Help in our animal rescue centre in rural Atenas, Costa Rica


Costa Rica


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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    I started as a foster home but realised that I had the space to expand to help more animals by giving them temporary or even permanent homes. Right now we have 26 dogs and 17 cats and we are bursting at the seams. Up until recently I handled everything on my own with the help of a friend who is a professional dog trainer and some local volunteers who come when they have time.

    I don't only need dog handlers, I need builders, gardeners, cleaners and cat lovers. To be involved in this project you need to be an animal enthusiast even if not working directly with the dogs, use your initiative and be proactive.

    You can get a really good idea of the environment and the work involved by looking on the Facebook page and also the website. Ask me for the details.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Charity work

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I am South African, living in Costa Rica for 8 years. I live in a rural part of Atenas, but very close to the centre and have adapted to the way of life here in Costa Rica. You will learn Spanish and you will get 2 days a week free to travel. You will also get insight into expat living in Costa Rica. I have traveled all over Costa Rica and can give you lots of tips on where to go. You would be living very closely with me and the dogs,

  • Help


    *I have very limited space for February and March is about half full, April and onwards is wide open!

    *Minimum stay 3 weeks

    I would love for you to join my project. I need you to bear in mind that this is still very much in the beginning phases and you will be required to use your initiative, make suggestions and be proactive to really enjoy this workaway opportunity.

    To be able to get the most out of your experience you will also be required to do a short course before coming. As I am not there for more than 90% of the day I am looking for workawayers who are responsible, dependable and can take the lead.

    The main roles are dog and cat carers, with the extra time you have you can work on other tasks. This depends largely on the amount of volunteers there are at the time. More volunteers means we need more people to work on construction, gardening and taking care of the 12 year old.

    Dog Carer
    - walk the dogs
    - clean up after the dogs
    - train the dogs
    - play games with the dogs
    - spend time with the dogs
    - socialise the dogs
    - calm the dogs when there is a lot of barking and be attentive
    - taking pictures for facebook and website
    - groom the dogs

    Cat Carer
    - groom the cats
    - feed the cats
    - clean cat litter trays
    - socialise the cats
    - clean up after the cats
    - taking pictures for facebook and website

    House Cleaner
    - cleaning
    - sweeping
    - mopping
    - washing dishes
    - washing clothes
    - cleaning windows
    - dusting
    - cooking

    - cut the grass
    - prune the trees
    - planting
    - raking leaves
    - cleaning the garden
    - fixing fences
    - fumigating the garden
    - weed killing

    - welding
    - carpentry
    - mixing cement
    - sanding
    - varnishing
    - plastering
    - drilling
    - building fences, walls, repairing etc

    Supervising a pre-teen
    - homework supervision
    - ensuring chores are done
    - motivation
    - doing activities

    We need help with building dog runs, general maintenance of the property (including the pool and garden), building, cleaning, walking the dogs and playing with them, taking them to the vet. Also since this is a project that we are working hard on there is admin that needs to be done, house visits for potential fosters or adopters, setting up stands where we can collect dog food, publishing videos and pictures to facebook, youtube, instagram etc. I have managed to get some local volunteers but I need them to be managed, someone to let them in, make sure they hang the harnesses and leashes back up. Then there is also taking care of the dogs, preparing their food, keeping them in separate camps, letting them in or out as the case may be.

    We also have a part of the house that we rent to tourists which you may also be required to help with that, be there when they arrive, hand them the keys, show them around, etc.

    Part of the funding comes from a small car rental business which you may be asked to help with.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    english spanish

  • Accommodation


    The accommodation is varied depending on the guests we have and the rooms available. You will probably be sleeping in a shared room with 4 beds. This room has an en-suite bathroom.

    This room is in a shared house. There are 2 rooms on the upper level and 3 on the lower level. There are 3 full bathrooms between 5 bedrooms.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    You will be required to do a short online course that teaches you how to handle dogs. This is essential to your enjoyment of this project.

    Your 5 hours may be split up across the day. So for example a couple hours in the morning to help with feeding, another couple in the afternoon for feeding the evening meal and then an hour in the middle of the day to take the dogs for walks or play with them. You will get 2 days off for very 5 days worked (not necessarily weekends, time off may be during the week) which is a good enough time to go sightseeing. Parque san luis is close by and you can actually do that in a day trip and avoid paying accommodation. You can go zip lining at arenal volcano or go visit the hot springs. la paz waterfall gardens is gorgeous and has 5 cascading waterfalls plus sloths and toucans that give kisses! You can go to manual antonio beach and see the sloths and monkeys in the trees on the side of the road. There is a coffee tour a short distance from us. You can enjoy the cultural activities held in the central park. Puerto viejo is a lovely part of costa rica, the beach is very bohemian and you can do some surfing.

    You can travel to almost any part of costa rica using public transport.

    In your email to me please randomly use the word PURPLE so that I know you read the entire description.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 713754436963