Local Wildlife Helper

founded in 2003
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Coordinator | Marion
Coordinator | Marion
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Help endangered wildlife and get close to amazing animals
Help protect our planet earth
Boost your resume with international volunteer experience
Explore a country that is famous for its rich biodiversity and amazing landscapes
Visit amazing places throughout Costa Rica during your free time
Help local wildlife, like monkeys and sloths, in Costa Rica and get involved in this amazing Animal Rescue Center. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Animal Rescue Center in Costa Rica is dedicated to protect and help endangered Costa Rican wildlife indigenous to our beautiful country. First and foremost, their goal is to ensure the welfare of injured animals and help them recover from their physical and psychological wounds. They rescue, rehabilitate and ultimately release the animals back to their natural habitat. It is a non-profit organization. The center has an on-site hospital staffed by dedicated vets/interns and comfortable living quarters which can house up to 60 volunteers at anytime. The animal enclosures include but are not limited to an aviary, sloth gardens and monkey cages all surrounded by nature in order to allow the animals a place as close to their natural habitat as they recover from their wounds.

The Animal Rescue Center takes care of a variety of animals including monkeys, sloths, anteaters, possums, birds, and more - basically anything that needs help! (Note: Animal population is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed).

Typical day

As the name of the program suggests, the day-to-day work of the volunteers revolves mainly around caring for the animals. In addition to procuring food, preparing it and feeding the animals, this also includes cleaning, repairing and expanding the cages and enclosures. Volunteers also help maintain the on-site walkways leading to the cages and pens.

Volunteers work between 6 and 8 hours per day from Monday to Friday/Saturday. The weekends are usually free and you can travel or explore the beautiful surroundings. Excursions to the dream beaches of Costa Rica are also possible.

As a volunteer you should have a deep desire to work hard and understand the situation of the animals as you are responsible for the welfare and daily care of the animals. You will not only be involved in the daily care and cleaning work, but also in construction and maintenance work aimed at improving the living conditions of the animals. The sanctuary also reintroduces animals if they are willing to survive on their own in their natural habitat, although this is not always possible.

The animals, especially the monkeys, love to play. Volunteers always have fun designing and making toys for the animals. This helps the animals get over the traumatic experiences they've had in the past and reminds staff and volunteers how great it is that there is a rescue center for these wonderful animals.

The animal rescue station is also open to visitors; their entrance fees and donations are important sources of income for the center to be able to finance the work with the animals. From time to time, volunteers also help to look after the guests, educate them about the animals and their dangers and they ensure that everything is in order during a visit.

Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.

Free-time activities

The volunteer project is located in the Alajuela region near Turrucares, in a beautiful natural setting. The area is characterized by small rivers, extensive meadows, hills and rich flora.

Turrucares is located pretty much right in the middle of Costa Rica not too far from the capital, San José. The Pacific coast with its dream beaches is also not far and is ideal for a weekend trip.


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:30 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by South America Inside
  • Shared room in volunteer house
  • Full board
  • Airport pick-up San José with 1-2 overnight stays in San José
  • Professional English-speaking advice
  • Translation of your application documents
  • Elaboration of your internal application profile
  • Volunteer Work Placement
  • English-speaking in-country support
  • Orientation session in our partner office in San José
  • Handbook Costa Rica
  • Intercultural guideline
  • Certificate of participation from South America Inside
  • 24/7 emergency number
  • Help with taking out suitable travel insurance
Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport
Airport pick-up and overnight stay in San José are included in the programm. Volunteers will have an orientation session in San José before heading to the project site. The local travel from San José to the project is not included.
The volunteers at this animal rescue center in Costa Rica live together in dormitories in the simple but cozy volunteer house. The house is equipped with the essentials. There is a dining area where volunteers meet to eat. This area is also the meeting point where volunteers gather to talk, relax or make plans for their free time. Local cooks, who primarily prepare local meals (including vegetarian and vegan options), provide delicious food.

The volunteer house has electricity, drinking water, WIFI internet and a good working cell phone signal. The washing machine can be used at an additional cost.
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
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 Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The project is open year round. Every volunteer can set start and end dates as there is no special day for check- in and check-out.

Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us in case of emergency.

In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our partner organization in Costa Rica located in San José, as well as the on-site volunteer coordinator on-site.

Depending on the day of arrival in Costa Rica, the program includes one to two nights in San José in a single room with a host family (including breakfast).

Before you leave for the project site, you will take part in an orientation talk with our colleagues in San José.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$391 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
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 (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Local Wildlife Helper

Help local wildlife, like monkeys and sloths, in Costa Rica and get involved in this amazing Animal Rescue Center.


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