ab 611€

Großartig 4.4rating (14)

Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

2 - 12 Wochen  ·  Alter 18 - 50+

rating  Großartig 4.4  · 
  von Volunteer World verifiziert
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  • Immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture by living in NATUWA and engaging with locals, accelerating your path to Spanish fluency
  • Enhance your academic and professional journey by gaining valuable international experience that will ignite your passion for your major and boost your career prospects
  • Create lifelong memories and forge meaningful connections with fellow participants as you embark on exciting excursions together, exploring the stunning beaches, volcanoes and rainforests
  • Make the most of your free time by venturing out to the diverse landscapes of Costa Rica, from pristine beaches to majestic volcanoes and lush rainforests

Besonders geeignet für

Alter 18+

Über das Programm

Be part of the NATUWAS's team assisting in feeding the animals, animal enrichment, cleaning enclosures, maintenance of the sanctuary, and guiding tours for visitors.

Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary is a place that provides refuge and protection to the wild animals that have been victimized by human actions such as hunting, removal from their environments, and deforestation. These actions allow species to become vulnerable within their natural habitat, which can cause ...

Über das Programm

Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary is a place that provides refuge and protection to the wild animals that have been victimized by human actions such as hunting, removal from their environments, and deforestation. These actions allow species to become vulnerable within their natural habitat, which can cause immense damage to natural ecosystems. The results of these human actions often include a displacement of animals from their natural habitat.

Many of these displaced animals find the care and rehabilitation that they need at the NATUWA Santuario de Lapas. At our sanctuary, the dislocated animals are given a chance to return to their natural habitat. Unfortunately, due to the actions of humans, reintroduction is often quite difficult. This is where you as a volunteer get to help!

As a volunteer, you play a very important role in the direct care of our animals. Here at NATUWA Santuario de Lapas, we have many animals that require daily care. Volunteers work alongside our workers with feeding, cleaning enclosures, and providing enrichment for all of our animals. Currently, we have six species of macaw, umbrella cockatoos, four species of amazon parrots, seven species of parakeets, Eclectus parrots, spider monkeys, marmoset monkeys, squirrel monkeys, tamarin monkeys, collared peccaries, deer, tapirs, ocelots, and jaguars. The workers that the volunteers will be assisting are from Costa Rica, and most of them only speak Spanish.

Not only do volunteers get to interact with our workers who are from Costa Rica, but our project also has the support of local universities. Costa Rican students come to the sanctuary to do their graduation thesis, business practices (ecotourism), and also schools that send their students to perform a required volunteer work of 300 hours. This offers a great chance for our volunteers to be immersed in the Latin American culture.

NATUWA Santuario de Lapas is located in Aranjuez, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica. Aranjuez is a quiet country town with dirt roads. The locals all know about our sanctuary, and they are very friendly! Volunteers are encouraged to bring board games and outdoor toys like footballs, frisbees, etc. About 1km from the sanctuary, there is a grass soccer field that volunteers are welcome to use and play with the locals. There is also a small supermarket located next to the soccer field.

Due to the environment that our volunteers work in, we require pants and rain boots to be worn while working. Rain boots can be brought, or purchased here for around $15 USD. It is also highly recommended that each volunteer bring a mosquito net for a twin-sized bed. Volunteers sleep in housing inside of the sanctuary, and all bedsheets are provided, but volunteers are welcome to bring their own! We also provide and cook all of the food for our volunteers. We expect nothing more than a positive attitude and willingness to work from each of our volunteers!


This volunteer project is quite different from other projects around Costa Rica. We never have a shortage of work, in fact, we are almost always looking for more hands to help! We have over 500 animals that need daily care. If you are lack motivation or passion for animal care and conservation, this ...


This volunteer project is quite different from other projects around Costa Rica. We never have a shortage of work, in fact, we are almost always looking for more hands to help! We have over 500 animals that need daily care. If you are lack motivation or passion for animal care and conservation, this may not be the project for you (and that's ok!) Our daily schedule can be intense, but the work at the Sanctuary is extremely rewarding!

6:00 am-8:00 am - Morning feeding of animals with light supervision after an introduction period (minimum 3 days).

8:00am-8:15am - Breakfast!

8:15 am-10:30 am - Daily tasks (see list below)

10:30 am-10:45 am - Juice break!

10:45 am-12:00 md - Daily tasks (see list below)

12:00md-1:00pm - Lunch, WiFi, and nap time!

1:00 pm-3:00 pm -
Afternoon feeding of animals with light supervision after an introduction period (minimum 3 days).

After the afternoon feeding, volunteers are free to do whatever they would like for the rest of the day! Dinner is ready by 6:00 pm.

