Ecuador – Wild Animal Rescue Shelter

Volunteer for a dedicated center that rescues threatened wildlife. Experience the Amazon rainforest and help with the rehabilitation of injured animals.


Program Highlights:

  • Work hands-on with various animals under the professional care of the center.
  • Learn about the methods used to rehabilitate different species of animals
  • Meet and live with other like-minded volunteers from around the world
  • Experience the serenity of the Amazon Rainforest
  • Enjoy our Spanish and Adventure Week in Baños before you volunteer


Your Schedule at a Glance:

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). We will transport you from the airport to a comfortable hostel in Quito to spend your first night.

Day 1, Sunday: Before the start of your trip, our local coordinator will provide an orientation and help you with the arrangements for the bus ride from Quito to Baños. When you reach Baños, you will take a taxi to a comfy hostel to start your Spanish and Adventure Week.

Days 2-8, Monday – Sunday: During the next week, you will learn Spanish, join eco tours, and enjoy the bustling town of Baños, renowned as the adventure capitol of Ecuador. Scroll down to Travel Highlights for more details.

Day 8, Sunday: Transfer via bus to Puyo, then taxi to the Wild Animal Rescue Center. Upon arrival, a member of the local team will greet you and provide a first day orientation.

Days 9-14, Monday to Friday: You will team up with other volunteers to care for the animals, do maintenance work around the location, and help with cleaning tasks. Evenings are free for you to rest or take a trip to Puyo, where you can interact with the community and enjoy the Ecuadorian nightlife.

Days 15-16, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are mostly free, apart from a few morning chores.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday mostly free. Departure is on Saturday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Quito, Baños and Puyo, Ecuador

Project length Project length: Min 3 weeks -Max 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Various tasks related to animal care

Age Age: Min age of 18 (Age exception: volunteers under the age of 18 may apply with parental consent.)

Number of Volunteers  Number of Volunteers: Up to 24 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note: Planning to come for one month or more? Combine this project with our Giant Tortoise and Sea Turtle Conservation in the Galápagos, for a truly diverse wildlife experience. We will assist with the transfers.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared hostel rooms in Quito and Baños. Shared cabins on the wildlife volunteer program.

Food Food: 3 meals per day during volunteer program, Monday-Friday. Only breakfast in Quito and during the Spanish week in Baños.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport pickup on arrival day.

Orientation Orientation: Provided upon arrival to Quito and on-site training at the rescue center. The program includes a Spanish and adventure week before volunteering, compromising 20 hours of Spanish lessons, half day bike tour and half day canopy tour.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

  • Flights
  • Visas (if required)
  • Travel health insurance
  • Lunch and dinner in Quito and Baños
  • Some weekend meals during the volunteer program
  • Bus ticket from Quito to Baños (approx. $6 USD, around 4-5 hours)
  • Taxi from Puyo bus station to hostel and back (approx. $5 USD, around 10 minutes)
  • Bus ticket from Baños to Puyo (approx. $6 USD, around 2 hours)
  • Taxi from Puyo bus station to project (approx. $3 USD, around 10 minutes)
  • Transfer to the airport on departure day

The Spanish and adventure week takes place in Baños, near the Andes, and at the start of the Amazon jungle in Ecuador. Baños is a lively small town with a multitude of adventurous activities, eco tours and nightlife. The weather is quite pleasant because of its position at 1200 m. This is also the ideal spot for anyone who wants to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can take a dip in natural hot springs with spectacular views, hire a bike to explore the town, or simply take a leisurely walk around.

The animal rescue center is in a rural jungle setting near the city of Puyo, which is located around 60km east of Baños.

They established this center in 2006 to help rescue and rehabilitate wildlife from the Amazon jungle. Most of the animals at the center have arrived after being injured, mistreated or abandoned. Some animals lost their parents due to hunters, leaving them as orphans, while they saved others from being smuggled out of the country.

