Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi

Support Rescued Wildlife at Machía Sanctuary

Villa Tunari, Bolivia show on map
Milli
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Coordinator | Milli
Coordinator | Milli
Volunteer with rescued wildlife at one of our 3 Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Bolivian Amazon. Machía specialises in monkeys amongst other animals. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

We accept volunteers all year round: 

We welcome volunteers from around the world to assist us in caring for the animals in our refuges. You will be involved in activities such as exercise, providing enrichment, cleaning, and feeding. You might also be asked to assist with maintenance projects and construction. Over 7,000 international individuals have volunteered with us in the past 20 years. 

The minimum time commitment required to volunteer is: 

  • 15-nights to work with small animals
  • 30-nights (or sometimes longer) to work in certain animal areas (e.g. all felines, certain monkey groups etc.) 
  • The day you arrive you do not start work, you will commence the following morning 
  • Please allow time for travel to and from the centre

Location: 

  • Machia Sanctuary - in Villa Tunari, between Cochabamba and Santa Cruz 

Some of the highlights of volunteering with us are: 

  • A unique, worthwhile and memorable experience 
  • Gain hands-on experience of caring for a wide variety of animals 
  • Get up close and personal with orphaned monkeys, felines, tapirs etc. 
  • Incredibly rewarding 
  • Community living - share this experience with many like-minded volunteers
Why to volunteer with us?

Today CIWY is a leader in the management of wild animals within the country. Since the rescue of a spider monkey (Ateles chamek) during the very beginnings of CIWY, we have come a long way in the care of wildlife. More than 20 years later, we now manage three Wildlife Sanctuaries with more than 500 animals of different species. Governmental bodies often consult us about the proper treatment of various species, as well as zoos and other organisations. We are especially experienced in the management of primates, species such as capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) and spider monkeys (Ateles chamek), and large felines. Furthermore, we also have many more different species housed in our Centres.

Many animals arrive at our Centres with various problems, such as poor nutrition, malnourishment, health problems, loss of identity, psychological traumas or physical ailments due to the conditions in which they were kept previously. The majority of these animals cannot be re-released due to the irreversible damage caused by humans since they were taken from their natural habitats. Therefore we work to offer each and every one of these animals the best possible quality of life, including a proper diet, as large an enclosure as we are able to build them, exercise and stimulation.

Work areas

Machía cares for a variety of animals, which are separated into specific areas. Volunteers are assigned to one of these work areas. While volunteer preferences are taken into consideration, we ultimately must assign volunteering duties based on the need at the time. Therefore we cannot guarantee that you will be able to work in a particular area.

All volunteers working with animals assist in cleaning, preparing food and providing enrichment. In addition to this some areas have further responsibilities/duties - these are detailed below. The minimum number of days required to work in each area is also specified below - this minimum is a policy put in place for the benefit and stability of our animals.

Accommodation

Machía has one basic volunteer house. The house has a kitchen with a stove and refrigerator that volunteers are welcome to use.

Bedsheets are provided. Pillows and mosquito nets are given out upon request and depending on availability. You may wish to bring a sleeping bag or blanket for colder nights, and you will need a padlock to lock your room during the day.

Rooms are generally shared between three to four people and all volunteers share the two bathrooms in the volunteer house. The bathrooms have hot showers.

While there is electricity and hot showers, power cuts are common (especially during the rainy season) and consequently, there may be periods of time when we are without hot water and running water.

Volunteers are allocated the beds available at the time of their arrival. If you wish to change rooms, we do take requests to switch to other rooms as they become available.

Should you wish a little more comfort and privacy, there are several hotels and hostels in town. 

Typical day

Each day you will meet at the office at 7 am,  the first task is to prepare the animals food for the day.

You will have time to have breakfast either before or after preparing the animals food, it will depend on which area you are working in, and then you will need to go to your animal manage area.
You will be back at 12:30 to have lunch and rest, to start again at 2:00 pm
You will have different tasks through the day: Make enrichment, cleaning, go for a walk with the animals, some construction projects, etc
The day will finish around 5.30 - 6.00 pm

Details on Arrival

Volunteers are accepted all year round. 

You may, however, wish to bear in mind the following trends in volunteer numbers in choosing when to come:

  • April - August: volunteer numbers tend to reach higher levels, this is our high season.
  • October - February: volunteer numbers tend to be lower, this is when we have a greater need for help. 

Free-time activities

Volunteers usually work 6 days a week. With this time they are free to visit the nearest town, which for Machia is Villa Tunari or Cochabamba. 

Close to Machia you have different options such as the river, excursions, rafting and other places like La Jungla, Parque Carrasco, el Velo de la Novia, 3 Arroyos

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Sports

Program Requirements

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 (intermediate level) and Spanish (basic level)
Required Documents
Yellow fever Vaccine
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
* Be in a good physical condition, with a flexible attitude towards work
* Be able to work in humid weather conditions
* Have a basic understanding of English or Spanish
* A passion to help animals
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 18:00

Included Services

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 Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi 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 Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi

The price includes food and accommodation, at Machia one meal per day a vegetarian lunch (plus tea and coffee) is included, although volunteers have access to kitchen facilities and to the cafe where you can purchase sandwiches, bread, cookies and other items. 

To reserve your place, there is a one-off fee of $100 USD paid via Volunteer World. The remaining volunteer fees are paid in cash in Bolivianos upon arrival to the Sanctuary. 

*The is a 300 Bs security deposit paid in cash upon arrival, this is returned to you at the end of your stay

**The volunteer needs to make a deposit for 200 Bs at the Cafe at Machia. If the volunteer does not spend it all, the change will be returned once the volunteer finishes his/her time







Accommodation

Volunteer house with kitchen (rooms of 3-4 people), stove and refrigerator and 2 shared bathrooms with hot showers, sheets and mosquito nets provided but volunteers may want to bring own sleeping bags. Electricity and hot water. Mobile phone reception with Tigo and Entel, access to wifi at the office from 6:00pm to 7:00am.


Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Volunteers with special dietary requirements should bring some food with them. Most food supplied is vegetarian. 

1. Machia.

Breakfast: Not covered. However coffee or tea are offered. 

Lunch: Vegetarian

Dinner: Not covered

Lunch is served at the cafe. The cafe also offers breakfast and snacks for purchase, it is open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. 

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is J Wilsterman Airport (CBB) in Cochabamba. We assist you to find cheap flights to Bolivia.
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 Bolivia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Bolivia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Bolivia.
Costs: Prices in USD
15 days (min. stay)
$ 383
30 days
$ 586
50 weeks (max. stay)
$ 4,223
Average fees
$ 132 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Villa Tunari/Bolivia between 15 days and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Bolivia.
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 Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Bolivia  Villa Tunari, Avenida Integración

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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