Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare
year round. Arrival to San José ideally is on Friday as check-in and check-out in the project is always on a Sunday.
This wildlife sanctuary is run by a non-profit organization based in Costa Rica, that focuses on rescuing and rehabilitating local wildlife. The rescue center is also dedicated to finding long-term solutions to the problems our planet earth is facing: They complement the rescue and release programs with environmental education and conservation, amplifying the efforts through community work.
The wildlife sanctuary borders the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. Cabo Blanco is a pioneer of wildlife and environmental conservation, becoming the first protected area in Costa Rica in 1963. Situated on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, the reserve protects 1,788 hectares of ocean and 1,270 hectares of tropical forest that is home to many native and endangered species, making this area an important habitat for wildlife.
The rescue and release center cares for a wide variety of animals including monkeys, anteaters, opossums, squirrels, birds, iguanas, and more - essentially anything that comes through the door! With a dedicated and well-trained team of volunteers, biologists, veterinarians and students, the center works to provide the best possible care for each animal in need.
Animals that are sick, injured and orphaned for a wide variety of reasons, most of which are directly or indirectly caused by human activity, are treated every day. Although many of the animals end up being released back into the wild, others need to remain in the center. Those animals that remain, help accomplish a mission by being a part of the education program that aims to create awareness and to teach people to respect nature and animals.
An average week for a volunteer depends on the time commitment you are able to make. All volunteers begin in Level 1, doing tasks such as cleaning, preparing food for animals, doing maintenance and making enrichment for the animals in care. Level 2 volunteers may enter enclosures for raking and leaf hanging, etc and will be closer to the animals. Level 3 and above involve hand feeding animals and remedial medical care such as administering medicine, wound care, force feeding and tube feeding. The levels can be attained by training and passing tests. Advancement also depends on the amount of volunteers compared to the amount of animals in care. As the priority is to benefit the animals under care, longer term volunteers will have first priority and the most responsibility if desired. Do not expect to advance to the highest levels unless you commit to 6 weeks or longer.
As a volunteer, you should have a genuine desire to work hard and understand the animals’ situation, since you will be responsible for the welfare and day-to-day care of them. You will not only be involved in daily care and cleaning duties, but also in construction and maintenance work that aim to improve their living conditions. The rescue center also releases animals that are ready to be reintroduced to their natural habitat.
The animals, especially the monkeys, love to play. Volunteers always have a lot of fun designing and creating toys for the animals to play with. This helps the animals overcome the traumatic experiences that they had in the past and reminds the staff and volunteers how lucky they are to have a center for these precious animals.
Further, the wildlife sanctuary supports education programs as a fundamental part of their conservation efforts. The goal is to inspire and educate the local community, students, and guests visiting from all over the world in order to bring a greater understanding of the importance of protecting the ecosystem and how its health affects humans.
The longer you commit to be a volunteer at this project, the more likely it will be that you will hand feed animals. This is based on need and competency. It cannot be guaranteed.
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.
The volunteers in this wildlife project in Costa Rica live together in dormitories in the volunteer house. The house is basic and equipped with the essentials. There is a dining area where volunteers meet to have meals. This area is also the meeting point where volunteers gather together to talk, chill out, or to make plans for their free time. Local cooks prepare international cuisine for the volunteers (chicken, seafood, vegetarian and vegan meals). Volunteers are encouraged to help with duties in the kitchen as well. The project site even has a swimming pool that volunteers can use during their spare time.
The volunteer house has electricity, drinking water, wifi, and a well working mobile phone signal. Laundry services are provided for an additional fee.
Note: In Latin America, especially in remote areas where many of our volunteer projects take place, the cellular or internet connection is not always reliable and fast.
The volunteer project is located in the area of Cabuya on the Nicoya peninsula, very close to the amazing Natural Reserve Park Cabo Blanco. The peninsula is known for its dream beaches, lush vegetation and a rich biodiversity on the land and in the sea. This area has a lot to offer besides the nature reserve.
There are several surf spots, rivers with waterfalls, huge trees, and many talented artists live and work there as well. During their free time, volunteers can take part in cultural and sport activities, visit the town of Montezuma or just enjoy one of the many beautiful beaches.
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 Costa Rica (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 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our partner organization in Costa Rica located in San José, as well as the on-site volunteer coordinator on-site.
Depending on the day of arrival in Costa Rica, the program includes one to three nights in San José in a single room with a host family (including breakfast).
Before you leave for the project site, you will take part in an orientation talk with our colleagues in San José.
Costs & Services
Our Volunteer Work at the Wildlife Rescue Center in Costa Rica includes:
- Shared room in volunteer house
- Full board
- Airport pick-up San José with 2 overnight stays in San José
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Elaboration of your internal application profile
- Volunteer Work Placement
- English-speaking in-country support
- Orientation session in our partner office in San José
- Handbook Costa Rica
- Intercultural guideline
- Certificate of participation from South America Inside
- 24/7 emergency number
- Help with taking out suitable travel insurance
*The cost for the private transfer from the Homestay in San José to the project site is not included. This costs about 60 USD and has to be paid on site in cash.
Application fee: US$ 150
Program fee: US$ 1,430 (minimum stay 4 weeks)
Each additional week: US$ 300
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 …
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.
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.