We are people who share a passionate love for nature that also have worked for years in wildlife management projects at different contexts (Bio-parks, Rehabilitation Centers, Noninvasive Research and Wildlife Sanctuaries)
In late 2011 we crystallized the idea of creating something different that not only offer a service of conservation and wildlife rehabilitation, but to work in coordination with the indigenous communities of the area, since they are the bearers of an ancient wisdom that remain untainted with the technology, consumerism and materialism of Western Society, having achieved to coexist with the environment. This objective is to be achieved through working with the local community combined with rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife from the illegal pet trade.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY ALL THE DETAILS IN THIS LISTING AND ANSWER QUESTIONS IN DESCRIPTION
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Working with wild animals, many of them endangered species that have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Indigenous lifestyle
Jungle life... and getting dirty!
The work can be Split into five basic categories:
1. Primate work
2. Feline work
3. Infrastructure work
5. Cleaning and living together
The work principally involves cleaning cages and organizing enrichment to be able to feed the monkeys without directly handing them the food.
– Minimum 3 weeks
People who are staying for 3 weeks will be able to work with the spider monkeys and howler monkeys. The tasks will be cleaning cages and making enrichment. In addition, you may be asked to observe the monkeys, feed the monkeys, give milk to babies and in some special cases, walking with them on trails and help untangle or move monkeys.
Capuchin monkeys – Minimum three weeks
The majority of the work for people who are staying three weeks and are working with the capuchin monkeys is the same, i.e. cleaning cages & making enrichment. In addition, you may be asked to observe the monkeys, feed the monkeys, give milk to babies and in some special cases, walking with them on trails and help untangle or move monkeys.
Remember It is not guaranteed that you will work wherever you want to work. We will place you to work wherever we need you at the time and where it is the most suitable match for each species of the monkeys.
To help with the Ocelot you need to stay for at least four weeks. To work with the Jaguar you must stay at least five weeks. This is to avoid the cats getting used to seeing new people each day and avoid the staff having to train new people each day.
This is to encourage the people to finish their one-month period and not to decide to leave early because it may be challenging. Cats need routine much more than the monkeys do, and it stresses them to meet new people often. The meat for these animals is very expensive so it is another way for us to make sure we can buy their food for the month.
Jaguars – Minimum 6 or 7 weeks
You will be working and walking with Kali or Beni on their trails every day for five weeks(unless we have enough people to be able to make turns or you are needed somewhere else). This is a commitment to one animal. It is a rare and very rewarding opportunity.
There will always be at least two people walking with them, and training usually takes one week.
Ocelot – Minimum one month
You will work and walk with Choti the ocelot on his trails for the whole day, but on other days also work with the other animals if you are needed. Training usually takes up to 4 days
The community work is varied and depends on the needs of the community. We spent a large part of 2016 helping carry sand and rocks for the new houses that were built with the aid of the government to help the community following the flood of 2013, where many families lost their homes.
Alongside this we have helped with education projects, agriculture, tourism to name but a few. This work is unpredictable but always highly appreciated. There is no guarantee that the possibility of community work is available as we work with them when they needed, we don't have a full time plan on it.
All the infrastructure has been built with the help of volunteers. This can be anything from working alongside indigenous professionals like Mario to construct buildings or cages, to small projects using the expertise of volunteers to improve the facilities.
Often this work will involve using local building methods and sustainable resources from the jungle, giving volunteers a chance to learn some of the techniques that have sustained people’s way of life here in the Amazon.
One of the most important aspects of the work here is the general maintenance of the huts and local area which includes the following work, although these jobs change frequently depending upon need:
• Sharpen the machetes
• Clear spaces around the house and paths with machetes
• Move organic rubbish ready for burning or into the chicken coup
• Collect fruit that has fallen for animals and humans
• Repairing anything that breaks!
Cleaning and living together
For everyone to live together in a communal project such as we require that everyone helps out with the daily and weekly chores that need to be done.
Cabins in the jungle. Indigenous style. Common dorm.
Living conditions in the camp are quite rustic. It has a very simple dorm space with mattresses and mosquito nets.
The facility has spring water and shower with good bathrooms. We have solar power and a generator for small amount of electricity.
No internet connection, only sometimes in the beach nearby if you have a Bolivian chip you might be able to send some Was sap messages (no proper internet)
Please bring your own sleeping bag / blanket because it can get cold at night!! (just for dry season mainly (May to July aprox))
We have plenty of Rubber boots to lend to the volunteers but we can not make sure we will have your size upon arrival.
Before contact with us we want to make sure the people will understand a few really IMPORTANT things about working with us... so keep reading.
If you do not finish reading this with all the questions included on the profile we will infer that you are not committed to the project and you are just sending a mail just to check out for a cheap place in the jungle where you will make pictures with the animals, or looking for some kinda ecotourist, quite the opposite.
Maybe we are going to be a bit too straight forward, too strong in these next lines.. but we want to filter out the type of people that apply to come here. We want to find the best suited for the job and will make the most of this amazing experience.
We strongly advise against coming here if you are a) not an animal lover and b) not a hard worker. The hours are long, the work is tiresome and at times stressful. Please don't apply if you think it's a cheap way to get to spend time in the jungle without having to pay for a tour in Rurrenabaque, you will be disappointed and you will not last or will be politely asked to leave.
Do not apply if you only want to cuddle the animals and take photos of them. We are not a Cuddle Friendly sanctuary for the animals. Our mission is to release the animals back into the wild someday, so keeping them connected to their domesticated past is the most counter productive thing that could happen to them, any volunteer who comes for a short amount of time and cuddles them is acting on an ego boost, disrespecting and destroying serious difficult work we are trying to achieve with these animals. It will not be tolerated.
