Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare
Amazon Region, Villa Tunari
year round, start and end dates are flexible
This amazing volunteer project is your chance to experience the unique nature of the Bolivian rainforest while supporting an animal welfare center in Bolivia. Here you support the first animal rescue center in Bolivia, devoted to the protection and re-introduction into the wild of animals in the region around the village of Villa Tunari.
The wildlife sanctuary which is situated right at the end of the Amazonas started its operation in 1996 with only two spider monkeys, one capuchin monkey and one squirrel monkey. Today, the wildlife sanctuary cares for about 300 animals of 30 different species, 5 of which are in danger of extinction or vulnerable.
The sanctuary features a separate entrance for tourists, where they can see rehabilitated animals in their natural habitat. Many monkeys hoard together and can be perfectly seen and heard as they hang out on the treetops.
The animals are taken care of by vets, natural scientists, and volunteers from all over the world. Animals have special diets according to their species and are provided with medical care and social rehabilitation if needed. Some animals can also leave their cages for a walk, exploring their natural surroundings.
Since the animal welfare center cares for diverse animals, they are separated into specific areas. Volunteers are assigned to one of these different responsibilities. The main task for volunteers is assisting in cleaning, preparing food and providing it. Some animals are taken out of their cages and enclosures and brought to so called runners during the day. Others have to be accompanied into the wild (coatis, monkeys, pumas, birds).
Depending on what area you're going to support, you will be in touch with different animal types:
Capuchin Monkey area and Spider Monkey Park:
Here, you will take care of capuchin monkeys and a group of free spider monkeys.
In this section, you can expect to work with small mammals such as coatis, tayras and ferrets.
Brids like macaws and parrots need your attention and care.
Balú is an Andean bear who requires special care. The exterior enclosure and its security systems have to be checked on a daily basis.
Another important area that contributes to the ongoing success of the animal welfare center, is the area of construction. It is important to maintain the facilities and keep the equipment in perfect condition. The enclosures and cages of the animals need to be checked regularly, improved, and renewed.
All work areas described above also include additional tasks that will be explained to you on-site. Please keep in mind that some work areas require a minimum period of participation. This is especially important for the welfare of the animals. For example, a minimum of 21 days is required if you want to work with the spider monkeys.
The work hours depend on the work area, current workload, and the number of volunteers. Generally, volunteers work about 8 hours with a very long siesta break inbetween.
The work areas for volunteers are well structured and organized to assure that all animals are taken care of and fed. Although the wildlife sanctuary can take into consideration personal wishes from volunteers regarding their preferred area of work, we cannot guarantee that your desires will be always met. Yet, there is one thing we can guarantee you for certain: Your stay abroad in Bolivia, in the middle of the jungle, will be a unique and unforgettable 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 tasks.
Volunteers in this wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia live in a two-story volunteer house that features shared dormitories, a kitchen with a fridge and bathrooms with warm water. You will share your room with a maximum of 3 other volunteers.
The wildlife sanctuary provides volunteers with a daily vegetarian lunch. Breakfast just includes coffee or tea. Other meals and snacks during the day can be purchased at the on-site cafeteria.
Dinner is not included, but volunteers can use the kitchen or eat in one of the restaurants located in the nearby village. Vegans or those with a special diet due to allergies should bring what they need, as many ingredients are unavailable in the village.
Volunteers have access to the Internet every day from 6 pm to 7 am. In the nearby village of Villa Tunari, you can also find Internet cafés.
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 close to Villa Tunari, in midst of the rainforest between the Andes and the Amazonas and is an ideal destination for a stay in beautiful nature and to discover the enormous biodiversity.
Villa Tunari town lies on the banks of the Espiritu Santo River, near the confluence with the Chapare River, on the new Cochabamba-Santa Cruz highway. Villa Tunari is a small town surrounded by incredible landscapes of lush vegetation and abundant water in rivers, streams, waterfalls and natural pools.
There is a humid and warm tropical climate with temperatures up to 35 °C, and rather cool nights.
Nearby there are national parks such as the Parque Machía and the Carrasco National Park, where animals threatened by extinction find a safe habitat and where the sensitive ecosystem of the Amazon is being preserved.
There are many options for tourist excursions in Villa Tunari, such as walks on adventurous jungle trails, including river walks, scenic views, rafting, boat trips, cycling and trekking.
Cochabamba is about a 2.5 hours’ drive away and Santa Cruz about a 5.5 hours’ drive away.
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 Bolivia (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 volunteer coordinator on-site.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in the Animal Sanctuary in Bolivia includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Daily lunch (vegetarian)
- Advice from our experienced staff
- On-going support via WhatsApp, phone or mail
- Elaboration of your application profile in Spanish
- Your placement in the volunteer project
- Pre-departure information
- Packing list
- Country handbook
- Intercultural guide
- Orientation upon arrival
- On-site volunteer coordinator
- 24/7 emergency number
- Advice on travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Application fee: US$ 150
Program fee: US$ 575 (minimum stay 15 days)
Extra week: US$ 115 (up to 1 month)
Extra week after 1 month: US$ 95
There is a guarantee deposit of 300 bs (approx. US$ 45) to be paid on site. This deposit is returned once the booked volunteering time has been completed.
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:
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.