Christiane tells us about her experience in the Wildlife Sanctuary

Volunteer Work

Animal Welfare / Ecuador

January 2016

(cortesy translation from German)

You drive about 5 hours through beautiful nature by bus "San Francisco". From Quito to Puyo it is about 238 km, and about $ 7. Then you can take a taxi from Puyo to the volunteer project about 35 km for the price of $ 20 or the bus, which is a less expensive at a price of $ 1.85.

Arrived by taxi, I was greeted by Gandolf the cat, Negro the dog and Konati the coati. The whole area was very warm and impressive.

After a little while, I visited the Alvarez family. You always have something to do. Bananas, cocoa, guava and much more are processed there. Back at the camp, there were also Flavio and some guests who greeted me very friendly. It was a harmonious group. Franzi explained to me where the bed house is and where I could store my luggage. There were double-decker beds as well as single beds. The beds were protected with mosquito nets. There were no mosquitoes in the time I was there. There are blankets on site, as it gets a bit colder at night, it may be advisable to take a sleeping bag with you.

There was a big outdoor area, as well as the kitchen, showers and toilets. The water supply is spring water and therefore drinkable, also for showering and toilet flushing. In the whole 4 weeks I was always well and drank a lot of this water. We cooked for ourselves, so everything was always freshly prepared.

From Monday to Friday there was electric light from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., on the other days only by candlelight (it was very cozy). At the weekend you could do something yourself. Some volunteers went to Baños or even to Puyo, where I was on the weekends. There is a lot to see and explore there.

A large fruit and vegetable market invites you to linger a long time. I always stocked up on tropical fruits, it's very inexpensive, e.g. 3 mango cost $ 1. There are also small restaurants with inexpensive food and very good and clean for 2 - 3.5 $ a complete meal with main course salads and compote and a typical juice.

Well, now let's talk about my actual mission and the animals in the jungle (rainforest). Since we were many volunteers, we could always split up, so that two or three served a certain area.

At the time pigs, monkeys, skunks, ocelots, turtles and parrots had to be fed. In addition, one group prepared the food for the animals, another group cleaned the kitchen and disinfected the toilets and showers with subsequent cleaning. This was scheduled every day.

The enclosures were separated one from the other, so you had to walk on rooted, rocky, mushy trails. You had to be careful where you go and this was especially challenging when carrying the food buckets and water for the animals. Rubber boots are important, which can also be obtained on site if the size is available.

You learn to pay attention to each other and to hear. It is also important to look around carefully. There are also snakes and spiders that are better avoided. You get very good instruction, which you should also take into consideration.

On some afternoons we helped set up the new station, which was very interesting. It is amazing with how little aids you can build such a house. The Alvarez family is very nice and can cope with really everything. For example they know exaclty the plants that neutralize animal poison from bees or spiders. The forest floor is also very hard and it takes a lot of strength to work it. We had moved the turtles, and had moved the fence from the old enclosure to the new enclosure, so that it needed a new construction.

The rainforest is something enchanting, when it rains all the animals are silent but when it stops, then the frogs start a concert that sounds just amazing. The other animals join in later. The parrots are the loudest. It is very emocional to hear the animal sounds during the day and at night. You are never alone in the world. When the rain stops it is totally ghostly when the fog rises from the forest, like in a fairytale forest as if a ghost would appear.

Conclusion, I would visit it again because it is a beautiful country and I have only had positive experiences. Be it with humans as well as with animals.

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