Volunteers are needed to help with the following activities:
- 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
- When required, helping with the release of animals into their natural habitat
- Other activities such as gardening, improving trails, making signs for visitors
The more hard work you put into the project, the more reward you get! Show initiative, work independently and don’t be afraid of working hard. They need all the help you can give them.
You will work from 08:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. On Saturdays OR 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. It is important that you are on time and punctual to work.
Animals Living in Yanacocha
As it is a rescue and rehabilitation center, the population of the center is never stable, but fluctuates both in quantities as in species. Most commonly the species that will be in the centre are the following:
A variety of monkeys - capuchin monkeys, chorongos or woolly monkeys, white-bellied spider monkeys and the red titi monkey
Red and Yellow Macaws which are the most common macaws found in the Amazon Rainforest.
Animals in danger of extinction, and animals affected by trafficking, often cannot return to their natural habitat, so it is important that whenever possible they are released back into the wild. At the animal rescue center, we care about that, and many of the animals we rescue are released into a region called Tamandua. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help the coordinators prepare, transport and release the animals into their natural habitat,
It is an arduous task and the walk into the release site is long, but it’s certainly is worth it!
* Note: The release of animals is done when possible and necessary. It is not always possible volunteers can help with this activity.
Other Projects in Yanacocha
Although the main goal of Yana Cocha is animal wellbeing and restoration of the animals to their natural habitat where possible, they also run other projects, such as conservation and research at its private reserve, and environmental education at schools and communities.
Specific Volunteer Advice on Working with Animals
Please remember that not all of the activities are "fun" but they are necessary for the well-being of the animals and the sanctuary. Also, the more involved you get in your work the more responsibility you will be given as a volunteer once you have built a certain level of trust with the animals and workers.
Please check with your local doctor regarding any vaccinations that you may need before travelling to Ecuador; however rabies and tetanus vaccinations are recommended.
This project is for animal lovers who do not mind getting their hands dirty!
This project is located 10 minutes from the jungle town of Puyo. Travelling by bus from Quito will take you approximately 4/5 hours to reach. Bus fare is not included, and at your own expense.
If you have the time, we highly recommend starting with an Introduction Week in Quito so you will go well prepared to your project. This first week gives you an idea about life in Ecuador, shows highlights of the city and its surroundings, includes 20 hours of Spanish Group lessons, an in-depth volunteer preparation including language specifics, and other fun elements such as a private salsa lesson, a city tour, and visit to the Equator.
Saturday: Airport transfer and accommodation in Student House in Quito
Sunday: Free day
Monday: 4 hours of Spanish classes. Afternoon homework time. Welcome cocktail in the afternoon.
Tuesday: 4 hours of Spanish classes. Afternoon homework time. 1 hour of private Salsa classes in the afternoon.
Wednesday: 4 hours of Spanish classes. 2 hours of practical volunteer introduction with Spanish terminology according to the project chosen.
Thursday: 4 hours of Spanish classes (eg. market visit, museum visit, etc.) to use the Spanish language in a practical situation. Afternoon homework time.
Friday: 4 hours of Spanish classes. 2-hour city tour through the Old Town of Quito with a Spanish teacher.
Saturday: All-day tour to Cotopaxi
Sunday: Start of volunteer program
Minimum age of 18
All foreigners entering Ecuador are obliged to have a valid health insurance
Basic Spanish is an advantage, but not required
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.