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The Animal Rescue Center

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Kesto
30 päivää
Alkaa
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Päättyy
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

The Animal Rescue Center in Playa Chiquita is a non-profit foundation which aims to rehabilitate mistreated, injured and/or confiscated animals that are then reintroduced to their natural habitat in protected areas.

The center accepts any animal brought to them from the local communities. The mission of the center is based on a 'recover and release' principle, which means nursing injured or separated animals to the point that they can be released back into the wild. The center owns a private portion of the jungle (La Ceiba) where they reintroduce the animals in a "controlled" manner, the area is guarded 24/7 to protect the animals from poachers. The center hosts a variety of animals like monkeys, wild cats, sloths, raccoons, anteaters, marsupials, reptiles, amphibians etc.

Matkaohjelma

The Animal Rescue Center

Founding Animal Rescue Center

Encar and Sandro have been traveling to Costa Rica since 1993 and decided to settle in Puerto Viejo in 2004. In 2008 they decided to set up the Animal Rescue Center after having witnessed the mistreatment and killing of local animals. They started out with reptiles, but the project really started when they received a baby jaguar in 2007. At that time there was no rescue center yet, but the locals in Puerto Viejo just knew they had a lot of experience with animals. The mother of the baby jaguar had been killed because local farmers suspected she had killed two goats. The baby jaguar was dehydrated and very sick. Encar and Sandro did everything they could to save it, but in the end the endangered baby jaguar died. Encar and Sandro decided to name their animal rescue center in honor of her, and so the (Jaguar) Animal Rescue Center was born.

Programs

The Animal Rescue Center works with a hands-on policy, which means direct contact with the animals is an important part of the work. Most of the animals have lost their mothers, or gone through traumatic experiences, and the center believes that direct contact is fundamental for the animals to build a strong defense mechanism to face their future successfully.

The center has two different locations:

1) Animal Rescue Center
The Animal Rescue Center is the actual center with lots of activities and visitors. Here volunteers have the chance to be interactive with both the animals as well as people, working in a team and obtaining lots of experiences. The work at the Animal Rescue Center includes cleaning and facility maintenance, diet preparation, taking care of the animals and observations within the Rescue Center. Every day the work will be with different species, but could also very well involve days where there is no work directly related to animals, but instead to the facilities or the kitchen where the meals are prepared for the animals.

2) La Ceiba Release Center
La Ceiba is a private reserve tucked away in the rainforest, there are 50 hectares of primary (untouched) that the center has purchased along with some investors as a way of conservation. It is located 4 km away from the animal rescue centre. Whilst at La Ceiba, you will be working with very enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff and will also have the opportunity to go out in the evenings to see the jungle by night. The release of the animals takes some time and the animals start by spending some time in big cages. Volunteers will be taking care of them before the release and then accompanying the animals while being reintroduced into the wild, making visual tracking, and preparing a written report on the state of the reintroduction. As well as helping with cleaning, maintenance and diet preparation. It is important to take into consideration that the animals at La Ceiba are constantly changing (since their release is the main objective). Therefore, the work that needs to be done depends a lot on the animals that are currently up there. All volunteers spend time at both The Animal Rescue Center and La Ceiba, to get a complete experience caring for animals at different stages of their healing and release.

Volunteers start at the Animal Rescue Center and after a minimum of 3 weeks move to the La Ceiba release center for one week to see how and where the animals are released. If you are staying longer, you will return to work at the Animal Rescue Center after your week at La Ceiba.

About Your Location

The Animal Rescue Center is located on the Caribbean coast in the town of Puerto Viejo. The laidback pace of this Caribbean beach town wins many a weary traveler over, and visitors often end up staying for weeks, months or even years. It is firmly on the backpacker and surfer trail so expect tie-dye trousers and leaving with at least one pair of hand-made coconut shell earrings. As well as the relatively recent addition of an international mix of residents, there is a strong creole culture in Puerto Viejo, which can still be seen, heard and felt in the reggae music, Caribbean food and relaxed character of the old-time locals.The Rescue Center is located 4 km from Puerto Viejo and 220 km from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. It takes around 4 hours by shuttle/bus from San Jose to reach Puerto Viejo.

