After speaking with the Animal Rescue Center program coordinators, Medardo and his wife Lucero, we have decided to create more detailed information about the volunteer program to ensure you have the most accurate expectations for your time there.
Spanish and the Animal Rescue Center
Medardo and Lucero the program coordinators do not speak English. The reason we wrote that volunteers who speak little or no Spanish can still stay at the Animal Rescue Center is because after dealing with tourists for years they are adept at communicating with them irrespective of the language barrier.
Also, most of the time there will be other volunteers that speak Spanish who will help facilitate communication between the group and Lucero and Medardo. To make your trip more rewarding, however, consider learning basic Spanish before you come via great free resources on the Internet or by taking Spanish lessons in Ecuador.
Contact With Animals at the Animal Rescue Center
Some volunteers come to the Animal Rescue Center with expectations that they will be handling animals all day every day. This is counter-productive to the rehabilitation of the animals. If you are at an “Animal Rescue Center” where this happens and is encouraged it could be possible that the Rescue Center is a Scam (Follow this link for more information on animal rescue scams and scroll down to “Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation Centres (ARRCs) – Are you being conned?”)
The Volunteer Work at Animal Rescue Center
There is always work to do at the Animal Rescue Center but its not always taking care of the animals. As mentioned above Animal Rescue Centers where you coddle the animals all day long are normally scams and more like Zoos than centers for rehabilitation.
An element of the volunteer work requires manual labour like lifting stones and building pathways to help make trails in the jungle. This volunteer work is very important for the maintenance of the Animal Rescue Center and while Lucero and Medardo will never obligate you to do something against your will we hope you tackle these important tasks with a great attitude.
Teaching Environmental Awareness
Starting this year Lucero has started a initiative in a local school near the Animal Rescue Center where the volunteers help teach environmental awareness. Unfortunately in Ecuador the majority of locals lack even the most basic education on environmental issues which is one of the reasons the country has one of the poorest environmental records in South America. Inspiring just a few kids to look after the jungle they grow up in creates a priceless impact on this regions future.
Clean Up After Yourself!
Clean Up After Yourself! For the very small percentage of volunteers who are guilty of neglecting this please remember you are not 13 years old and the Animal Rescue Center is not your mothers basement. Part of your duties as a volunteer is to keep the kitchen, your room, and the centers facilities. If you are not prepared to clean up after yourself then you should consider not volunteering with us.
Accommodation at the Animal Rescue Center
You may have to share a room with other volunteers. There are at the very most four beds per room and at times you may get a room for yourself but other times you will be assigned a room with other volunteers. This is a great way to make friendships with fellow travellers.
The Ecuador Eco Volunteer Price Rise
Leisure Time at Animal Rescue Center
When the volunteer work duties for the day have been completed you and the other volunteers will have leisure time to chill out. During this leisure time you can do everything from reading a book, to playing cards with other volunteers or going for a swim in the river.