Animal Rehabilitation & Rainforest Conservation

Merazonia combines passion for nature with a professional approach on animal care and release, along with rainforest conservation.

Merazonia has a young team of people who encourage volunteers to help think of ways we can improve the park. We are currently caring for well over 100 animals, including: capuchin, tamarin, red howler and woolly monkeys; many species of parrots and macaws; kinkajous and other small mammals; and sometimes felines.

Because rehabilitation is an important part of what we do, the group of animals we look after often changes, with animals being released or moved to other refuges, depending on the care and environment they need.

In general we have around 10 to 15 volunteers from all over the world at any one time.

Rehabilitation

Merazonia has a strict hands off policy for most of its animals! As we try to focus on rehabilitation, it is very important to minimize any human interaction with the animals, as this is the first vital step towards their rehabilitation.

Jungle abode

Most volunteers stay in our 6-sided jungle abode, which consists of a large dorm-style room, housing up to 11 volunteers. There are some other facilities avilable for longer term volunteers. There is also a large deck area where we usually eat our meals, relax in hammocks, or strike up a game of cards. Our bathroom facilities are next to the volunteer house, and consist of composting toilets and our famously hot showers.

People make their own breakfast and lunch, but take turns in preparing the communal dinner.

Be prepared

In the Amazon, the weather runs from brilliantly sunny to downright wet (it is the rainforest), so we recommend raingear and clothes you can layer (and liquorice or chocolate if you really want to get in good with the managers). We provide gum boots and working clothes, as well as linen and blankets. If you are prone to chilliness, we recommend bringing a sleeping bag for extra comfort. There is no electricity in the centre but we provide candles. A flashlight or headlight is necessary for the dark jungle nights.

Long-term

The longer people stay, the smoother the centre runs. That is why our fees are lower when more time is spent at the centre. Occasionally we have openings for long-term volunteers to help us with training new volunteers and the day to day running of the park. People who we have worked with before, or have been here for a while, take priority.


Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

Animal Care
Animal care is rewarding work but certainly not a picnic in the park. We feed the animals three times per day. The feeding rounds take between 2 to 3 hours each time. In the morning, we gather at 7:30 a.m. to prepare the animals’ food, and then we divide into groups to clean different animal cages and feed the animals.

Park maintenance
After the feeding, we take time to prepare breakfast and get ready for the rest of the day. Some people will feed the parrots and nocturnal animals, while others are on projects such as animal life enrichment, general park maintenance and chores.

Lunch is around 1:30 pm. We gather to feed the mammals again at 3 pm, after which there is time to hang out with other volunteers, enjoy the scenery, swim at the waterfall or river, or relax in a hammock.

Volunteer's work
Volunteers work 5 1/2 days per week, alternating free days. Sundays are so called ‘lazy Sundays’ in which we feed the animals only once a day and do chores, but no other work is done, leaving plenty of time to relax or enjoy the surroundings.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish ( level)
Other Skills
Passion for animals
People that like to work in construction are also very welcome!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:30 - 17:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Ecuador? Volunteer World directly connects you with Merazonia

Animal Rehabilitation & Rainforest Conservation Turtle care Volunteers chilloing at the kitchen Merazonia living area Capuchin monkeys Tina and Cameron Exploring the jungle at Merazonia Puma Pangui Campfire Merazonia surroundings Capuchin monkey Sinchi Woolly monkeys Rio and Diego Animal food preparation Merazonia volunteer house at night Caretaking of sick kinkajou baby Baby sloth Ali Relaxing in Merazonia reserve Sloth release Exploring a waterfall Blue and yellow macaw Malcolm

Free-time activities

Baños
Many volunteers spend their free days in Baños, dubbed ‘a slice of heaven on earth’ for its stunning beauty and relaxing ambience. This town at an hour from Mera has a friendly feel to it with many restaurants, coffee shops and bars. But it also offers a lot of activities like: warm water springs, bike rides, canyoning, rafting and zip lining.

Mera
Mera is located where the Andes meet the Amazon. The World Wildlife Fund has called the area from Baños to Mera, “A Gift to the Earth” because of its beauty and biological importance to the region. The town borders the Pastaza River Valley between the national parks Sangay and Llanganates that provide an important biological corridor linking the two protected areas.

Jungle village
Mera itself is a small and friendly jungle village nestled amid mountains, rivers, and rainforest. Sharing a beer with a friendly villager can be as charming as the abundant nature. Surrounding Mera there are caves to explore, rivers to swim in and hikes to venture on.

Water Sports
Swimming
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Services

What's included?
Merazonia does not receive any government funding. For the wellbeing of the animals we do not receive tourists in the centre either. Therefore  we depend on volunteer fees to cover the basic costs of running the centre. Fees cover lodging and food. It also includes a contribution to medical supplies and animal food. For those staying longer, feesgradually go down.

The longer people stay, the smoother the centre runs. That is why our fees are lower when more time is spent at the centre. Occasionally we have openings for long-term volunteers to help us with training new volunteers and the day to day running of the park. People who we have worked with before, or have been here for a while, take priority.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Accommodation

Most volunteers stay in our 6-sided jungle abode, which consists of a large dorm-style room, housing up to 11 volunteers. We also have limted spaces available in cabins. Usually these are avilable for people that have stayed the longest. There is also a large deck area where we usually eat our meals, relax in hammocks, or strike up a game of cards. Our bathroom facilities are next to the volunteer house, and consist of composting toilets and our famously hot showers.

Dorm Room Bungalow
Food & Beverages

We have a fully equipped kitchen (gas for cookers, oven, fresh drinkable water).
Usually volunteers will cook their own breakfasts (porridge, eggs, toast, pancakes, fruit etc), and make their own lunches as well (we usually have on hand supplies for sandwiches, omelets, pasta etc.).  Volunteers take turns cooking a communal dinner. There is always a vegetarian/vegan option.  As we do not have electricity, we cannot keep meat refrigerated, and thus usually only have the option of this twice per week, when we do the food shopping.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
2 weeks (min. stay)
$280
3 weeks
$320
4 weeks
$360
5 weeks
$400
10 weeks
$600
18 weeks
$920
50 weeks (max. stay)
$2200

You can volunteer at the project site in Mera/Ecuador between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Merazonia will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$92/week
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 Merazonia during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Airport
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Colonia Alvarez Mino, Mera, Ecuador