List of Daily Tasks:

Cleaning under animal feeding stations, providing water to animals, washing enclosure floors, moving animals, sanctuary maintenance, feeding baby animals, sorting macadamia nuts, providing fresh-cut grass to our mammals, and anything else that needs to be done to benefit the wild animals we take care in our Sanctuary!


Each week, volunteers are entitled to a free day to relax and explore the surroundings, you can coordinate with the staff of the store, to organize cultural activities where you can visit the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. The options we offer as a group is to visit the beach, rivers, ...


Each week, volunteers are entitled to a free day to relax and explore the surroundings, you can coordinate with the staff of the store, to organize cultural activities where you can visit the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. The options we offer as a group is to visit the beach, rivers, mountains and many more destinations that you can describe in group with the other volunteers.

You can request a private cab service to take the volunteers from any destination to Natuwa or other places, for example, the transfer from Juan Santamaria International Airport. From Puntarenas to the sanctuary, volunteers can expect to pay around US$35 approximately, the departure point will change the price mentioned here, the cab service, and US$120 from the Airport (Alajuela) to NATUWA. Always consult with the executive that attends you about the different prices of the services and also if shared services can be programmed so that the cost to be paid is less than this one.



Mindestalter: 18 Jahre

Um an diesem Programm teilzunehmen, musst du zu Programmbeginn mindestens 18 Jahre alt sein. Es kann Ausnahmen geben, wenn du die Erlaubnis deines/r Erziehungsberechtigten vorlegen kannst oder wenn du von deinen Eltern begleitet wirst


Du brauchst folgende Sprachkenntnisse: Englisch (Grundkenntnisse) oder Spanisch (Grundkenntnisse)

Benötigte Unterlagen

-Travel insurance and a negative COVID Test with no more than 48 hours.


Es gibt keine Beschränkungen. Helfende Hände aus aller Welt sind willkommen.

Andere Fähigkeiten

Non-required, but appreciated skills include: 1. Feed animals. 2. Cleaning of enclosures. 3. Assist animals in emergencies. 4. Participate in the management of those species that have just entered the Sanctuary. 5. Planting trees. 6. Production of crops for food. (Volunteers and animals). 7. Ecological tours. 8. General maintenance of the park and its cleaning. 9. Construction of structures and toys to support environmental enrichment. 10. Marketing


Deine Hilfe wird an folgenden Tagen benötigt: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag und Sonntag von 06:00 - 15:00



Dienstleistungen von NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary

Three meal times, Wifi, cleaning common areas, bed linen, electricity, water. 
Accommodation in student residence, shared rooms, quadruple rooms in single beds of two.

Laundry service has an additional cost.

This price does not include additional costs, public transportation, cabs or personal expenses outside NATUWA.


Currently, volunteer housing is in two separate buildings. The first building is a typical Costa Rica country style house with one room including three bunk beds, a fan, storage space, and windows. The house is typically reserved for long-term volunteers (4 weeks or more). The second building is a modified shipping container with three rooms. Each room of the container includes two bunk beds, a fan, and storage space for personal items. It is advised for volunteers to bring their own mosquito nets. Volunteers are expected to keep their areas clean and respect the property of others.

The bathroom and shower are located in a separate building adjacent to the container. No hot water is available for the showers.

Laundry is typically done by hand, but a laundry machine is available for free. Drying of clothes is done on clotheslines.

WiFi is currently available in the volunteer housing. Also, WiFi is available in the sanctuary gift shop.


The meals are typical dishes of Costa Rica. Almost every meal includes rice, beans, or salad. Juice or coffee is offered for every meal.

Example Breakfast Meals:
1. "Gallo pinto" with: egg, plantain, or sausage.
2. Cereal
3. Fruits (watermelon, banana, and papaya).

Example Lunch Meals:
1. Rice and beans with a meat
2. Rice and beans with spaghetti
3. Meat and vegetable soup with rice

Example Dinner Meals:
1. Rice and beans with a meat
2. Hamburger
3. Cold cut sandwich

It is very important that you inform us if you have any special diets or food allergies.


Limitierte Verbindung vor Ort

Was ist NICHT inklusive?

Was ist NICHT inklusive?

Abholung vom Flughafen Juan Santamaria International Airport

Das Abholen vom Flughafen ist auch nicht in den Programmgebühren enthalten.