The La Ceiba release center is situated 4 km away from the Animal Rescue Center.

Weekly Schedule & Activities at the Rescue Center

Since the Rescue Center offers tours to tourists throughout the week and the animals need constant help, the volunteers coordinate their 5 days of work with the center (so you will not neccessarily have weekends off). The work normally starts at 07:30 and ends around 16:00. This is a rough estimate as the work day ends when the work is done, which could be earlier, but also later.

The first day of the project is an introduction day (starting on Monday at 11:00) when the volunteers get shown around the project, they then start working the next day, so the first week is 6 days long including the introduction day, after that the volunteers work 5 days a week. You will also receive 3 days training .The schedule for working is organised with the volunteer coordinator, but as the center is open 7 days a week, the volunteer may have days off during the week and work on weekends.

Working at La Ceiba

During the first weeks at the Rescue Center volunteers learn about the animals in the area and our working policy. Once ready, you move to La Ceiba to spend 1 week working on the reintroduction process.

The volunteers are the heart and soul of the work done by the center. It is because of their direct efforts that they are able to help so many ill, injured and orphaned animals. And in return, the volunteers are privy to personal, one-on-one experiences with the animals in their natural environment. The result is a life-changing experience, for both the animals and the humans. Having skills related to animals or previous experience is not a must, but is preferable.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

All participants are expected to fulfill certain requirements in order to participate in the projects. The work is demanding, mostly repetitive, but can also vary from day to day. Participants must know that they will be working with wild animals that are not pets and should behave accordingly. These requirements are to ensure that volunteers bring the right expectations and enjoy their experience with Animal Rescue Center.

- Basic level of Spanish is recommended
- Travel/Medical insurance
- Recommended vaccines: Tetanus
- Tuberculosis test: As you work closely with monkeys you need to have been tested for Tuberculosis and send your test certificate, if you have already been vaccinated you need to send a copy of your Vaccination card as proof before arrival.
- In Costa Rica, Rabies is almost unheard of; however, you will be working with wild animals, so whilst not compulsory you may want to consider getting the Rabies vaccine, it's an individual decision.
- If you are travelling to Costa Rica from certain countries, you may need to show a Yellow Fever certificate on arrival. Please make sure you check if you need to get one.
- Keep in mind that the seriousness, discipline, order and cleanliness must be the basis of working with animals. If you do not respect the basic rules of common sense it puts the lives of animals at risk.

Climate

The humidity levels in the Caribbean are very high, which means that both infrastructure and your belongings can suffer from this humidity, for example, it can be difficult to dry your clothes. It's best to keep things packed in plastic covers or boxes, and for your personal hygiene we recommend using baby powder ‘talcos’. And do not bring your nicest clothing, which in fact also wouldn’t be very useful at the project.

What to Bring

- Comfortable raingear and a small umbrella as in the rainforest, like the name suggests, it usually - and sometimes very unexpectedly - rains.
- Clothes that you don't mind breaking or getting dirty. We also recommend you to bring extra clothing to work, and if possible, clothes that dry fast and preferably neutral or dark colours, no bright colours.
- A pair of long trousers (especially male volunteers) to be able to work in the forest with the monkeys.
- Proper footwear such as boots. It is not recommended to have open footwear like flip flops, because much of the time there is mud or plants that could harm you.
- A flashlight/headlight as it gets dark around 18:00
- A padlock so that all your belongings are safe, wherever you are lodging during your travels
- Zip lock bags for keeping things dry
- Insect repellent since like in any other tropical area, there are mosquitoes. You can, of course, also buy mosquito repellent once you get here.

Please Note

- Please bring a passport photo with you on your first day.
- Volunteers are required to work on public holidays. Please also note that public services like transportation may be affected on these days.
- Upon departing any airport in Costa Rica one has to pay a departure tax. This must be done in person and cannot be prearranged with a tour company or airline. The tax for international flights leaving Costa Rica is around USD $29 and for domestic flights, depending on the airport, it varies between USD $3 and USD $5. All prices are subject to change.

