Help to take care of wildlife rescued animals from illegal traffickers in Bolivia as a conservation volunteer! Our animals are happy for every helping hand.
About the Project
Situated next to the stunning town of Coroico in Bolivia, not far from the country’s capital La Paz, this project is based in a truly incredible wildlife sanctuary, caring for illegally trafficked animals that have been rescued from lives of captivity and cruelty. Established in 2003 as an ecotourism project, the sanctuary began taking in monkeys and parrots that had been rescued from traffickers. Today, the sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and flora in the area.
The problem of animal trafficking in South America has worsened in recent years, as exotic and rare animals have a high monetary value when sold into the pet trade overseas. For this reason, many of Bolivia’s native species are under threat from traffickers, and their populations in the wild are slowly declining. This sanctuary aims to reverse this trend, rescuing animals that were otherwise destined for the international pet trade, and that have been snatched from their natural habitat.
The overall aim of this project is to have a direct, positive impact on the wildlife species in the region, to prevent other animals from being trafficked, and to create a sustainable, eco-tourism venture. The money invested in this project by volunteers and other sources also goes towards local community initiatives, helping to educate indigenous people about the importance of animal conservation and the threats facing their environment due to trafficking.
Volunteers on this project play a vital role in the care of the animals at the sanctuary, enriching their lives with feeding programs and husbandry tasks. Volunteers will also get to create enrichment for the animals at
the sanctuary to keep them mentally and physically active. You will also be
taking part in maintaining the facilities at the sanctuary, these tasks involve
building cages and enclosures and if you intend on staying between 2-4 weeks
you can take part in the care bear program.
This also means that the sanctuary’s permanent staff are less occupied with the day-to-day running of the sanctuary itself, leaving them with more free time to rescue other animals in danger of being trafficked.
Prior to Arrival
Citizens of most countries can get a tourist card on arrival for up to 90 days. This will be dependent on your nationality however. Please make sure you double check, as this can be subject to change. There are often numerous passport checks, so they must be carried at all times. It is safest to carry photocopies rather than originals. As with most countries, your passport will need to be valid for at least six months in order to gain entry.
After Arriving into La Paz airport you will be met at the airport and transferred to the project site. You will then spend the day settling in and meeting staff and your fellow volunteers.
These days will be spent working at the project. You will be engaged in a variety of different conservation activities every day from 7.30am until 5.30pm. There are no typical days but mainly tasks include:
Feeding, cleaning, and caring for monkeys, birds, wild cats, turtles and various other animals.
Monitor and document feeding and behavioural habits to ensure proper diets and portions.
Maintaining the Facilities:
Improving existing facilities and help build additional facilities. The task involves building cages and enclosures.
Working on enrichment projects for the animals to keep active mentally and physically.
Care Bear Programme:
Caring for the spectacled bears for volunteers staying 2-4 weeks.
This is your final day and after saying your fond farewells you will transfer back to La Paz airport for your return flight or commence your independent travel plans.
It is possible to start this project on any Monday, Wednesday or Friday in both 2017 and 2018. (subject to availability)
Included within the project price is a voucher which allows you to either zipline or go canyoning down the lush canyons of the Vagantes. Both are exciting activities exploring the stunning scenery of the Yungas province - all with an extra pinch of adrenaline! Either add a whole new aspect of adventure when volunteering in Bolivia.
We organise transportation from El Alto International Airport in La Paz to the sanctuary for you on your project start day. This is included within the trip cost. The Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary is around 100km from La Paz meaning the journey will take about two hours.
You will be accommodated at the Volunteer House, a cosy wooden house with jatata leaf roofing located across the river from the animal refuge. There is one six bed dormitory and one three bed dormitory so you should be prepared to share a room with your fellow volunteers. Toilet and hot showers are adjoined to the house and laundry facilities are also available. Bed linen and towels are provided.
There are three meals provided per day whilst here. All meals are included in the project price and will be prepared for you by staff at the project. If you have any medical requirements it is important that you let people know as soon as possible so the staff can be prepared as it may mean buying different ingredients to normal. Please note that water is not included within the project price. However, bottles are available for purchase for a small fee at the sanctuary.
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