology, consumerism and materialism of Western Society, having achieved to coexist with the environment, progress and realize the par excellence universal utopia: happiness.

  • LocationBolivia, Beni Department, Jose Ballivian

  • Work
  • Type of work Animal care
  • Hours per day 4 to 5 hours a day 5 days a week
  • Work requirements: Is really important to be able to fluently speak either spanish or english!

    We do Not earn a single cent from visitors and therefore volunteers shouldnt wait to be like in one of those places were the host has to babysit the people only cause they pay or help so the host EARNS MONEY, with this, we give some easy examples... We are not gonna take care of your garbage, your mess or your hangovers (extreme party people wont have good time here (although we do party almost every saturday!)), we are not going to clean your bed or dishes, youre suppossed to be a part of the project, so everyone wil be responsible for their chores, and at the same time responsible of eachother.

    With that!, we mean we need ENTHUSIASTIC volunteers wanting to do something different, help an amazing NON lucrative NGO and at the same time learn a lot of stuff about whats is living in the JUNGLE.

    We strongly need Adult minded people, not people needing to be told how to behave or to take care of themselves, having daddy cleaning up your mess.

    We want not special picky but open minded people without trouble in trying new stuff and living in hard environment.

    With picky we also mean people that will freak out if the monkey poos or pee on you and needs to wash themselves and clothes continuously for any tiny stain.

    Were adventurers... crazy, funny and openminded... really wanting to make you feel at home but after 12 years of working with volunteers we know they are two kind of people... picky, with special needs etc and the true adventurers that wants a new challenging experience.

    About working with animals.... only people that is willing to stay for a longer time and shows a genuine interest or previous experience will be able to (if availability ) actually work with the animals.

    Were sorry about that... but to minimize human contact and habituation for the monjeys we ask a minimum time of one month to actually work with them... and a minimum of 2 weeks to be able to help with the cleaning and some other (non animal contact chores)
    Were trying to release them in the future.. so when we mean work is mainly stay away from them and do ethological surveys and untangle them when neccesary... so with that we mean people wont be with monkeys in their laps, playing etc for the whole day like other "refuges" allows....

    For a minimum 1 week IF we have animals in quarantine you will be able to help with the cleaning.

    Even if you work with Animals Or Not Every One More Than Half of the time is gonna be working in other chores like helping in the infraestructure maintenance, clearing trails etc...

    Almost forgot... allergies... if you have any kind of insect allergy seriously think about it...

    Before contact with us we want to make sure the people will understand a few really IMPORTANT things about working with us... so keep reading.

    Maybe we are going to be a bit too straight forward, too strong in these next lines.. but we want to filter out the type of people that apply to come here. We want to find the best suited for the job and will make the most of this amazing experience.
    We strongly advise against coming here if you are a) not an animal lover and b)not a hard worker. The hours are long, the work is tiresome and at times stressful. Please don't apply if you think it's a cheap way to get to spend time in the jungle without having to pay for a tour in Rurrenabaque, you will be disappointed and you will not last or you will last but unhappily.
    Do not apply if you only want to cuddle the animals and take photos of them. We are not a Cuddle Friendly sanctuary for the animals. Our mission is to release the animals back into the wild someday, so keeping them connected to their domesticated past is the most counter productive thing that could happen to them, any volunteer who comes for a short amount of time and cuddles them is acting on an ego boost, disrespecting and destroying serious difficult work we are trying to achieve with these animals. It will not be tolerated.

    We know we will lose loads of requests cause of this, but actually that's our goal, being able to receive only the people that know in their heart that are ready for this experience, helping with their soul to a really important project for everyone in the Amazon, especially the animals!

    It is really important to be able to fluently speak English because it is the main language spoken here. If you don't speak english we can't train you properly and this is a huge problem.

    With that!, we mean we need ENTHUSIASTIC volunteers wanting to do something different, help an amazing NON lucrative NGO and at the same time learn a lot about life in the JUNGLE.

    We strongly need Adult minded people, who take action without needing to be told what to do all the time.

    NO ILLEGAL Drugs allowed here, tobacco alcohol and coca are okay as they are legal. No marijuana or cocaine or anything related....

  • Host's preferences
  • Availability: Send a message to inquire.
  • Duration of stay: For a minimum of 1 week
  • Maximum number of helpers: 6
  • Last minute requests: Not okay
  • Host
  • Languages:English, Spanish
  • Has pets? 6 lovely dogs and 2 cats
  • Smokes at home? No
  • Accommodation: Cabins in the jungle. Indigenous style. Common dorm.

