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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 
CONSERVATION: WILDLIFE RESCUE IN THE RAINFOREST IN ECUADOR

ECUADOR

CONSERVATION: WILDLIFE RESCUE IN THE RAINFOREST IN ECUADOR

Help an animal rescue centre to care for abused, neglected or abandoned animals, rehabilitate and, where possible, release wild animals in the fight against trafficking, abuse and hunting of wild species.

You'll work with an organisation dedicated to caring for animals that have nowhere else to go.

Some of the animals at the Rescue Centre are orphans because their parents were killed by hunters, others were rescued from animal dealers, and others were rescued from people who kept them in small cages! 

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SUMMARY FACTFILE
Start Dates

Availability all year round – you choose your start and finish dates.
You should ideally arrive at the weekend, between 8.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.

Duration From 2 weeks to 12 weeks subject to visa requirements
Requirements Minimum age 18.  No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a love of animals and their conservation. If you are studying an animal-related subject or you are qualified, you'll be especially welcomed!! You should be reasonably fit as the area is big and a lot of walking is involved in a climate that is hot and humid.
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your Program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food (Monday to Fridays only)

Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer from Quito to the Project Site and back to Quito
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Food at the weekends, Return transfer to airport,
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities and all ages over 18.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the fascinating culture of Ecuador

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • The enormous satisfaction of helping conserving animals in their natural environment and knowing that you made a difference to them. You'll get to experience the headiness of looking after animals that are totally helpless and reliant on you to take care of them.

  •  You'll leave feeling very proud of yourself for having contributed to the quality of life and well-being of previously abused and battered animals.

  • You'll learn more than you can imagine, particularly about the importance of conserving wildlife, and hopefully you'll help to continue to raise awareness among the world at large by talking to friends and colleagues on your return home.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

WORK CONTENT:

This Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre was founded in 2006 with the aim of protecting the wildlife of the Amazon region through the rescue and rehabilitation of local animals and plants.

The rescued animals at the centre 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. Some of them have even been removed from families who had kept these animals in captivity.

Unfortunately, the majority have suffered some sort of physical or psychological abuse. Some of the animals have been handed over to the care of the centre by Government authorities who have rescued or taken custody of the animals; others were voluntarily handed into the Centre by those families who realised that wild animals are not to be kept as domestic pets

There are currently at least 40 different species of animals at the centre which include: Ocelot, tayra, capibara, parrots, monkeys, tortoises, and caimans amongst others.

The Center is dedicated to helping the local community in many ways, not only in contracting their local services to help the local economy, but also in educational programs, working closely with the local school to teach children the importance of environmental issues.

Your work will be varied and you'll be involved in some or all of the following:

  • Day-to-day care of the animals

  • Cutting up fruit and preparation of diets,

  • Feeding the animals

  • Helping new arrivals adjust to the Center

  • Measuring and weighing the animals

  • Studying their behaviour

  • Protecting the more vulnerable animals

  • Observing and monitoring those animals that have been released

  • helping in the development of programmes on rehabilitation and release of animals

  • General maintenance and cleaning

  • Construction work, such as helping to repair and build new enclosures for the animals

  • Daily hikes to pick fruit for the animals and also to harvest yucca, corn, sugar cane or cocoa.

  • Enclosure Enrichment: Some of the most satisfying work you can do will be to provide some enclosure enrichment and mental stimulation. You can use your creativity to provide useful “toys” and games for them and animals generally take great interest and delight in new areas to explore. We provide you with our in-house guide of Suggestions for Enclosure Enrichment and you may be able to use or adapt some of the suggestions for the different types of animals.

Additional activities:
The Center is dedicated to finding ways to provide the chance of a good quality of life for the animals in their care. This includes basic things, such as

  • providing them with a suitable diet, which in so many cases they have never had during their time in captivity.

  • Where possible, to run effective, science-based rehabilitation programmes to help in the process of returning them to their natural environment.

You will also be able to help with these observation and enrichment projects. For example, most animals living in the wild spend a big part of their day foraging and searching to find food or safe shelter. These are the types of behaviours that have to be encouraged so that animals at the Center do not lose these skills.

You can help by using your imagination to build a toy or devise a game for the animal and then observe how it uses it and in what way it benefits the animal. This work is invaluable to the animals because it helps to relieve the boredom of their captivity and to maintain their natural predatory instincts.

In addition to animal welfare and care, you can also be involved in the local Environmental Education Program. Here you'll help prepare lessons on specific environment issues which are given twice a month at a local school located close to the Center. The children are aged between 6 and 12 years and in these classes the idea is to help the younger generation to understand the importance of ecosystems as a whole (including all living beings who form part of them) and the role of natural resources (the ones we need to survive and yet, at the same time, are being destroyed because of bad or non-existent management.

WORK SCHEDULE:
You'll work Monday to Friday, from 8.00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  On Saturdays or Sundays, all the volunteers work for a couple of hours to clean the volunteer house and kitchen, and feed the animals. This usually ends around 10:30 a.m. then you're free for the weekend.

