The rescue center offers animals that have been abandoned and animals that have been confiscated in the black market, a new home. Most animals living in the amaZOOnico and its outer stations— Chorougue Alpha, Maquisapa Alta and Machine Alta—are monkeys of varying species (spider monkeys, South American monkeys, and capuchins), parrots, toucans turtles, ocelots, sometimes tapirs, sloths, and capybaras. Approximately 1/3rd of the animals can be reintroduced to the wild, 1/3rd are free but tame animals that stay at the station, and 1/3rd do not survive.
Volunteers help with feeding the animals, cleaning cages, observing the animals, upbringing (rarely) and guiding tours through the stations. The latter is a large and important part of the work since amaZOOnico is financed by the admission charges from tourists. Tours are held in English, Spanish, French and German.
Volunteers need to be fit and ready to do physical work, e.g. carrying heavy banana plants and boxes with papayas and/or tools. Furthermore, volunteers should be open minded, ok with living in simple conditions, flexible, and not afraid of getting dirty and sweaty during work. Volunteering at amaZOOnico is no vacation at the beach and no petting zoo, but it is a great opportunity and an enriching experience in a wonderful environment.
A minimum of ten volunteers is necessary in order to carry out the workload. Twelve to fifteen volunteers allows volunteers to extend their work beyond animal care and tourist guiding.
Minimum stay: 4 weeks. The acclimatization to work and life in the tropical forest takes some time.
Minimum age: 18 years recommended.
Knowledge of foreign languages: the dominant language in the amaZOOnico, and of the locals, is Spanish. It is expected of all volunteers have a sound knowledge of Spanish or English. Good knowledge of German, French or other languages are appreciated too.
Accommodations, Fees, and Deposits
Volunteers live in shared rooms. Each volunteer has to pay $250 per month. This includes lodging, all meals, and consumables (e.g. toilet paper, ect).
Important: due to raising costs in Ecuador monthly prices had to be adapted. Starting January 2014, volunteers will have to pay $250 per month for the first three months. Thereafter there is a reduction in price. Volunteers who arranged their stay before December 2013 will pay the agreed price at the time of arrangement ($150 a month).
The first month is to be paid in advance and will not be reimbursed if the volunteer cancels or interrupts the stay.
Internships students usually study environmental sciences or biology, and choose a topic for their scientific work (e.g. parasites on monkeys, oil pollution, ecotourism, waste management, behavior of moneys in the outer stations) alongside the managing staff at amaZOOnico.
The duration of such an internship is generally 16 weeks. Internship students assist with daily tasks in the amaZOOnico two days a week and work on their topic the rest of the time. They pay $150 a month.
If you would like to volunteer or become an internship student at amaZOOnico, contact Simi Rutishauser roughly 6 months before your planned stay (email@example.com). She will send you further information. Applications of short notice can only be considered limitedly.
Liana Lodge: it is our concern that internship students and volunteers from Europe be able to familiarize themselves with conditions in Ecuador. Therefore, we offer students of the school of tourism or other interested parties the opportunity to make practical experience on site. Further information can be requested from the lodge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lodging and tourism :
Quito: Guayasamin Spanish School
On the coast : Montanita Spanish School