    Living conditions in the camp are quite rustic. It has a very simple space (old cabin, 10 m x 4 m) for 4 people with mattresses and mosquito nets. We also have another space (2 peope) and a jungle cabin in the woods for couples.

    The facility has spring water and shower with good bathrooms. There is no electricity, but a small solar panel/generator allows charging your stuff for about 3 hours/day (only when is sunny).
  • Additional info
  • The work can be Split into five basic categories:
    1. Primate work
    2. Feline work
    3. Infrastructure work
    4. Maintenance
    5. Cleaning and living together

    Primate work

    The work principally involves cleaning cages and organizing enrichment to be able to feed the monkeys without directly handing them the food.
    We give you 2 days to decide if you want to stay, after these 2 days you must pay either 980Bs to work with the Spider monkeys, or 1470Bs to work with the Capuchin monkeys. This is non refundable.

    Spider monkeys & Howler monkeys– Minimum two weeks
    People who are staying for two weeks will be able to work with the spider monkeys and howler monkeys. The tasks will be cleaning cages and making enrichment. In addition, you may be asked to observe the monkeys, feed the monkeys, give milk to babies and in some special cases, walking with them on trails and help untangle or move monkeys.

    Capuchin monkeys – Minimum three weeks
    The majority of the work for people who are staying three weeks and are working with the capuchin monkeys is the same, i.e. cleaning cages & making enrichment. In addition, you may be asked to observe the monkeys, feed the monkeys, give milk to babies and in some special cases, walking with them on trails and help untangle or move monkeys.

    Remember It is not guaranteed that you will work wherever you want to work. We will place you to work wherever we need you at the time and where it is the most suitable match for each species of the monkeys.

    Feline work

    To help with the Margay or the Ocelot you need to stay for at least four weeks. To work with the Jaguar you must stay at least five weeks. This is to avoid the cats getting used to seeing new people each day and avoid the staff having to train new people each day.
    In addition, to work with the Margay or Ocelot you must pay 1960Bs before you start working with them.
    To work with the Jaguar you must pay 2450Bs before you start working with her. Payments are non refundable.

    This is to encourage the people to finish their one-month period and not to decide to leave early because it may be challenging. Cats need routine much more than the monkeys do, and it stresses them to meet new people often. The meat for these animals is very expensive so it is another way for us to make sure we can buy their food for the month.

    Jaguar – Minimum five weeks
    You will be working and walking with Kali on her trails every day for five weeks(unless we have enough people to be able to make turns or you are needed somewhere else). This is a five week commitment to one animal. It is a rare and very rewarding opportunity.
    There will always be at least two people walking with Kali, and training usually takes one week.

    Margay – Minimum one month
    You will work and walk with Hekate on her trails for the whole day, but on other days also work with the other animals if you are needed. After training, you can walk with Hekate alone on her trails. Training usually takes 3 days

    Ocelot – Minimum one month
    You will work and walk with the ocelot on his trails for the whole day, but on other days also work with the other animals if you are needed. After training, you can walk with him alone on his trails. Training usually takes up to 4 days

    Community work

    The community work is varied and depends on the needs of the community. We spent a large part of 2016 helping carry sand and rocks for the new houses that were built with the aid of the government to help the community following the flood of 2013, where many families lost their homes.

    Alongside this we have helped with education projects, agriculture, tourism to name but a few. This work is unpredictable but always highly appreciated. There is no guarantee that the possibility of community work is available.

    Infrastructure work

    All the infrastructure has been built with the help of volunteers. This can be anything from working alongside indigenous professionals like Mario to construct buildings or cages, to small projects using the expertise of volunteers to improve the facilities.

    Often this work will involve using local building methods and sustainable resources from the jungle, giving volunteers a chance to learn some of the techniques that have sustained people’s way of life here in the Amazon.


    One of the most important aspects of the work here is the general maintenance of the huts and local area which includes the following work, although these jobs change frequently depending upon need:
    • Sharpen the machetes
    • Clear spaces around the house and paths with machetes
    • Move organic rubbish ready for burning or into the chicken coup
    • Collect fruit that has fallen for animals and humans
    • Repairing anything that breaks!

    Cleaning and living together

    For everyone to live together in a communal project such as we require that everyone helps out with the daily and weekly chores that need to be done.