Bat Conservation

In Cuba there are approximately 30 000 caves, and around 30 species of bats. We need citizen scientists to help study them!

When people think of the Caribbean, vacation getaway comes to mind. Varadero, a peninsula located on the north side of Cuba, is a popular tourist destination, with its warm climate and 18 kilometers of sandy beaches. Tourism has been very important for the economics of Cuba, but has also resulted in habitat destruction, and hotel development. Many animals are affected by this loss of habitat, including several species of bats. Our partner organization in Cuba focuses its scientific work on bat conservation and needs your help.

In Cuba there are approximately 30 000 caves, and around 30 species of bats. Varahicacos is the protected ecological reserve open for ecotourism on Varadero. The few caves here are home to the 5 species of bats of Varadero. Our partner is involved in several scientific studies of the bats to better understand their numbers, distribution, behaviour and biology and how the bat populations are affected by habitat loss, drought, disease and other stressors. Field research is conducted at the caves in Varadero, along with a few others in the province of Matanzas. Bats are captured in nets, examined, tagged and measured before being released. Working on an ecological reserve also provides the opportunity to educate the public about bats, and wildlife conservation.


We work in the daylight hours because bats are still active in the dark caves. We spend our times in a few different National parks setting up nets and traps-- all humane. Lunch is generally eaten by our field sites and bountiful with fresh fruit from the gardens! Our volunteers come home for dinner and sunsets along the beach and experience all the beauty that Cuba has to offer. There is opportunity for educational presentations when tourists see we are part of a conservation group and the villagers always want to chat about how much they love bats. This is true community conservation at it's roots.

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Suitable for


Program Requirements

Minimum Age
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 (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Rabies vaccination
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

Any questions? Just ask. We at Animal Experience International (AEI) are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

Our volunteers have access to the beautiful Cuban beach for sports, swimming, diving and boating. There is also dancing, site seeing and of course munching on Cuban food!! Scheduled and non scheduled activities makes this experience a one of a kind!

Water Sports


What's included?
Airport pick up and drop off (at closest airport), Accommodation (Home stay), Meals, Transportation to and from research sites, On-site training, Bird-watching Nature Tour, American and Canadian clients get 50% off at the online AEI IceBreaker store, Donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, Emergency support while at Placement, and Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
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.
Airport Pickup

airport pick up as a group on the first day of volunteering.


You will be staying in the home of a local Cuban family. Accommodation is simple but clean and includes meals. Lunches, and some dinners, will be provided while at the field research sites. AEI believes that home stays offer you the best experience during your time in Cuba by allowing you to save money, while providing you with an easy way to integrate into Cuba culture.

Guest Family Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages

Any food you could want are available. Living with families means you will be eating Cuban and North American food.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
1 week (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Varadero/Cuba between 1 week and 1 week. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Animal Experience International (AEI) will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 Animal Experience International (AEI) during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Cuba

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Cuba. Please check the visa regulations for Cuba.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Cuba.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Juan Gualberto Gomez (VRA) in Varadero. We assist you to find cheap flights to Cuba.
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 Cuba provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Cuba you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Cuba.
Varadero, Varadero, Cuba

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