The rescue shelter is a genuine haven. It features several sections for the animals, particularly Monkey Island, which is accessible only by a pedestrian bridge. We urgently needed loving volunteers to take care of these animals daily.

As a volunteer, you will assist in the daily care of the rescued animals at the shelter. Day-to-day tasks include cutting fruit and preparing other food for the animals, feeding the animals and taking part in maintenance tasks around the shelter. This may include the building, repairing and cleaning of enclosures and general cleaning.


Some of your tasks may include:

  • Cutting up food for the animals
  • General maintenance and cleaning around the shelter
  • Construction of enclosures, repairing older enclosures
  • Assisting the veterinarian when needed
  • Assisting visitors
  • Day-to-day care of animals


A typical day: Volunteers will work from 8:00 AM- 12:00 PM and then from 2:30-5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. On either Saturday or Sunday, volunteers will work a few hours in the morning and once tasks are completed, will have the rest of the weekend free.

Internet icon Internet: Wi-Fi is available in the common areas of the wildlife center and in the hostels in Quito and Baños.

Laundry icon Laundry: While at the project, laundry facilities are available in the town of Puyo, 15 minutes away for a fee.

Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in shared cabins with bunk beds in same-gender rooms, with up to five other volunteers. The cabins are very simple and rustic, with the shared bathroom facilities in a separate shelter next door with cold water only. During the first night in Quito and Spanish week in Baños, you will stay in comfortable hostels with shared rooms and bathrooms.

Food icon Food: At the rescue center, 3 meals per day are provided, Monday-Friday. Breakfast usually includes cereal and fruit, and lunches and dinners are often traditional South American dishes such as rice and beans. Ingredients for breakfast are provided on the weekends and there is space to cook other meals. There are markets in the town of Puyo where volunteers may purchase food for lunch and dinners on weekends. Breakfast is included during the first night in Quito and Spanish week in Baños.

  • Basic level of English
  • GoEco interview after application
  • Entry test to determine your level of Spanish
  • Motivation to work with animals

Spanish and adventure week in Baños​

You will join our exciting culture week in Baños before you volunteer and get the chance to learn Spanish, relax in thermal hot springs and join the famous bike and canopy tours. Baños is the gateway to the Amazon basin and the Adventure Capital of Ecuador.

We have Spanish classes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners. Expert educators who are enthusiastic about Ecuadorian culture, and our volunteer initiatives will teach our classes. You will lodge at the warm and inviting hostel where the classes take place. These classes will help you understand the culture and customs of Ecuador in more depth, as well as teaching you the vocabulary and grammar to communicate better with the people you meet and in your volunteer project.

During this week, you can look forward to a pleasant stay in a conveniently located hostel with a great staff. It provides shared rooms with breakfast provided. The hostel has a 24-hour reception, including a concierge and a place to store your luggage. It also features a rooftop patio, a coffee shop and a swimming pool! The hostel offers free Wi-Fi.

The program is 7 nights and includes:

  • Orientation
  • Shared room in hostel
  • Breakfast
  • 20 hours of Spanish classes with local teacher (4 hours a day, Monday to Friday)
  • Half day bike tour
  • Half day canopy tour


Aside from the intro week, volunteers can take part in other activities for an additional fee during their free time. Listed below are a few suggestions.


Travel Highlights in Puyo:

Botanical Gardens Las Orquideas is a beautiful botanical garden with 6.75 hectares. This garden focuses on the education and preservation of Ecuadorian flora and fauna.

The Ethnic and Archaeological Museum is an excellent choice for history-lovers; this museum has artifacts that date back to around 2,000 BC.


Travel Highlights in Baños:

Rafting Baños Ecuador is for the thrill-seeking volunteers! Guests here have the choice to white water raft down either the Patate or Pasta Rivers.

Zip lining: For the adrenaline junkie, Baños is home to a zip lining tour company that features over 2,000 meters of zipline fun.

Volunteer Experiences

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