Amazon Wildlife Rescue - Ecuador
Pack your bags and re-locate to Ecuador’s stunning Amazonian Rainforest on this unique volunteering placement at an Animal Rescue Centre. Support an experienced team and assist in the care and rehabilitation of injured and rescued exotic wild animals. Set up by an inspired and passionate young local more than 10 years ago, his project has developed into a fully functioning rescue centre for hundreds of animals. You'll also be helping to alter the attitude of locals and the wider region to the importance of caring for both their animals and the environment.
Join now and become a fully-fledged member of a wildlife rescue team in Ecuador’s beautiful natural surroundings – there are few places on earth like it!
- Get up close and personal with a vast range of wild animals in their natural habitat – ranging from monkeys, cats, macaws, rodents, reptiles, toucans, parrots, ocelots, caiman, turtles, owls, birds of prey and many more!
- Volunteer in the jungle – a beautiful and breath-taking setting that you'll never forget.
- Become a full member of the team, actively helping the animals rehabilitate and recover before hopefully releasing them back into the wild!
- Take part in a truly rewarding project with the sole aim of protecting animals.
- Discover the beauty of Ecuador on your free weekends – there is plenty to do!
- Join for a full 4 weeks and care for your very own animal, acting as its designated trainer!
Your life as a volunteer
Depending on your availability, you can spend either two or four weeks at this project. Once you arrive in Quito, you will take a private transfer to the Animal Rescue Centre where you will be welcomed to the site by the local team. One of the local biologists will give you a comprehensive tour of the centre; the facilities; the animals; the working routines and all the equipment you will need to start your placement. The main tasks you can look forward to doing as a volunteer are:
- Preparing food for the animals and feeding them
- Observing the animals, their behaviour and overall well-being
- Supporting animal welfare in various ways, e.g. via enrichment activities
- Clean and maintain the enclosures and general maintenance work
- Taking part in larger projects, depending on current needs, e. g. enclosure building
- Supporting the various needs of the centre that may be present when you join
- As soon as you are confident enough to instruct and guide new volunteers in their daily routines you might be asked to do so (optional)
- Opportunities to assist a bird trainer in the training of birds of prey
- If you join for a full 4 weeks you will be given one animal who you are responsible for. You will take care of it during your time at the project and function as its personal patron.
Typically, you will be volunteering from Mondays to Fridays, and you can expect your routine to look something like this:
- 07:30 – 08:00 Breakfast
- 08:00 – 12:00 Volunteering
- 12:00 – 14:30 Break, including lunch at 13:00
- 14:30 – 17:00 Volunteering
- From 17:00 Free-time
- At 18:00 Dinner
The team will always adapt to the special needs of the animals living on site, meaning the schedule might change a bit from time to time but, overall, this is how it will look.
Your weekends will be non-directed time with plenty of opportunities to explore Ecuador’s beautiful landscape and culture. Join your fellow volunteers on trips to Puyo, Banos or Quito to name just a few. Puyo is a small village a short distance away from the centre with plenty of shops and restaurants if you fancy a drink, food, or a little shopping. Banos is slightly further away and as such is great for weekend visits and has plenty of optional activities on offer - from bungee jumping, white water rafting, bars, restaurants etc. Of course, you can always stay at the Rescue Centre, relax in your hammock, and enjoy the peace of the jungle. It’s completely up to you!
We are currently anticipating that we will be able to welcome customers back onto this program from January 2022. You can keep track of the current travel situation for all Gapforce programs on our Coronavirus Travel update page which we will be updating each week.
What is included?
Pre-departure support • Arrival & Departure Transfers • Local Project Staff • All Accommodation • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (Monday to Friday) • Project Donation
What is not Included?
Flights to/from destination • Travel Insurance • Visa & Vaccinations • Spending Money • Meals from Saturday noon, and all of Sunday
How much spending money do I need?
You will need money for extra meals, drinks & snacks, as well as for any activities not on the itinerary. We advise you to budget for £50 / €60 / $70 per week (this is a guideline only)
Where will I be staying?
You will stay in a basic wooden hut within the Amazonian Rainforest on the site of the project. The huts are shared by 4 – 6 volunteers (single sex rooms) and bathroom facilities are shared too and within short walking distance.
What is the food like?
You will be provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Monday to Friday on the project site. From Saturday noon until Sunday evening you need to supply your own food. You will be able to use the facilities within the centre to cook if you want to. Lunch and dinner usually comprise either local or international cuisine. You can look forward to eggs, rice, potatoes, chicken, salads, burgers, pasta, etc.
What type of transport will I be using?
You are responsible for your flights to and from Quito International Airport. From there we will arrange a private transfer to the project site and back to the airport when your volunteering placement ends. During the weekends, and for excursions that you plan, you can use buses or taxis on your own expenses - just ask the staff for help and advice about public transport.
Who takes part in this program?
This program is fantastic for anyone who loves animals and is passionate enough to donate some time toward their rescue and rehabilitation. If you are a responsible person, in general good health and motivated to work in a team, then this program is perfect for you! With the project taking place in a Spanish speaking country it is helpful if you are willing to pick up some Spanish words along the way, but you can join without speaking it. The accommodation and rescue centre are surrounded by rainforest so be prepared for a basic set up with no big luxuries. It’s all about going “back to basics” and being one with nature! There is no prior experience required although the minimum age is 18 and you must also have your doctor sign our medical form confirming you are medically fit to participate.
Who will be supervising me?
Throughout your time on the project you will be supervised by local project staff. During non-directed time at weekends, staff will be in the vicinity but not able to intervene immediately.
After submitting this form, we will try and get back to you within 24 hours
- Duration: 2 to 4 weeks
- Departures: Every month