ANIMAL CARE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
The main causes for the creation of animal care volunteer programmes in Costa Rica is the deforestation of large areas in Costa Rica, causing difficulties for the animals to survive. Animal trafficking, being caged or living in urban areas causes behavioural disorders, as does the over-exploitation of animals for food, clothing and entertainment.
Many of the animals that live in the centres have arrived injured, malnourished and orphaned; therefore, the wild animal centres in Costa Rica carry out healing treatments, both on a corporal and energetic level, generating the recovery and autonomy of all their inhabitants to achieve their integration back into the natural habitat.
Despite the work carried out, some of the animals will have to remain in the centre. The loss of faculties, lack of adaptability or health problems make 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 do a volunteer experience like this means getting away from personal vices and living in harmony in an environment of peace and respect for the animals. As nature lovers, we cannot turn the care centre into a centre for mass visits, which cause stress to the animals, but we intend our volunteer animal care centre in Costa Rica to become an environment of learning and interpretation of wildlife.
THE PURPOSE OF VOLUNTEERING
- The main objective of the volunteer project in the animal centres in Costa Rica is to collaborate in the rehabilitation, conservation and reincorporation of fauna in their natural habitat.
With this volunteer programme in animal care in Costa Rica you will learn aspects related to the ethology of animal species, you will contribute to animal protection and help to reduce the negative impact that is 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 in need of help increases, which is why volunteering in Costa Rica is even more necessary.
ANIMALS OF THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME
(depending on season)
- Birds: Yellow and red-crested macaw, blue-headed parrot, white-crowned parrot, green-winged macaw, eclectus parrot, African grey parrot, catan parakeet, bicoloured toucan, sun conure, hyacinth macaw, alba cockatoo, red, blue, green and yellow macaw.
- Felines: caucel, ocelot, puma.
- Turtles: yellow-footed tortoise, sulcata tortoise.
- Monkeys: tamarin monkey, marmoseta monkey, spider monkey.
- Herbivorous animals: tapir, white-tailed deer.
WHAT WILL I DO IN ANIMAL CARE VOLUNTEERING?
Volunteering in animal care is focused on environmental issues, as well as animal care and protection. Your activities may vary according to the needs that arise in the programme. Depending on the needs of the months, the following activities can be carried out:
- Animal care (legislation does not allow animals to be touched).
- Maintenance and cleaning of enclosures.
- Providing animal welfare and learning how to handle the animals and avoiding their domestication.
- Re-introduction of the animals to their natural areas.
- Daily feeding of animals (twice a day). For the feeding of the most dangerous animals, the volunteers will be accompanied by the staff in charge of the centre.
- Cleaning of green areas.
- Support in environmental enrichment programmes.
- Planting trees.
- Crop production and composting (when available).
- Construction of natural structures for the animals.
- Assisting animals with veterinary care. This requires prior training at no cost and is on certain occasions or seasons.
- You will also collaborate as a guide in the Eco-tourism programme. This activity requires prior training at no cost.
All animal care volunteers have 2 days off per week. The centre is located in the San Carlos area in the interior of the country, which allows you to get to know different areas of this beautiful country such as: forests, tropical rainforests, beaches on the Caribbean and the Pacific, as well as a city full of culture.
The centre currently has agreements with local universities, organises educational and guided tours for small groups and the international cooperation of volunteers, so thanks to you they can give shelter to more than 60 different animals that for different reasons have ended up in the centres.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ANIMAL CARE VOLUNTEERING?
- To volunteer in animal care in Costa Rica you must be of legal age.
- Be willing to carry out the assignments.
- Good communication and conduct with the people you collaborate with and the community.
- Be empathetic, participative, committed to the cause and the programme.
- Understand and communicate in Spanish.
There are many activities in which you can help the animals, therefore, it is not required that you have specific knowledge about them, but a good aptitude and respect for the animals. All activities will always be carried out under the supervision of the organisation’s staff, volunteers will be integrated into a group under the responsibility of a project coordinator. Depending on the volunteers you will be able to practice other languages.
WHEN TO VOLUNTEER IN ANIMAL CARE?
- You can participate all year round in the animal rescue and care projects in Costa Rica.
- You can also arrive any day of the week, but preferably on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, as it makes it easier for you to join the project and to get an orientation about the place and the activities to be carried out.
TIMETABLE AND WELCOME POINT
- The waiting point (low cost) is Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).
COORDINATION IN COSTA RICA
Before and during your volunteering in animal care in Costa Rica, you will have a general coordinator from Adventure Volunteer, mainly Juan José, who will be your first contact in Costa Rica.
Once you are part of the Adventure Volunteer family, you will be provided with the contact details of your local coordinator.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE WHEN VOLUNTEERING WITH ANIMALS?
The volunteer’s accommodation in the marina of San Carlos is in family homes or in the volunteer’s house. In both the spaces provided for volunteers, there are common areas such as:
- Shared room with other volunteers (in family homes or volunteer centre under construction).
- Common kitchen with the family
- Shared bathrooms (no hot water)
- Area to leave your belongings
- Close to the bus area where the bus takes you to the centre every day.
The accommodation provides you with three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during your stay and volunteering.
They will be made and served by the local staff with the help of the volunteers. These are local meals that will be served only at the volunteer’s home.
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF VOLUNTEERING?
The volunteer animal care programme in Costa Rica has a series of rules to comply with, which are:
- Prohibition of smoking and drinking inside, outside and in project areas.
- Grabbing or talking to animals.
- Taking flash photography. You must consult the coordinator.
- Feeding animals out of hours, as well as others that will be communicated on the first day of orientation and preparation for wildlife work.
It is not a zoo and we need volunteers who are committed to the environment and respect for animals. You should know that working with animals is about improving their habitat, not interacting with them or touching them directly.
WHAT TO BRING TO VOLUNTEERING IN ANIMAL CARE?
It is recommended that all volunteers participating in the animal care volunteer programme in Costa Rica bring the following items with them:
- Natural repellent (DEET-free)
- Long trousers (work trousers)
- Long sleeves
- Clothes that dry quickly.
- Soap, shampoo, biodegradable detergent and other personal hygiene products.
- Rubber boots
- Topical allergy medicine
- Allergy tablets
- Thin sheets (one pair provided)
- Work gloves
- Shower sandals
- Quick drying towel
- Beach items
- Many pairs of socks
- Reusable water bottle
- Natural sunscreen
- Mosquito net