Animal Welfare and Ecotourism

Wildlife Sanctuary Ecuador
Program Facts
Volunteer Work
More Information »»

Booking No.


Program Type

Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare


Amazon Region, Napo Province, Ecuador

Volunteer Responsibilities

Collecting and preparing food for the animals, feeding animals, cleaning animal cages, constructing new or bigger cages for the animals, repairing cages, general maintenance, clearing and maintaining walking paths and hiking trails, monitoring the behavior of the animals, guiding visitors through the sanctuary

Work Hours

About 8 hours/day, 5 days/week

Program Start Date

Year round, on any day

Minimum Stay

4 weeks

Minimum Age

19 years


Elementary Spanish skills. Book your Spanish course in Ecuador with us.


No special skills required but you should definitively be an animal lover and have no fear of animals. You should be comfortable living a simple life, isolated from civilization, surrounded by the Amazon rainforest and its wildlife and nature.


Shared rooms in the Volunteer House




About 7 hours southeast of Quito in the Amazon region in the Napo province. The closest town is Tena, about 1.5 hours by boat and bus.


Average of 25 °C (77 °F) during the day, 17 °C (62 °F) during night time, year round. Tropical climate, rainy throughout the year with peaks being in the months of August to December and March.


Yellow Fever, Rabies recommended. You should also have your regular vaccinations like Tetanus, Hepatitis, Polio up to date. Please ask your doctor for additional advice.


No Internet at the project site but is available in the nearest town approximately 1.5 hours by boat and bus.

In-country support

Volunteer coordinator at project site

24/7 Emergency No.

With the booking confirmation, you will receive our 24/7 Emergency Number where you can reach us around the clock in case of emergency.

Packing list

Rubber boots, comfortable work clothes, work gloves, flash light and extra batteries, mosquito and sun protection, rain jacket


Enrollment possible at any time, with at least 4weeks’ notice. (Download Application Form)


Travel Health Insurance for Ecuador mandatory

*We would like to point out that in Latin America, especially in remote areas where many of our volunteer work projects take place, Internet and/or cellular radio systems do not always work reliably.

In 1993, this project was founded by a Swiss couple that worked tirelessly to build up the center to what it is today. Today, the center belongs to one of the most efficient and well-run animal rescue centers in Ecuador. The center runs different kind of projects, including a lodge for eco-tourists, an animal rehabilitation center, and a small hotel in the middle of the local Quechua community. At the moment, the animal sanctuary cares for about 350 different animals.

The animal rehabilitation center is located in the protected rain forest and shelters a number of different animals, some of which are in danger of extinction. Most of these animals arrive in poor condition: malnourished, wounded due to constraints, and often full of parasites. Approximately one fourth of the animals die on their way to the rescue center or in the first days of being there, and only one in four is successfully set free if the animal does recover. The remaining half must remain at the center either roaming free in the open area, or in enclosures that protect them from other animals and humans. In an ideal world, every animal that arrives at the rehabilitation center would be returned to the wild at some point. Although releasing animals back into the wild may sound like a great idea to humans, it can sometimes be harmful for the individual animal, species, or even the ecosystem as a whole. When volunteering in Ecuador at the animal rescue center, please keep in mind that there are a number of reasons why returning an animal to its natural habitat is a difficult decision. When releasing an animal, it obviously has to be released somewhere. The change from captivity to the wild is stressful and disorienting, often leaving animals especially vulnerable to hunting if they are released in an unprotected area. It is fruitless and disappointing to spend a great deal of effort preparing an animal for release, only for it to be illegally recaptured or hunted immediately.

The rehabilitation center lies at the edge of roughly 11 kilometers (7 miles) of protected primary rainforest where hunting is prohibited. This is the area used for releasing animals that are ready for reintroduction. Unfortunately, this center is on an island that is surrounded by unprotected areas, so this can lead to problems for the released animals since they mobilize within the entire zone.


