Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare
Puyo, Pastaza Province, Amazon
Flexible start and end dates, year-round
The Amazon Rainforest is commonly known as the lungs of our earth, so it is very alarming, that the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest continues to increase year after year. Wildlife suffers from habitat destruction and illegal animal traps set by poachers. It is frightening to imagine that more than 15.000 unique animal and plant species, including monkeys, reptiles, exotic birds, and wild cats that characterize Ecuador as one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries, could one day just not be there any more! At this wildlife volunteer project in Ecuador, you will be able to help protect and rehabilitate precious Amazonian wildlife. This project is located in the Amazon Region, about five hours away from Quito, in the Pastaza province. It provides a unique opportunity to actively work in an animal rehabilitation program with exotic animals.
The main goal of this volunteer project is to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals that have lived in inappropriate environments (e.g. in small cages in private households, kept as tourist attractions, etc.) or that have fallen victim to animal trafficking or mistreatment. The most commonly trafficked groups of animals are primates, birds, and reptiles. The project works in close collaboration with the Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment. Having been in operation since 2006, the leaders of the initiative dispose of several hectares of primary Amazon forest, where they built the rescue center. Volunteers only work at the rescue center itself, which is located in a safe area. Animals are brought to the project site by the Environmental Police or others that are committed to protecting wildlife.
This is a unique opportunity to actively work in an animal rehabilitation and release program for endangered species in the Amazon Rainforest. Volunteers work with local people from Ecuador, which will provide an opportunity to authentically experience Ecuadorian culture and traditions while also learning about the exotic animals of the jungle. Each workday is revolving around the welfare of the animals. As a volunteer, you will work from Monday to Friday, between 6 to 8 hours per day. Weekends are free for you to relax or travel around. You will take part in the daily feeding of the animals, which involves collecting food in their natural habitat and preparing it. You will also be responsible for cleaning the cages, building or repairing cages, and working hand-in-hand with the center’s veterinarian. You will also help clear the hiking trails in the surrounding areas and the walking paths that lead to the cages.
The rescue center is open to the public and receives visitors regularly. The entrance fee and donations made by tourists are an essential source of income so that the center is able to remain self-sufficient and continue their ongoing efforts to help the animals. When volunteering, you will also have the chance to be an integral part of the rehabilitation team.
If you love tropical climate, exotic animals, and a evergreen environment, then participating in this volunteer project on the edge of the Amazon jungle is perfect for you. It is truly a one-of-a-kind volunteer experience.
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
Can you imagine falling asleep to the sound of monkeys playing in the trees? Many Amazonian animals are nocturnal, so this may be your reality when volunteering at this animal rescue center in Ecuador.
Volunteers sleep in wooden volunteer houses on the project site. The homes are basic, but nice and cozy. Bedrooms and bathrooms are shared with other volunteers. The project can host up to 20 volunteers at a time. Electricity and hot water are available 24 hours a day, but volunteers are asked to use it in a conscious manner. There is also a small swimming pool that can be used by the volunteers.
The project provides full board (3 meals/day) during workdays from Monday to Friday. Mealtimes are always a nice get-together for everyone to chat, have fun and get to know one another. Usually, volunteers do not spend the weekends at the reserve, but rather travel to explore the surroundings. Due to this, nobody cooks for the volunteers on the weekends. Volunteers who stay at the project site on Saturday/Sunday are required to prepare their own meals.
WIFI internet is available at some places at the center's grounds. There are also many internet cafes in Puyo.
The project is located about 5 minutes outside Puyo and approximately 6-7 hours southeast of Quito. Puyo is the capital of the Pastaza Province, in the eastern part of the country. It is a small colonial town with a population of approximately 30,000 people. It provides touristic infrastructure since in recent years, tourism has become increasingly important, especially in the field of ecotourism and adventure tourism. So, Puyo is one of the most commercial towns in the Amazon region of Ecuador. The local village of El Triunfo is located 15 minutes away by bus from the project site and has very basic shops, and a couple of bars. For restaurants, supermarkets, and Internet, volunteers need to travel to Puyo. Some people in the local community also run small shops in their homes for specific needs or cravings.
The region has tropical climate with rainfall all year round and on average 25 °C during the day and 17 °C during the night, so although the animal rescue center is in the Amazon rainforest, you will not feel suffocated by the heat. The rainiest months are August to December and March.
The area around Puyo is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts: Not only do you live in the middle of pristine nature, but there is also a lot to discover in your free time!The hot springs of Baños de Agua Santa are not far away and invite you to take a relaxing bath. The way there itself is a highlight: Just an hour from Puyo you will find the spectacular "Devil's Gorge" (Pailón del Diablo). Here you can take an almost vertical hike over breathtaking stairs and come to a stand next to or above a waterfall that thunders down into the gorge.
Daring ones can swing over the jungle via canopy and go trekking to the active volcano Tungurahua on the weekend. If you love nature, the region will delight you!
In our Wildlife & Nature projects, our volunteers get along well with English language skills.
For optimal program preparation and cultural integration in the destination country, we recommend participating in a Spanish course in Ecuador (optional).
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by the on-site volunteer coordinator in Ecuador.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in Animal Care in the Jungle of Ecuador includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Full board*
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Ecuador
- English-speaking in-country support
- On-site introduction
- Country handbook Ecuador
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
*included from Monday to Friday since volunteers usually do not stay at the center during the weekend.
Application fee: US$ 120
Program fee: US$ 540 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Extra week: US$ 170
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.