Conservation, Wildlife Rescue in the Rainforest in Ecuador

Conservation, Wildlife Rescue in the Rainforest in Ecuador

ACCOMMODATION:

There is a volunteer house with dorm rooms offering space for up to 14 people in total. There is a shared kitchen, bathroom and social area with TV and DVD player, hammocks and books. You will be provided with bedding and will also have access to a swimming pool. Facilies are basic but do include the following:

  • Electricity
  • Running water
  • Hot water
  • Internet
  • Laundry Service (you can wash your clothes by hand or pay to get your clothes washed).

FOOD:
You'll be provided with three meals per day on Mondays to Fridays only – they will consist of local ingredients and cooking. At the weekends you will need to cater for yourself. You can buy ingredients at the supermarkets in Puyo and use the kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals, or you can eat out.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

  How to Fundraise for your voluntary work abroad with Travellers Worldwide


Above: One of the markets in Quito
Below: Dinner and a chance to socialise (Quito)

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience. Very popular choice is booking a one-week Spanish Course in Quito before moving across to the Islands to complete your placement.

Spanish Lessons and Courses

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in Argentina, or you could even do a second project in a different region of the country, thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!

Photo right: Volunteers mucking about on their Spanish Course in Quito


LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:

LOCATION:
This project is located close to Arajuno, approximately 1 hour from the nearest town of Puyo, in an isolated area.  Travelling by bus from Quito takes approximately 6 hours.

PUYO
Puyo is the provincial capital of Pastaza housing some 25,000 residents. It also provides a crossroads for visitors arranging various tours to the jungle and forest reserves. If you're an early riser, the views of the incoming rolling mists are spectacular dissipating into cloud form as the day rolls on.

This attractive jungle town is also the crossover point for further onward routes into the northern and southern oriente as well as travelers journeying back to Baños and Ambato.

In recent years, Puyo has become noted by tourists for its incredible natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, forest, rivers and natural valleys, the abundance of surrounding wildlife and scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The city also has a good infrastructure, providing visitors with good accommodation and a variety of activities. The annual festivals that are celebrated by the locals are also a special treat.

QUITO:
Ecuador's capital, Quito, lies in the north of the country, some 15 miles from the equator and with the Andean Mountains and valleys as a backdrop. It's 10,000ft altitude keeps it cool, with spring like temperatures year round. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in the 1970's for its preserved historic Latin quarter.

There is always something to do in Quito, whether you'd like to experience some culture or join in with the cosmopolitan, modern way of life. Cultural highlights include the old town, the cable car and the equator, along with a multitude of museums and monuments.

Modern highlights include a range of shopping malls, a zoo, an ice skating rink, and plenty of restaurants and bars serving wonderful cocktails and tasty food - you'll find anything from traditional Ecuadorian cuisine to Thai and Italian!

The city also contains a thriving 'new town' popular with younger generations for its restaurants, shopping and nightlife. There are lots of restaurants and "Patio de Comidas" where you can pick up an excellent value lunch or dinner. 

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS:
The Galápagos islands lie some 600 miles from the coastline of Ecuador. Formed by volcanic eruptions into the sea, they contain species found nowhere else on the planet and are one of the most significant sites in the world; most notably because this is where Charles Darwin's theories of evolution were inspired and shaped. This rocky and at first glance inhospitable terrain is home to giant tortoise, swimming iguanas and fearless blue footed boobies.

THE AMAZON:
The Amazon is the worlds largest remaining tropical rainforest, occupying about one third of Ecuador. To get some idea of its scale, first you need to know that Ecuador's share of the Amazon represents just 2% of the whole rainforest; most of it belonging to Brazil (60%) followed by Peru (13%). Important nevertheless as the Amazon in Ecuador remains relatively untouched, has good infrastructure to make for easy visitation and is home to numerous indigenous settlements which welcome outsiders.

THE ANDES:
One of the greatest mountain ranges in the world, they split Ecuador in two running from the north of the country down. Indigenous communities have cultivated the land in the Andean Highlands for thousands of years, selling their produce in bustling market towns. Catch a glimpse of the abundantly colourful markets, showcasing traditions of ancient civilizations and Inca descendants.

Mountaineers will love the peaks of the 'Avenue of Volcanoes' an area in the central highlands with a number of active volcanoes. Whilst each climb is different and most are incredibly challenging, the rewards along the way are numerous. Dense forest, waterfalls and spectacular views across the valleys below await the intrepid few. Other hot pursuits in this region include walking, rafting, biking or camping.

PACIFIC COASTLINE:
This 2000km coast is fringed with pristine sand beaches, sweeping bays, mangrove forests, crashing waves and tranquil fishing villages. The ports and fishing villages are an important part of Ecuador's economy, delivering fresh sea food and imported goods. At certain times of the year you can see Humpback whales arriving from Antarctic waters to mate; splashing their fins and exhaling gushes of water. Marine birds are also in abundance along the pacific coastline, with sightings of the albatross, one of natures largest birds, being common.

TRAVEL:
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here...

Quito at night




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