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

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.

Remember in Costa Rica humidity can be very high especially on the Caribbean Coast.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

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.
You will receive a certificate at the end of your stay

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Majoitus

Animal Rescue Center
The Jaguar Inn Hostal is conveniently located just steps away from the Animal Rescue Center and in front of Playa Chiquita, with a grocery store next door where you can buy your supplies. It is a beautiful new hostel designed for your comfort and convenience that opened its doors in April 2017. The Jaguar Inn Hostal offers 3 shared dorm rooms downstairs (1 female, 1 male and 1 mixed room); bright and with garden views. Each room offers 4 single beds with quality mattresses, mosquito nets, individual reading light and plugs to charge your electronic devices and a large capacity lock. Each dorm room has its own ensuite bathroom with 1 toilet and 1 hot water shower.

Jaguar Inn has Wifi & cleaning service included as well as bed linen and towels for use at the hostel (not on the beach). There are laundry machines as well that you can use for an additional cost (approx. 8 USD per load). In the common area (El Rancho) you can relax and share experiences with your colleague volunteers from all over the world, sitting on the comfortable sofas. Meals are not included and can be prepared in the fully equipped shared kitchen of your accommodation (cutlery and utensils, stove, oven, microwaves). Here you can store your food and drinks in the fridges. Lunch can be taken to the Rescue center, where there is a fridge and microwave.

La Ceiba
While at La Ceiba Private Nature Reserve, volunteers stay in a really nice wooden bungalow called Casa Heliconias in the midst of the jungle. The bungalow consists of one room with a double bed, one room with one single bed, one room with a bunk of two single beds and the attic with two more individual beds. There are also 4 private attic rooms in another wooden building. The shared bathroom has hot water.

Couples will be placed together, but individual travelers will share a room with volunteers of the same gender.

Due to the isolated location, there is no TV, Wi-Fi or mobile phone reach at the accommodation. There is, however, an emergency phone available. At Casa Heliconia there is a laundry and drying service for approximately 10 USD (depending on how many kilos of laundry). Bed linen and towels are included. There is also a great terrace to relax on after a hard day's work in the jungle. Breakfast is included and mineral water is offered, but other meals are not included. There is a fully equipped kitchen with everything you need to prepare your own lunches and dinners. A local supermarket will deliver groceries twice a week to La Ceiba. The volunteers will place a grocery order with the Manager at La Ceiba and then pay upon delivery for their own groceries.

Paikalliset kuljetukset

Important Arrival Information
Animal Rescue Center requires volunteers to start the project by 11:00 on Monday. You can make your own way to the project in Puerto Viejo, in which case the arrival day is Sunday, and the first night's accommodation from Sunday to Monday at your project accommodation is included, or ask your travel advisor to book an arrival package including all transfers and extra accommodation.

Arrival Package
The arrival package option includes the following:
- Arrival day in San José is Saturday
- Arrival transfer from the airport to the hotel in San José
- One hotel night in a standard single room in San José including breakfast
- Transfer to Jaguar Inn Hostal in Puerto Viejo on Sunday by bus (the tickets will be delivered to your hotel in San José)
- One night's accommodation (Sunday-Monday) at your project accommodation.

Departure Package
You can also book a departure package including a bus transfer from Puerto Viejo to San Jose, one hotel night in a standard single room in San José including breakfast and a transfer to the airport the following day.

Transportation to and from the Project
You can walk to the project from your accommodation. Return transfers between the Animal Rescue Center and La Ceiba are included.

Booking Your Return Flight
Please note if you haven’t chosen a departure package you should book your return flight earliest for a Tuesday. The project finishes on a Monday, but it's a 5-hour drive from Puerto Viejo to San José and this road is known for having problems that cause delays. Please note that you should book your own accommodation in San José as the night between Monday and Tuesday is not included.

Ateriat

No meals included at Animal Rescue Center. Breakfast included at La Ceiba. Tea, coffee and water are available all day.

The Animal Rescue Center

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