If Animal Care is your thing, and you like the idea of looking after jungle animals that have been rescued from circuses, smugglers and domestic situations, then this is the placement for you.
The location is deep in the jungle, about an hour from Puyo in the Oriente. Enclosures have been built for these animals, many of which are too damaged to be returned to the wild. The volunteers help keep the enclosures clean and feed the animals every day. Some of the enclosures are a short walk away so you need to be physically fit to handle climbing up and down. Sometimes, it is necessary to catch insects in nets for the monkeys! The volunteers also take it in turn to cook and clear up.
Its important that you like the idea of being off the beaten track, with all the jungle smells and noises around you enjoying the company of the other volunteers.
Why volunteer help is needed
This centre was started 5 years ago by an Indian family that owns about 70 acres of rainforest. The animals are often brought to them by Government officials but the family do not receive any funding to help buy the food for the animals, build the cages or pay for local people to help with the work. Hence, the volunteers are very important for the project to be viable as their man-power is essential for looking after the animals and the money they pay helps pay for the animal food and enclosures.
Where you will stay
The Volunteer House is on site and consists of bunk-house style accommodation with showers, toilets and a communal kitchen/dining room/lounge. There is a little area outside where volunteers sit round a fire and hammocks under the building where they can take an afternoon nap! Further down the hill, a natural pool, fed by a stream, has been built for cooling off and taking a swim!
During the day, there is no power at the Volunteer House. In the evening, they put on the generator so you can charge your phone or camera or even watch a video!
What to do whilst there
The owners can give you a lift up to the main road, and from there you can catch a bus. Banos is maybe a couple of hours away and would be a good place to go for the weekend and stay the night. The route from Puyo to Banos is known as “La Ruta de las Cascadas” (the highway of the waterfalls) and the views are very dramatic.
Once in Banos, you could take advantage of the Thermal baths, partake in some ‘Puenting‘ (jumping off Bridges – a bit like bunjee jumping), take a trek, do some white water rafting, visit an internet cafe, hire a bike or even climb up neighbouring Tungurahua (subject to how active it is!)
From Puyo you could also take a jungle trip and visit rivers and local villages.
|Prices||Whats included||Whats not included|
|4 weeks £1,045||Airport pick up by taxi and delivery to host family in Quito||Flights to Ecuador|
|5 weeks £1,120||Spanish School in Quito for five days - 5 x 2-hour one to one sessions with Spanish teacher||Travel Insurance|
|6 weeks £1,195||Accommodation and food with Ecuadorian Spanish speaking family in own room with shared bathroom whilst in Quito||Vaccinations|
|7 weeks £1,270||Placement at the project and accommodation and food in bunk-house style accommodation in jungle in shared rooms||Local transport and travel to project|
|8 weeks £1,345||24-hour telephone contact with local Co-ordinator|
|9 weeks £1,420|
|10 weeks £1,495|
|11 weeks £1,570|
|12 weeks £1,645|