The Amazon Rainforest is commonly known as the lungs of our earth, so it is very alarming, that the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest continues to increase year after year. Wildlife suffers from habitat destruction and illegal animal traps set by poachers. It is frightening to imagine that more than 15.000 unique animal and plant species, including monkeys, reptiles, exotic birds, and wild cats that characterize Ecuador as one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries, could one day just not be there any more! At this wildlife volunteer project in Ecuador, you will be able to help protect and rehabilitate precious Amazonian wildlife.
This project is located in the Amazon Region, about five hours away from Quito, in the Pastaza province. It provides a unique opportunity to actively work in an animal rehabilitation program with exotic animals. The animal rescue center is located in the middle of the settlement Colonia Bolivar, 35 kilometers outside the city of Puyo.
Puyo is located in the province of Pastaza in the beautiful east of the country. It is a small colonial town with about 30,000 inhabitants. The infrastructure of the city is relatively well developed and it is mainly visited by tourists who want to explore the Amazon region. The nearest village to the rescue station is called El Triunfo and can be reached by bus in about 15 minutes. There are small shops selling the most important things.
The surroundings of the sanctuary offer a breathtaking panorama, indescribably beautiful scenery and picture-perfect waterfalls. Despite the location in the rainforest, the heat is tolerable. The temperatures are pleasant and at night it cools off.
The main goal of this volunteer project is to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals that have lived in inappropriate environments (e.g. in small cages in private households, kept as tourist attractions, etc.) or that have fallen victim to animal trafficking or mistreatment. Unfortunately, most animals are in life-threatening and absolutely frightening conditions.
The most commonly trafficked groups of animals are primates, birds, and reptiles. The project works in close collaboration with the Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment. Having been in operation since 2006, the leaders of the initiative dispose of several hectares of primary Amazon forest, where they built the rescue center. Volunteers only work at the rescue center itself, which is located in a safe area. The station cares lovingly to rehabilitate the animals and to take care of them. Animals are brought to the project site by the Environmental Police or others that are committed to protecting wildlife.
You will work directly with the animals and can experience nature and exotic wildlife up close. With your work, you make a great contribution to the protection and preservation of Ecuadorian wildlife. The project cooperates with native Indian communities of the Amazon rainforest.
As a volunteer in this project, you should be an animal lover and have a strong desire to work with and understand animals. You are responsible for the welfare and daily care of the animals. This does not mean that the animals only need to be fed. It also means cleaning and maintaining the enclosures. The center is always striving to improve the living conditions of the animals and to provide them with a pleasant habitat despite their captivity.
What we expect
Please do not put prejudices of the foreign culture and other people into your luggage. You do not need that during your stay abroad! On the contrary, tolerance is a very important feature if you want to be successful and have fun while volunteering abroad. Respect the foreign culture, the other habits and the different mentality with great respect. While the other way of working may not always make much sense in your eyes, the goal of volunteering abroad is not to criticize or smile at people for acting and doing, but to work with them for a good cause.
On a trip abroad, especially in developing countries, you leave your home comfort zone. It is very important that you are ready to adapt to a different life situation. In Latin America, you certainly will not find the usual standards of home again. Especially volunteer projects in developing countries are often located in very secluded areas in the middle of beautiful nature or you live with a local host family, who belongs to a foreign culture. But that's the exciting thing about volunteering abroad! Immerse yourself in a foreign land, experience culture, traditions and people up close, learn from them, just let go and adapt to the other life circumstances. A unique experience that will mature and grow you as a person!
In a voluntary work, the team idea is always over self-interest. Working in a team is fun and brings good mood and variety! So, for your volunteer work abroad, you should bring along a great deal of team spirit, because you always work together with other people, be it volunteers from other countries or local project staff. However, when so many foreign and diverse cultures meet, teamwork can become a whole new challenge. Even more important, that you have the ability to communicate in a group, work constructively and fairly and do not want to punch through your will at all costs.
- Be helpful and responsible
For most projects, volunteers who "do a good job" are most appreciated. By participating in a voluntary service abroad, you are consciously choosing to work in another country. You are not on a vacation trip. So, you have choosen to offer your help and valuable time to other people, nature protection or animals welfare. What really matters is your helpfulness! A really very important and unavoidable trait is the sense of responsibility. The volunteer project is counting on your support and your cooperation has been tightly scheduled. A high level of responsibility is the alpha and omega. During your volunteer work in Latin America, you are assigned to certain areas of activity that you must do on your own. Please take your role as a volunteer very seriously and carry out your tasks in the project conscientiously and carefully.
Be prepared for the fact that volunteering in Latin America is much different from what you know or are used to at home. The Latin Americans have a completely different order, time and work understanding. Even their logic of approaching certain things may not always make much sense in your eyes. The different language and culture can quickly lead to misunderstandings or communication problems. An important principle for you: always be flexible and spontaneous! You will soon realize that there is a solution for all situations and that you can quickly develop a plan B from a problem.
- Be proactive and take initiative
During your voluntary work abroad, do not expect someone to explain to you in a big way what needs to be done, where and when. Often there is only a brief introduction and then your proactivity and initiative are asked. Get actively involved, offer your help and see where you can best apply your skills and strengths. It is always great when volunteers constructively and friendly affix ideas and suggest their own small projects.