Central America & Caribbean
Caribbean Dominican Republic Costa Rica Mexico More countries
Asia
India Indonesia Bali Nepal Sri Lanka Thailand Chiang Mai More countries
Europe & Oceania
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand Greece Portugal More countries
Western Africa
Gambia Ghana Sierra Leone Togo
Middle Africa
Cameroon
Northern Africa
Egypt Morocco
Southern Africa
Botswana Namibia South Africa Cape Town Swaziland
Eastern Africa
Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Seychelles South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe
Middle East
Israel
Southern Asia
India Maldives Nepal Sri Lanka
Eastern Asia
China Mongolia
South East Asia
Cambodia Indonesia Bali Laos Malaysia Borneo Myanmar Philippines Thailand Chiang Mai Vietnam
North America
United States of America
Caribbean
Bahamas Cuba Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti Jamaica Saint Lucia Trinidad and Tobago
Central America
Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Latin America
Argentina Bolivia Brazil Amazon Rainforest Chile Colombia Ecuador Galapagos Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela
Europe
Croatia Finland Germany Greece Hungary Italy Portugal Romania Russian Federation Spain
Oceania
Australia Fiji New Zealand
Humanitarian Aid
Childcare & Daycare Support Medical & Health Orphanages Sports Teaching & Education
Community Services
Building & Construction Community Development Culture & Arts Human & Women's Rights NGO Management & Support
Environment & Conservation
Animals & Wildlife Environmental Protection Farming & Agriculture Marine Conservation Round Trips & Camps
Made for Meaningful Travel
Volunteer World's mission has always been to ensure fairness, transparency and high quality within the meaningful travel industry. Due to its great usability & unique design, media claims Volunteer World to be the "AirBnB" for volunteer abroad opportunities - and we do not disagree on that!
The World's Largest Volunteer Abroad Comparison Platform
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to:
Your Extra Layer of Security
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by your volunteer organisation.
first hand Costa Rica

Animal Rescue & Release Center

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

If you love animals and if you don't mind dirty work ... you're in demand here!

About the Program

In this program any kind of animals who need help are treated with medical care and are prepared to be rereleased into nature. Usually there these kinds of animals in the rescue center: raccoons, sloths, monkeys, wild cats, owls, kinkajous, coatis, toucans, anteaters and many more … any animal that needs help is welcomed and treated with love.

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers should love to work with animals and be respectful with animals and the environment in general. They should be ready to do physically hard work. We are looking for volunteers who like to communicate, are interested in animals and have a good sense of responsibility. They should obey the center rules and follow the instructions of our employees. 

The Location

Costa Rica is a little tropical paradise between two oceans. Hardly any other country has such an abundance of plants and animals on such a small terrain. 25% of it's area is protected by national parks. Active volcanos, hot springs, rain and cloud forests, mountain rivers, spectacular waterfalls, subterranean caves, coral reefs, mangroves, amazing caribbean and pacific beaches and a fascinating animal world invite you to discover and enjoy. The program is located at the caribbean coast.

Typical day

Be prepared for sometimes physically demanding work from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

During a four weeks stay you will be working three weeks in the center and one week in a release station. This will be organized with you when you arrive. 

Your Tasks

Your work mostly includes:

  • Help caring for animals
  • Preparing food and helping the keeper with the portions for each animal 
  • Cleaning and repairs of the facility and viewing areas
  • Maintenance of pathways and areas around animal pens
  • Production of workshop materials in environmental education
  • School visits and interaction in discussions and workshops 
  • Research the internet for didactic material to build a bibliography of environmental education
  • Attending to visitors, guiding them

Details on Arrival

This program is available all year. It starts every Monday. Please arrive at least on Saturday before the programs starts. 

On Sunday you will travel to your hostel and on Monday you have to start at 11 am at the project site.

Free-time activities

You are close to the caribbean coast ... there is a lot to do and to chill.

Puerto Viejo is a little village with great leisure time possibilities: swim, surf, dive, snorkel, go on biketours. In the evenings there is a lot of music everywhere. The National Park of Cahuita is close, our rainforest lodge is a 40 min bus ride away and you can also 'hop over' to Panamá ...

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking
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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Scan & copy of tb-test or/and vaccinated against tb (tubercolosis), Medical insurance valid in Costa Rica and Copy of medical insurance
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, Friday and Saturday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples

Any questions? Just ask. We at first hand Costa Rica are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

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 first hand Costa Rica cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by first hand Costa Rica.
Services by first hand Costa Rica
The fee is only for participating in this project.

There is no lodging directly inside the project; we help you booking a hostel near by; calculate 15-25 US$ per night.
You have to provide your own meals; calculate about 15-20 US$ per day.

We organize the journey to the project and we also do hostel reservations in San José if needed (mostly it is needed!) - and, if you will combine projects, we will also organize the transportation between the projects. You will have to pay the cost for the pickup and the transport.

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. Please arrange your own accommodation. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
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.
Vaccines
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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$800.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$800.00
Average fees
$133.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Puerto Viejo/Costa Rica between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. first hand Costa Rica 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 Costa Rica.
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 first hand Costa Rica during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Americas Central America Costa Rica Puerto Viejo, Puerto Viejo
zoom="6"

You might be also interested in

Macaw Conservation
Punta Islita, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica Agency | first hand Costa Rica
You love macaws, have some experience with birds and don't mind noise ...? Then this breeding and release center is perfect for you!
Rainforest Lodge
Cahuita, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica Agency | first hand Costa Rica
Planting trees, maintaining pathways ... horseback riding through the rainforest - doesn't that sound like paradise? You're right in the middle of it!
Macaw & Animal Reserve Supporter
Aranjuez, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica Agency | first hand Costa Rica
Take care of rescued animals - especially macaws -, to rehabilitate and reintroduce them into the wild.
Support Children in Local Schools
Sámara, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica Agency | first hand Costa Rica
If you are interested in working with children and giving classes in English, sports, arts or other subjects, you're in demand in the local schools.
Save Turtles in Mata Palo
Mata Palo, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica Agency | first hand Costa Rica
Patrol along a wonderful beach and help to guard the nests of endangered marine turtles.
Animals & Reforestation
Puntarenas, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica Agency | first hand Costa Rica
Here you will have it all - help animals in a wonderful nature and plant trees!
© Volunteer World