Country Information EcuadorVolunteer Work Abroad in Ecuador
Why volunteering in Ecuador? Read more about the country and people, and learn why Ecuador is a great place for volunteer work in South America.



One important part of the volunteers’ work in Ecuador is to guide visitors through the center, which is financed by entrance fees and donations. Therefore, motivated people that enjoy guiding visitors, while enthusiastically speaking about the center and its animals, are required. Of course, you will receive a basic training course where you will learn all about the center and the animals.

You should, however, have the interest, leadership skills, and personal skills to handle tourists from all over the world. You must also be patient and willing to answer any questions they may have about the facilities and animals. Another main task of volunteers includes feeding and taking care of the animals. Not all the animals live freely and can find food by themselves. Many of the animals must stay in enclosures, which means they need to be fed and have their enclosures cleaned every day. New arriving animals also have to be examined and observed extensively before determining how they will be incorporated into the center.

Apart from the main work with the animals, other tasks such as maintaining and fixing trails, cutting down branches for enrichment in the enclosures, and harvesting bananas also have to be fulfilled. Volunteers must give a hand where they are needed most, and when possible, will have the chance to work in the area they are most interested in. As a volunteer, you will work for five days a week, around eight hours per day. In the morning, volunteers begin the day by preparing the food and feeding the animals. Visitors usually arrive between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm to participate in the guided tours through the center's area. In the afternoon, the second feeding for the animals typically begins at 1:00 pm. Days off (every volunteer gets two per week) are arranged at the beginning of the week to ensure that enough volunteers are working each day.

The volunteers live together in two different volunteer houses that are connected by a small bridge. There is enough space for up to 14 volunteers, most of which have come to the center from all over the world. Bedrooms are equipped with 2 beds, so you may share a room with another volunteer. It is very important that you are willing to share chores (e.g. cooking, cleaning etc.) in the volunteer house to avoid disagreements with other volunteers and to ensure that each person contributes equally. Living together is, on one hand, a challenge, but on the other hand, a rewarding, unforgettable experience. You will interact with people from all over the world, with different cultures and points of view and, ultimately, this will make your stay a culturally enriching and unique experience.

Please note that there is no electricity or telephone where you will be staying and that candles provide the primary source of light. If you want to call someone by phone, you will have to walk to the nearest town, or you will need a mobile phone that is adapted for local use or purchased upon arrival to Ecuador. Running water, a shower, and a toilet are provided in each house. Clothes have to be washed by hand. During the weekdays, local women prepare lunch for all of the volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for preparing their own breakfast and dinner each day, which is oftentimes a group effort.

On the weekend, volunteers prepare their own lunch as well. Food is provided by a truck that comes once a week and brings food that was ordered the week before. If desired, you may purchase drinks (cola, beer) from the bar. The water is safe for drinking, and there are always lemons or other fruits that can be used to make fresh juices.

Volunteer Work with animals in the Amazon includes:
  Consultation of our experienced staff
  Translation of application documents
  Volunteer work placement
  Orientation session on arrival
  Orientation kit
  Local support
  24/7 Emergency Number
  Shared room in Volunteer House
  Advisery concerning adequate travel insurance
  Flight booking service (optional and for free)
  Certificate of participation

What’s not included:
  International flight
  Travel health insurance
  Local travels


Program / Duration





Volunteer House

450 USD

520 USD

590 USD

70 USD

Application fee of 120 USD to be added.
One week corresponds to 7 days and 6 nights.



Travel Health   Insurance  

more info here

South America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary EcuadorSouth America Inside - Wildlife Sanctuary Ecuador
Your contact
Julia Federmann
Julia Federmann

(+1) 954 762 7607
(+49) 7735 425 339
(8am - 5pm EST)CallThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   |   (+56-2) 2819 8274   |   (+1) 954 762 7607   |   (+49) 7735 425 339    |    Call

©2019 - South America Inside - Av. Holanda 100, Oficina 805 / Providencia / Santiago / Chile   logo instagram   facebook   twitter