from 1,150€

Fantastic 4.5rating (91)

Animal Welfare Helper

location
2 - 50 weeks  ·  Age 14 - 50+

rating  Fantastic 4.5  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Good response rate

Complete your reservation as soon as possible. This project fills up quickly and is already booked on certain dates.


Highlights

  • Join us in the mission to rescue and protect animals that have suffered from cruelty and neglect, and be their voice for a better future
  • Discover the undeniable benefits of being around animals – scientifically proven to make you happier and healthier
  • Make a meaningful contribution to a cause that aligns with your values and passion
  • Experience the joy of selfless giving, where the reward lies in knowing you're making a difference in the lives of innocent creatures
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant Spanish culture, learn or improve your Spanish skills, and embrace the enriching Spanish way of life

Especially suitable

Age 14+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

Volunteer at animal shelters and give your love and care to animals that have been abandoned or abused by their owners and are looking for a new home 🐕.

The Issue 

Running an animal shelter or sanctuary is a monumental task, one that requires unwavering dedication, resources, and, most importantly, a loving heart for animals. The sheer amount of work involved in maintaining these programs is nothing short of heroic, and this is where the altruism ...

About the program

The Issue 

Running an animal shelter or sanctuary is a monumental task, one that requires unwavering dedication, resources, and, most importantly, a loving heart for animals. The sheer amount of work involved in maintaining these programs is nothing short of heroic, and this is where the altruism and dedication of volunteers shine. The beauty of volunteering in animal shelters is that it's inclusive and accessible to people of all ages. It's a profound opportunity for young and old alike to channel their passion for animals into meaningful action. Whether you're a compassionate teenager looking for your first volunteer experience or a retiree seeking a fulfilling way to spend your golden years, we welcome your enthusiasm!

We don't just offer volunteering opportunities. We empower you to make a difference and learning Spanish at the same time. Engage in hands-on volunteer projects, from community development to environmental conservation, and see the immediate impact of your efforts while improving your language skills.

The sanctuary has been in operation since 2019, and houses around 25 animals in their shelter but each season is different with ups and downs in the number of animals and adoptions. This site is located within the outskirts of Bilbao, housing abandoned animals and giving them a chance to be looked after and loved. Furthermore it gives them the chance to be adopted or pass away peacefully of natural causes, without the need for an abrupt end


What you'll be doing 

Volunteering at animal shelters on the beautiful Atlantic coast of Bilbao offers a rich and rewarding experience that goes beyond cuddling furry friends (though there's plenty of that too!). The tasks and responsibilities for volunteers are as diverse as the animals they care for:

  • cleaning shelters
  • feeding animals
  • walking dogs and cats and assisting in the rehabilitation of traumatized animals
  • administer medications if needed and provide support for sterilization procedures and adoption processes
  • helping with public relations and educational work with the community

The help of our volunteers in the first site is important for the cleaning, looking after, exercise and playing with the animals found there. However what they really need are volunteers willing to spend quality time and show affection to the animals to help them feel loved after the neglect they have experienced with previous owners.


Spanish Classes
Our intensive Bilbao Spanish courses 20 hours per week from 9.30 to 1.30 Monday to Friday  focus on the core elements of language acquisition: oral comprehension and communication, reading, and writing. You'll gain well-rounded proficiency. Forget dry textbooks! Our lessons come alive with lively discussions, engaging projects, role-playing, and stimulating homework. Learning Spanish in Bilbao has never been this dynamic and fun! Our seasoned teachers are your dedicated mentors, here to support you every step of the way on your Spanish learning journey. With their expertise, you'll fully embrace Bilbao and all it has to offer.



Typical day

Volunteer tasks may include: Caring for stray dogs and cats (grooming, taking dogs for walks), cleaning cages, , distributing food for animals on the streets , PR,  help raise funds, etc. Before starting your volunteer project, you will receive an orientation from our local staff. Staff who run ...

