Wildlife Rescue Center

Volunteer work in Animal Welfare in Central America
Program Facts
GL-WN100
Guatemala
Volunteer Work
More Information »»

Booking No.

GL-WN100

Program Type

Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare

Place

Flores, Petén Region, Guatemala

Volunteer Responsibilities

Collecting food for animals, feeding animals, cleaning animal cages, constructing new or bigger cages for the animals, repairing cages, clearing and maintaining walking paths and hiking trails, administering medicine to sick animals, researching and monitoring the behavior of the animals, maintaining the animal rescue center's infrastructure, creating enrichment projects

Work Hours

6-8 hours/day, from Monday through Friday

Program Start Date

Year round, arrival on project site from Monday to Friday

Minimum Stay

2 weeks

Minimum Age

17 years

Language

Elementary Spanish skills. Book your Spanish course in Antigua in Guatemala with us.

Skills

No special skills required but you should definitively be an animal lover and not fear exotic animals. You should be able to live a simple life, isolated from civilization, surrounded by nature and animals.

Accommodation

Shared rooms in Volunteer House

Food

Full-board

Location

About 12 hours by bus, or 1 hour by plane, northeast of Guatemala City. The closest town is Flores, about 10 minutes by boat or 60 minutes by car. Flores is a touristic city at the beautiful Lake Peten Itza, the old part of the city is actually located on an island. The city is starting point for excursions to the world famous Mayan ruins of Tikal.

Climate

Tropical climate with pleasant warm temperatures throughout the year. The daily average is 28 °C (82 °F) and 23 °C (73 °F) during night time. Rainfall throughout the year with peaks in June to September.

Vaccinations

Yellow Fever, Rabies, Tetanus, Hepatitis recommended. Please ask your doctor for additional advice.

Internet*

At the project site for small extra cost. Internet cafes available in the nearest town Flores.

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

Application

Enrollment possible at any time, with at least 2 weeks’ notice. (Download Registration Form)

Travel Health Insurance

Travel Health Insurance for Guatemala 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.

This volunteer project in Guatemala takes place at the Center for Wildlife Rescue and Environmental Conservation, which is committed to preserving the wildlife and natural habitats. The main objectives of the center are:

  To strive for ongoing conservation
  To protect and research wildlife
  To rescue wild animals from traffickers and rehabilitate them so they can be reintroduced in to their natural habitat
  To support tropical wild animal veterinary research
  To help reproduce and re-introduce animals in danger of extinction
  To raise awareness among Guatemalans about the need to conserve natural resources through an education program and information dissemination
  To develop and promote economic alternatives in rural communities that have nsustainable consumption practices when handling with natural resources.

Since this rescue center was established in Guatemala, it has branched out into a wide variety of important activities, including environmental education, the management of protected areas, marine turtle conservation, sustainable community development, eco-tourism, and reforestation. Its Environmental Education Department reaches out to over 8,000 children a year throughout the country. The keystone project of this initiative is the Wild Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. According to a collaborative agreement with the Guatemalan government, the center is responsible for the rehabilitation and reintroduction of all confiscated wild animals. The rescue center is the largest and most advanced of its kind in Latin America and cares for 400-600 wild animals from over 35 different species each year.

The center was founded in 1989 by a group of Guatemalan citizens who were concerned when they saw their precious natural heritage, especially their wildlife, was rapidly disappearing before their eyes. It was originally created for a very specific purpose: to build a rescue center that cares for and rehabilitates wild animals that are being confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government. The center’s main headquarters in Guatemala City offers training to teachers from the surrounding towns and villages in order to develop environmental education activities in local schools.

In 2002, it inaugurated its Environmental Education and Interpretation Center on the grounds of the rescue center with the intent to teach local students and visiting tourists about the evils of illegally trading pets, while at the same time ensuring that the animals in the rescue center are not needlessly exposed to humans. Nearly all animals at the center have been seized from smugglers and are very young, requiring constant care and attention.

 

About GuatemalaVolunteer work in Guatemala
Read more about Guatemala and its people, and see why it this is a great destination to do volunteering in Central America.

