Wildlife Internship

Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center
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Coördinator | Jeanne Marie Pittman
Coördinator | Jeanne Marie Pittman
Boek met de Flex-Optie! Kies nieuwe vertrekdata of wijzig je vrijwilligersproject zonder meerkost.


Experience daily life in a working wildlife sanctuary, rehabilitation center and endangered species breeding center.
Gain valuable knowledge, experience and insight into animal care, conservation issues and research methods.
Improve your Spanish by working alongside our local staff.
Meet fellow interns from all over the world.
Explore all Costa Rica has to offer in your free time!
Help us care for and return wild animals to the wild and gain valuable animal care experience in a lush tropical setting with all the comforts of home. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Leeftijd 18+

Interning with Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (RWRC) is a life-changing opportunity to work with wild animals in Costa Rica and assist us with our mission to protect and restore Costa Rica’s biodiversity through:

  • Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release
  • Endangered Species Breeding and Reintroduction
  • Biodiversity Preservation
  • Lifetime Care of Non-releasable Animals

RWRC is based in Alajuela, just 15 minutes from the main international airport. The center is set in 34 acres of tropical forest and is home to over 800 animals.

Interns stay on-site in a bright, well-appointed house with Wi-Fi, a full kitchen, dedicated laundry facilities and spacious shared bedrooms. The guesthouse is a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms, a kitchen and a laundry room.  Linens, towels and pillows are provided. We are happy to try to accommodate visitors who are traveling together. The windows are screened so there is no need for a mosquito net unless you are visiting one of our release sites. There are fans in all the rooms. very intern is provided with private, lockable closet space. There is ample closet space for personal belongings. Wifi is available in the guesthouse, restaurant and coffee shop. 

Lunch and dinner are prepared by the chef in our on-site restaurant, and breakfast foods are supplied for you to prepare in the guest house. The program is 'all-inclusive'! 


Full vaccination for Covid-19 or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival is required to participate in any of our programs. 


Interns work with our local team to provide the resident animals with the very best care and give the rehabilitating animals the best chance of being released back into the wild!

  • Assist the caregivers in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary and Endangered Species Breeding Centre with feeding, cleaning and maintenance. 
  • Collect data for behavioral research in the Endangered Species Breeding Center. 
  • Learn to recognize and collect wild foods for baby sloths and howler monkeys in the Rehabilitation Center. 
  • Participate in weekly lecture series on wildlife care, rehabilitation and conservation. 
  • Design and implement animal enrichment in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary, Endangered Species  Breeding Center and Rehabilitation Center. 
  • Clicker training animals in the sanctuary to allow for veterinary checks. 

Please note: Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center has a strict “hands off” policy in all areas of our center. This is not only for the safety of our interns, but also prevents rehabilitating animals from becoming too tame to be released. While we completely understand the desire to be close to animals, allowing the animals at the center to be handled and petted by ever-changing interns would be unethical and detrimental to their welfare.

Dagelijkse activiteiten


One day you may be collecting natural browse for the baby sloths in the Rehabilitation Center, another day you may be monitoring the behavior of the Scarlet Macaws in the Endangered Species Breeding Center or making environmental enrichment for the coyotes in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary and yet another day you might be helping to clicker train Guapo the jaguar! 

Various projects are developed throughout the year and there are often opportunities for longer-term interns to assist at Rescates release sites in Nicoya and Golfito. So a “typical day” will  be different depending on the needs of the animals. 


Everyday is different, but here is a sample of what you might expect: 

  • 7:00 - 9:30: Identifying and collecting plants for infant sloths and monkeys and  cleaning enclosures in the Rehabilitation Center. 
  • 9:30 - 10:00: BREAK 
  • 10:00 - 12:00: Designing, building and implementing enrichment items for animals  in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary. 
  • 12:00: LUNCH 
  • 13:00 - 14:00: Feeding the great green macaws and Scarlet Macaws in the  Endangered Species Breeding Center. 
  • 14:00 - 15:00: Wildlife Lecture Series 
  • 16:30-17:00 (Optional): Big cat clicker training and enrichment.
Interns generally participate in activities in the sanctuary, breeding center and rehabilitation center 8 hours per day, 5 days per week with two days off for rest or travel. You are not guaranteed to have two day off in a row, but we will do our best to accommodate all requests. You are welcome to request additional days off if you prefer a lighter schedule or want to organize an excursion. Rescate is staffed from 6 am to 6 pm. It is important that we keep the number of people in the rehabilitation center to a minimum to prevent negative impact on the animals, thus you will not be permitted to enter the rehabilitation center on your days off. 


Interns have two days off per week and there is a bus stop just opposite the rescue center - you are encouraged to use your free time to explore everything that Costa Rica has to offer! 

Visit the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve and find the famous quetzal, visit the Arenal Volcano - the most active volcano in Costa Rica or simply head to one of Costa Rica’s fabulous beaches and relax! 

Whatever your interests, we can help you organize an amazing holiday in Costa Rica before, during or after your internship. We have access to an experienced tour agent who can help you organize local transport, accommodation and activities whatever your interests are and wherever you want to go. 



Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.
Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (basis niveau)
Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.
Andere vaardigheden
No skills are required to participate in our Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer and Internship program, just a strong interest in wildlife and animal welfare and a desire to help us return Costa Rica's wildlife to the wild where they belong.
Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, zaterdag en zondag

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center
What's included?
Internship, breakfast, lunch, dinner, linens, wifi, accommodation.

What's not included?
Flights and Travel insurance, personal items
*Transport to and from the airport can be arranged for $20 per trip
Afhaal aan de luchthaven op Juan Santamaria International Airport

We will pick you up at the Juan Santamaria International airport. We set up a WhatsApp chat where you enter your flight detail. On arrival there is wifi at the airport and once you let us know that you have landed, we will be waiting outside the airport for you. You will receive a photo of the vehicle that will be picking you up. 

Shared accommodation will be provided in a secure 3-bedroom house with shared bathroom and kitchen areas. Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center is fenced and has 24-hour security. WIFI is available 24 hours a day in the interns/volunteer accommodation, restaurant, outdoor café, rehabilitation center, and at various sites throughout the Lifetime Care Sanctuary.

There is a mixture of single beds and bunkbeds and bedding and bath towels are provided. Rooms and beds are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, but we are happy to try to accommodate visitors who are traveling together. The windows are screened so there is no need for a mosquito net unless you are visiting one of our release sites. There is ample closet space for personal belongings. Each room has two closets. Linens, towels and pillows are provided. You are not allowed to take the towels, pillows or linens out of the guest house for any reason. If you are assigned a room with four beds, you will be sharing a closet. Please keep the room tidy and ensure that all personal items are kept in the closets when not in use. We recommend that you lock any valuable items in the closet if you are not in the room as we cannot be responsible for any missing items.
Eten & Drank
Breakfast: Eggs, fruit, cereal, milk, tea and coffee are provided for interns and volunteers to prepare their own breakfast.
Lunch & dinner: Cooked meals are provided in the on-site restaurant. Special diets will gladly be accommodated on request. Food can also be purchased a la carte from the restaurant in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary. There is also an ice cream shop, a snack shop, and a small outdoor café in the sanctuary where you can sample freshly made juice pops, fantastic gourmet coffee, or local pastries.

All meal requests must be placed on the WhatsApp chat by 11 am. Please only place orders for the current day (i.e. do not order meals a day ahead of time as it is too confusing for the restaurant staff). The restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are taking your dinner in the restaurant, you must arrive at the restaurant by 4:30 p.m. Guests wishing to have their dinner after 5 p.m. are provided with a reusable take away plate. You must wash and return the plate to the restaurant by 11 a.m. each day that you would like a take away dinner.

Water from standard faucets throughout the facility is supplied by an underground well and is very safe for drinking. Do not drink water from restroom facilities or hose pipes. If you prefer bottled water, it is available for purchase at the restaurant and various venues throughout the Life-time Care Sanctuary. 

Internet toegang
Makkelijke toegang op de project site
Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?
Visum, vluchten, reisverzekering en vaccinaties zijn NIET inbegrepen in de programmakosten.
Vlucht tickets
De dichtste luchthaven is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Costa Rica.
Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Costa Rica biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde.
Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Costa Rica dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Costa Rica.

Data & Kosten


Gegevens over jouw aankomst

Our program is open year round. There is a minimum stay of one week. Interns should plan to arrive on a Friday and leave on a Thursday.  

jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.
1 - 50 weken


Kosten: Prijs in USD
1 week (min. verblijf)
2 weken
3 weken
4 weken
5 weken
6 weken
7 weken
8 weken
9 weken
10 weken
11 weken
12 weken
13 weken
14 weken
15 weken
16 weken
17 weken
18 weken
19 weken
20 weken
50 weken (max. verblijf)
Gemiddelde kosten
$450 /week

Houd er rekening mee dat de hierboven getoonde kosten worden geschat. Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center zal je op de hoogte houden over de finale kostprijs gedurende uw aanmeldprocedure.
Waarborg (15%)
De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.
Finale betaling (85%)
Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Waarom Volunteer World

Bijkomende zekerheid geboden door Volunteer World
Volunteer World is 's werelds leidende vergelijkingsplatform voor internationale vrijwilligerswerk projecten. Wij begeleiden jou door een betrouwbare aanmeldingsprocedure - inclusief de nodige betalingen. Plan jouw zinvolle reis met Volunteer World en krijg gratis toegang tot:
Hoge ethische standaarden & transparantie in de sociale impact
Wijzig jouw reservatie zonder extra meerkost
Garantie op terugbetaling
We betalen je kosten terug als Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center jouw reis annuleert
Ondersteuning & tussenkomst
Wij steunen je, wat er ook gebeurt, je kan altijd contact opnemen met ons
Onze diensten zijn gratis!
Alle programmakosten worden rechtstreeks gefactureerd door Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center

Wat vertellen de mensen over Volunteer World?

Wildlife Internship

Help us care for and return wild animals to the wild and gain valuable animal care experience in a lush tropical setting with all the comforts of home.


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