Typical day

Volunteer tasks may include: Caring for stray dogs and cats (grooming, taking dogs for walks), cleaning cages, , distributing food for animals on the streets , PR,  help raise funds, etc. Before starting your volunteer project, you will receive an orientation from our local staff. Staff who run this kind of organizations are very happy to welcome volunteers from all over the world. Usually you will be in the program with other volunteers. There are morning and afternoon schedules Be flexible. So you will have time to enjoy your afternoon on the beach. This program allows you to rescue and work with abandoned dogs and cats and pets in general while helping them find a new home.

Daily tasks can include: 

Cleaning animals' rooms, washing and brushing of animals, giving animals exercise, caring for animals, feeding animals and if necessary administering medicines to sick animals as well as being alert to anything that might be wrong with them.

Clothes must be casual and comfortable.

 Comfortable (preferably old) clothing and a water bottle are considered essential for the project. Commitment to the project, hardiness, and energy/enthusiasm when undertaking tasks related to the programme.

 

 Work at a shelter and get to know both the creatures along with the lovely people of the local community.

A typical day during Spanish class might look like this

In our program we include 2 weeks of Intensive Spanish courses upon arrival during the mornings. In the afternoons you go to work as a volunteer max. 20 hours per week.

  • 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM - Spanish classes during the first 2 weeks. 
  • 2 PM - Team meeting and leave for the animal shelter. 
  • 3 PM - 6 PM - Performing tasks with the animals. 
  • 6:30 PM: End of tasks. Free time.

The main objectives are learning the values and positive attitude necessary to look after the animals and to appreciate the work entailed in the care of these animals, as well as a sense of team rapport/cohesion and commitment


Free-time activities

During weekdays we organize free leisure and cultural activities such as

  • salsa lessons 
  • wine tasting 
  • excursions 
  • tapas tours or 
  • visits to museums 

All of the above are free of charge for our volunteers.

Volunteers have the weekends free. At weekends students can also enjoy their passions such as ...

Free-time activities

During weekdays we organize free leisure and cultural activities such as

  • salsa lessons 
  • wine tasting 
  • excursions 
  • tapas tours or 
  • visits to museums 

All of the above are free of charge for our volunteers.

Volunteers have the weekends free. At weekends students can also enjoy their passions such as hiking, surfing or going to a winery. The area is full of potential activities to enjoy beaches and mountains.  You can also enjoy the astonishing areas where some of the chapters of game of thrones was played. Be sure that Saint James walk is also going through Bilbao. To sum up, a place where you can not get bored.


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 14 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 14 years old on the program start date.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (intermediate level) or Spanish (basic level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

Passion for animals and a need to help others

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 14:00 - 18:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Instituto Hemingway

Program fees include:
  • Two weeks of Spanish course, 20 hours per week for the first two weeks (Placement test before arrival) 
  • Pick up at the airport and transfer to your accommodation 
  • Cultural activities from Monday to Friday 
  • Accommodation dorm room, city centre walking distance  to the school (Wifi, weekly cleaning, electricity, water and kitchen).
  • Supervisor and regular evaluation meetings during your program 
  • Support 24 hours and 7 days a week from our associated local staff.  
  • Certificate of volunteering at the end as well as the Spanish course with the level achieved. 
  • Center Accredited by the Cervantes Institute 
  • Volunteering max. 20 hours per week

Airport Pickup at Bilbao Airport

Airport pick up from Bilbao airport included. From there we will take you to your accommodation.

Accommodation

We offer dorm room walking distance to school, city centre, all amenities including wifi and cleaner once per week. There are kitchen and bathroom facilities too. In case you want a single room please ask for a price difference.

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Food & Beverages

Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Bilbao Airport (BIO) in Bilbao. We assist you to find cheap flights to Spain. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Spain provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

At Instituto Hemmingway, the doors to meaningful experiences are wide open, and your journey can begin on any given Monday, every week of the year. We understand that life has its own rhythm, and flexibility is key to ensuring everyone can embark on this transformative adventure.

