Bolivia - Wildlife Conservation Zoo
Volunteer in a unique wildlife conservation program in Bolivia. Be part of the global fight to preserve species from extinction with volunteers from around the world.
|Location of Project||Santa Cruz|
|Project Length||Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Viru Viru International Airport|
|Volunteer Work||Work with animals|
|Number of Participants||Up to 5 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 70|
|Food||3 meals a day|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Included on arrival day|
|Travel Insurance||Comprehensive travel & health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival|
What's Not Included
Bolivia's awe-inspiring biodiversity makes this the perfect destination for wildlife and ecology enthusiasts. The zoo in Santa Cruz is based on principles of conservation, defense, and study of the Bolivian and South American fauna. It is a quintessential example of Bolivia's diversity.
Santa Cruz is the most populated city in Bolivia but has preserved a small-town feeling and a relaxed tropical atmosphere.
About the Project
The zoo in Santa Cruz houses a wide variety of native animals and is considered one of the most diverse in South America. It works closely with the Natural History Museum (which belongs to the public University of Santa Cruz) to develop an environmental education program. It also has an education program with volunteers who provide information to visitors regarding how to properly treat the animals as well as basic expectations to avoid accidents and damages to the animals.
Noel Kempff Mercado conceived the idea of building a zoo dedicated exclusively to the conservation of South American fauna back in the 60's. The zoo opened on 19th August 1979 and has now about 500,000 visitors a year.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
As a volunteer, your work in the zoo will involve:
- Preparing food for the animals
- Feeding the animals
- Cleaning cages
- Learning basic nutrition for each species - the daily portions are prepared based on carefully elaborated diets specific to each species
- Maintaining the accuracy of posted information signs
- Maintenance of the zoo grounds such as cleaning animals cages
- Assisting with veterinary work - a veterinarian examines all new animals to assess their physical condition. Ill animals are also treated on the premises of the zoo
- You may also be involved in the preparation of educational materials and workshops
Working hours and days: Normally, you will work 4 to 5 hours a day from Monday to Friday. Working hours tend to be from 7:00am to 11:00am.
You should be warned that there is no work during the zurazos (stormy / rainy days). These happen for 2 to 3 days during the rainy seasons in the months of December to February.
Accommodations: as part of the volunteering experience, volunteers will stay with a Bolivian family for the whole duration of their stay. Please note that there may be other volunteers staying there as well. It takes about 30 minutes by bus to get to the project from the accommodations.
Food: the family will serve 3 meals a day (not including Sundays) mainly consisting of Bolivian food (vegetables, rice or noodles and/or potatoes, sometimes red meat, chicken or fish). Vegetarians should be fine but it is advised to inform the family on arrival.
Internet: available in town for small fee
Laundry: available with host family
Time away from the volunteer project can be spent exploring Santa Cruz's many museums and natural attractions such as the ecological park, Yvaga Guazu, located just outside the city. Weekends are great for exploring nearby rain forests and the Jesuit missions of eastern Santa Cruz.
- Minimum age 18
- Good level of English
- Basic Spanish. It is recommended to learn as much Spanish as possible before coming in order to make the stay more enjoyable. Classes can be taken for an extra cost.
- Good physical fitness
- Motivation to work with animals
- Full travel & medical insurance
- Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
Here's an excerpt of Kaitlin's experience:
Check out our volunteer blog at www.blog.goeco