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I started as a foster home for abused and abandoned animals 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 17 dogs and 18 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
- use your initiative
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.
Food is included but this is very basic vegan food. Vegetables, rice, beans, flour, oatmeal, sugar tea and coffee. Sometimes there are as many as 6 volunteers. The group is required to cook and make a basic meal for everyone in the house. We all eat together.
This project is not for everyone but it can be a tremendous amount of fun, eye opening and rewarding. Only those that fulfill the requirements below should come:
HAVE A GENUINE DESIRE TO HELP
I am on workaway because I need help. I have my hands full. If you have a genuine desire to help and not just do the bare minimum to get free board and lodging then this could be for you. I sacrifice, time money and space to help animals in need and therefore need like minded people who genuinely want to make a difference.
ABSOLUTE ANIMAL LOVERS
If you love animals you will be in your element here. There are cats and dogs everywhere. They love and need to be touched and stroked and played with. If you are indifferent to animals, are scared of them or do not want them in your space, please do not come. There are many animal lovers who would love to be here. Animal lovers show more concern for animals and as such don't need to be told what to do when it comes to taking care of them. This makes everybody's job much easier and the animals much happier.
FLUENT IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH
I understand that not everyone is fluent in one of these 2 languages but an inability to understand instructions, precautions and rules can have disastrous effects. It is frustrating for you, the workawayer, and for me. It also means that you miss out on the social element, which, when travelling and working, is half of the fun.
MINIMUM AGE 23
This is a high responsibility workaway where you are directly responsible for the care and well being of over 40 animals.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
I am South African, living in Costa Rica for 10 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, it is imperative that you are a dog lover since you WILL have 25 dogs in your personal space. You are also encouraged to have dogs sleep with you and spend time with you in your personal space.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
As much as I try to be professional in my dealings with people I need to make it clear that this is my home - you will be living with me in my house. It is far from perfect and in many cases chaotic. That’s where you come in. I need you to work with me and my kids. We will make a team to make sure that the system works.
*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. Above all else we value TEAM WORK, it is essential to be a 100% team player, responsible and trustworthy.
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 available for a great part of the day I am looking for workawayers who are responsible, dependable and can take the lead.
It’s important to note that taking care of dogs and cats is not all about playing with them cuddling and stroking them. There is an enormous amount of cleaning to be done. Not only are you required to clean up after them but also after yourselves, after cooking, sweeping personal areas, making your bed etc. It’s the best way to keep the animals healthy and disease free.
The main tasks are caring for dogs and cats, 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 14 year old.
Caring for the dogs includes the following:
- 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
Caring for the cats tasks include:
- groom the cats
- feed the cats
- clean cat litter trays
- socialise the cats
- clean up after the cats
- taking pictures for facebook and website
Cleaning the House and general cleaning
- washing dishes
- washing clothes
- cleaning windows
- cut the grass
- prune the trees
- raking leaves
- cleaning the garden
- fixing fences
- fumigating the garden
- weed killing
- mixing cement
- building fences, walls, repairing etc
Supervising a teenager
- homework supervision
- ensuring chores are done
- doing activities
** One of the biggest things you will be doing as a volunteer is showing new volunteers what you do, how you do it and what needs to be done.
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.
Part of the funding comes from a small car rental business which you may be asked to help with.
Sometimes there is help in the field rescuing animals but it is mostly done on site. I am starting a small project in Puntarenas which you may be asked to be involved with.
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.
You will be living on site with me and my family and the dogs and cats. You will more than likely have dogs and cats in your room that need to be cared for at night. Since you are on site you need to understand the responsibility that comes with that. Even after hours there needs to be consideration for noise and keeping gates and doors closed.
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 every 5 days worked (not necessarily weekends, time off may be during the week) which is a good enough time to go sightseeing.
You are responsible for ensuring that you do not help to much.
Your days off need to be coordinated with the other volunteers to ensure there will be someone overseeing things. It is your responsibility to make sure you arrange this and take these days off. You are encouraged to leave the house during your time off since you are living in the middle of the rescue centre.
This is a family home where I live with my 2 daughters. We have a large amount of animals all in our living space. You will be sharing our living space with us and with the animals. You will be surrounded by them all the time and even in your time off there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with volunteering here such as closing doors and gates behind you. For this reason we cannot allow the use of any form of drugs.
We keep a relaxed atmosphere for the sake of the dogs and while you are here you will be expected to contribute to this even in your time off.
Things that you would normally do in your own home are not included in your work hours. Such as cooking, washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, your living space, etc.
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.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
I have added this option despite the fact that the space is far from ideal but not everyone is looking for an ideal space. This is for people who are adaptable, work flexi hours and who do not offer online classes, are not involved in calls or meetings or anything where absolute silence is necessary and do not have set times.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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