Ecuador – Wild Animal Rescue Shelter – Videos


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 rainforest
  • Join our adventure and Spanish intro week in Baños before you volunteer


Your Schedule at a Glance (a two-week commitment is recommended): 

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).  You will be picked up at the airport and taken to our partner Hostel in Quito to spend your first night.

Day 1, Sunday: Our local coordinator will give an orientation and help you with the arrangements for your bus ride from Quito to Puyo. Upon arrival in Puyo, you will take a private taxi to the center where you will be greeted and given an orientation, only a few minutes drive away.

Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: Your days will be spent taking care of the animals, doing maintenance work at the site and helping with the cleaning. You are also encouraged to use your initiative and propose tasks that you would like to work on such as working with the vet or helping out with the local environmental education program. Evenings are free for you to rest or take a trip to Puyo where you will be able to interact with the locals and enjoy the Ecuadorian nightlife.

Days 7-8, 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.


We recommend! 
Join our exciting intro 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. See “Travel Highlights” below for more information.

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.


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

Project length Project length: Min 2 week -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: We highly recommend that volunteers join this program for a minimum stay of two weeks to get involved a more in-depth and varied volunteers experience. Volunteers with basic or no Spanish, should add the intro week to enhance their language skills before the program.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared cabins while at the project

Food Food: 3 meals per day, Monday-Friday, are provided during the volunteer work weeks (please check under Living Arrangements for details)

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided on arrival day

Orientation Orientation: The first week of this project is an orientation, consisting of 20 hours of Spanish lessons, a visit to Cotopaxi National Park and its volcano and more! *Some small fees apply for excursions.

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, meals during orientation week, some weekend meals, bus ticket from Quito to Puyo (approx. $6 USD), taxi from Puyo bus station to project (approx. $3 USD), transfer to airport on departure day, personal expenses.

The animal rescue center is in a rural jungle setting near the city of Puyo, which is located close to Baños, a tourist-friendly city and gateway to the Amazon basin. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to take part in excursions of your own planning or join our adventure introduction week before the program.

This center was established in 2006 with the aim of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife from the Amazon jungle. Most of the animals at the center have all been injured, mistreated or abandoned. Some of the animals were orphaned when their parents were killed by hunters and other animals were saved from wildlife traffickers who were trying to export them out of the country.

The rescue shelter is a true haven. It has several sections for the animals, one of the most impressive being Monkey Island, which is only accessible via a pedestrian bridge. These animals are in need of loving volunteers to care for their daily needs.

Your volunteer responsibilities will be assisting in the 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 participating in maintenance tasks around the shelter. This may include the building, repairing of and cleaning of enclosures as well as 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: WiFi is available in the common areas of the wildlife center.

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 located in a separate shelter next door with cold water only. The program is built for adventure rather than comfort.

Food icon Food: At the 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.


Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Basic level of English
  • GoEco interview after application
  • Recommended basic understanding of Spanish to enhance your experience (additional language lessons or introduction week available if needed)
  • Motivation to work with animals

Culture week in Baños​

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”. You can easily book the culture week once we accept you to the program.

Extra fee: US$350 for 7 nights, this includes:

  • Orientation
  • Home-stay accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • 20 hours of Spanish classes with local teacher (4 hours a day)
  • 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.

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

Volunteer Experiences

Volunteer Experiences

Amidst a desolate Calgary winter of sub-zero temperatures and the always-fun process of university applications, I boarded a 6 A.M. connecting flight…

Want to join this program?