This project is located in the Ecuadorian rainforest and works for rescuing, rehabilitating and when possible releasing animals back to their natural environment.
The centre works in partnership with the Ecuadorian Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment in the fight against the trafficking, abuse, capture and hunting of wild animals. This center is very organized and volunteers can help with caring for the animals and maintenance.
This project was founded in 2006 with the aim of protecting the wildlife of the Amazon region through the rescue and rehabilitation of local flora and fauna. The animals at the center have all been abused, neglected or abandoned. Some of the animals were orphaned when their parents were killed by hunters, others were rescued from animal dealers who were trying to traffic the animals out of the country and many have been retrieved from families who had kept these animals in captivity. Unfortunately the majority have suffered some sort of physical or psychological abuse.
There are currently at least 40 different species of animals at the center which include: Ocelot, tayra, capybara, parrots, monkeys, tortoises, and caimans amongst others.
The center is also open for tourists to visit, charging a small entrance fee that is the center’s only other source of income. As animal welfare is not a high priority for many Ecuadorians, the background and mistreatment of each animal is explained to tourists, with the idea to educate local and foreign visitors about animal protection issues. In general, the visits are not guided, but tourists can read about each animal on the information sign at the cages.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program and should be prepared to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants in the program should have a keen interest and love for animal conservation work. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
- Day to day care of the animals
- Cutting up fruit, preparation of diets, feeding the animals
- Helping new arrivals adjust to the center
- General maintenance and cleaning
- Construction work; repairing and building new enclosures
- Cage and enclosure enrichment
- Assisting the vet when necessary
- Other activities such as gardening, improving trails, making signs for visitors etc.
Volunteer Work Schedule
Volunteers will work from 08.00 am to 12.00 pm and 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, volunteers work for a few hours in the morning as the animals still need feeding and looking after but once all the tasks are completed you are free for the weekend.
Volunteering Solutions is an established name for volunteering placements abroad. We ensure that all our accommodation and living standards match the requirements and comfort levels of our volunteers.
Volunteers would be picked up from the Mariscal Sucre International Airport by the VolSol staff or the in-country coordinator. Volunteers who are already present in Quito would be picked up from their locations. Inform your coordinator about your plans beforehand.
There are two types of accommodation options available to volunteers in Quito. Volunteers can choose to stay either with the host family or at the volunteer house. Participants who want to stay with the host family have to inform about this before the placement. On arrival to the project, on the first night, all-volunteer will stay in the volunteer house and the next day those who chose host family would be sent to their accommodation. Volunteer house has a same-gender shared accommodation. Both host family and the volunteer house are fully furnished; however, do carry your own towels and toiletries.
Our local staff will provide a comprehensive orientation session for the volunteers. The orientation would cover information about your project, routes, and buses or public transport that you can take to reach your project site. You would come to know about the culture and practices of Quito, food habits, currency and more. On the first day of the project, our volunteer coordinator will accompany the volunteer to his/her project and show them how to use public transport to and from the project. On-site, the coordinator will introduce the volunteer to the project and the local project staff and help with basic induction.
Meals are provided from Monday to Friday when you stay with the host family. The daily menu would generally include
- Breakfast: American type breakfast: eggs, fruit, toast, coffee/tea, juice
- Lunch: Soup, Main dish (rice, chicken/meat/fish/vegetarian option, vegetables), dessert, juice
- Dinner: Can be soup, or bread, or a salad or a smaller version of lunch
Families can comply with specific needs, such as gluten allergies, vegetarian diet, vegan diet, etc.
- For volunteers staying at the volunteer house a fully functional kitchen is provided where they can cook whatever they like. There are multiple restaurants around the accommodation and volunteers can grab a quick bite outside as well. This will give them to socialize and interact with the locals and taste some delicious local delicacies.
During your Free Time
There is a lot to do in Quito and not all can be covered in a day. You will have free time during the evening and during the weekends which you can divide between things to do and places to visit in Quito. You can start with the Old Town, Iglesia de San Francisco, La Compañía de Jesús, and Casa Museo María Augusta Urrutia. Keep in mind that a lot of public attractions remain closed during lunch, you can rest in the afternoon or head to El Panecillo for panoramic views of the city and have a hearty meal there, take a break and start again. How you want to end your day, depends on you. You can explore the nightlife or just settle for a light dinner.
Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- Airport Pickup from Quito
- One night accommodation in volunteer house in Quito
- Accommodation at the Project
- Pre Departure Information Guide
- Local Staff Support
- All meals on weekdays
- 100% Financial Protection
- UK Based Support
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Return Quito airport transfer
- Return transfer from project to Quito
- Meals on weekends
- Personal expenses
FAQ's Application and Program Details
-Application Fee is valid for a year and you can choose to do two three programs in the same year without paying an additional application fee.
-You can make the payment for program fee in parts.
Also, we abide by the first come first serve policy.
Intermediate or Beginner Level of Spanish is required.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
Participants must have a Clean Police Record (Criminal Background Check).
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteers should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
On the first day of the project, our volunteer coordinator accompanies the volunteer to his/her project and shows how public transport works to and from the project. On the site, the coordinator will introduce the volunteer to the project and the local project staff and help with basic induction.
Flights and Visa
From Europe to Quito, the recommended services are:
Health and Safety
Here are some guidelines from the project:
When using public transport keep your bag and valuables with you and not on the shelves or under the seat.
Do not bring things which are not required or are extremely expensive: jewelry, credit cards, more money than you're spending money for that day, etc.
When it gets dark, take a taxi, they are cheap here in Ecuador and will guarantee you a safe ride home.
Do not drink in the company of the strangers, until you are with your volunteer group or company.
Accommodation and Living
In Volunteer house, there is the provision of the fully functional kitchen but no meals. Volunteers can prepare meals for themselves. Meals are provided by the host family, thrice a day.
You will need to cover yourself for your personal expenses, such as local transport, telephone, the internet, shopping, weekend trips etc. However, you should carry around $50 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on weekend sightseeing tours.
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.