We know we will lose loads of requests cause of this, but actually that's our goal, being able to receive only the people that know in their heart that are ready for this experience, helping with their soul to a really important project for everyone in the Amazon, especially the animals!
It is really important to be able to fluently speak English because it is the main language spoken here. If you don't speak english we can't train you properly and this is a huge problem.
With that!, we mean we need ENTHUSIASTIC volunteers wanting to do something different, help an amazing NON lucrative NGO and at the same time learn a lot about life in the JUNGLE.
We strongly need Adult minded people, who take action without needing to be told what to do all the time.
NO ILLEGAL Drugs allowed here, tobacco alcohol and coca are okay as they are legal. No marijuana or cocaine or anything related....
This is a jungle environment, hard and rustic, jobs can be quite dirty, muddy (don't expect to have your trekking boots as clean as when you bought them (USE THEM!), dirty clothes almost every day, hottttt and really humid... mosquitoes, tarantulas in your room, etc... perfect for adventure souls... city people that need everything shiny and their nails clean wont enjoy here at all ...
but the wild souls definitely will love it.
Just in case... we are going to remind you againnn that here we are not an eco lodge or something similar where we will be looking after all your special dietary whims...(we had a few problems with this lately) with this i mean, for example breakfast ... if you only eat fried eggs or similar for breakfast do not come, we cant afford to fry eggs everyday for you, we have bread with butter and jam, here the lunch is simple and main meal is dinner. Everyone is super happy with the food as you can see in the reviews, another thing is the snacks... if you need to eat a lottt snacks during the day we wont be able to fullfill that need, you can buy your own snack in town. If you are really picky with your taste or food requirements let us know to check out what we can do... (like.. i don't like onion or carrot, do not eat bread)
We accept vegetarians. vegans can be a bit more difficult.. we usually do what we can to fulfill your needs but we can't promise you'll be eating 100% vegan every time. It is simply much too hard to cook 3 different meals in between everyone. We're not a restaurant, hotel or lodge were you will have all your requirements fulfilled cause we are in the jungle and we are a non lucrative ngo.... and because of that we don't have either the time or the money to make a personal service for every single volunteer.
We do not want special picky people.. but open minded people without trouble in trying new stuff and living in a hard environment.
With picky we also mean people that will freak out if the monkey poos or pees on you and needs to wash themselves and clothes continuously for any tiny stain.
We're adventurers... crazy, funny and open minded... really wanting to make you feel at home but after 14 years of working with volunteers we know who we are looking for and who we want to avoid.
Almost forgot... allergies... if you have any kind of insect allergy seriously think about it...
The nearest town is Rurrenabaque (Department of Beni) with approx. 17000 inhabitants.
From La Paz city (the nation’s capital) we can be reached overland in 18-24 hours (70 Bs) or by air in 50 minutes (around 700 Bs). If you choose the overland trip do not use the La Paz bus terminal, you have to leave La Paz from the Villa Fatima informal stations. Approximate exchange rates are 1 $ = 6,80 Bs or 1 € = 7 Bs.
Once in Rurrenabaque you have to hire the service of a “peque-peque” (small motorized boat) that in 15-20 minutes (10-15 Bs) traces the Beni River. Near Villa Alcira (request go to "donde viven los gringos y los monos").
But usually we always plan to meet our volunteers in advance and we’ll pick you up at cibercafe "Ronaldo"(located in Rurrenabaque “calle Comercio” in this case we’ll use our boat or go up in a boat together & share the cost.
Please aim to plan your arrival date on either a Monday, Wednesday or Friday as we only come to town on these days.
The contribution for the project to continue being sustainable is 50Bs/night... this will cover food and accommodation cost, and derivatives (transport costs, construction materials, finish paying solar power, cleaning products, veterinary materials etc..), this doesn't include your own luxuries like snacks, beer, mosquito repellent etc...
This fee also doesn't include the Primate and Feline work categories in such case you should add 140bs per week to cover the expenses related to the work and the certificate you will receive at the end of your stay.
We are NOT a business... lodge, hostel, touristic operator or whatever.... we are a organization that fights for a big dream.
We do Not earn a single cent from visitors and therefore volunteers shouldn't expect to be in one of those places where the host has to babysit the people only cause they pay or help because the host EARNS MONEY. None of the staff earn a cent from your contribution except for our indigenous employee Mario. With this, we give some easy examples... We are not going take care of your garbage, your mess or your hangovers (extreme party people won't have good time here (although we do like to party occasionally!), we are not going to clean your bed or dishes, your'e supposed to be a part of the project, so everyone will be responsible for their chores, and at the same time responsible of each other.
Last of all anyone that wants to volunteer with us needs to answer this questions when contacting us:
-Did you have contact with livestock (goats, cows, horses, pigs, poultry, sheep,...) in the last two months?
-Have you been working with wildlife in the last two months?
-In affirmative case explain the activity.
-Did you have contact with macaques in the last two months?
-Have you been in Africa during the last two months?
-In affirmative case, explain the activities, dates and routes you followed.
-Have you been working in sanitary camp (Veterinary, doctor, nursery,...)?
-Are you carrier of Herpes (cold sore)?
-Have you had chicken pox (varicela) already?
-Have you had measles (sarampión) already? Or are you vaccinated?
Recommended vaccinations to enter the center
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
25hours a week
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.
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