VOLUNTEERING AT A WILDLIFE REFUGE
The main causes of the creation of the project is the deforestation of large areas in Costa Rica, making it difficult for the animals to survive. The traffic of animals, being in cages or living in urban areas causes behavioral disorders, as well as over-exploitation of animals for food, clothing and entertainment.
Many of the animals that live in the center have arrived wounded, malnourished and orphans, so the center of wild animals in Costa Rica performs healing treatments, both bodily and energetic, generating recovery and autonomy of all its inhabitants to achieve their integration back into the natural habitat.
Despite the work done, some of the animals will have to remain in the center. The loss of faculties, lack of adaptability or health problems makes our work visible day by day. For this reason, the centre is located in a natural environment, in which the animals will have a life similar to the one they have lost, but with all the necessary care.
Deciding to volunteer in this way means moving away from personal vices and living in harmony in an environment of peace and respect for animals. As nature lovers, we cannot turn the care centre into a centre for mass visits, which cause stress to the animals, but we want our centre to become an environment for learning and interpreting wildlife.
- The objective of the volunteer project at the animal center in Costa Rica is to collaborate in the rehabilitation, conservation and reincorporation of the fauna into its natural habitat.
With this international volunteer program you will learn aspects related to the ethology of animal species, contribute to animal protection and help reduce the negative impact created mainly by human activity, promoting awareness in the care of animals and their habitat.
We achieve this goal with volunteers like you, who decide to travel the world, to support a good cause. Every day the number of animals that need help increases, so it is more necessary the contribution of volunteers in Costa Rica.
SOME CENTER ANIMALS
- Birds: Yellow and red copete parrot, blue head parrot, white crown parrot, green wings macaw, eclectus parrot, grey African parrot, catano parrot, bicolor toucan, sun conure, hyacinth macaw, dawn cockatoo, red, blue, green and yellow macaw.
- Felines: the margay, ocelot, the jaguar.
- Turtles: yellow-footed turtles, sulcata turtle.
- Monkeys: tamarin monkey, marmoset monkey, spider monkey.
- Herbivorous animals: tapir, white-tailed deer.
- Sloth bears: two-legged and three-legged.
WHAT WILL I DO AS A VOLUNTEER?
The work of the volunteers is focused on environmental issues as well as on the care and protection of animals. The activities may vary according to the needs generated in the program. Together they perform daily routines such as:
- Animal care.
- Maintenance and cleaning of enclosures.
- Providing the welfare of the animals and learning to handle them avoiding their domestication.
- Daily feeding of animals (Twice a day). For the feeding of the most dangerous animals, volunteers will be accompanied by the staff in charge of the centre).
- Cleaning of green areas.
- Support in environmental enrichment programs.
- Planting trees.
- Crop production and composting (when available).
- Construction of natural structures for animals.
- Assisting the animals with the veterinarian. Requires prior training at no cost and is on certain occasions or seasons.
- You will also collaborate as a guide in the Eco-tourism program. This activity requires prior training at no cost.
Volunteers have one day off a week, which allows them to get to know different areas of this beautiful country such as: forests, tropical jungles, beaches in the Caribbean and the Pacific, as well as a city full of culture.
The center does not currently have any state subsidy, so there have been agreements with local universities, didactic and guided visits of small groups and international cooperation of volunteers, so thanks to you we can give shelter to more than 600 different animals that for different reasons have ended up here.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE A VOLUNTEER?
- Be of legal age
- Willingness to fulfill assignments
- Good communication and good behavior with the people you work with and the community.
- Be empathetic, participatory, and very committed to the cause and the program.
- There are many activities in which you can help animals, therefore, it is not required that you have specific knowledge about them, but a good aptitude and respect for animals. All activities will always be carried out under the supervision of the staff of the organization, volunteers will be integrated into a group under the responsibility of a project coordinator.
WHAT DAYS AND DATES CAN I VOLUNTEER?
- You can participate all year round in the animal rescue and care project in Costa Rica.
- You can also arrive any day of the week, but it is preferable that you arrive on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, since it facilitates your incorporation to the project and orientation about the place and the activities to be carried out.
TIMETABLE AND PICK-UP POINT
- The pick-up point is Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).
- Pick up time is from 8:00 to 20:00. If you arrive outside these hours the volunteer will have to pay the taxi driver the plus of 50€.
WHERE WILL I BE AND WHAT WILL MY SCHEDULE BE DURING VOLUNTEERING?
The program takes place within the animal care center of Puntarenas. We work from Monday to Sunday, all year round.
- The activities tend to start between 6:00 and 15:00 hours.
- There is usually a break for lunch and then work is resumed.
- The volunteer has one free day a week, being able to join the days to go out to know the country of Costa Rica, or near countries like Panama or Nicaragua.
COORDINATION AT THE COSTA RICA DESTINATION
During your program you will have a general coordinator, apart from the project directors or centre managers. In the case of the animal rescue and care volunteer project your coordinator will be Vanessa.
Once you are part of the team of volunteers of Adventure Volunteer, Vanessa or team will give you an induction to the program and the activities or tasks to be carried out.
HOW ARE THE LODGING AND MEALS?
The spaces set up for volunteers have common areas such as:
- Room shared with other volunteers.
- Common kitchen
- Common bathrooms
- Accommodation includes three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during your stay and the performance of your volunteer work.
They will be carried out and served by the local collaborating staff with the help of the volunteers. These are local meals that will only be served at the volunteer’s home.
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE SANCTUARY FOR LIVING WITH ANIMALS?
In the voluntary animal rescue and care program in Costa Rica, there are a number of rules to be followed:
- The ban on smoking and drinking inside, outside and in project areas.
- Grabbing or talking to animals.
- Taking photos with flash. You should consult the coordinator.
- Feed the animals outside the schedule, as well as others that will be communicated on the first day of orientation and preparation for the work of wild animals.
It is not a zoo and we need volunteers committed to the environment and animal respect.
WHAT CAN I BRING IN MY VOLUNTEER SUITCASE?
It is recommended that all volunteers who participate in the “Animal Shelter in Costa Rica” volunteer program bring the following with them:
- Natural repellent (without DEET)
- Long pants (work pants)
- Long sleeves
- Clothing that dries quickly.
- Soap, shampoo, biodegradable detergent and other hygiene products.
- Rubber boots
- Topical medicine for allergies
- Allergy pills
- Thin sheets (one pair provided)
- Work gloves
- Shower sandals
- Quick-drying towel
- Beach articles
- Many pairs of socks
- Reusable water bottle
- Natural sunscreen
- Mosquito net
The price of the volunteer animal rescue and care program in Costa Rica is divided into two parts. In order to register for the program, a deposit of 150€ must be paid. One (1) month before the beginning of your volunteering the rest of the program must be paid.
Each additional week price 240€. All the prices of the program are in euros, so the currency exchange will have real effect. You can check the exchange rate for the period of your trip.
WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?
- Welcome at the airport and transfer to your accommodation.
- Accommodation during your volunteering
- 3 meals during the course of your volunteer program
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Monitoring and evaluation of the programme
- Orientation, training and induction to the program
- Certificate of weeks completed in your volunteering
- Accident insurance during your volunteering
- Civil liability for your activity
- Receipt from NGO about your program fee
- Guidance, advice and management in the choice of programme
- Volunteer T-Shirt
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Flight to the country
- Visa, if necessary
- Vaccines, if required
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Internal transportation or excursions
- Return to the airport on the last day
- Drinks, diets and special meals
- Trips inside or outside the country