Wildlife rescue and animal caretaker

Rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife in the Ecuadorian rain forest to offer the animals a good life quality in their natural habitat.

About the Program

We are always looking for motivated volunteers who would love  to help animals at the center. It would be a pleasure to welcome you. The project is located in Puyo, on 1 hectare of the forest and we welcome injured & orphaned animals, mostly monkeys. We have around 150 animals with seven species of monkeys, coatis, parrots, turtles, ocelots, wild rodents and pigs and the first serpentarium of the province for the rescue of snakes.

The shelter “El Paseo de los Monos” works as a center of adoption: orphans are placed into familiar groups according to the specie. The objective is to move the troops of monkeys to a terrain of virgin forest near the Sangay National Park with the corresponding preceding investigations and studies made by scientists.

After years of searching, we’ve found a land free from hunters: Agua Santa, is a small town located at the boundaries with the National Park Sangay. The schedule is as follows:

  1. To purchase the land which we’ve already visited.
  2. To build infrastructure for the animals and the people responsible for monitoring the project.
  3. Mobilisation of the animals.
  4. Monitoring and tracking of the troops by scientists.

This center will be designed to receive all kinds of animals living in zoos and scattered centers or other wild animal centers.

First Days 

At the moment you arrive, we will give a welcoming and introduction of the animals, the parks (since the animals are not kept in cages but in big parks of native forest) and show you the functioning of the house. We will provide you with all the working tools needed for the different tasks and you will be able to train with the working staff in order to accomplish your tasks. Further, we will introduce you to our rules and regulations towards animal interactions. Security for the volunteers, working staff and animals is the most important to us as we are working with wild animals. No volunteer will be allowed to enter alone into a park that contains a group of animals and in case it is needed, volunteers will always be accompanied by one of the coordinators.  

Regular Days

Once your are settled in you will be working for six days a week, from 8 am -12 pm and from 2 pm - 5 pm. Please be aware that all volunteers must be always on time, because the animals are waiting for their food. Each volunteer has one day off per week, which are arrange at the beginning of the week to ensure that every day enough volunteers are working. If there are not enough people to cover all the tasks, the person has the obligation to change the date. Because we want all volunteers to experience every task at the project, you will be rotating between cooking, washing plates and cleaning the facilities

Working with the animals:

  • The day begins at 8 am by cleaning the animal’s plates, preparing and disinfecting the food, feeding of the animals, cure them if necessary (with experienced personnel), observe the animals and checking if the enclosures are well closed or need fixing. It is important that the animals are fed and provided fresh water before 9 am.
  • For the well-being of the animals, any strange behavior must be written down and reported to the people in charge. That is why one of the most important things is to observe each one of the animals inside the refuge carefully.
  • The food stocking house, animal´s plates, cages and also the volunteer’s house (kitchen, bath-room, etc.) must always be disinfected and cleaned for the safety of the people working in the program and the animals. There can be inspections of the Ministries of environment, health or tourism at any time. 
  • The second meal for the animals starts at 2 pm.
  • The day ends when all of the animals have been fed and taken care of and their facilities are clean from any food leftovers.
  • All volunteers have to help to carry and arrange the vegetables in the food-store at any hour from the day or the night (depending on the arrival time of the truck).
Working with the tourists:
  • Visitors arrive between 9:00 am and 5 pm. 
  • The volunteers in charge of the tourists have to guide and watch the visitors so they don’t touch or feed the animals. It is not possible for them to enter with food, since the animals might steal it.
  • The volunteers in charge of the entry have to charge the visitors and give basic instructions before they enter the park
  • Cleaning the park’s floor, since there may have been unconscious tourists that left their garbage which would endanger the animals and rain forest.

Suitable for


Typical day

A typical day in "Paseo de los Monos"

  • 8:00 am: Prepare and distribute the food for the animals and check their health. Check the water for the animals.
  • 9:30 am: Volunteers take turns to prepare breakfast for everyone.
  • 10:30 am: We dedicate everyday one hour a day to clean the common house.
  • 14:00 pm: Prepare and distribute the second meal for the animals. 
  • 15:00 pm: Lunch. 
  • 15:30 pm: Different activities prepared by the working staff. 
  • 16:00 pm: Cleaning of the feeding area for the animals.
  • 17:00 pm: Work is finished. 
**Other different activities will be done according to the working itinerary prepared by the working staff.**

The food for the animals is bought from local people and volunteers are responsible for bringing all the different fruits to the bodega (the room where the food is prepared). This can involve carrying whole bushels of bananas, big boxes of papaya, and other items that are relatively heavy.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Health Declaration
Other Skills
Everyone is welcome to join though we are always looking for veterinarians and people related to environmental fields to help out. Also, we are always looking for specialists in website optimization.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 08:30 - 17:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Ecuador? Volunteer World directly connects you with El Paseo de los Monos

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Free-time activities

  • You can either rest or take one day trips to the jungle and visit the indigenous communities.
  • Visit the touristic city of Baños de Agua Santa. It is only 1.5 hours from the project and offers many activities like sports, hiking to volcano Tungurahua, visit of waterfalls, canoeing, discotheques and bars.
  • Visit the city of Puyo, ethnobotanical gardens, the Malecon of Rio Puyo.
  • Camping into the forest in the riviere of Rio Chilcayacu.
  • Visit the local market and enjoy of the ethnic food and beverages like "maito" and "chicha".

Water Sports


What's included?
  • Accommodation,
  • An industrial kitchen 
  • Hot water
  • Electricity
  • All basic services
  • Working tools
  • Three meals a day
  • Resting area with a cinema for watching movies after work days
  • Certificate for helping our rescue center
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.

There are bunk beds and they are located in the main house inside the project.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

The program includes three meals and we cater to vegetarians.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Puyo/Ecuador between 1 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. El Paseo de los Monos 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 El Paseo de los Monos during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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The nearest airport is Mariscal Sucre (UIO) in Quito. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ecuador.
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Km.2 vía 10 de Agosto, 1601 Puyo, Ecuador