Our local NGO, the Animal Rehab & Rainforest Conservation Ecuador holds a huge passion for nature along with a professional approach on animal care, rehabilitation and release, along with rainforest conservation.
- Opportunity to live in the Amazon rainforest!
- Rehabilitate illegal trafficked wildlife and release them back into the wild.
- Learn first-hand about animal care.
- Experience and share this once in a lifetime opportunity with likeminded volunteers
- Embrace Ecuador’s beautiful spots on your free days
Our local NGO is a committed rescue and rehabilitation centre in the Amazon basin of Ecuador, voted for the past three years as best rescue centre of South America by GHP magazine. They are currently aiding for over 100 wild animals, including: tamarin, capuchin, woolly monkeys and red howler; various species of macaws and parrot; kinkajous and other small mammals. They also care for felines on rare occasions too.
Since rehabilitation is an essential part of the work we do, animals that come in the centre often changes, with animals being released or moved to other centres, depending on the care and environment they need that’s best suited for their welfare.
Volunteers come from all over the world to embrace this experience and on average we have between 10-15 at once. Minimum stay is 2 weeks. From June until August the minimum stay is 4 weeks.
Our Local NGO has a strict hands off policy for most of its animals! As they focus on rehabilitation, it is very crucial to minimize any human interaction with the animals, as this is the first major step of their rehabilitation.
Jungle ambiance, electricity and WIFI
The volunteers at the Animal Rehab & Rainforest Conservation Ecuador live out in the jungle. There are beautiful large open dorm room, that accommodates up to 11 volunteers. Long term volunteers have access some extra facilities for their commitment there. You get eat our meals out on decking enriched with the rainforest surrounding you. After your meal feel free to relax in hammocks, or start up a game of cards. Bathrooms are next to the large dorm rooms, which consists of composting toilets and most importantly hot showers. There is NO WIFI or ELECTRICITY, (although they run the generator twice a week for people to charge their devices). There is mobile phone reception however and sim cards can be bought with data that let you access the Internet even in the jungle.
Everyone looks after themselves for breakfast and lunch, but volunteers takes turns in preparing the communal dinner.
In the Amazon rainforest, the weather runs from tropical sunshine to monsoon rainfall (it is the rainforest after all), so it is recommended that you bring rain gear and clothes you can layer (Managers have a love for chocolate too J). They will provide gum boots and working clothes, as well as bed linen and blankets. If you get cold easily, we recommend bringing a sleeping bag for extra comfort. As there is no electricity we light up the rooms with candles. A flashlight or headlight is necessary for the nights in the jungle.
They longer you stay the better. The centre runs smoothly the longer volunteer stays. This is why the fees are lower when more time is spent at the centre. Sometimes the centre has openings for long-term volunteers to assist with training new volunteers and the day to day running of the site. People who have worked/ volunteered before, or have been here for a while, take priority.
Animal care is rewarding work but is in no way a walk in the park. Animals are fed three times per day. Each feeding takes between 2-3 hours. In the morning, everyone meets at 7:30 am to prepare the animal’s food, and then volunteers separate into groups to clean different animal cages and feed the animals.
After the animals are fed, volunteers relax, prepare breakfast and get ready for the rest of the day. Some volunteers will feed the parrots and nocturnal animals, while others are on other activities such as enriching animal welfare, general site maintenance and daily chores.
Lunch is around 1:30 pm and after we then feed the mammals again at 3pm. After feeding there is time to socialize with other volunteers, enjoy the scenery, swim at the waterfall or by the river, or simply relax in a hammock listening to the sounds of the Amazon.
At the Animal Rehab & Rainforest Conservation Ecuador, Volunteers work 5 1/2 days per week. Volunteers can change which day off they want. Sundays are so called ‘lazy Sundays’ in which we feed the animals only once a day and do chores, but no other work is required, leaving plenty of time to relax or enjoy the surroundings.
Free Time Activities
Many volunteers spend their free days in Baños, dubbed ‘a slice of heaven on earth’ for its beauty and peaceful ambiance. Baños is an hour from Mera and has a friendly feel to it with many restaurants, coffee shops and bars. But if you prefer nature there are many activities such as: warm water springs, bike rides, canyoning, rafting and zip lining.
Mera is located where the Andes meet the Amazon. The World Wildlife Fund has called the area from Baños to Mera, “A Gift to the Earth” because of its natural beauty and biological importance to the region. The town borders the Pastaza River Valley between the national parks Sangay and Llanganates that provides an important biological region linking the two protected areas.
Mera itself is a small and welcoming jungle village hidden in amongst the mountains, rivers, and rainforest. Having a drink with a friendly villager can be as charming as the abundant nature. Surrounding Mera there is plenty of exploring to be done in nearby caves, rivers to swim in and hikes to venture on.