Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare, Nature Protection
Chiloé Island, South of Chile
flexible start and end dates all year-round
This volunteer project in Chile is supervised by a non-profit organization that aims to protect and preserve the biodiversity of the Chilean island, Chiloé. This environment protection project was founded in 2009 and now consists of researchers, professors, and volunteers. Private and public institutions also support it. The project is still developing, and the facility is still growing in order to take in more animals in need.
The Chiloé National Park is made up of very diverse marine life, including the blue whale, sea whale, Chilean dolphins, Peale's dolphins, sea lions, marine otters, Magellanic penguins, and Humboldt penguins. Nevertheless, this relatively undisturbed area faces different threats, such as urban development, habitat degradation, and land / marine pollution.
Some local animals that suffer from injuries or illnesses cannot survive in their natural habitat, so they are taken in to be cared for at the protection center. Here, they are rehabilitated, and in the best-case scenario, released back into the wild again. Animals such as foxes, eagles, sea lions, sea and land birds, penguins, huemuls, pudus, small wild cats, and others live at the center (subject to changes at any time!).
The number of animals in the rehabilitation center depends on the number of animals that are in need help. Additionally, the organization seeks to educate the population about topics like environmental and animal protection.
The volunteers teach children and adults about the necessity of protecting local flora and fauna and show them examples of dangers that influence the fragile ecosystem of Chiloé. Furthermore, the organization engages in direct and concrete measurements that help to demonstrate the threats. To counteract these problems, the institution is introducing breeding programs.
In our animal protection project on the island of Chiloé, you can get to know and protect the wildlife of southern Chile first-hand. You will move a lot in the fresh sea air and in the great outdoors and also get to know and experience the rather simple living conditions of the local population.
With your volunteer service in benefit of the protection of the Chiloés fauna, you will take on a variety of tasks, some of which are exhausting, and you will definitely be tired but happy at the end of the day.
The working time is between 35 and 45 hours / week on 6 days. Shift work on the weekend is possible, but with a day off during the week instead.
The tasks are distributed on site as required and may include:
- Rescuing injured or sick animals
- Caring of the animals (feeding, medical care, medicine, etc.)
- Cleaning the cages / enclosures / facilities
- Animal observation and data collection
- New construction / reconstruction / repair of enclosures and buildings
- Maintenance of the vegetable garden
- Environmental education for children
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.
Life on Chiloé is simple and very different from that of Santiago or other cities in the country. During your time as a volunteer, you will live in a shared room in the volunteer house right at the project site close to the sea.
The house is simple and functional. It is secluded, so it is not suitable for city dwellers who want to have the entertainment nearby - instead you can really immerse yourself in the world of "Chilotes" and experience how comforting a simple life can be.
The nearest town, Ancud, can be reached in about 30 minutes by car, the island's capital Castro in about 2.5 hours.
The volunteer project is self-catering, grocery shopping is usually organized together and volunteers take shifts with the cooking.
The volunteer house has Wifi, a laundry machine and a dryer.
The main island of the Chiloé Archipelago is Chile's second largest island and is located about 1000 km south of Santiago off the mainland in the Pacific. Around 170,000 people live here in several cities and villages. Especially on the east side, there are countless small and smallest islets, some of which have villages, others are inhabited by only a few families, while others are not inhabited at all. The main island can be reached from Puerto Montt with a short flight, or by ferry in about 2 hours.
Chiloé is Chile's island of legends and myths. Many legends surround this place and if you believe them, Chiloé is home to mythical creatures and ghosts. The island's very own cuisine, music and traditions make it a popular holiday destination for Chileans from other parts of the country who want to discover something "authentic".
Chiloé is famous for its wooden churches, that were built without a single nail and are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A diverse wildlife, partly untouched nature protected in national and private parks and many options for hiking, horse riding or kayaking tours as well as bird watching make the island attractive for nature lovers. With a portion of luck, you can even watch whales off the Pacific coast!
Many people in Chiloé live from fishing, agriculture, handicrafts and tourism. They are friendly and relaxed and like to tell visitors about their homeland.
The climate in Chiloé is, as in all of southern Chile, rather harsh and it rains often. The driest and warmest months are December to February (summer). The temperatures on Chiloé fluctuate on average between 10 and 20 degrees in summer and between 5 and 10 degrees in winter.
Basic Spanish skills. For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Chile, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts (optional). This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
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 in Santiago de Chile you will be supported by an on-site volunteer coordinator.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in Wildlife Protection on Chiloé Island includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Chile
- English-speaking in-country support
- Country handbook Chile
- Intercultural guideline
- Insider tips Chile
- 24/7 Emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Application fee: US$ 150
Program fee: US$ 450 (minimum duration 3 weeks)
Extra week: US$ 60
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
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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 …
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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.