After the initial orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for max 4 hours per day. 


Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,150€
3 weeks 1,450€
4 weeks 1,680€
5 weeks 1,800€
6 weeks 2,050€
9 weeks 2,655€
17 weeks 5,500€
49 weeks 14,689€
50 weeks (max. stay) 14,690€
Average fees 434€/week

Program fees

434€ per week 2 - 50 weeks Age 14 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

2 - 50 weeks

Deposit

The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.


Final Payment

Your final payment will be agreed with Instituto Hemingway during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

Instituto Hemingway

Fantastic 4.5 rating (91 reviews)

Agency - founded in 1999

Verified by Volunteer World

  Good response rate

Coordinated by

Jose

Spoken languages: English, Spanish

About the project

Instituto Hemingway is a worker-run service cooperative that works the local network of NGOs, associations and social enterprises with international volunteers.

Meet your organization


Our vision is to promote international volunteerism, local associations and social enterprises by strategically matching international volunteer with local talents and creative thinking. Our goal is to function as a hub of innovative ideas and projects that can have a positive impact on Bilbao and the surrounding region. To that purpose we are constructing a community of social innovators - an international network that combines the energy and passion of volunteers from all over the world with the knowledge and skills of local NGOs, associations and social enterprises.

Volunteers work with the International Bilbao Network to support the causes of many Bilbao associations, NGOs, and public schools. Our local partners are committed to fostering social inclusion – in particular with regard to children at risk and migrants – as well as promoting local cultural heritage, English language,  animal care and environmental protection. The different organisations are committed to fostering social inclusion – in particular with regard to children at risk, migrants and homeless – as well as promoting local cultural heritage, English language, and environmental protection.

We are located in downtown Bilbao, just a few meters from  Gran Via in the historical centre. Instituto Hemingway is hosted in a 19th-century building across two floors and a rooftop terrace with a panoramic view.



91 reviews · rating4.5

Marco Gnos rating5

2024 at Animal Welfare Helper

Ich habe zwei Wochen im refugio de los sabios mitgeholfen. Das kleine Tierheim wird privat und liebevoll geführt. Da der Grossteil der Arbeiten am Morgen erledigt wird, gab es während meiner Anwesenheit am Nachmittag nur wenig Arbeit. Gerne hätte ich handwerklich mehr geleistet. Trotzdem konnte ...
Sofia Greco rating4

2024 at Animal Welfare Helper

The spanish lessons were organised very good, as well as the leisure time activities and the housing. The whole staff is very welcoming, ready to help and always available. Unfortunately, the cooperation between the voluntary programs (you can choose between some) was poorly organised. The ...
Jana Krueger rating5

2023 at Animal Welfare Helper

What an incredible experience! Jose from Instituto Hemingway, perfectly planned every detail of this trip. We were connected with an outstanding host in the local community and an inspiring organization . Jose was available before the trip and answered all of my questions. He also communicated with ...
Anthony Peters rating5

2023 at Animal Welfare Helper

Reading about everyones enthusiasm here drew me to the shelter and I was not let down. Interacting with the different animale species and fantastic volunteers at the shelter was an incredibly unique and rewarding experience that I will never forget. Very glad I took the trip.If you’re an animal ...
Cora Charlie Grosch rating2.4

2023 at Animal Welfare Helper

I spent the last three weeks with Instituto Hemingway in Bilbao and at the animal shelter. In this review, I will provide some details about the program that are not mentioned on the website, just so that others know what to expect when signing up for this project. Overall, my experience was ...
Suzanne Wittingen-Poot rating1.6

2023 at Animal Welfare Helper

De beschrijving van het vrijwilligerswerk kwam voor slechts 20% overeen met de werkelijkheid. De Spaanse lessen zijn wel een aanrader. De dierenopvang is in Urduna, mooi gelegen in de bergen dus niet aan de kust of in Bilbao zelf. Vanaf centrum Bilbao precies 1 uur reistijd (enkele reis) en ...

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English, Spanish

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