 

 

Most of the animals that arrive at the rescue center have been confiscated from illegal poachers and traffickers who leave them in very poor conditions. Many of the animals are malnourished, stressed, and injured. Too often, while in this weakened state, the animals are also exposed to pathogens not commonly encountered in the wild, such as those of humans and domestic species. For this reason, all animals arriving at the rescue center are placed in quarantine for a period of at least 45 days. During this period, their overall condition is assessed, including their health and behavioral status, and their nutrition is restored. Working in quarantine requires vigilant attention to the animals and their needs to ensure they are cleaned, fed, given water, and more. Small details are often extremely important. Both the volunteers and the full-time workers take part in the care of the animals at the center under the supervision of the rescue center veterinarians and volunteer coordinator.

This volunteer work project in Guatemala consists of cage cleaning, food preparation, and monitoring the health of the animals. Many animals arrive at the center with health problems associated with the trauma of their capture. They are transported and need continual observation and medical attention. Although the animals need care, the center’s staff tries to avoid having the animals "imprinted" by humans and asks volunteers not to handle animals more than necessary, as most will be released back into the wild. Released animals accustomed to humans have less of a chance of surviving in the wild. Animals that are kept in captivity have many needs in order to remain physically and mentally healthy. These needs can be separated into four basic categories: environment, nutrition, behavior, and care. The enclosures should be checked regularly to make sure each of these fours needs is met while avoiding contact with the animals. These animals are wild and it’s important to keep them that way.

There are certain responsibilities that volunteers at the rescue have and everyone is expected to pull their own weight. Work begins early in the morning with the cleaning of cages and feeding of the animals. The animals do not work on human schedules; rather, they follow their own internal clock, which insists that they eat early in the day. The time for your rest and relaxation is later in the day when the temperature and humidity demand a rest. Volunteers love to spend this time of the day at the lake sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing.

In addition to the regular daily feeding and caring of the animals, there are special on-going activities that you are expected to participate in. These activities include: constructing cages or extra buildings, maintaining trails, gathering food for the animals, and researching the wild diets of the animals. Depending on your experience and skills, you may also be asked to help with veterinary medical treatment and operations as well as in the periodic blood and feces samples taken to monitor the health of the animals.

Perhaps the most satisfying work carried out at the center is animal release, which happens 2 to 4 times per year. You may assist with identifying appropriate release sites (with sufficient water and food and few nearby human settlements), constructing release platforms, and monitoring released animals. Volunteers are expected to become a willing part of the Rescue Center Team and to play an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the center. The center in Guatemala is a truly magical place that is full of natural beauty both within and outside the cages! There is plenty of time at night and during hot afternoon siestas to think and listen to the mysterious noises of the jungle. The beautiful creatures that surround you are all part of the experience. One only has to stop, look, and listen for a moment to realize that saving the jungles of our planet is truly something worth being a part of.

The Wild Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Guatemala is situated on a 45-hectare (110 acres) tract of land near a lake. It’s a 10-minute boat ride away from the tourist-filled center of Flores and close to Tikal, the world famous Mayan archeological site. The center is comprised of a quarantine area, veterinary hospital, three large rehabilitation enclosures, a large flight cage, kitchen, dining area, workshop, volunteer houses, employee housing, and a large floating dock. The animal cages and enclosures are scattered throughout the jungle in order to reduce the stress experienced by the animals. At the rescue center, volunteers live in a spacious two-story wooden building that is situated in a beautiful tropical forest. The building comes furnished with comfortable wooden bunk beds, modern showers, indoor plumbing, and U.S. 110V electrical outlets. Volunteers eat and socialize at a separate, spacious kitchen and dining room where there is a nice floating dock for late afternoon swims. For a small fee, Internet service can be provided at the rescue center and at Internet cafes in Flores.

Volunteer Work with Wildlife in Guatemala 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 accommodation in Volunteer House
  Full-board
  Airport pick-up in Flores
  Airport drop-off in Flores
  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

Prices:

Program / duration

2
weeks

3
weeks

4
weeks

additional
week

Volunteer House
(full-board)

640 USD

860 USD

1,080 USD

220 USD

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

 

Optional:

Travel Health   Insurance 

more info here

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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

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