Der nächstgelegene Flughafen ist Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. Wir helfen dir günstige Flüge nach Costa Rica zu finden. FINDE GÜNSTIGE FLÜGE


Ins Ausland zu gehen ist ein Abenteuer, auf das man sich stets gut vorbereiten sollte. Plötzliche Krankheit oder Verletzung, Stornierung oder Diebstahl - eine Reiseversicherung für Costa Rica bietet die nötige Sicherheit. ANGEBOT EINHOLEN


Bevor du deine Freiwilligenarbeit in Costa Rica antrittst, solltest du dich noch einmal von deinem Arzt beraten lassen und deine erforderlichen Impfungen für Costa Rica überprüfen. IMPFSCHUTZ ÜBERPRÜFEN

Informationen zur Anreise

Volunteers may arrive at any time of day, any day of the week, any week of the month, and any month of the year! Transportation from the airport is not provided, but can be arranged - just let us know if you'd like help getting here!

Jan Feb Mär Apr Mai Jun Jul Aug Sep Okt Nov Dez


2 Wochen (Mindestaufenthalt) 611€
3 Wochen 917€
4 Wochen 1.222€
5 Wochen 1.528€
6 Wochen 1.833€
7 Wochen 2.139€
12 Wochen (Maximaler Aufenthalt) 3.667€
Durchschnittliche Gebühren 306€/Woche


306€ / Woche 2 - 12 Wochen Alter 18 - 50+


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2 - 12 Wochen


Mit der Anzahlung reservierst du deinen Platz beim Freiwilligenprogramm. Zahlungen werden von PayPal abgewickelt, unserem vertrauenswürdigen globalen Zahlungsanbieter. Falls du keinen PayPal Account hast, kannst du die Anzahlung auch mit einer Kreditkarte bezahlen.

Ausstehende Zahlung

Deine Restzahlung vereinbarst du mit NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary während des Bewerbungsprozesses. Normalerweise handelt es sich um eine Banküberweisung oder eine Barzahlung am Projektstandort.

Lerne deine Organisation kennen

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary

Großartig 4.4 rating (14 Bewertungen)

Agentur - gegründet 1994

von Volunteer World verifiziert

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Veranstaltet von


Gesprochene Sprachen: Spanisch, Englisch

Über die Organisation

Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary is a place that provides refuge and protection to the wild animals that have been victimized by human actions.

Lerne deine Organisation kennen

The Sanctuary

The Macaw Sanctuary NATUWA was created in the year 1994 by Costa Ricans Mainor Khayyan and Rodolfo Orozco for their grand admiration for the psittacidaes, like the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao), the Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) and other wild parrots. In addition, the Sanctuary began as a result of their preoccupation with the constant threat that these emblematic birds face, the loss of their natural habitat and their extraction from the forest as pets. For these reasons there has been an incredible reduction in the population of native wild macaws in Costa Rica, further highlighting the importance of such a sanctuary of conservation.


The Macaw Sanctuary has the primary purpose to conserve native, wild macaws of Costa Rica and develop a captive management and breeding program to rescue, rehabilitate and reintroduce them into the wild, with support from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the National Police and volunteers from civil society. Additionally, the Sanctuary facilitates programs of ecological restoration, environmental education, ecotourism and wildlife rescue. 

The Macaw Sanctuary has been developing a native forest reserve to offer as a benefit to all the animals in the region, as well as those of the project. Since 2000, the trees we have planted have provided food, water and habitat to hundreds of macaws, parrots, sloths, iguanas and howler monkeys, both residents and visitors. Many migratory birds also temporarily visit this oasis to restore their energy and continue their continental journey. The vegetation of the sanctuary, with abundant almond beach trees, jobos, guasimos, senizaros also provides a permanent home for many animals in the area to find refuge.

The Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa recieves confiscated animals from the System of National Areas of Conservation (SINAC), National Police or Fire, and civil society volunteers. NATUWA supports the rescue, rehabilitation and liberation of the native fauna of Costa Rica.


The Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa has developed a guided, ecotourism experience for the Costa Rican society and international public. This personalized experience allows guests to make interesting observations and have their questions answered. During the guided tours, guests also learn about ecological themes focusing on the conservation of our forests and the protection of Costa Rican fauna.

Along the trails, visitors learn about the animal species that live in the Sanctuary – jaguars, macaws, tapirs, monkies, etc – their natural history and the actual problems that are impacting their extinction.

The ecotourism program also serves as a bridge with the local community, providing job opportunities and economic support so that we can continue to rescue, maintain and rehabilitate the animals.

The tour is exclusively lead by a guide. Before entering the sanctuary, visitors recieve an explanation of the important rules: 1.) Do not touch the animals; 2.) Do not talk to the animals; 3.) Do not feed the animals; 4.) Stay on the trails, etc. These rules are in place as to not cause any stress to the animals and to make the visitor’s experience more enjoyable.

At NATUWA, we are all animal lovers. However, being an animal lover comes with a lot of responsibility. It is our responsibility to direct our love in a positive manner. Loving an animal does not mean hugging, touching, or showing affection to an animal, but rather having scientific knowledge of how to care for an animal in a way that will allow it to succeed in nature.

Volunteering at NATUWA is a wonderful and unique experience that is perfect for people of all ages and all backgrounds. Volunteers will be able to positively impact the animals of the sanctuary, learn and practice Spanish, meet new people from all over the world and experience a different culture.

We need YOU! Each volunteer has a huge impact on the lives of the animals. With volunteers, we are able to make progress on all projects large and small. Together, we can directly improve the lives of the animals in captivity and focus our attention towards our rehabilitation and release efforts. All of which you can be part of! For more information please visit www.natuwa.com/volunteer

The Reproduction Program of the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) and Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) provides opportunities for the animals to learn the necessary skills for eventual liberation in their natural environments. These skills are only learned through limited interaction with humans, something that many of the confiscated macaws did not have prior. The macaws that are born at the Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa learned these important skills from their parents and other macaws at the project.

The Sanctuary has modern infrastructure for each animal that inhabits the refuge  either temporarily or permanently that goes beyond the requirements requested by Costa Rican wildlife laws.

Enclosures generate the ideal space to promote physical and mental health of non-releasable animals to live together in dignity while in captivity. We also have management infrastructure that allows the rehabilitation of animals that are most fortunate to be prepared for later release into the natural environment for which they belong.

Currently the Macaw Sanctuary NATUWA has:
1. Area for keeping animals
2. Neonatal care
3. Veterinary clinic
4. Quarantine zone
5. Food preparation area
6. Residential area
7. Large enclosures that allow uninterrupted flight (200m circumference)


Macaw Sanctuary NATUWA, is located in the Communities of Aranjuez and Pithaya, Province of Puntarenas.

  • Sanctuary Rules for volunteers.
  1. No smoking inside or outside the facilities (Very Important).
  2. Do not talk to animals.
  3. Do not feed the animals (outside feeding time).
  4. When taking pictures, the use of flash is prohibited.
  5. The use of any type of drug is prohibited.
  6. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
  7. Be respectful of the staff of the sanctuary (sexual harassment, racism, homophobia or xenophobia will not be tolerated).
  8. Do not allow strangers (outsiders) to enter the sanctuary.
  9. Follow the safety rules according to the activity (gloves, helmet, eyeglasses, boots, pants).
  10. Do not carry any electronic device during working time (Cell phones and camaras).
  11. Insect repellents containing DEET are strictly prohibited.

14 Bewertungen · rating4.4

Eva Cuendet rating4.8

2023 at Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

My time in Natuwa was amazing. The staff is friendly and the place is beautiful. I learned many things while I was there and had a really enjoyable time. The vet is really nice and tries her best to make every day different and interesting, all the while keeping it accessible to everyone (pre-vet ...
aimee berkhout rating4.6

2023 at Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

I really liked my stay at NATUWA. Made a lot off friends and it was a super experience. The work can sometimes be hard but overall I really enjoyed it. The food was fine, a lot of rice and beans but you can expect that when you are in Costa Rica. There could be a little bit more variation in the ...
Pascale Emmisberger rating3.6

2023 at Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

I really enjoyed my stay at the Natuwa Sanctuary. We were only around 12/13 volunteers, so the atmosphere was really familiar. There are plenty of beautiful animals to take care off. The work can be hard, when you are cleaning the cages or ranking leaves, so be prepared to work hard and get ...
Hans Muller rating4

2022 at Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

Going to Natuwa was one of the best experiences i’ve had, the place is beautiful and they really take good care of the animals, everyone is working very hard so you must be prepared for that but its really good to have some discipline and a lot of activity that keeps you busy, i met amazing people ...
Cedric Avila rating3.8

2022 at Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

Our stay at Natuwa was fantastic, people in care of the place are extremely kind . But one horrible experience that should be improved is FOOD. We think that the owner is trying to save money and does not care about volunteers. We were given every day only rice and beans poorly cooked. We were ...
sicily knitel rating2.8

2021 at Assistant in Wildlife Sanctuary

Natuwa wild life centre was very beautiful and the animals were amazing. Most employees were beyond Amazing(Aaron). But there was issues with one of the managers and they didn’t handle it well. She had a couple run ins with multiple volunteers including me, she acted as a bully and used her power ...


Amerika > Mittelamerika > Costa Rica > Aranjuez, Puntarenas

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